Clemson Recruiting In Atlanta, Looking at the Data

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this month we took a look at how Clemson was recruiting top talent out of Charlotte. The numbers were not fantastic, but we wanted to put it in some context. For the next part of this look we went down to Atlanta, a city that turns out some great talent and in greater quantities than Charlotte.

Because of the large Atlanta metro population, we looked at all four and five star recruits within about 50 miles of downtown Atlanta. Within this area there was an average of about 14 recruits a year. We used Rivals data for star ratings and location, but because of this we don't have any 2012 data. For some reason Rivals doesn't have state rankings for Georgia that year.

One problem to note with Atlanta that Clemson doesn't have in Charlotte, Dabo is competing directly with Georgia and Auburn primarily, as well as Georgia Tech, South Carolina, and Alabama to an extent. Outside of going down to Florida, Atlanta may have the most competition for recruits in the nation.

School Total Recruits
Georgia 20
South Carolina 8
Auburn 7
Tennessee 7
Clemson 6
Alabama 4
Vanderbilt 2
Stanford 4
Georgia Tech 4
LSU 3
USC 3
Florida 3
North Carolina 2
Ole Miss 2
Notre Dame 2
NC State 1
Missouri 1
Cincinnati 1
Ohio State 1
Indiana 1
Cal 1
Miami 1
Oregon 1
Maryland 1

So first the totals. Outside of an unusual 2011, Atlanta churns out a good number of four and five star recruits. Removing 2011, that average of 14 recruits mentioned before jumps to 15-16 recruits per year. Certainly enough to be pouring resources into the area like Clemson has over the past two recruiting cycles. I've also included the 2015 class. There are actually 23 recruits from the Atlanta area, but I'm only counting ones who have verbally committed to a school to help give us an idea of how Clemson is doing.

School Recruits in 2014
Clemson 2
Georgia 3
South Carolina 5
Auburn 3
NC State 1
Tennessee 2
Missouri 1
North Carolina 1
Cincinnati 1

School Recruits in 2013
Georgia 5
Auburn 1
Ole Miss 1
Alabama 2
LSU 1
Notre Dame 1
Ohio State 1
Vanderbilt 1
Indiana 1

School Recruits in 2011
Georgia 2
Notre Dame 1
Stanford 1
Cal 1
Georgia Tech 1

School Recruits in 2010
Clemson 2
Georgia 5
Auburn 1
Tennessee 2
Vanderbilt 1
Georgia Tech 3
USC 1
Miami 1
Florida 3

School Recruits in 2009
Georgia 3
Auburn 1
Tennessee 1
North Carolina 1
LSU 2
Stanford 1
USC 1
Maryland 1

The tables about are each year broken down by the number of recruits going to each school. One point to note is how each year there seems to be a different group of schools that come in an grab a recruit or two and then disappear. Schools like Maryland, Oregon, Cal, Notre Dame, and others aren't investing the time to build up recruiting talent from Atlanta, but they will come in and try to grab a guy if they like him.

Another unusual trait that I noticed from the data, each year about nine schools sign these top recruits from the Atlanta area. Excluding 2011 because of the lack of recruits, the number of schools these top kids go to is between eight and 10. It seemed surprising to see that number stay constant, especially with how many schools come in to grab one or two guys.

School Total Recruits Percent of Recruits
Georgia 20 23.26%
South Carolina 8 9.30%
Auburn 7 8.14%
Tennessee 7 8.14%
Clemson 6 6.98%
Alabama 4 4.65%
Stanford 4 4.65%
Georgia Tech 4 4.65%
LSU 3 3.49%
USC 3 3.49%
Florida 3 3.49%
Vanderbilt 2 2.33%
North Carolina 2 2.33%
Ole Miss 2 2.33%
Notre Dame 2 2.33%
NC State 1 1.16%
Missouri 1 1.16%
Cincinnati 1 1.16%
Ohio State 1 1.16%
Indiana 1 1.16%
Cal 1 1.16%
Miami 1 1.16%
Oregon 1 1.16%
Maryland 1 1.16%

After Georgia there is a pretty big dropoff to everyone else. The other schools end up sorting themselves into 3 different groups. You have that top group with Auburn, Clemson, South Carolina, and Tennessee. All of these schools have not only had success in Atlanta, but they have had that success for more than a year or two. The group right below this is where a school got 2-3 guys in a year or picked up the odd guy here and there. At the bottom you have those random schools that grab the one guy here or there. That last group is always going to be there for a variety of reasons. Some kids don't want to stay close to home, their parents are alumni, or they grew up always wanting to go to that school. Hard to get bent out of shape about missing out on those guys.

What would be interesting to look at going forward is how much effort these schools put into Atlanta. I think it is fair to say Georgia puts a lot of effort into Atlanta. We've noted here before that Clemson has beefed up Atlanta recruiting over the past two years and it is paying off. If we can we'll try to quantify that effort to see how much those extra resources can help.

Overall, Clemson is doing well in Atlanta. While it would be great to do better, the important thing is to see that consistency from 2014 and 2015 maintained. It is probably too much of an ask to get more than two to three recruits out of an area in that sees six major schools from the SEC and ACC competing for kids. As we take a look at a few other locations we do want to see what the dominant school is doing regarding percentage of kids signed. It will help us get a better handle on how much we need to improve in places like Charlotte.

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