Evaluating the 2009-2013 Non-ACC Recruiting Classes Around the Southeast

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

This comparison examines how Clemson stacks up to these teams from 2009 through the 2013 recruiting cycle. As always, data was attained from www.rivals.com and www.scout.com. Also, I’ll encourage you to view my conclusions then be sure to go out, do some research and come back with your own points and counterpoints.

All non-Clemson schools averaged over 23 players per class compared to CU’s 21.6. I need to point out that the small 2009 class really brought this average down. Georgia averaged approximately 23 and ½ players per class including last cycles’ staggering 33 man class. Otherwise, it was approximately 25 per class or more for each of the remaining teams. Looking at the big boys (Bama and LSU in particular), you realize that big boy roster management is in play. I believe that Carolina was able to pull off its extremely large ’11 class through a combination of methods. I’ll point out that I do not support signing players just to sign players (i.e., quality is a must) but these teams aren’t just handing out scholarships. You can bet your tail as well that these teams are very, very careful about awarding walkon scholarships because, as you see, their roster management and recruiting strategy puts a premium on a football athletic scholarship. Essentially, produce or move on.

2009_to_2013_players_signed_medium

Class Size

Team

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

AVERAGE

Clemson

12

24

29

20

23

21.6

Alabama

27

29

22

26

25

25.8

Auburn

28

32

24

21

23

25.6

Georgia

20

19

26

19

33

23.4

LSU

24

28

22

24

26

24.8

South Carolina

29

23

32

25

21

26

Clemson’s stars per player average compared to these teams shows our Tigers (3.36 stars per player) better than just one team, Scar (3.19 stars per player). This is not unexpected. Three of the teams on this list have won national titles fairly recently and Georgia/Richt had a nice run in the early 2000’s and the state of Georgia is full of talent. All of these teams sans Auburn averaged around 3.6 stars per player or better (much better for Bama at 3.77 stars per player over the last five cycles).

2009_to_2013_star_rating_medium

Average Star Rating (per player)

Team

Service

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

AVERAGE

Clemson

Scout

3.58

3.09

3.24

3.35

3.35

3.32

Rivals

3.50

3.35

3.34

3.45

3.30

3.39

Average

3.54

3.22

3.29

3.40

3.33

3.36

Alabama

Scout

3.67

3.65

3.82

3.81

3.77

3.74

Rivals

3.81

3.62

3.91

3.77

3.84

3.79

Average

3.74

3.64

3.86

3.79

3.80

3.77

Auburn

Scout

3.07

3.38

3.75

3.67

3.35

3.44

Rivals

3.22

3.50

3.63

3.62

3.57

3.51

Average

3.15

3.44

3.69

3.64

3.46

3.47

Georgia

Scout

3.85

3.47

3.54

3.68

3.42

3.59

Rivals

3.84

3.42

3.58

3.47

3.50

3.56

Average

3.85

3.45

3.56

3.58

3.46

3.58

LSU

Scout

3.79

3.36

3.59

3.42

3.72

3.58

Rivals

3.79

3.63

3.64

3.36

3.73

3.63

Average

3.79

3.49

3.61

3.39

3.73

3.60

South Carolina

Scout

3.10

2.91

3.16

3.24

3.19

3.12

Rivals

3.34

3.04

3.25

3.24

3.38

3.25

Average

3.22

2.98

3.20

3.24

3.29

3.19

These results are not unexpected. WE compared Clemson to teams that have been successful to get a measuring stick next to our Tigers and it is clear that Bama, Auburn, LSU, and UGa have outrecruited Clemson over the past 5 cycles. That really is no knock on Clemson as the numbers seen above—with the exception of the small ’09 class attributed to unusual circumstances—indicate Clemson pulls quality talent in decent numbers…just not LSU/Bama numbers. It also shows where Clemson sits compared to in state competitor Scar. From the information gathered above, Clemson led SC by an average of 0.17 stars per player over the course of this data set. All in all, I believe when you combine the class size with the star per player metric, the two are very close in recruiting success though I would, based solely on the quantitative analysis above, say that Clemson does have a slight edge overall.

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