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What is the rest of the SEC recruiting?

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Old news now: Mark Stoops and Co. have arrived in Lexington and made a full 180 on the recruiting trail. This much we know. We also thought Joker Phillips knew what he was doing, but no offense to the old regime, but he simply cannot hold a candle to Stoops. Without even taking the field for a single game, Mark Stoops has signed more four-star recruits in the last two classes than in the last ten years under Rich Brooks and Joker Phillips combined.

Stoops has recognized the rebuilding process is going to take some time, but he has hit the ground running regardless, hauling in key players — a least one four-star at every major position group on the field, including QB, RB, WR, OL, DL, DE, LB, and DB.

While Stoops is addressing needs at nearly every position, what is the rest of the SEC up to? What I have here is a spreadsheet of the 2014 commits by position group. Each is scored based on an average (total stars Ã· number of players) plus the sum of the total recruits at each position. Then each team is ranked accordingly. First is the team rankings based on offensive positions…

Most interesting here is that more than half the league has a four-star quarterback on board for the 2014 class, making an eight-way tie for first. Lining up behind at running back, Kentucky fairs well as Georgia leads the way as the only school in the SEC with a five-star commit yet, and that comes in the form of Sony Michel. Kentucky has a solid grip on second with a duo of four-star backs coming next year. Wide receiver is the same story, with Thaddeus Snodgrass headlining the group just behind Tennessee.

And on defense, Kentucky is really beefing up and fairing well against the rest of the conference. Defensive tackle will receive a big boost if (and when) Matt Elam commits to the Wildcats, and if Denzel Ware’s ratings increase according to Rivals there will be a boost at defensive end as well.

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Less important in the grand scheme of things are athletes and kickers, and Kentucky doesn’t rank here, as is the same with a large portion of the conference. But for the sake of completeness, I had to include it.

Of course the 2014 recruiting season is far from over and there are plenty of five-star players that have yet to commit. That will undoubtedly alter these numbers come signing day. But as for now, the Wildcats are excelling on the recruiting trail, and doing a great job at filling needs across the board. If this were any other year in the past, the numbers would not look nearly this good.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

31 Comments for What is the rest of the SEC recruiting?



  1. Bobbum man
    3:04 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    Joker knew what he was doing? How do you figure?



  2. Shameless Plug
    3:06 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    Look what I found on @eBay! http://r.ebay.com/N0GHsH



  3. Nick
    3:09 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    Hell yes!



  4. motodog
    3:16 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    No doubt recruiting has been great, but I’m still concerned about the wr spot. The last couple kids we’ve taken at this position seem very similar to the kids we’ve taken in the past that can’t compete in the sec. A good comparison would be EJ fields. We really need to hit on a couple of the bigger prizes still on the board.



  5. Woods3030
    3:20 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    Obviously for us to start making moves in the SEC we need to start bringing in solid linemen. The games in the SEC are very physical up front. The Dline has made HUGE strides in the right direction, but the Oline still needs work. I can see the focus of Stoops and Co. shifting to the Oline in the very near future.



  6. tbradg
    3:29 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    Love this analysis.



  7. Confused
    3:32 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    Can someone explain the 4.7 score for OL? Do we have three recruits that average 1.7 stars? That seems like the only way we could get to 4.7 but I don’t think that’s correct.



  8. Jax Teller
    3:32 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    We can have all the playmakers we want, but if we don’t get o-line help it won’t matter. That’s the one area we are missing out on. Recruiting has to pick up there for an already thin group.



  9. Do whut?
    3:32 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    #1 that isn’t what he wrote.



  10. Huh??
    3:41 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    (total stars ÷ number of players)

    5 Stars is the max any recruiting site gives, so how can you have more than 5 stars??? This is very confusing.



  11. hey idiot
    3:50 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    total numbers of each individual players’ stars. so if we had 30 stars divides by 10 players, that’s be an AVERAGE of 3 stars per players.



  12. This is a joke
    3:54 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    I got it now….so you threw all the numbers together to make the teams with more recruits look better. This “rating” system means Two 4-star Defensive Lineman (2+Avg of 4) is equal to Four 2-Star Defensive Lineman(4+Avg of 2)



  13. CPACAT
    3:54 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    “5 Stars is the max any recruiting site gives, so how can you have more than 5 stars??? This is very confusing” Finish reading the sentence. Total stars/number of starred players PLUS the number of recruits at each position.

