Recruiting vs independence

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    • #3489

      Ute Fan

      I was lucky to have a conversation with one of our coaches today and what he said opened my eyes to a few things as they head out to recruit this week.

      When we joined the Pac12 conference and started playing these teams we quickly realized that we needed more size to compete against Stanford and USC, we needed more speed to compete against Oregon and UCLA, we needed to be more athletic to run with AZ or ASU, etc., so over the years we’ve identified players that would fill weaknesses against WHO we’re competing against each year and the style they play. What they showed us last year or the year before, what we didn’t react well to or what we struggled to stop. Stars show athletic ability and upside but we needed guys to stop specific schemes we compete against year in and year out more than anything else.

      Not Rocket Science of course but then he says “who does BYU recruit against?” Sure they recruit a certain type of player, one who fits in their system but how do they match up with 8 or 9 new teams each year? Sometimes it works and their profile matches up just because of who they play, physicality or scheme but think about the last 5-10 years, they’ve typically been embarrassed at least once a season, they almost always lose a game that they can’t explain and then lead with excuses, injuries, “Position mastery” and of course Donko’s favorite “execution.”

      Bottom line is they don’t recruit to face Utah’s or Michigan’s physicality, Oregon’s speed or USC’s athleticism because they don’t see it every year. They simply plug in the best kid they can get and hope for the best with their scheme. Unless they get perfectly lucky with matchups in a 12 game stretch they’ll never seriously contend for anything on a National scale.

      We recruit to what we need, what we have to overcome to accomplish our goals. The gap widens!

    • #3495

      Ute Fan

      Great insight – thanks for sharing.

    • #3498

      Ute Fan

      Hadn’t though about that but it makes sense

    • #3504

      Tony (admin)

      I also think we are able to get better recruits as time goes on and we are exposed to the Pac-12 region more and more.

    • #3516

      Summit Ute
      Ute Fan

      Wow great insight. Thanks for sharing!

    • #3520

      Puget Ute
      Ute Fan

      That is good stuff, thanks.

      jrj84105 made a point somewhere (I think on r/cfb) that I think holds true. The byu of P has a few players who would start or be in the 2-deep on nearly every team in the nation (especially their big WRs). But beyond that they are very thin at other positions and have no depth behind that. It makes sense that they do not have the personnel to match up with the diverse range of teams they play.

      Their team makeup is similar to Utah of years past, where we had a few studs on the team (CF-M, Steve Smith, Jamal Anderson, Scott Mitchell, Erroll Tucker, Eddie Johnson, etc) but mostly filler in between. Now that we have significant, deep talent and many positions we are now finally able to be more flexible in our game plans and can pivot the lineup as necessary to create matchup problems for the opponent. The 2004 and 2008 teams were STACKED with NFL talent. And we have that again this year, with upwards of 13 players getting serious a look for the next level. And some of them are actually on the Oh-fensive side of the ball…

    • #3521

      Ute Fan

      we’re the world beater at finding JUCO’s to fill specific roles. booker and clay are great examples. JUCO is a great path for the utes since we can’t get many of the real studs out of highschool.

    • #3617

      Ute Fan

      So… BYU doesn’t know who they’re preparing to play, so they need to be ready for everything. While Utah needs to recruit to battle size, athleticism, and speed (i.e. everything). At the end of the day, I don’t see the recruiting needs of the two programs being that much different.

      We have the allure of a P5 team in a P5 conference playing a P5 schedule and all of the prestige the highest level of college football affords.

      They have the Honor Code that adds one more layer of difficulty to the inexact science that recruiting already is. And, while independence allows them to schedule *slightly* better than the average G5 school, they have no conference affiliation (which their fans SORELY underestimate the value of) and basically nothing to play for after their first loss. But they do have an HD Truck and the Studio C audience.

      Honestly, I’m surprised that any recruit takes a BYU offer seriously if they have ANY P5 offer on the table. I only see our programs growing further apart if things stay as they are.

    • #3621

      Ute Fan

      Fair assessment but the point he was trying to make and the one I was trying to convey was that we know what our conference opponents did against us, what worked and what didn’t and why. We know how they reacted to a wrinkle we added, we learn where we can beat them and unless they change their staff it will probably be similar each year.

      The point is that it’s a constant chess match based on known data…our players and coaches take the same test year after year and improve with knowledge gained. BYU doesn’t have that data to recruit with because they don’t take the same test over and over. As an independent they start from scratch 8-10 times each season.

    • #3627

      Ute Fan

      True. While the players on every team cycle in and out, there IS some consistency to the type of program a coach or school tends to run. Maybe our inconsistent offensive identity is our advantage. 😉

    • #3628

      Ute Fan

      I think we are like every other team in the country – when we have a need for certain positions we go out and find the best player we can to fill that need. The best player is always going to be the big fast athletic guy over the little slow unathletic guy. What a team did to us the previous year has little to no impact on what we do recruiting wise. First, it doesn’t make sense — first year players typically don’t play. Second, say we have 10 dlineman but no WR’s after graduation. Even if our d line got blown up by being too slow, too small, not athletic enough, we are going to recruit WR’s. I appreciate what you had to say, but we are no different than byu, central Michigan, or Alabama when it comes to recruiting. We are just able to attract better players now that we are a p5 team.

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