Special Teams Recruiting Analysis: Clemson vs. ACC Atlantic 2006 - Present

We are left with two groups of players recruited in our position recruiting analysis, special teams and fullbacks/tightends and we'll post this one for the sake of completeness. Today we want to look at special teams recruiting versus ACC Atlantic foes.  Assumptions made in creating this article can be found here.  I should point out that we strictly used www.scout.com position classifications.  It is possible that some players ended up at a different position ball after they arrived on campus for any of the schools in this article.

This analysis is very different from the others because special teams is extremely unique.  Typically, special teams units are largely composed of non-starting position players and walk-ons.  Many specialists, particularly kickers, who play vital roles in the games are preferred walk-ons who are able to earn playing time through special teams.  We'll show the data for special teams recruiting but don't really know how vital all these numbers are based upon the impact of non-starters who play special teams and the large number of walk-ons we see week after week.

Table I and Figure 1 (below) both illustrate Clemson's ranking based on defensive line class size since 2006.  Clemson (at 0.67 players per class) trailed only NCST in terms of players signed.  Interestingly, NC State chose to sign three specialists in their 2011 class.  It is pretty common to have classes and consecutive classes where no specialists are signed.

Table I:  Recruiting Class Size

Class Size

Team

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

AVERAGE

Clemson

1

0

2

0

0

1

0.67

Boston College

0

1

1

1

0

1

0.67

Florida State

0

1

0

1

0

0

0.33

Maryland

0

1

0

1

0

1

0.50

North Carolina State

2

1

0

1

0

3

1.17

Wake Forest

1

0

0

1

0

2

0.67

ACC Atlantic Average

0.6

0.8

0.2

1

0

1.4

0.67

Players_signed_individual_team_graph_clem_vs_acc_atlantic_medium
Figure 1:  Individual Institution Recruiting Class Size

Players_signed_graph_clem_vs_acc_atlantic_medium
Figure 2:  Average non-Clemson vs Clemson Recruiting Class Size

 

Table II and Figure 3 show the average star-rating per player for each team, as shown below.  Clemson (2.58 stars/player) led the division in average star-rating with FSU finishing in second with two and a half stars per player.  The non-Clemson included ACC Atlantic average was 2.13 stars per player.

With such a small list of signees, we have used Table III to identify all specialists signed from '06 to '11 by ACC Atlantic schools. 

Table II:  ACC Atlantic Team Average Player Star Rating

Average Star Rating (per player)

Team

Service

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

AVERAGE

Clemson

Scout

3.00

NA

2.50

NA

NA

3.00

2.83

Rivals

3.00

NA

2.00

NA

NA

2.00

2.33

Average

3.00

NA

2.25

NA

NA

2.50

2.58

Boston College

Scout

NA

3.00

2.00

2.00

NA

2.00

2.25

Rivals

NA

3.00

2.00

2.00

NA

2.00

2.25

Average

NA

3.00

2.00

2.00

NA

2.00

2.25

Florida State

Scout

NA

2.00

NA

3.00

NA

NA

2.50

Rivals

NA

2.00

NA

3.00

NA

NA

2.50

Average

NA

2.00

NA

3.00

NA

NA

2.50

Maryland

Scout

NA

2.00

NA

2.00

NA

2.00

2.00

Rivals

NA

2.00

NA

2.00

NA

2.00

2.00

Average

NA

2.00

NA

2.00

NA

2.00

2.00

North Carolina State

Scout

2.00

2.00

NA

2.00

NA

2.67

2.17

Rivals

2.00

2.00

NA

2.00

NA

2.00

2.00

Average

2.00

2.00

NA

2.00

NA

2.33

2.08

Wake Forest

Scout

2.00

NA

NA

3.00

NA

2.00

2.33

Rivals

2.00

NA

NA

2.00

NA

2.00

2.00

Average

2.00

NA

NA

2.50

NA

2.00

2.17

ACC Atlantic Average

Scout

2.00

2.25

2.00

2.40

NA

2.17

2.16

Rivals

2.00

2.25

2.00

2.20

NA

2.00

2.09

Average

2.00

2.25

2.00

2.30

NA

2.08

2.13

Players_star_rating_individual_team_graph_clem_vs_acc_atlantic_medium
Figure 3:  ACC Atlantic Schools' Recruiting Average Player Star Rating

