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Old 04-24-2007, 12:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnd05 View Post
Great post IUB - I had been hoping for analysis of this from you, and you certainly didn't disappoint.

A few remarks:

1. The thought of having to tell Brown, Ferrine, and Vernaglia that there isn't room for them to return is a pretty crappy one. They've worked hard and taken their knocks, and I imagine that one or more of them might want to return. But I suppose you gotta do what you gotta do, and with the way this class is filling up we are definitely going to need more than nineteen scholarships for it.

2. Another thing your analysis assumes is that there won't be any players who leave the team, either to transfer or for other reasons. I know that this isn't a really common occurrence at ND like it is at Florida, etc., but it does take place with some frequency. If this does indeed happen this year -- and there have been some rumors of at least one possible transfer, right? -- it would free up one more spot without having to send Crum or Lambert packing (which would be pretty much inexplicable; the only way they're not coming back is if they don't want to).

3. At LB, I could imagine us putting some real pressure on Beal, Sweat, and Filer to make up their minds soon. The difficulty is that I don't think we want to take more than five LBs total, but we definitely want to leave a spot open for Brown until he starts sending us some straightforwardly negative signals. But after what we went through last year, I don't see the staff having tons of patience for massive indecision (and apparent mind-games) on the part of Beal and Sweat. We have needs at other positions as well, and we already have three LBs on board, so I think those guys might get told "get on board or get dropped". Such an instruction would not, of course, be given to Arthur Brown unless two of Filer/Beal/Sweat had already committed and a third was right on the verge of doing so.

I'm not going to offer a position-by-position breakdown because I know full well I can't compete with you there. But let me just say that your post makes it clear that there is a flip-side to our early recruiting successes: I'm more than happy to have, e.g., Golic Jr. on the team, but it'll be hard if things fill up and we don't have a spot left for Brown or Hill (positional needs be damned). That said, I'll take this year's "problems" over last year's any day!
I agree with you on Brown, Ferrine, and Vernaglia especially if Justin and Anthony end up positively contributing this year, and I see no way that Lambert and Crum will not be back next year. The transfer aspect is hard to gauge, but it seems pretty certain that there will be at least one, so basically you are in the range of 19-25, and my gut feeling is that the staff will take the midpoint of 22, and let the chips fall where they may. If there are 2 transfers, that would still leave slots for Brown & Vernaglia, but I think it is doubtful that all five will be back for a 5th year. Next year is going to be a much different decision than this year on the 5th year seniors, because this year's team obviously needs the veteran experience of the guys returning. Next year, all of these young, very talented guys, will have one full year under their belt, and the freshmen and sophomores of this years class are going to be the leaders of next year's team. This may lead to some difficult decisions for the coaching staff, but when you are accumulating the kind of talent that CW is getting, such decisions are going to become inevitable almost every year from this point on.

Pressure or not, I don't see Beal committing until his announced date of October 12th, and as I said yesterday, he may not have a position available for him by then at ND. Filer & Sweat will be making up their minds long before Beal & Arthur Brown. As good as Brown is IMO they will not hold a slot for him if they get Filer, and either Sweat or Beal. Don't forget that Darius Fleming is expected to play mostly OLB in CB's D scheme. If a slot is saved for anyone, I see it as for Darrell Scott. The conventional wisdom is that a lot of programs will hold a spot for Arthur Brown until NSD not only because he is a Top 5 player in this year's class, but also because his brother is expected to be the #1 RB in next year's class, and it is presumed he will join his brother wherever he ends up. If the Irish were to get Darrell Scott along with 6 very talented LB's in this year's class, the loss of the Brown boys, no matter how good they are, would not be too hard to take, especially since they are really Irish long shots anyway.
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Old 04-24-2007, 02:03 PM   #9
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IUB, for anyone following ND recruiting, ur post above should be required reading. Very clear and to the point and I agree with your projections.

