Gary Doran

State of Arizona Recruiting: Five-Year Analysis – 2010-2014

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Throughout December, a five part series examined local high school football recruits from the state of Arizona. The detailed analysis for each year, with a link to the original blog,  are shown here:

For this overall five-year analysis, the number of Arizona high school recruits included in the analysis was limited to just those recruits that signed with a “Power Five” conference team. Any player that was a grayshirt was excluded, along with one kicker and two long snappers. Therefore, 90 Arizona high school football prospects, either offensive or defensive, signed with a “Power Five” Conference team recruited during the 2010 through 2014 recruiting cycles. That is an average of 18 Arizona high school football recruits per year signing with a “Power Five” team. The breakdown of the prospects by “Power Five” conference teams is shown below:

State of Arizona Recruits Signing by Conference

Conference

– The 90 Arizona recruits signed with 22 different Power Five Conference schools
– Every Pac-12 team signed at least one Arizona high school recruit over the five year period
– 53 high school recruits signed with a team outside the state of Arizona, representing 59% of all the recruits
– 16 high school recruits signed with a team outside the Pac-12 Conference, representing 18% of all the recruits

Clearly Arizona State and Arizona had trouble convincing the quality recruits to stay in their home state, as three out of every five high school football prospects, who signed with a “Power Five” school, signed with a university outside the state.  That trend continued even with the coaching changes at both schools in recent years. It makes you wonder. Were recruits not convinced  because of mediocre  performances on the field by Arizona State and Arizona, because of fractured relationships with the local high schools, because of increased competition from other “Power Five” schools,  or because more high schools athletes just wanted to get away from home? Was this just a five-year drought?  It would be interesting to compare if other states see their quality football players go elsewhere as often as both Arizona schools did during the past five years.

– Approximately one-third of the state of Arizona recruits are no longer with the team with which they initially signed
– 60% of the state of Arizona recruits that signed with a team outside the Pac-12 Conference are no longer with that team
– 76% of the state of Arizona recruits that signed with a Pac-12 team, other than Arizona State or Arizona, are still on those teams

–  70% of the state of Arizona high school football recruits are still with Arizona State or Arizona

– All eight state of Arizona high school football recruits are still with the Stanford Cardinal

– Eight out of nine state of Arizona high school football recruits are still with the Oregon Ducks

– Six out of seven state of Arizona high school football recruits are still with the UCLA Bruins
– However, all three state of Arizona high school football recruits have left the Colorado Buffaloes, and both of the state of Arizona high school football recruits have left the Washington State Cougars
– Excluding Colorado and Wazzu, 85% of the state of Arizona high school football recruits signing with the other Pac-12 teams outside the state of Arizona are still on those teams

Not counting Colorado and Washington State, the other Pac-12 schools have been retaining the state of Arizona high school football recruits at a better rate than either Arizona State or Arizona.  Was this due to the coaching changes at Arizona State and Arizona? Did other Pac-12 schools recruit better fits for their program?  Or  did Arizona State and Arizona take bigger swings on local recruits to keep more in-state recruits home?

Recruits by Their Position

Position

Contributing to Their Teams
– Almost half of the defensive recruits have become contributors to their teams
– About 36% of the offensive recruits have become contributors to their teams
– Almost 60% of the defensive backfield recruits have become contributors to their teams
– Over 40% of the defensive line recruits have become contributors to their teams
– Roughly one-third of the linebacker recruits have become contributors to their teams
– About 38% of the offensive line recruits have become contributors to their teams
– About one-third of the skilled position recruits have become contributors to their teams

Starters
– Approximately one-third of the defensive recruits have started for their teams
– Just over one-quarter of the offensive recruits have started for their teams
– Over one-third of the defensive backfield recruits have started for their teams
– About 20% of the defensive line recruits have started for their teams
– Roughly one-third of the linebacker recruits have started for their teams
– Almost 30% of the offensive line recruits have started for their teams
– About one-quarter of the skilled position recruits have started for their teams

The defensive recruits are getting on the field and contributing at a higher rate than the their offensive counterparts, especially the defensive backfield recruits.  So far, the skilled position recruits have been the group that has contributed the least to their teams.  It’s interesting to observe that as a group, the offensive line recruits are are starting at a greater percentage compared to the defensive line recruits, especially since current wisdom would predict that offensive line players take longer to develop.

Contributors and Starters by Original Team

Original

– 13 out of 38 recruits that signed with a Pac-12 team, other than Arizona State or Arizona, are now starting for that team, representing 34%
– Nine out of 37 recruits that signed with either Arizona State or Arizona are now starting for them, representing 24%
– Three out of 15 recruits that signed with a team outside the PAC-12 are now starting for that team, representing 20%
– Three recruits are starting for a team other than the one they originally signed with

The other Pac-12 teams are getting their Arizona recruits into the starting lineup at a greater rate than Arizona State and Arizona.  Could the reason be that those other schools did a better job of fitting recruits to their system or was it due to those other schools pulling out better quality recruits than either Arizona State or Arizona was able to sign? Could it be that Arizona State and Arizona have not done as well in fully developing their state of Arizona recruits?

