Internet fuels fan interest

Discussion in 'LSU RECRUITING' started by Turbotigerfan, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. Turbotigerfan

    Turbotigerfan Founding Member

    Oct 10, 2003
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    By Travis Haney

    Like it or not, three seasons now exist in the college football calendar year.

    Spring practice. The regular season in the fall. And the recruiting season, which formally runs from early December to Wednesday, when players are first allowed to sign with respective schools.

    "It has turned into its own season," said Jeremy Crabtree, editor of, one of the largest recruiting Web sites in the country. "One carries to another to another to another. I’m not surprised by how popular it is or how quickly it’s grown, but it is amazing."

    But it hasn’t always been this way. Recruiting was once the outcast of college football coverage, a mere side note to the season. Now, to some, it rivals in importance what happens on the field.

    The discussion as to why this has happened — why charting the decisions of 17- and 18-year-old athletes — starts and finishes with the Internet.

    Recruiting Web sites and services have transformed recruiting into the spectacle that it is today, he said.

    "I think we’ve really revolutionized recruiting," Crabtree said. "There was a time when newspapers only covered it maybe once, and that was on signing day."

    Even technology within the technology has improved, Crabtree added. Registered members of Web sites like Rivals — the more advanced sites come with a price tag of anywhere from $5 to $10 a month — can log on and see video of prospects or hear interviews with recruits.

    "We’ve taken step after step to revolutionize recruiting," Crabtree said. "It’s the one-stop spot to get information on your favorite team or players."

    He added that making information so easily accessible is a good thing, equating it to open-record laws for governments.
    "I think it is a good thing because it puts everything out there in the open," said Crabtree, a 1997 Kansas State graduate. "I think maybe it’s leveled the playing field for everybody."

    Some college coaches do not see recruiting services in the same light. They think the Internet and radio and TV shows have soured the process to some degree.

    "Things are definitely different," said South Carolina wide receivers coach Rick Stockstill, who worked as Clemson’s recruiting coordinator from 1999-2002.

    "Now you have the Internet and all these radio talk shows and all these so-called recruiting gurus, all people who aren’t actually involved with football. It seems like a kid can’t sign somewhere anymore without going on a TV show or the radio."

    Crabtree’s response is that companies like his staff camps and travel endlessly to watch prospects, making sure information put on their Web sites is as accurate as possible.

    "That’s the one area we’ve worked hard at," he said, adding that good source work is a key. "We’re not going to report a player commitment unless we get it from the sources themselves. There are people that do that, but we do not. Accuracy is something we strive for as a staff."

    The wary eye of coaches also extends to the undue pressure placed on young men already faced with a daunting decision. Stockstill pointed out that while the number of coaching staff’s phone calls are limited, recruiting services are not restricted in how much contact they can have with a player.

    "They have so much access to the kids," Stockstill said. "They get tired of hearing from those guys because they all want to be the first one with the news. ‘I got Joe Blow’s commitment. I got it before anyone else.’ They wear the kids out."

    Will Muschamp, defensive coordinator for current national champion LSU, says players feel like disappointments in some instances as a result of the coverage.

  2. LSUBud

    LSUBud Founding Member

    Jul 27, 2003
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    I started to "follow" recruiting in the 80's. I went to high school with Roland Barbay, and watching him go through the recruiting process was VERY interesting. After that, I tried to follow it as much as possible. Unfortunately, back then, there wasn't much. In the mid-80's, a few magazines came out. I'd go to the Union and get whatever I could.

    Of course, this was before the summer combines. What was clear then is still CLEAR today - the best way to judge recruits is to look at the list of what schools were recruiting these kids.

    As the 90's approached, I could see where LSU was going because, WHILE LSU HAS ALWAYS AND WILL ALWAYS sign some great talent in Louisiana, it seemed that after the "top 5" recruits, LSU was constantly in recruiting battles with Tulane, USM and Northwestern La. Yet, many of the states TOP recruits were going elsewhere (F$U, Miami, Florida, Colorado and Michigan seemingly hand picked who they want). Yet, we eren't getting that same level of recruits from out of state.

    Watching LSU LOSE consistently in the 90's just reaffirmed my belief that recruiting is the life blood of a football team. And, more often than not, the "can't missers" DON'T MISS.

    When I first go the internet (1995) and started following recruiting there, I really thought that the internet would revolutionize recruiting and go a long way in "leveling the playing field". Prior to the internet, it was hard to get a handle on what recruits from prior classes had worked out. With the internet, we know WHO had been recruited the last few years AND how they were doing (even the redshirt freshmen through practice reports).

    I really believed that recruits would look at this - AND REALLY LOOK AT THE DEPTH A TEAM HAS AT HIS POSITION - and would choose a school accordingly. For instance, ANY onf our current recruiting class could go to Tulane and start RIGHT AWAY. I thought that, seeing this, a recruit might choose Tulane to make sure he gets PT - where he may have to wait 2-3 years to get any significant PT at LSU.

    THAT really hasn't happened that much. And, even when it does, a kid will merely pick another top school that isn't quite so deep at his position.

    I remember hearing a poll where 70-75% of the kids who sign Div. I scholarships EXPECT to play in the NFL one day. This despite the fact that only 1-2% ever play NFL ball. I guess recruits ee the same thing when being recruited, i.e., even though they're a 3 star player who was "only" a regional recruit and the same school has signed 2-3 5 star recruits at his position, he STILL believes he'll be the one to beat the odds and beat out those 5 star players.

    In any event, if anyone thinks you can downplay recruiting and analyst, they're very much mistaken. Sure, every now and then the recruiting gurus make a mistake (Miami had a class that wasn't considered Top 10 and later had 4 players in that class taken in the first round of the NFL draft), more often than not, they're RIGHT ON. And, with the classes Saban is recruiting (something tells me that Nick and staff NEVER look at recruiting rankings anyway), LSU is set for the foreseeable future.

    On other point - the gurus should also rank classes based upon WHO shows up in August. Nick does recruit some "academic risks", but only after he's got enough quality players who will show up in August. Those players are our "grey shirts" (see Justin Vincent). So, when our class shows up in August, our recruitign ranking is virtually the same as it was in February. Dinardo, on the other hand, would recruit these risks as his PRIME RECRUITS. when the class showed up in August, our recruiting ranking would have gone from being "barely in the Top 10" to something outside the "Top 20".

    I always hear what a great recruiter Dinardo was. THat's B.S. If you look at who showed up in August, he was an average recruiter at best. AND, when you figure that LSU will get a good deal of 4 star recruits JUST BECAUSE we are LSU, then Dinarod's recruiting prowess just doesn't measure up. If you doubt this, look at the recruiting class Dinardo is putting together during his thrid year at Indiana (IT'S PATHETIC) --

    Indiana Recruiting Class

    While I doubt Saban could recruit at Indiana like he recruits at LSU, I GUARANTEE YOU he could recruit better than this.

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