Players_star_rating_graph_clem_vs_acc_atlantic_medium
Figure 4:  Average ACC Atlantic vs Clemson Recruiting Class Average Player Star Rating 

Table III:  ACC Atlantic Special Teams Players Signed

Player

Class

Scout

Rivals

High School

Hometown

HT/WT/40

College

Position

Billy Bennett

2007

3

3

Torrey Pines HS

Encinitas, CA

6-2/190

Boston College

K

Ryan Quigley

2008

2

2

North Myrtle Beach HS

Little River, SC

6-2/170

Boston College

K

Nate Freese

2009

2

2

Strongsville HS

Strongsville, OH

5-9/165

Boston College

K

Alex Howell

2011

2

2

West Florence HS

Florence, SC

6-1/150

Boston College

P

Richard Jackson

2006

3

3

Riverside HS

Greer, SC

5-11/180/4.70

Clemson

K

Spencer Benton

2008

2

2

Myrtle Beach HS

Myrtle Beach, SC

6-3/190

Clemson

K

Dawson Zimmerman

2008

3

2

Brookwood HS

Snellville, GA

6-2/195

Clemson

P

Ammon Lakip

2011

3

2

Chattahoochee HS

Alpharetta, GA

5-11/175

Clemson

K

Shawn Powell

2007

2

2

Darlington School

Rome, GA

6-5/215

Florida State

P

Dustin Hopkins

2009

3

3

Clear Lake HS

Houston, TX

6-1/175

Florida State

K

Travis Baltz

2007

2

2

Anthony Wayne HS

Whitehouse, OH

6-4/198

Maryland

K

Nick Ferrara

2009

2

2

St. Anthony's HS

Melville, NY

6-1/195

Maryland

K

Nathan Renfro

2011

2

2

Brentwood Academy

Brentwood, TN

6-2/200

Maryland

P

Josh Czajkowski

2006

2

2

West Springfield HS

Springfield, VA

5-10/185

North Carolina State

K

Nathan Franklin

2006

2

2

John T Hoggard HS

Wilmington, NC

5-11/160/4.65

North Carolina State

K

Jeff Ruiz

2007

2

2

Southwestern (CA)

Chula Vista, CA

6-2/185

North Carolina State

P

Chris Ward

2009

2

2

Starrs Mill HS

Fayetteville, GA

6-1/170

North Carolina State

P

Wil Baumann

2011

3

2

John T Hoggard HS

Wilmington, NC

6-3/185

North Carolina State

P

Niklas Sade

2011

3

2

Wakefield HS

Raleigh, NC

6-1/190

North Carolina State

K

Scott Thompson

2011

2

2

Trabuco Hills HS

Mission Viejo, CA

5-11/220

North Carolina State

LS

Dan Caldwell

2006

2

2

Oxford HS

Oxford, AL

6-2/235

Wake Forest

P

Jimmy Newman

2009

3

2

Oxford HS

Oxford, AL

6-2/196/4.75

Wake Forest

K

Chad Hedlund

2011

2

2

Argyle HS

Argyle, TX

6-1/180

Wake Forest

K

Alexander Kinal

2011

NA

NA

Australian Institute of Sport

Adelaide, Australia

6-4/210

Wake Forest

K

What does all this mean?  That is a pretty good question, especially in the kicking department.  A coaching staff really has to think a lot of a kicker to offer a scholarship.  The decision on signing specialists is a recruiting strategy.  Do you use a scholarship on a kicker or offer him preferred walk-on status and go after another guy?  These are the decisions staffs have to make.

The lone item I do not understand is signing a long snapper.  I have never been to a high school game and focused on a long snapper.  Typically, you can train a lineman or linebacker to snap and get good snaps out of this guy without devoting a scholarship to a high school snapper.  In case you are wondering, Matt Skinner was listed by Scout as an OT and Rivals as and ATH, so his scholarship was not included in these numbers.

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