Recruits’ Hometown

City

– Almost 90% of all the state of Arizona recruits that signed with a Power Five Conference team are from the greater metro Phoenix area
– One-third of all the state of Arizona recruits that contribute to their college teams played on a high school team from the city of Chandler
– More than 30% of all the state of Arizona recruits that started for their college teams played on a high school team from the city of Chandler
– Only two of the state of Arizona recruits that started for their college teams played on a high school from the city of Tucson
– Only four of the state of Arizona recruits that started for their college teams played on a high school from the city of Phoenix
– Half of all the state of Arizona recruits that have started for their college teams played on a high school team from either Chandler or Scottsdale
– The city of Tempe has produced more Power Five Conference signees than the city of Tucson

It seems that the city of Chandler is the hotbed of quality high school recruits for the state, with Scottsdale right behind.  Additionally, for their size, neither Phoenix nor Tucson produce an abundance of quality Power Five football talent.  Why, with so many schools, do so few quality recruits come out from the larger communities?  Why has a large city like Mesa only produced two “Power Five” quality recruits over the last five years?

High Schools of the Recruit

High_School

– 90% of the Hamilton H.S. recruits signing with a Power Five Conference team are contributing to their teams
– Hamilton H.S. has supplied 11% of all the Arizona recruits signing with a Power Five Conference team, and 23% of all the starters
– Roughly 40% of all the Arizona recruits signing with a Power Five Conference team came from only five Arizona schools
– Of the top ten schools producing Power Five Conference recruits, Centennial has the lowest percentage of recruits contributing to their teams at just 17%

Hamilton High School produces quality football recruits.  Additionally, the concentration of quality talent currently is found within a few schools in the state.  What is the difference in recruits coming from Hamilton High School compared to other schools?  The data doesn’t show any differences in where the recruits from Hamilton signed, the position the recruits played in high school or the years they were recruited.

Position Rankings (by Scout.com)

– There were 12 Arizona recruits that were ranked in the top ten in their position ranking for the entire country

– The state of Arizona averaged nine recruits per year that were ranked 50th or better at their position
– 40% of the Arizona recruits that were ranked in the top 25 at their positions have yet to contribute to their teams
– Roughly, 64% of the Arizona recruits that were ranked 50 or higher at their positions have yet to contribute to their teams
– Over the five-year period, Oregon, Stanford and UCLA signed far better ranked Arizona recruits than either Arizona State or Arizona
– Approximately three-out-of-four recruits ranked 50th or better at their position signed with a team other than Arizona State or Arizona
– Arizona State and Arizona signed recruits that were ranked below the average of the 90 Arizona recruits signing with a Power Five Conference team

The state of Arizona produced a sufficient number of higher ranked recruits to warrant time and effort by Arizona State and Arizona to keep the quality kids home.  Over the past five recruiting cycles, the higher ranked recruits have been going outside the state of Arizona.  There also seems to be a correlation between the position rankings and those recruits contributing to their teams at a greater percentage.

State of Arizona Recruits by Year Signed

Year

– In three of the five recruiting years, two out of three Power Five Conference-level recruits from Arizona signed with a team outside of the state

– The two years Arizona State and Arizona kept a larger portion of recruits home is when there were fewer total Power Five-level recruits available

– In the three year when there were 20 or more Power Five-level recruits within the state, over 22% of them signed with a team outside the Pac-12 Conference

– In four out of five years, more recruits signed with other Pac-12 teams than they did with Arizona State or Arizona combined

– For the 2010 class, only 23% became starters, whereas 35% of the 2011 class and 56% of the 2012 class have become starters on their teams.

It appears that when there are a good number of high-quality recruits, competition from outside the state heats up.  The 2012 class seems to have been loaded with good quality talent, as a greater percentage of them are starters than the 2010 and 2011 classes where the recruits have been with their teams longer.  Even though the 2010 class had one of the higher average rankings compared to the other classes, that did not seem to translate into a greater percentage of starters.

About Gary Doran

Gary Doran

Gary graduated from ASU many years ago. After careers working in banking, finance and the financial administration of academic research funding, he is now interested in utilizing his passion for numbers towards two things he thoroughly loves; Arizona State University and college football. He is looking forward to finding the “stories” buried within the numbers on a football stat sheet. He has gone to ASU football games all the way back to the days of Frank Kush and the WAC. He has been married to an amazing ASU graduate for almost forty years, and they currently live in Ventura, CA. Although this may disqualify him from talking football, he and his wife enjoy the practice of yoga and dancing the Argentine Tango. Ole!

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  1. Pingback: ASU Devils Den Football Podcast » Pac-12 Recruiting the Western States (2010-2014)

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