The Athletic: What's Going on Here? The five most disappointing recruiting classes from the 2020 cycle

GoGophersUMN

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This is embarrassingly poor quality journalism from a subscription site. Most of recruiting was done before the second half of the season and the Gophers still saw a huge jump.

Looking at the past 10 years of recruiting there's no way you can say this is a disappointing recruiting class.
 

KillmeNow

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This, AND the fact that even if you were expecting a recruiting bump, it would be in the 2021 class. Most top recruits commit their junior year, so our success in 2020 wouldn't have really had an impact on our ability to secure them.

Also, giving credit where credit is due, I would add Wisconsin to the list of programs that have steadily elevated the caliber of their recruiting. They were #9 in the B1G in 2018 (#45 nationally) and are #5 in the B1G in 2020 (#25 nationally). They are not in that elite echelon yet, but it's impressive.
I made a chart laying out how the Big 4 in the West have done in recruiting the last 9 years, and all 4 of them, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa all steadily improved. I chopped up the 9 years into 3 year sections and figured out the average recruiting class ranking, granted I only used 247's ratings, and all 4 programs improved on their average rankings from 11-13, to 14 to 16, and then again, all 4 programs again improved on their average rankings from 14-16 to th 2017 to 2019 average recruiting rankings. Nebraska went from the high 20s to the lower 20s down to almost in the teens. Wisconsin went from in the low 50s I think or high 40s to the low 40s or upper 30s and then down to the low 30s or upper 20s, Iowa went from the 60s down to the high 40s and then into the low 40s or high 30s, with Minnesota going from the high 50s I think, down to the mid 40s, finally down to the low 40s or upper 30s. And all 4 programs are very high in the rankings for the 2020 and 2021 classes, compared to averaged over the previous 9 years.

It's simple, the West is rising. Now with MSU's problems and the coaching change, if they don't make a home run hire, the West could easily start to outshine the East for the next couple of years. And I didn't even include NW or the Illini or Purdue in the analysis, but I did notice that Washington and Oregon both also made steady gains in recruiting over that time period. I'm only adding that bit of info into this post to show that non-blue bloods can work their way up into the upper echelons of the recruiting rankings with the right support(think Nike) and the right coaching, etc.. Oh, and of course, we all know that Clemson won it's 2 titles with recruiting classes averaging in the 20s or high teens, and only had one class crack the Top 10, coming in at #9, before this most recent 2020 class that I think came in like #3? It's why I think UMn and Fleck have a great chance of getting up into the CFP sometime in the next 4-5 years. Fleck's 3 year record here at Minnesota, actually puts him ahead of Dabo's first 3 years at Clemson. The only difference is that Dabo's recruiting classes that made up the roster he inherited were in the 20s and 30s compared to Fleck inheriting a roster filled up with recruiting classes from the 50s and 40s basically, which could be a good sign, that Fleck did more with less than Dabo did. Imagine what Fleck will be able to do when he starts bringing in classes ranked in the 20s and teens?! WOW!!!
 

KillmeNow

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And to your point.....Clemson is geographically in the middle of some of the best athletes in the country, so that barrier is not as difficult to break. as for Oregon, see Phil Knight!
And Clemson also has to compete with a lot of other legit schools/programs for those recruits. S Car, Georgia is next door, GT, UNC, Wake Forest, NCSU, WVU, UF, FSU, UK, UTn, Georgia St & Georgia Southern even, and I'm sure I missed a few others as well like W Carolina, E Carolina, Virginia, VT, all of those schools are frigging driving distance from the state of South Carolina. Who do the Gophers have to compete with for recruits? Wisc & Iowa. We only have to worry about NDSU when it comes to PWOs maybe, I mean, NOW that we have Fleck and are winning. And we are in the internet age now. The percentage of Minnesota natives on our roster has gone down. We regularly are pulling in recruits from Georgia, Florida, Texas, Missouri and Ohio. Fleck has mentioned several players who committed before even making a visit to the school/campus. I think the game has changed. Fuel prices are also going down and probably will continue to go down now that America is energy independent and the factors going into the future show fuel prices should stay low, unless a far leftist beats Trump in 2020. So every Gopher fb fan should vote for Trump as it will help in our ability to recruit, lol. That was a joke, btw. But video conferencing and such will make it so recruits from all over the world can truly get a good idea of what life would be like going to UMn without even having to make a visit to the school, and recruits can also get a good feel of what coach Fleck is like to play for just watching video of him coaching games, running practice, doing interviews, and then one on one conversations with recruits via video calls. This high tech stuff is going to level the playing field some, it really is. And the whole time zone thing will still continue to hurt west coast teams, as they have been falling down the rankings, slowly, but surely, the last decade or so, more so in cbb, but I've seen it in cfb, too. Especially the Cali schools. Oregon, Utah and Washington are moving up while all the Zona and Cali schools seem to be falling down and there are more of them. So that is something UMn may end up being able to take advantage of as well?
 

