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From SBNation-- Bud Elliott's Take on Recruiting Efficiency

Over on the mothership this morning, Bud Elliott posted an article talking about recruiting efficiency using a matrix outlining how many of each program's recruiting class is made up for 4*s or better. It's an interesting idea considering the number of commitments per class varies so widely (for example, UCLA got its 28th commitment last night while some schools have far fewer).

The most common objection I'm sure to this type of argument is going to be that it relies on recruiting rankings, which it seems like people believe are made up of educated guesses, bias, and unicorn tears. That's just not the case. Elliott links specifically to three separate articles talking about how, for the most part, recruiting rankings tend to get things right. Obviously some are more reputable than others and things vary from year to year, but on the whole, the recruiting services do an admirable job of identifying talent as it stands at the precipice of entering college.

My last sentence makes a point I want to highlight; the purpose of the recruiting services is not to seek out the players most likely to make the NFL or succeed at a particular school. These services employ scouts and observers and seek out information to try to rank thousands of players based on their overall skillsets. They're not looking through a particular lens, as in, they're not going to say "We think this kid would be a 5* at Alabama, but only a 2* at Western Michigan." They're making what are necessarily blanket determinations about talent before these kids ever set foot on campus as collegiate athletes. Development and coaching take over from there. So when you see arguments that say things like "oh those recruiting services are full of crap, look at how many first round picks were once 2* recruits!" that is a truly terrible argument. First and foremost you're talking about athletes three or four years out from their last recruiting evaluation. So many things have happened to these kids in the intervening time-- their bodies have changed, their personalities have changed, they've received coaching that runs the gamut from pathetic to outstanding-- that their recruiting rankings really aren't that relevant anymore.

But even then, using what I've said is a poor process to determine the efficacy of recruiting services, they still do a pretty dang good job.

Anyway, you should read Elliott's article and those that he links because I think it's a worthwhile discussion to have generally. Also, Baylor is on his top 50 list at what I believe is number 28. If things go the way we hope, we may be moving up the list in the very near future, as well.