For these faculty soccer groups, the stallion recruitment course pays off
Championships are often won off the field. Recruiting is one of the most important factors in building a college football program. Being well versed in the recruiting game shouldn’t only be seen as important for coaches, but these bets should be well managed too.
Of course there are teams that surprise positively and negatively every season, and many factors contribute to that. From analyzing recruitment rankings versus my performance reviews, I have found some potential teams that are showing signs of rapid improvement in 2021.
California: The Golden Bears only played four games and won only one last year. The pandemic was treated differently in California, and as such, the 2020 season was a convenient throwaway item. Cal brings back a solid group of 19 starters including the highly rated QB Chase Garbers, and coach Justin Wilcox has just signed the best recruiting class in his five year stint. The grades in his classes have improved for four consecutive years. Cal has made good progress as a pre-2020 program. I’m looking for the team that will put it back together this fall.
Maryland: Maryland’s 2017 and 2018 recruiting classes ranked 18th nationwide. That bodes well for Mike Locksley and the Terrapins. What also helps is that Maryland played very competitive football last season, finishing 2-3 and scoring a big surprise for Penn State with QB Taulia Tagovailoa gaining some valuable experience and productions.
Miami: The 2017-19 recruiting classes in Miami ranked 17th in the country in the three-year measurement. This has proven to be a key factor in predicting success. Most of those players will be senior classes for Coach Manny Diaz this season, and that list doesn’t include QB D’Eriq King, who started his career in Houston and had a big year for the Hurricanes in 2020. He surprised a lot of people when he decided to come back for another run. After a huge bowl game performance against Oklahoma State, I expect him to have a great season. Miami should be right on the hunt for the ACC crown.
USC: The peak of USC’s recent recruiting success came in the 2017-18 seasons when every class in the country finished fourth. These successes came after two consecutive seasons with double-digit profits. The Trojans are only there 18-13. After the 5: 1 last year and combined with the return of the QB Kedon Slovis stud and 15 other starters, this could be the season that puts USC back into the national spotlight. This team has a good chance of going 6-0 unbeaten to Notre Dame on October 23, and this competition would certainly put that program back on the agenda.
Wisconsin: This was one of the best programs in the country to win with humble recruiting classes. Recently, however, the Badgers have picked up the recruiting effort, scoring top grades in the program for three consecutive seasons. Now we’re going to see what this program can do with high-level talent. One of those players, Graham Mertz, is back as a quarterback. He looked Heisman-worthy in the first two games last season before losing many of his top guns to injury. The Badgers only really recovered in the last two games. With the momentum of a big bowl win and bigger recruiting efforts in tow, coach Paul Chryst may have his best chance at a playoff spot yet.