John Galt

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Jah Joyner, Jaqondis Burns, Doug Emilien, and Jalen Logan-Redding were 4 of our top 8 recruits for the cycle. None of them had been on campus until the Wisconsin game (Emilien) or later. That’s a pretty nice talent haul at the end of the recruiting cycle due to our season.
 

Plato

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Call me crazy but do they have any information that indicates one big year and they expect a huge jump in crooting?

I'm sure some folks have done it here or there ... but generally I don't think that is a thing.

I mean USC and Texas has sucked ass for a LONG time and croots still come (USC finally saw a downturn) so I wouldn't expect if kids don't abandon big names quickly that they would run to one off big year teams.

I think premise here is all wrong.
The words are RECRUITING and RECRUITS. Using croots and crooting identifies you as semi literate.
 

PMWinSTP

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You are correct. He would not have been. But that is not the point the author made. He pointed out the lack of an uptick with this year's class after a great season. 20% is an uptick in my book. If we can get another 20% next year, I will be very excited. We'll see.
This class as a whole has average ratings very, very close to last year's class.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very satisfied with these three classes, but 2020 class is not 20% better on paper because it is ranked 8 spots higher to 2019.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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IMO, the reporting on recruiting has not been able to keep up with the popularity of it.

It's kind of like when the talking heads (Stephen A. Smith or Skip Bayless) are forced to talk boxing or MMA because of the popularity. They are just out of their element.

I think a lot of the recruiting coverage is similar to that.

We did see an uptick. This class was also largely built from the 2018/2017 seasons. It's a long process. There is more to it than just saying "we were ranked 43 this year and 37 last year (whatever it is)". There are a lot of other factors (fit, attrition, balanced classes, balanced positions, etc.).
 

OldBob53

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How did Fleck's recruiting classes rank at Western Michigan? I doubt it was as high as 36th nationally. And they went 13-0 and lost narrowly to Wisconsin in a bowl game.
 

hungan1

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The words are RECRUITING and RECRUITS. Using croots and crooting identifies you as semi literate.
If the Gophers are getting the kind of talent they have signed recently, calling them "croots" or "recruits" won't matter to me. I get it. All I care about is that the Gophers are getting better on Defense.

When did "flu" become acceptable instead of "influenza"?

Rip Van Winkle wouldn't be very happy waking up today. If he heard Slab talk about "crootin", he would have no clue what he is talking about. He would have no idea what a recruit or football is either. We only hope that he is a fast learner and that he is a Gopher fan. For some, he has to be corrected to use the "proper" word. In the end, he won't care either.
 

hungan1

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How did Fleck's recruiting classes rank at Western Michigan? I doubt it was as high as 36th nationally. And they went 13-0 and lost narrowly to Wisconsin in a bowl game.
Since you asked:

Cubit - WMU
2010
Nat'l Rank #88, MAC #2, 25 Commits, 0 4-S, 17 3-S, Avg 80.73, Pts 146.63
2011 Nat'l Rank 82, MAC #2, 19 Commits, 0 4-S, 3 3-S, Avg 76.72, Pts 94.12
2012 Nat'l Rank #91, MAC #4, 27 Commits, 0 4-S, 6 3-S, Avg 76.94, Pts 120.13
2012 - Zach Terrell, 2-Star, 0.7878

