Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Nightmare Known as Recruiting

Imagine yourself making a decision you are 100% sure about. The decision is such a no brainer that you don't have to think twice about it. At first everything looks promising but as time passes you begin to notice that maybe you made a mistake. Eventually you realize that this decision you were so sure about turned out to be the exact opposite and somehow affects your future. Welcome to the world of recruiting. Every year Pat Hill and his staff must step out into the world and find new football players for the Fresno State Football Program. Sometimes Hill and his staff find diamonds in the rough that work out in a way the coaching staff could have never imagined. Other times four star recruits who look promising never truly develop. Over the past ten years Pat Hill has done a decent job of bringing in players that fit his under the radar mold. To better understand the inconsistencies of the recruiting world let's take a look at the past four years with respect to the recruits Pat Hill has brought in.

2004) 2004 was not one of Hill's stronger recruiting classes as all recruits were ranked as 2 stars. A total of 14 recruits committed to Fresno State. Unfortunately these recruits were not looked at as recruits who could come in and make any type of impact according to Scout.com. Remember a two star recruit is nice but they are looked at as recruits who may play one day but will not do much more than that. While the 2004 recruiting class did not look impressive when first viewed let's dive into this class a little bit more. Kenny Avon, Pierce Masse, Adam McDowell, Ryan McKinley, Jon Monga, Bear Pascoe, and Ryan Wendell all came from the 2004 class. While these men were all ranked 2 stars they have made a huge impact at Fresno State as each of these men play a majority of every game the Bulldogs take the field to play. Bear Pascoe may be one of our best receivers and the Linemen mentioned here led the Bulldogs to an average of less than one sack per game in 2006. Not to shabby for a bunch of underachieving two stars.

2005) The 2005 class (19 recruits total) was highlighted by four star James Paulk who we still have heard nothing from. Lawrence Hood was signed as a three star and has done nothing for Fresno State. Isaac Kinter and Joe Bernardi (both three stars) have contributed to the Bulldogs but not in a way that we will remember forever. On the other hand Seji Ajirotutu, Moses Harris, Marvin Haynes, Marlin Moore, and Chastin West are all two stars who have begun to show their promise for the Bulldogs. Many Bulldog fans feel much more comfortable with Harris and Haynes in the secondary than they did with Shirley and Mays (who was a four star recruit himself). Overall the 2005 class has not lived up to it's hype, but is coming on strong to say the least.

2006) Once again 19 recruits highlighted the 2006 recruiting class. A small group of these players were found on the field during the 2006 season. Anthony Harding and Lonyae Miller have shown their three star status to be right on. They give the Bulldogs a future with respect to the running game which is something the Bulldogs generally do well. A.J. Jefferson did a good job of covering as a true Freshman but spent most of his time on the kick return team. Look for Jefferson to warrant more playing time as his career progresses. the 2006 class has a long ways to go due to the fact that many of these players have not taken the field yet for the Dogs. Look for Lorne Bell to start next year as he has both the speed and ability to make a name for himself. Nico Herron and Damion Owens may also contribute on the defensive side of the ball. The 2006 class on paper looks outstanding but there is still much to be proved by this group of young men.

2007) 2007 has given us a total of 16 recruits all verbally to this point. It is possible that some of these young men may change their mind before signing day (February 7th). If the class remains in tact look for the three stars to make an impact right away. Sharrod Davis, Chris Carter, and Devan Cunningham all have the opportunity to make an impact as soon as they sign with the Bulldogs. Devon Wylie will have a chance to give us a kick return game we have long missed since Jennings left. Overall the 2007 class is looking to be one of the better ones the Bulldogs have ever brought in, or is it?

In the end recruiting is hit or miss. Yes our big three stars coming in look as promising as the any recruits the Dogs have ever signed. Remember though that players like Clifton Smith, Vincent Mays, and Ricky Miller were all supposed to shine in the Bulldogs system. Smith has been hurt virtually his entire Bulldog career, Mays never truly developed, and Miller was never heard of even though he came in as a four star recruit. Whether the 2007 season is successful or not will depend on the type of difference makers that Pat Hill can find. Even so if Hill brings in a handful of prized recruits the Dogs are still in a sense playing Russian Roulette as there is no way of knowing if these players are truly ready to play college football. I guess this is just another reason we all love college football so much: you never know what will happen next.

6 comments:

bulldog1 said...

I wonder why Hill's kid has not committed yet. He has an offer and, unless something very wierd were to happen, will take one of the open slots.

Could he be holding out until his dad has decided on what he will do with all the NFL openings? I have not seen or heard Hill's name mentioned in regards to any job other than the Raiders recently. I wonder if he is silently flirting with the notion again and that is why his kid has not yet verbally signed.

Very speculative but still makes me wonder. Many of you who have seen my posts know I am a big fan of Hill. Nevertheless, I did not like his handling of the situation last year and do not want a repeat.

I prefer he stays but if he is going to move to the NFL then he better go ahead and do it so we may move on.

nsc said...

Bulldog1 you know I didn't even think about what is going on with Zak Hill. I know he had surgery to fix his knee as he injured it during the playoff game against Sanger. However, unless he was told he cannot play again he should definitely be a recruit that schools want.

Your thoughts make me wonder what is exactly going on with Zak Hill as well. Maybe MDG can give us an insight into what is truly going here as he is the recruiting expert.

Anonymous said...

MDG, what is the latest on Zak Hill's future?

Anonymous said...

SINGING THE BLUES IN RED

ROSES ARE RED,OUR DOGS ARE TOO
BUT WE NEED A FIELD LEADER TO GET RID OF THE BLUES
MUST HANG IN THE POCKET,NO PANIC ABOUND AND THROW HIS RECEIVERS SOME PERFECT ROUNDS
HE COULD BE A FRESHMAN WITH POISE LIKE A PRO, GOD KNOWS OUR OFFENSE SURE'S LOOKING LOW
HIS NAME COULD BE FAULKNER FROM THE HUGE STATE DOWN SOUTH AND HE'LL LEAD WITH EXAMPLES AND NOT WITH IS MOUTH
OUR YOUNG DOGS ARE TIRED AND THEY NEED A GOOD CREW OR WE'LL ALL JOIN THEM IN SINGING THE BLUES.
OUR MISTACHED LEADER WITH HIS WORN OUT CAP, MUST LISTEN TO REASON AND LET OTHERS HELP
HE CAN START OUT BY HIRING AN O.C. THATS BRIGHT AND LET HIM RUN THINGS AND MAKE THEM RUN RIGHT.
THE TALENT IS PLENTIFUL SO NOW LET THEM ROLL,AND THEY'LL LEAD US ALL TO THE RIGHT KIND OF BOWL. -RAL

nsc said...

Here is the Zak Hill update. Zak will be rehabbing from his injury for 6-8 months, but looks to be heading to Fresno State unless Stanford gets in the way. He would most likely redshirt his freshman season and continue to get healthy for his first year of Bulldog football.

Now I know most of you would think "Stanford, why go there?" There academics blow ours away and that is the sole reason he would go there before the Dogs, not because of football.

MB said...

You did a great job laying out what a crapshoot recruiting is for a "mid-major" program. Some of the players mentioned were competed for by Pac-10 schools and FSU eventually landed them. A few of those guys ended up not making the impact most thought they would, meanwhile better impacts are made by guys with next to no recognition coming in. Hopefully these players in the latest class are firm committments and a handful are able to boltster a Bulldog lineup that is in desperate need of help. Won can hope so, right?