I would like:

2 OL - Patchan and Page
2 WR - Floyd and Walker
1 RB - Darrell Scott or Carlton Thomas
3 DL - Newman, Ethan Johnson, and either Hafis Williams, Forston, or Goebel
1 CB - Blanton
1 Safety - Slaughter
2 LB - Filer and either Hale, Brown, Sweat, or Beal

If we got anything resembling my list, I think we've definitely locked up a top 5 class.
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Old 04-24-2007, 02:47 PM   #10
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As will become clear, I've been thinking more about this ...

I'm not sure that I agree that 22 is really going to be our "baseline" for this year -- I think it's a bit too high. The reason I say this is that it seems to me that at some point we're going to have to be taking an average of twenty players a year -- this will leave us with five scholarships to give to fifth-year seniors each year, not counting any others that become available thanks to players leaving the team. It's important that we be able to do this, since it provides an extra backbone of "super-senior" leadership, and that's pretty much essential to any team that wants to be a championship contender. In 2007 and 2006, we took 18 and 27 (! -- I know that some of them were early enrollments, but that doesn't affect my point) scholarship players: that means that if we really did take 22 this year and didn't lose any of the above players, we'd have only 18 scholarships available for 2009. In other words, I think that aiming for 22 right out of the gate would be a bit short-sighted.

Note, though, that I'm talking about the "baseline", and saying we shouldn't "aim" for that many. What I mean by this is that I think we'll probably look to take 19-20 "bread and butter" players and then see where our chips fall with really top-notch guys who are going to announce late in the recruiting season (e.g. Brown and Hill). I think that in any given year, if you have guys like that who want to play for you, you have to take them almost no matter what your scholarship situation looks like (assuming academics are okay, and the kid has the right attitude -- and of course I'm not advocating pulling scholarships from committed players (that's the point of the "almost")!). But when it comes to guys like Beal, Sweat, Hale, etc., if they're not willing to commit in time you have to be willing to let them go in order to preserve the program's future.

Did that make any sense? If not, say so.
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnd05 View Post
As will become clear, I've been thinking more about this ...

I'm not sure that I agree that 22 is really going to be our "baseline" for this year -- I think it's a bit too high. The reason I say this is that it seems to me that at some point we're going to have to be taking an average of twenty players a year -- this will leave us with five scholarships to give to fifth-year seniors each year, not counting any others that become available thanks to players leaving the team. It's important that we be able to do this, since it provides an extra backbone of "super-senior" leadership, and that's pretty much essential to any team that wants to be a championship contender. In 2007 and 2006, we took 18 and 27 (! -- I know that some of them were early enrollments, but that doesn't affect my point) scholarship players: that means that if we really did take 22 this year and didn't lose any of the above players, we'd have only 18 scholarships available for 2009. In other words, I think that aiming for 22 right out of the gate would be a bit short-sighted.

Note, though, that I'm talking about the "baseline", and saying we shouldn't "aim" for that many. What I mean by this is that I think we'll probably look to take 19-20 "bread and butter" players and then see where our chips fall with really top-notch guys who are going to announce late in the recruiting season (e.g. Brown and Hill). I think that in any given year, if you have guys like that who want to play for you, you have to take them almost no matter what your scholarship situation looks like (assuming academics are okay, and the kid has the right attitude -- and of course I'm not advocating pulling scholarships from committed players (that's the point of the "almost")!). But when it comes to guys like Beal, Sweat, Hale, etc., if they're not willing to commit in time you have to be willing to let them go in order to preserve the program's future.

Did that make any sense? If not, say so.
It makes sense, and I do not disagree with your logic. I also believe that the way you have it laid out is probably the strategic recruiting plan for the future. I do think that this year does still not fall into that strategic plan though for a few reasons.

1) Because of Ty's miserable last years of recruiting the classes are too far out of balance to correct it in one year.

2) Similar to CW's first year, it appears that the staff wants to take advantage of the momentum created by the hiring of CB, and the implementation of a new defensive scheme, to maximize their recruiting efforts this year. The clearest indication of this aggressive stance is that they had at least 61 offers extended before the April 15th period where you can start making visits again. The 4/15 visiting period usually culminates in quite a few new offers being extended. This is in comparison to 65 total offers last year.