Fleck - WMU
2013
Nat'l Rank #108, MAC #7, 19 Commits, 0 4-S, 6 3-S, Avg 77.74, Pts 106.64
2014 Nat'l Rank #71, MAC #1, 27 Commits, 0 4-S, 15 3-S, Avg 80.51, Pts 153.42
2015 Nat'l Rank #76, MAC #2, 27 Commits, 0 4-S, 14 3-S, Avg 80.51, Pts 147.78
2016 Nat'l Rank #67, MAC #1, 27 Commits, 0 4-S, 19 3-S, Avg 81.68, Pts 160.72
2013 - Corey Davis, 2-Star, 0.7741

Kill/Claeys - MN
2014
Nat'l Rank #57, B1G #11, 21 Commits, 1 4-S, 19 3-S, Avg 83.10, Pts 172.32
2015 Nat'l Rank #63, B1G #13, 24 Commits, 0 4-S, 24 3-S, Avg 83.14, Pts 167.01
2016 Nat'l Rank #46, B1G #8, 22 Commits, 1 4-S, 19 3-S, Avg 83.91, Pts 182.22

Fleck - MN
2017
Nat'l Rank #59, B1G #12, 26 Commits, 0 4-S, 25 3-S, Avg 83.24, Pts 171.42
2018 Nat'l Rank #38, B1G #7, 25 Commits, 3 4-S, 22 3-S, Avg 86.22, Pts 206.66
2019 Nat'l Rank #45, B1G #10, 21 Commits, 0 4-S, 20 3-S, Avg 85.79, Pts 194.48
2020 Nat'l Rank #37, B1G #9, 24 Commits, 2 4-S, 22 3-s, Avg 85.86, Pts 199.35

To answer your question @OldBob53, he took a WMU team that is comprised of players from recruiting classes ranked 108th to 67th to a 13-0 season and came close to knocking off Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl. They lost 24-16. https://www.sbnation.com/college-fo...michigan-cotton-bowl-2016-final-score-results

Looking back, I am not too surprised that PJ Fleck's 2019 Gophers knocked off Auburn with much better talent than he had with WMU playing against Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl.

It is not so much about talent ranking. It is about what he did with the talent he had. It is about how he motivates the teams to overperform.

Am I disappointed with the 2020 Recruiting Class? No. I am disappointed about the Athletic's analysis.

You can bet that the Gophers are going to give teams in the B1G West the fits. If the Gopher regularly start recruiting above 86.00 Average Rating and over 200 Points, watch out. PJ Fleck has high expectations and aspirations for the Gophers.
 
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highwayman

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Isn't Fleck's goal to recruit college players that fit his system, have character, balance his classes, and are coachable?

Isn't the star and ranking system totally set up to describe the potential for a player to play in the NFL?

Since about half the players in the NFL are selfish, characterless, uneducated boors, why does anyone care about where Minnesota ranks in an NFL-driven system? I'd rather have the type of players that was just proven can win.

Can you imagine the flop this team would have been without the character this staff instills? Would have lost all NC games and the season derails.

Get the right guys to fit your system, not for someone else's, like the previous couple of regimes. Coach them up, like this one.
 

btowngopher

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How did Fleck's recruiting classes rank at Western Michigan? I doubt it was as high as 36th nationally. And they went 13-0 and lost narrowly to Wisconsin in a bowl game.
They ranked higher than most of the teams they played.
 

btowngopher

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Isn't Fleck's goal to recruit college players that fit his system, have character, balance his classes, and are coachable?

Isn't the star and ranking system totally set up to describe the potential for a player to play in the NFL?

Since about half the players in the NFL are selfish, characterless, uneducated boors, why does anyone care about where Minnesota ranks in an NFL-driven system? I'd rather have the type of players that was just proven can win.

Can you imagine the flop this team would have been without the character this staff instills? Would have lost all NC games and the season derails.

Get the right guys to fit your system, not for someone else's, like the previous couple of regimes. Coach them up, like this one.
I think every coach tries to get guys that fit their system and coach them up. Some are just better at it.
 

