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RECRUITING IS A SCIENCE By David McNabb Print E-mail
by Scott Bennett    Tue, Jan 31, 2006, 12:19 PM

As you hear some say, “you can’t tell about a recruiting class until five years,” just think of them as outdated or too lazy to get updated. The first Wednesday in February is the first day for high school athletes to sign a national letter of intent with a college.

The day itself is anticlimactic because only a handful wait until then to commit.

The quality of each class has been known for awhile. There are a few kids that could give some “oomph” though.

Texas coach Mack Brown was criticized for being Coach February for his highly rated signing days but no national titles. Well, Brown now has a championship and it’s easy to see why his classes have been rated so high. No one was surprised that Vince Young turned into a star.

Is it a coincidence that Oklahoma used to get highly rated classes but didn’t win under John Blake? Bob Stoops won a national title in his second year. I’d say, the Sooners’ previous recruiting classes were rated correctly but the coaching staffs might have been the problem.

At USC, the Trojans got highly rated classes every year. :Pete Carroll started winning national titles with the players Paul Hackett recruited. Notre Dame always gets high recruiting ratings but wasn’t getting performance. Now Charlie Weis is a genius using Bob Davie’s and Tyrone Willingham’s players.

The difference in recruiting evaluation over the last 10 years is more coaches and “recruiting analysts” have learned to project. Texas killed itself in the 1980s and early 1990s by signing the state’s best high school stars _ not the best prospects.

There are intangibles to considerable but there are consistent guidelines to follow as well.

Not every junior who was player of the year in his district is a great prospect. There are size, speed, growth potential and skill to consider.

If you look at players who don’t develop, it’s usually not because they didn’t have talent. Players don’t develop typically because of three factors:

  1. Grades
  2. Work ethic/attitude/off-field decisions
  3. Injuries

But if Texas coaches have done a good job evaluating character and academics, they have another highly talented class. It’s really not much of a reach to say Woodrow Wilson RB/LB Sergio Kindle is going to be a star. He’s 6-3, 220 pounds and runs a 10.5 in the 100. The difference in the past is that some may have criticized his teams for not doing anything in the playoffs and Woodrow didn’t play at a high level of competition. That knd of “evaluating “ is how Texas ended up with record setting high school star Anthony Byerly with its running back of the future in the 1980s.

Class of 2007

No. 1 player

The best player in the state _ and possibly the country _ for next year’s signing class will be Texarkana Texas High QB Ryan Mallett. He’s 6-5, 220 pounds, a Ben Roethlisberger with a little more mobility. Texas High hasn’t won a state title yet, but if you follow things, you know Highland Park’s Class 4A state title hinged on its 38-31 victory over Texas High in the first round.

Mallett may be leaning to sign with Michigan but it’s early. There will be lots of pressure from Texas, Arkansas and Texas A&M. He’s been on the radar since 8th grade. He threw the ball 80 yards as a sophomore and he’ll be an NFL quality punter if the QB gig is stopped by injury.

Remember Phil Pozderac?

The No. 1 recruit for the Dallas area could well be Nic Pozderac (6-7, 275) at Carrollton Newman Smith. He’s the son of former Cowboys lineman Phil Pozderac (6-9, 280, 1982-87). How strong are dad’s Notre Dame ties for Nic.

There’s a unbelievable cycle of gigantic lineman that lead the recruiting for next year.

An early look at the Dallas-area Top 10 juniors

1. Nic Pozderac, Carr. Newman Smith OL 6-7, 270

2. Kyle Hix, Aledo OL 6-6, 300

3. Richetti Jones, Lincoln LB 6-3, 215

4. Spencer Rogers, Hebron OL 6-3, 315

5. Justin Johnson, Richardson Berkner QB/ATH 6-1, 215

6. Kenny Greaves, Coppell QB 6-3, 190

7. Keenan Robinson, Plano East LB 6-3, 210

8. Tracy Allen, South Grand Prairie OL 6-4, 295

9. Stephen Thomas, North Mesquite DL 6-2, 275

10. G.J. Kinne, Canton QB 6-3, 205

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