3) The talent pool this year is particularly strong in areas of critical need for the Irish, and the interest level of the recruits in those areas in the Irish also seems to be very strong. The opportunity to accumulate additional talent this year may be too strong of a lure to concern themselves with the long term strategic aspects.

4) 2009 is going to be a smaller class no matter what, because of red shirts, etc., there are actually only 16 current scholarship holders with Junior eligibility, including the 5 seniors who could come back next year. The only way to be certain that this number could be higher would be to not max out the scholarship offers this year, and that does not seem likely considering how many have already been given out, and how many offers have been extended.

5) I believe they will have to wait until 2010 to try to conform to the 20/20/20/20 program as in that year based on the current scholarship holders there would be 22 slots available, followed by 28 in 2011. It will be easier to adjust your recruiting targets when you have more scholarships available to offer than your target base, rather than less, which is the case for 2008 & 2009 recruiting classes.

In any case, if the staff intends to allow all 5 seniors with Junior year eligibility to return, and there are no transfers or other scholarship withdrawals the maximum amount of scholarships that can be offered this year would be only 19, and 19 are only available because the ND scholarship level is currently 10 below the maximum. This is very fortunate because there are only 9 scholarship holders who will definitely exhaust their eligibility this year. I would still be surprised to see less than 22 scholarships offered this year because of the recruiting strategy exhibited thus far. A couple of transfers or other withdrawals, along with the possibility that not all 5 seniors with Junior year eligibility will return would suggest that the 22 number is easily attainable. I would also not be surprised that if the staff felt that if there is a chance that the 22 number could be exceeded that you could possibly see as many as 24 new scholarships being offered.

If my data is correct, the current distribution is as follows:

Freshman Eligibility- 28
Sophomore Eligibility- 22
Junior Eligibility- 16
Senior Eligibility- 9
Total- 75

If 22 is the magic number this year, this is what I project the distribution will look like this time next year.

Freshman Eligibility- 27 (22 new recruits & 5 red shirts from the 2007 class.)
Sophomore Eligibility- 22 (Reduced by the 5 red shirts & 1 Transfer)
Junior Eligibility- 22 (Only 4 of these 22 are projected to have senior class standing)
Senior Eligibility- 14 (Reduced by 1 withdrawal & 1 5th year not returning)
Total- 85

Last edited by irishunclebill; 04-25-2007 at 10:12 AM..
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Old 04-25-2007, 11:43 AM   #12
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Excellent response, IUB. I don't disagree with you that we may well -- indeed, if all goes as planned, probably will -- end up with 22 this year; the main point I was trying to bring out is that I have trouble seeing us doing what we did the stretch last year and extending late offers to guys like Brandon Walker and Brian Smith just because the scholarships are available. Nor, for that matter, will I be surprised if we end up telling even some "4*-type" guys that there just isn't room for them. Instead, and this doesn't contradict what you say, I see us "holding" a few spots open for really top-notch guys who are going to make late decisions and then seeing how things shake out with them: if they decide to come, that's awesome; if not, that's okay too because then we have the spots available for fifth-year seniors in '07-08 and are able to extend a few more scholarships (or retain a few more fifth-year seniors) in '08-09. So while I agree that 22 (or 21) is the probably the number the staff hopes to end up with, in a way my belief that we WILL get that many is mostly rooted in my optimism that one or two of the real superstars (guys like Arthur Brown or Will Hill, though of course the coaching staff has their own -- better! -- understanding of who's in this category) is going to choose us. If they all go elsewhere, then I think we'll end up being under that number, and that's more than okay with me.
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Old 04-25-2007, 12:48 PM   #13
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Great post Bill, thanks for the breakdown. One point re: Scott, he currently wants to announce before his season to help w/ recruiting....things change but he may not require holding a spot for, either by being in the fold already or commiting elsewhere.
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Old 04-25-2007, 01:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubose805 View Post
Great post Bill, thanks for the breakdown. One point re: Scott, he currently wants to announce before his season to help w/ recruiting....things change but he may not require holding a spot for, either by being in the fold already or commiting elsewhere.
Dubose- Thanks for the update on Scott, I was not aware of that, and it's actually good news for the Irish in some ways even if he decides to go elsewhere.
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