GrampaGopher

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The U will probably, and I believe PJ has talked about this, in most cases be a program that will develop 3* recruits to play in their junior and senior years. The key will be keeping these athletes in the program, with little playing time, during their development years. We will never be Ohio State where they are turning over players every 2 or 3 years because of leaving early for the NFL. And I believe the U can win championships being this type of programs with a sprinkle of 4 * and 5 * recruits.
 

hungan1

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I will take the early signee 2020 recruiting class which have been thoroughly vetted and seen live in camps than last minute 4-Stars who have not gone thru the Gophers recruiting analysis process. We don't want rapists, kids with dubious academics, etc... who do not fit the Gophers culture. If there is a legitimate good 4-Star player who the Gophers have developed a relationship with and have been vetted, and he is available the last minute, then sure lets offer him a scholie scholarship.
 

Oregon Gopher

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I will take the early signee 2020 recruiting class which have been thoroughly vetted and seen live in camps than last minute 4-Stars who have not gone thru the Gophers recruiting analysis process. We don't want rapists, kids with dubious academics, etc... who do not fit the Gophers culture. If there is a legitimate good 4-Star player who the Gophers have developed a relationship with and have been vetted, and he is available the last minute, then sure lets offer him a scholie scholarship.
Unvetted 4* = rapists? C’mon hungan you’re better than that.
 

hungan1

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Unvetted 4* = rapists? C’mon hungan you’re better than that.
You know what I am talking about - that is the extreme. Look at what happened at MSU with Auston Robertson. The Gopher won't take these type of players no matter how many stars they have.

Okay, let's just say academic or character flaws.

Some guys don't like the RTB mantra like Bryce Benhart and would rather see red in Nebraska than maroon and gold.
 

PMWinSTP

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Since you asked:

Cubit - WMU
2010
Nat'l Rank #88, MAC #2, 25 Commits, 0 4-S, 17 3-S, Avg 80.73, Pts 146.63
2011 Nat'l Rank 82, MAC #2, 19 Commits, 0 4-S, 3 3-S, Avg 76.72, Pts 94.12
2012 Nat'l Rank #91, MAC #4, 27 Commits, 0 4-S, 6 3-S, Avg 76.94, Pts 120.13
2012 - Zach Terrell, 2-Star, 0.7878

Fleck - WMU
2013
Nat'l Rank #108, MAC #7, 19 Commits, 0 4-S, 6 3-S, Avg 77.74, Pts 106.64
2014 Nat'l Rank #71, MAC #1, 27 Commits, 0 4-S, 15 3-S, Avg 80.51, Pts 153.42
2015 Nat'l Rank #76, MAC #2, 27 Commits, 0 4-S, 14 3-S, Avg 80.51, Pts 147.78
2016 Nat'l Rank #67, MAC #1, 27 Commits, 0 4-S, 19 3-S, Avg 81.68, Pts 160.72
2013 - Corey Davis, 2-Star, 0.7741

Kill/Claeys - MN
2014
Nat'l Rank #57, B1G #11, 21 Commits, 1 4-S, 19 3-S, Avg 83.10, Pts 172.32
2015 Nat'l Rank #63, B1G #13, 24 Commits, 0 4-S, 24 3-S, Avg 83.14, Pts 167.01
2016 Nat'l Rank #46, B1G #8, 22 Commits, 1 4-S, 19 3-S, Avg 83.91, Pts 182.22

Fleck - MN
2017
Nat'l Rank #59, B1G #12, 26 Commits, 0 4-S, 25 3-S, Avg 83.24, Pts 171.42
2018 Nat'l Rank #38, B1G #7, 25 Commits, 3 4-S, 22 3-S, Avg 86.22, Pts 206.66
2019 Nat'l Rank #45, B1G #10, 21 Commits, 0 4-S, 20 3-S, Avg 85.79, Pts 194.48
2020 Nat'l Rank #37, B1G #9, 24 Commits, 2 4-S, 22 3-s, Avg 85.86, Pts 199.35

To answer your question @OldBob53, he took a WMU team that is comprised of players from recruiting classes ranked 108th to 67th to a 13-0 season and came close to knocking off Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl. They lost 24-16. https://www.sbnation.com/college-fo...michigan-cotton-bowl-2016-final-score-results

Looking back, I am not too surprised that PJ Fleck's 2019 Gophers knocked off Auburn with much better talent than he had with WMU playing against Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl.

