Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What Coach James Franklin and Staff are Reading this Morning

There seems to be little doubt that The Wall Street Journal's Darren Everson and Jared Diamond's story, "Stanford Corners the 'Smart' Market," has been emailed to Coach James Franklin and his entire staff no less than 15 times already today. If it hasn't, it should.

This section really stands out to me: "The consensus says their crop ranks somewhere around No. 20 in the nation among all the major college programs. What stands out about Stanford's class is something entirely different: what superior students they are." More from the story:
"In interviews, several top high school football scouts, talent evaluators and coaches identified about a dozen blue-chip recruits who—based on their reported grades, test scores and extracurricular activities—are also elite students. A significant number of these kids have one thing in common: Stanford pursued them aggressively. In the end, the scouts said, four of them decided to enroll there.
Vanderbilt (who isn't mentioned in this story), wants (and needs) to be getting their share of these elite student-athletes.

However, as the article makes clear in the end, such prospects are not a dime-a-dozen:
"Stanford also must recruit from a smaller pool—a fact that analysts say could slow them down in the future. 'One of the coaches told me they can only recruit from 250 kids across the country that are academically eligible, and even fewer of those are premier Division I athletes,' said Stanford signee Remound Wright, a four-star running back from Fort Wayne, Ind. with a 4.42 GPA."
There is little doubt that schools like Stanford, Northwestern, and Vanderbilt are somewhat limited. However, this should be what we aspire to be: "For now, however, Stanford is using its success on the field—and its elite academics—as a powerful combination to lure players. 'You normally had to choose: Do I want to play in the NFL or do I want a good education?' said Mr. Wright. 'Stanford is the one place you don't have to choose." Here's hoping that list comes to include the Commodores in the not-to-distant future.


AD said...

I haven't ever paid a lot of attention to the minutiae of recruiting, despite recognizing its importance, but I've never seen that 250 number before. Has Vandy ever quantified the outer limit of its qualified recruiting pool in that way? Is 250 a number that represents our national relevant pool?

Bobby O'Shea said...

That's a great question. Someone should ask DW in his "live-chat" today. If you won't, I will.

AD said...

And how well are we able to ID these kids? Is the quantity known, and is it a known quantity?

The question's all yours, Bobby. My predicted response:

"There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know."

Anonymous said...

There's more than just 250 kids that Vanderbilt, Stanford and Northwestern can recruit, just not all of them would be considered high conference impact level prospects.

Also, this is nothing new, Vanderbilt goes aggressively after the elite student athlete too, but Vanderbilt doesn't win as much as Stanford (even with their down years, Stanford's still had more success than Vandy in the last 40 years) and Nashville isn't as attractive as the Palo Alto. So Vanderbilt's biggest sell is the SEC, but most of these "blue chips", which is generally considered Top 50 kids only, are going to likely have a handful of other SEC offers too. So unless you can promise immediate playing time or truly hammer home that degree, it's still going to be more of an uphill battle for Vanderbilt than it is Stanford.

Also, even if Vanderbilt improved it's facilities tenfold, the rest of the SEC is just going to improve their own every other year too. Vanderbilt will never be ahead in that arms race. Stanford doesn't really have to worry about such facility issues with most of the national recruits they go after either.

Franklin and company will be aggressive and try to get the very best and elite prospects they can get, it's already been proven they will reach high and not take no for an answer. Still, people need to look closer and realize that Stanford has some advantages that Vanderbilt doesn't at this point...when it comes to reeling in some 5-star or "blue chip" prospects.

even more anonymous said...

The reason Vandy gets creamed every year by the likes of Florida and Georgia is that it gets creamed in recruiting by the likes of Stanford and Northwestern. That's our real competition.

There are clearly enough real student-athletes in the country to propel two or three elite schools into the top 25 every year. We have not been getting our share of them.

But why go to Vanderbilt if you can get into Stanford? That's the question VU recruiters must be prepared to answer.

Bobby O'Shea said...

Having graduated from one school (Vanderbilt), and visited the other (Stanford) for a long weekend with one of my best friends growing up, Vanderbilt has hotter women. No two ways around it.

Anonymous said...

If I was offered a scholarship from VU and Stanford, I would choose Stanford. I think Stanford is considered to be better academically and the weather is much nicer. VU is a great school but Stanford is consistently ranked in the top 5 with Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and MIT.

Anonymous said...

Changing the subject, has anyone heard about Latwan Anderson, the 5 star recruit that left Miami? Would Wesley McGriff have an inside track to recruit this safety? Or would there be bad blood between Anderson and McGriff? Also, Latwan Anderson took a track scholarship, which if I understand it correctly doesn't use a football scholarship unless he plays???

Anonymous said...

McGriff is our new DB coach from Miami.

Anonymous said...

I hope James Franlin is recruiting Ronald Darby out of the Maryland area. Kid looks solid on the Under Armour HS all american show.