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Email questions: Why is recruiting overrated?

It’s not. Well it kind of is, but it’s really not.



It always seemed like an inefficient endeavor to pour my time into answering one question for one person on Twitter or email but because I’m a moron I never thought “hey, maybe there are other people who want these same questions answered, I could write a blog post on them..” Then I read this book which suggested that very thing and decided to give it a whirl.

All that to say if you feel like sending me questions via Twitter or email there’s a decent chance they’ll end up on a quickie post here. These were for a sports media project by some guys at OSU (hope y’all got an A).

1. On your site you have written about how you think recruiting is overrated. Why?

Recruiting is overrated in the micro because one player, especially in football, won’t make or break your program. Or really, I can’t get excited about how the projection of one player is going to make or break my program.

In the macro, though, I think it’s properly rated. The teams that consistently get the best recruiting classes are consistently good. It’s a percentage game. You’re going to hit on, say, 50 percent of your guys so if you get the most 5-star guys that means your number that you hit on is bigger.

The other thing is that programs like OSU do a good job of getting system guys. A 3-star to everyone else might actually be a 4-star to OSU because he fits in well. Gundy is good at that.

2. Why do you think schools like OSU, Baylor and K-State exceed their “expectations” based off recruiting? Conversely, why do you think UT has struggled recently despite always having a top class?

See above. Briles, Snyder, and Gundy…those are dudes who know who they are and what their programs are trying to be. Texas can get all the 5-stars in the world but if you don’t have a plan with what to do with them then what’s the point?

3. What do you think the most important part of recruiting is?

The most important part of recruiting to me is getting kids that Gundy calls “high character.” I don’t think he means this by the literal definition because athletes are, um, not the most high character folks, but more like “I want a dude that might not be the best player but he’ll buy into what we’re doing and what’s going on with our program.”

It’s the “Wichita State in basketball” theory. You don’t need the best guys, you need guys who want to be a part of a team that’s going to be the best. 5-star guys aren’t traditionally known for buying into team concepts. OSU is like Wichita State in football but with better facilities.

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