Venables' History on the Recruiting Trail

We want to examine many aspects of new defensive coordinator Brent Venables. For those of you not familiar with Venables, TDP looked at him as a possible head coaching candidate here at Clemson in 2008. During this search, we briefly profiled him here. We also gave our two-cents on him as a possible HC candidate what seems like ages ago in the immediate post-Tom Bowden era. From the above linked article, the following was said about his recruiting prowess:

Recruiting? He's an outstanding recruiter. He's a younger high-energy guy similar to Muschamp. Many of their best recruits this year are on the defensive side. You can see the players he's pulled in here. His ties are mostly in Texas and Oklahoma, not the southeast.

Clearly, he had our respect on the recruiting trail three plus years ago and still has our attention regarding the talent he brought to Norman during his time there. Obviously ESPN noticed this as well, saying the following his decision to leave OU for Clemson (courtesy ESPN.com)

But as much as the Sooners will miss Venables as a coordinator and linebackers coach, they will miss him just as much as an ace recruiter.

Ronnell Lewis, Demontre Hurst, Tom Wort, Corey Nelson, Austin Box, Jamell Fleming and DeMarco Murray are just a few of the standouts Venables had a hand in recruiting to Norman in recent years.

He also was the assistant who secured two of OU's top verbal commitments in this recruiting class: safety Eric Striker and running back Daniel Brooks. Venables also was the primary assistant recruiting California cornerback Brandon Beaver, who is scheduled to visit OU this weekend.

Not that we didn't believe ESPN, but we wanted to look at his recruiting record ourselves and attained information dating back to NSD 2006. Please note that all data (including "star rating") came from www.rivals.com and their Oklahoma site, Sooner Scoop.

Overall Recruiting Performance (since '06):


2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

Average

Number Signed

4

5

8

7

4

5

5.5

Average Star Rating

3

3.4

3.625

3.6

3.75

3.6

3.5

--note that the average is players signed per year while AVG star rating is the overall average from the 2006 class to 2011 class.

As shown below (table featuring all players recruited by BV since '06), Brent has done a fine job on the recruiting trail. He has been the primary/responsible recruiter for no fewer than four (4) players signed in any cycle and has been attributed as the primary/responsible recruiter for seven (7) players signed in 2008 and eight (8) signed in 2009. Venables has been able to maintain quality signees despite his high number of annual signees. Look through his players signed list since ‘06. You'll see plenty of Rivals 4+ star players. 16 of the players he recruited from '06 to '11 were ranked as a Rivals 4 star prospect or better, with two of those players rated at 5 stars. That is 2-2/3 players a cycle with jam up ratings. If you remove last season's pull (all three star athletes), he averages OVER 3 players with a 4 star rating per class.

As we mentioned in our 2008 article, Venables is very knowledgeable of the Southwest and Big12 territory. He cut his teeth at Kansas State and earned his recruiting reputation throughout Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. The influx of Venables now gives Clemson two assistants who are extremely astute on the subject of high school recruiting in the state of Texas. I am not sure how much this will help us pulling talent out of the Lone Star State, but it sure won't hurt. The only concern that we might have is an overemphasis on Texas at the expense of Georgia/Florida (which was a Hatfield problem), but thus far it appears to be unjustified after watching Morris' recruiting habits. Also, I'll assume a guy with that much experience on the road who has been this successful should make inroads wherever he recruits once he familiarizes himself with the territory and the high schools.

Overall, Venables looks like an excellent recruiter. How often he'll be on the road is a pretty good question as Swinney prefers his coordinators be used closer to home so that they can use their time in the office game planning. I am not sure this strategy will change too much as the Tigers have been successful fulfilling the overall recruiting goals set by the staff.

Players Signed (Since '06):

Recruiting Class

Name

Pos.

Stars

Ht

Wt

Hometown

2011

Nila Kasitati

OL

3

6-4

280

Euless, TX

2011

Bennett Okotcha

DB

3

6-0

175

Coppell, TX

2011

Franklin Shannon

LB

3

6-2

210

Dallas, TX

2011

Danzel Williams

ATH

3

5-9

190

Arlington, TX

2010

Rashod Favors

LB

3

6-2

215

Fort Worth, TX

2010

Aaron Franklin

LB

3

6-1

206

Marshall, TX

2010

Geneo Grissom

DE

4

6-4

230

Hutchinson, KS

2010

Corey Nelson

LB

4

6-0

210

Dallas, TX

2010

Damon Williams

DT

3

6-4

300

Irving, TX

2009

Jaydan Bird

LB

3

6-2

215

Conway Springs, KS

2009

Jarrett Brown

DE

3

6-4

242

Arlington, TX

2009

Justin Chaisson

DE

4

6-4

252

Las Vegas, NV

2009

Demontre Hurst

DB

4

5-11

170

Lancaster, TX

2009

Gus Jones

LB

3

6-2

211

Wagoner, OK

2009

Ronnell Lewis

LB

4

6-3

220

Dewar, OK

2009

Marcus Trice

DB

4

5-8

167

Mesquite, TX

2009

Tom Wort

LB

4

6-1

210

New Braunfels, TX

2008

Mike Balogun

LB

3

6-2

250

Scranton, PA

2008

J.R. Bryant

LB

4

6-3

228

Garden City, KS

2008

Daniel Franklin

LB

3

6-2

210

Mt. Airy, GA

2008

Joseph Ibiloye

DB

4

6-2

195

Garland, TX

2008

David Sims

DB

3

5-11

200

Oroville, CA

2008

Casey Walker

DT

3

6-2

303

Garland, TX

2008

R.J. Washington

DE

5

6-3

245

Keller, TX

2007

Austin Box

LB

4

6-3

215

Enid, OK

2007

Jamell Fleming

DB

4

5-10

187

Arlington, TX

2007

Mike Reed

LB

5

6-4

245

Marysville, CA

2007

Londell Taylor

WR

2

6-3

213

Vian, OK

2006

Brandon Crow

LB

3

6-2

215

Comanche, OK

2006

Demarco Murray

RB

4

6-0

183

Las Vegas, NV

2006

Chris Patterson

LB

4

6-3

220

Miami, OK

2006

Daniel Tabon

ATH

3

6-3

215

Altus, OK

2006

Malcolm Williams

DB

4

5-10

172

Grand Prairie, TX

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