2012 Recruiting Cycle: Clemson/ACC Atlantic Comparison

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 04: Head coach Dabo Swinney (C) of the Clemson Tigers gets set to lead his team onto the field against the West Virginia Mountaineers West Virginia Mountaineers during the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 4, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

We have a couple loose 2012 recruiting items to tie together to compare Clemson's class to others around the ACC and the Southeast. We featured Clemson's class extensively earlier through a recruiting class overview and a "Did we fill our needs?" article. If you have particular questions about how we fared in the '12 cycle I highly encourage you to check out those articles.

We should not have to tell you this, but some folks debate what to take from these articles and the data presented here. We expect you, the reader, to form an opinion of your own. Often we will give you our take on things, but you should independently form your own thoughts based on all information available to you. When evaluating a particular player, we encourage you to view film for yourself and form your own opinions about a player. This article shows recruiting data for individual teams. It does not weigh experience nor does it evaluate coaching, preparation, etc... We think this is an interesting and valuable tool that is useful in overall program evaluation because there is a link between these star ratings and other metrics in both college football and the NFL.

Keep in mind as you look through this data that only players who were officially signed were given a "Star Rating". Players who were not signed could not be quantitatively assessed a recruiting rating. Such players get a "NA" rating and were not included in the averaged data. Again, all data was attained from www.Scout.com and www.Rivals.com. A player whose Scout/Rivals data was not available but was signed was assigned a "NR". We picked carefully through the data and believe all is correct. However, if we've overlooked an item we apologize in advance and ask that you point it out so that we can make the correction in our database.

The Table below shows core data for the 2012 teams within the Atlantic Division of the ACC. The charts that follow give a graphical description of the date featured in this table.

Recruiting Class Information

Team

2012 Scout Star Avg. per Player

2012 Rivals Star Avg. per Player

Scout/Rivals Average Stars Player

Number Signed

Boston College

2.59

2.75

2.67

18

Clemson

3.35

3.45

3.40

20

Florida State

3.95

3.79

3.87

19

Maryland

2.75

2.91

2.83

24

NC State

2.64

2.77

2.70

22

Wake

2.47

2.84

2.66

19

2012_number_of_players_signed_medium

2012_star_ratings_medium

We don't generally harp on players signed for a particular cycle unless the number is extremely low or high-though some schools strategically oversign players for various reasons to try and gain an advantage. Long and short, the NCAA allows 85 scholarship players and allows schools to grant 25 scholarships per recruiting cycle. So long a coach stays within these boundaries, he can utilize his resources in any fashion. We believe there is merit in consistently getting a minimal number of players at a couple positions but also understand there will be some variability in numbers signed based on scholarships and talent available. We also, though, understand that teams who consistently weed out the weaker players annually have more scholarships to give. Thus, while this statistic is not an end-all-be-all, it does serve some purpose particularly when you look at teams who are routine winners. Thus, high signing numbers indicate (A) oversigning, (B) reaction to the environment, (C) an unusual event-i.e., Clemson's 2009 class was small because of a coaching change, thus future class sizes had more scholarships to give, or (D) turnover within the football roster. From the data above, you can clearly see that Clemson is right at the average by signing 20 this cycle. (FYI, the Clemson-excluded average class size is 20.4)

The per player star rating data gives us different information. Average star rating generally shows the quality talent a team pulls. Here you notice that Clemson is significantly better than all other ACC schools sans FSU. Florida State had a monster class and Clemson did pretty well as well, so there are really no surprises there. The other schools averaged between 2.66 and 2.83 stars per player-well below Clemson's 3.4 stars per player average.

In short, this picture is very familiar. Clemson and FSU routinely out recruit other ACC Atlantic schools on a star per player basis. Both schools are near the middle statistically in players per class. My opinion is that Clemson brought in a more talented class than the rest of the division sans FSU based on these numbers. As we all know, the end result of this recruiting will be apparent in four years and will be dictated by more than players' talent coming out of high school.

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