This is the first – and, given the hours and hours that it took to assemble it – possibly the last Patsy Ratings for Patriot League football recruits. If you think that I’ve jumped the gun, you’re right. I am posting now – with only 3 of the 7 schools reported – because (1) I’m ready, and (2) people are interested NOW, not when Biddle and Kelly and Landis and Gilmore return from vacation. I will update if and when these dawdlers get around to releasing their recruiting lists.
At the outset let me say that this is one big heap of crapola. If anyone thinks that he or she can rate 18 and 19 year old high school football players or declare one group of these kids superior to another is delusional. This, however, is an attempt to do just that, so what does it say about me? It is, to the best of my knowledge, the first such effort of its type. Many of you will take issue with the methodology or will rail against the outcome because you “know” that [fill in the name of your favorite school] had its best recruiting year ever. I invite you to post your criticism. Even more, I invite you to give us something better. It’s easy to say “you’re wrong.” It is much more difficult to find a better way and actually create the results.
Quality points: I wouldn’t know a “quality” high school recruit if I tripped over him while he was wearing a name tag. I therefore needed to consult the “experts.” I ran every recruit thru Rivals.com and Scout.com, who maintain data bases for football recruits. Neither is perfect and I found some “holes” in both data bases.
Rivals has much the larger data base and theoretically lists every senior high school football player who has created some D-I recruiting buzz. Beyond that, they separate the better recruits and rate them with a star system. Five stars is the highest rating and denotes recruits you will eventually find on the rosters at Southern California and Florida. Patriot League schools will get a few players with one-star ratings and an occasional two star guy – seldom more. Scouts simply uses the 5-star system and does not list recruits who generated interest but who do not merit a star.
I awarded 2 Patsy Points for each recruit included in the Rivals.com data base who did not receive any stars. Two additional points are awarded for each star in his rating. In other words, a one-star recruit earns 4 points (2 for being in the data base + 2 more for the star) for his chosen school. If there was a difference between the Rivals and Scout ratings, I used the higher rating to assign the Patsy Points. A “Rated recruit” is any recruit who was included in either data base.
(NOTE – There are other recruiting systems. I was either unable to find access and/or too cheap to pay for them. As I said at the outset, this isn’t a perfect rating system.)
Class Size points: Football is a physical game; a game of attrition. In addition, not all of these recruits are going to be up to the challenge of playing D-I football in a demanding academic environment. Some will get homesick, or will dislike their roommate or position coach, or their girlfriend back home will call to say that she’s pregnant. Males in this age group are among the most unpredictable and irrational creatures on the planet. In any event, quantity is, in many respects, almost as important as quality in the recruiting process.
It is arbitrary I admit, but I determined that a bare subsistence recruiting class should number 18. If you multiply this number by 4 years you get 72, which gives you three deep plus some leftovers for kickers, kick returners, “athletes,” etc. Most Patriot League preseason rosters number in the 90+ range, so this should not be a problem. I awarded 2 Patsy Points for reaching a class size of 18 and awarded an additional point for every two recruits above that number. For example, a recruiting class of 21 would yield 4 Patsy Points for that school – 2 for reaching 18 + 1 more for numbers 19 and 20 + 1 more for number 21. There is, therefore, no difference between 21 and 22 – the point is awarded either way.
Distribution points: You need to keep the pipeline filled at each position. I therefore awarded 1 Patsy Point for each of the following positions where the team had at least one recruit: QB, RB, WR, TE, OL, DL, LB, DB, K/P. That is a maximum of 9 points. You can argue that Team X doesn’t need a kicker because last year’s freshman was great, or that Team Y already has 4 quarterbacks and doesn’t need one this year. I made no allowances for any of this. In fact, you have found one of the key deficiencies of this system because nowhere is the fact that a team may or may not have met its needs taken into consideration.
Speed points: This one was really difficult, but since “speed kills," it needed to be considered. Times for the 40 are not tattooed on a recruit’s forehead and are rarely included in the college’s press release. Rivals or Scout will frequently (but not always) include this information for players in their data base. Other than that it is a matter of getting lucky with online resources. Freely admitting that I may have missed a “burner” or two, I awarded the Patsy Points for speed as follows: 4.8 – 4.701 = 1 point; 4.7 – 4.601 = 2 points; 4.6 – 4.501 = 3 points; etc.
Trigger points: Quarterback is the most important position on any football team. I have therefore determined that demonstrably superior quarterback recruits should earn additional Patsy Points for their schools. I have again used the Rivals and Scout data bases to determine “superior,” and if you view this as merely a way to award additional Quality points, so be it. I have awarded one point for each QB recruit that is in the Rivals data base without any stars, and one additional point for each star assigned by either rating system. Again, I use the higher rating of the two systems in each case. Fordham recruit, Sean Mara, for instance, is 2-star rated by Rivals, but only receives one star from Scout. I used the Rivals 2-star rating to award 3 Patsy points to the Rams.
Jumbo points: Size matters. Frank Tavani’s Lafayette teams have set the gold standard here. Andy Coen at Lehigh saw the results for the first time last year and has vowed that it won’t happen again. 35% of this year’s Lehigh recruiting class are dozers for down in the trenches – and Andy may very well have set the gold standard for defensive linemen with this group. Since Patriot League teams are not stealing skill position recruits from Notre Dame or Michigan – the kind of guys who could make a difference despite what is going on in the lines – my assumption is that, for the time being, line play – and the size of the people making that play – is critical. I therefore assigned 1 Patsy point for each OL recruit of 275 pounds or more and 1 point for each DL recruit of 250 pounds or more.
Players to Watch: As much as I’d like to list everyone’s entire recruiting class, I set a limit and picked out a few recruits who caught my eye. I tried to focus on guys whose names could very well be called this fall, but threw in one or two with longer term appeal. You may not agree, or counter with “How about Smith – or Jones – or Whatsit?!!” On the other hand, you could create your own ratings. Good luck with that.
Mea culpa: I tried to be as fair and dispassionate in creating and researching these ratings as I could. I confess however, to knowing far more about Lafayette and Lehigh recruiting than about the other five schools. I can’t be sure how I did. You be the judge.
PATSY RATINGS FOR THE CLASS OF 2011 (so far):
1. LAFAYETTE (80 Patsy Points)
Quality = 44 (14 Rated recruits)
Class Size = 8 (30 recruits)
Distribution = 8
Speed = 14
Trigger = 5
Jumbo = 1
Players to Watch: Nick BANDONI, LB; Patrick CAREY/Marc QUILLING/Peter RAYMOND, QBs; Tom Kondash, K/P; Mark LAYTON, WR; Nathan PADILA, WR
Summary: This group could wear out that monster scoreboard at Fisher Stadium.
2. LEHIGH (68 Patsy Points)
Quality = 34 (11 Rated recruits)
Class Size = 8 (29 recruits)
Distribution = 9
Speed = 8
Trigger = 2
Jumbo = 7
Players to Watch: Charles BRALLIER, DL, J.B. CLARK, QB; Trace CISNEROS, QB; Dan JONES, DL; Tom RANDAZZA, K; Phil WINNETT, DL
Summary: Wendy’s once asked “Where’s the beef?” Answer: it’s in Bethlehem, PA
3. FORDHAM (42 Patsy Points)
Quality = 20 (5 Rated recruits)
Class Size = 6 (25 recruits)
Distribution = 7
Speed = 4
Trigger = 5
Jumbo = 0
Players to Watch: Clay BUSCH, QB; Andre Delaire, LB; Nick MAGIERA, LB; Sean MARA, QB; Martin XAVIER, RB
Summary: This group should help the Rams move back into contention.