    If you had a four star recruit and a two star recruit, the total stars are 6 divided by 2 starred players = 3.0 plus 2 players recruited = 5.0

    If you had a four star recruit and a three star recruit, the total stars are 7/2 starred players =3.5+2 players recruited = 5.5



  14. cracka
    3:54 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    he said he took the avg star rating and then added the number of recruits, for example: wr – we have (2) 3* and (1) 4*, that’s 10/3 = 3.3, then he adds 3 because of 3 wr’s recruited, 3.3 + 3 = 6.3

    not saying it makes sense, but that’s what he did



  15. DH
    3:56 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    10) The formula is total stars divided by total number of players at that position PLUS the sum of the total number of players at that position. So if we had 4 total players, each with 4 stars, that would be 16/4+4=8



  16. DH
    3:58 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    12) Correct. It’s definitely not an exact science, but then, neither is scouting. Especially in football



  17. CPACAT
    4:02 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    #12 you are correct,

    2 four star players would yield a score of 8/2+2=6
    4 two star players would yield a score of 8/4+4=6

    The Bonanza comes in recruiting one star players…20/20+20=21

    No Star players most likely have the the best return on investment (i.e. easier to get, less travel costs, less time spent recruiting, etc.) 0/20+20=20



  18. Do whut?
    4:12 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    All I know is our average star rating according to Rivals is 3.27 while Alabama’s is 3.53 for the time being and I never thought I’d see us in the same neighborhood as Tide recruiting if even only for a little while. I’ll take it!



  19. CPACAT
    4:15 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    The one thing about this formula that does work, is that it does compare teams against each other well. For example, if each team has 100 scholarship players. Each year, theoretically, you would be recruiting 25 players per year. (or thereabout, allowing for injuries, transfers, etc, etc.)

    If a team has 25 one star players recruited, their team score will be 25/25+25=26

    If another team has 12 one star and 13 two star players recruited, their team score will be (12/12+12)+(26/13+13)=28 (a better score than 26)

    If a third team has 15 four star and 10 three star players recruited, their team score will be (60/15+15)+(30/10+10)=32 (a much better score than 26 or 28)

    Small inaccuracies will enter into the formula when teams recruit more/less players than the teams they are being compared to. (i.e. one team recruits 27 and one has 24 slots to fill).



  20. CPACAT
    4:17 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    ‘Statistical Nerd Fight’ anyone, anyone?



  21. Linda Taylor
    4:18 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    I just took one group and tried to figure out how Stuart came up with the number. Was Stuart using an average of the four rating services or just one of them? At any rate the OL didn’t seem to make sense to me. I averaged the stars over the 4 different services and this is what I came up with:
    Derrick Kelly OT average 2.3 stars
    Jarrett LaRubbio OG average 3 stars
    Nick Richardson OT average 3.25 stars
    2.5 + 3 + 3.25 = 8.55
    8.55 / 3 = 2.85
    2.85 + 3 = 5.85
    5.85 would put us up to 8 from 11.



  22. Linda Taylor
    4:19 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    That 2.5 was supposed to be 2.3.



  23. yup
    4:21 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    Nice post. One critique I’d make is that your methodology rewards teams who are taking more commits. S. Carolina, for instance, is only signing a 15 man class, so their rating will be smaller.



  24. CPACAT
    4:22 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    Linda, based on almost all numbers being whole numbers, I would surmise he is only using the star number from one rating service.



  25. Linda Taylor
    4:26 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    CPACAT – Even if he used the lowest rates for each player I still don’t see how he came up with that number. He would have 2 + 3 + 3 = 8. 8 / 3 = 2.66. 2.66 + 3 = 5.66. Not 4.7.



  26. Still Confused
    4:33 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    Setting aside whether the ranking system is “fair” or “representative of overall class quality,” based on the methods he describes, he has the OL rating completely wrong.

    Using just Rivals rankings, 4* + 3* + 2* = 9*/3 = 3* average + 3 points (1 for each player, as he describes) = 6.0, not 4.7. There’s no way the OL score is 4.7 based on this system.

    With the correct OL score (6.0), we’re tied for 6th in the SEC with LSU and UT.

    All that said, the point is still taken–Stoops is killing it.



  27. Tim
    4:39 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    I wouldn’t consider last years class as a year for stoops. He didn’t have but several months. And even at that brought in 2 4 star recruits, smith and hatcher.



  28. Dumbese
    5:28 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    Some of you all are really dumb man. Idiocracy, the film, becomes more prophetic by the day.



  29. Stuart Hammer
    5:28 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    Regarding the OL number for Kentucky… I made a small error in the numbers when I went to add the newest four-star commit from yesterday. I’ve fixed it, and Kentucky now has a 6.0 score. Sorry about that.



  30. John
    6:42 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    So if you have a 5-star recruit you have 6 points. If you add a 3-star, you still have 6 points. Really bad accounting system.



  31. Thank you
    7:08 pm July 31, 2013 Permalink

    Stuart, this was a lot of effort and great analysis! Thanks!