It is not so much about talent ranking. It is about what he did with the talent he had. It is about how he motivates the teams to overperform.

Am I disappointed with the 2020 Recruiting Class? No. I am disappointed about the Athletic's analysis.

You can bet that the Gophers are going to give teams in the B1G West the fits. If the Gopher regularly start recruiting above 86.00 Average Rating and over 200 Points, watch out. PJ Fleck has high expectations and aspirations for the Gophers.
I think the 2020 class average is 85.80. so .01 higher than 2019.
 

Plato

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The recruiting efforts + the coaching skills are determined on the playing field.
There is no other metric that means anything than W-L, particularly conference W-L.
 

hello-world

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Can we all take a second to bask in the fact that national writers expect Minnesota's recruiting class to be better than 9th in the B1G? That, in and of itself, is pretty incredible.
 

OldBob53

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Since you asked:

Cubit - WMU
2010
Nat'l Rank #88, MAC #2, 25 Commits, 0 4-S, 17 3-S, Avg 80.73, Pts 146.63
2011 Nat'l Rank 82, MAC #2, 19 Commits, 0 4-S, 3 3-S, Avg 76.72, Pts 94.12
2012 Nat'l Rank #91, MAC #4, 27 Commits, 0 4-S, 6 3-S, Avg 76.94, Pts 120.13
2012 - Zach Terrell, 2-Star, 0.7878

Fleck - WMU
2013
Nat'l Rank #108, MAC #7, 19 Commits, 0 4-S, 6 3-S, Avg 77.74, Pts 106.64
2014 Nat'l Rank #71, MAC #1, 27 Commits, 0 4-S, 15 3-S, Avg 80.51, Pts 153.42
2015 Nat'l Rank #76, MAC #2, 27 Commits, 0 4-S, 14 3-S, Avg 80.51, Pts 147.78
2016 Nat'l Rank #67, MAC #1, 27 Commits, 0 4-S, 19 3-S, Avg 81.68, Pts 160.72
2013 - Corey Davis, 2-Star, 0.7741

Kill/Claeys - MN
2014
Nat'l Rank #57, B1G #11, 21 Commits, 1 4-S, 19 3-S, Avg 83.10, Pts 172.32
2015 Nat'l Rank #63, B1G #13, 24 Commits, 0 4-S, 24 3-S, Avg 83.14, Pts 167.01
2016 Nat'l Rank #46, B1G #8, 22 Commits, 1 4-S, 19 3-S, Avg 83.91, Pts 182.22

Fleck - MN
2017
Nat'l Rank #59, B1G #12, 26 Commits, 0 4-S, 25 3-S, Avg 83.24, Pts 171.42
2018 Nat'l Rank #38, B1G #7, 25 Commits, 3 4-S, 22 3-S, Avg 86.22, Pts 206.66
2019 Nat'l Rank #45, B1G #10, 21 Commits, 0 4-S, 20 3-S, Avg 85.79, Pts 194.48
2020 Nat'l Rank #37, B1G #9, 24 Commits, 2 4-S, 22 3-s, Avg 85.86, Pts 199.35

Thanks for the data hungan1!
 

MaxyJR1

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I think that this upcoming season could have a late impact on the 2021 class. Our schedule is front loaded and wins over Iowa and Wisconsin two months before signing day could push a late "uptick" in recruiting. However, I agree that most of the recruiting for 2021 will be done before the season starts.
 
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pharmacygopher

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Thought this was a good article and for the nerds there's even a boxplot. As noted, the floor for the classes has improved and hopefully that means greater depth


An area of focus for example is improving the immediate depth. I’d highlight that the bottom 25th %ile, or the floor of each class, which has risen significantly in the last three cycles.

This bottom 25th %ile for the last three classes is generally the ceiling, or the 75%ile, in every previous class since 2010.
 
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