The 2012 recruiting class marches on.
The biggest news since our last update has been the bad vibes surrounding the strange saga of OH OL Kyle Kalis balanced out somewhat by the commitments of OH LB Luke Roberts and OH OL/DL Patrick Elflein.
Despite the commitments, the current feeling on the class is still slanting negative for various reasons.
First and most importantly, Ohio State still needs to add some offensive tackles to the roster… and soon, making the pain from the loss of Kalis even more acute.
On top of that, some Ohio State fans were less than enthusiastic about the most recent commitments because they came from non highly rated recruits.
Disappointment at the loss of an extremely talented player in a position of need is one thing, but disappointment over receiving commitments from lower ranked recruits is an unnecessary emotion, and here’s why.
-Putting together highly rated recruiting classes each year increases your team’s chances of fielding highly talented players capable of winning lots of football games. It is a simple, but far from perfect, way to predict future success on the field.
-Recruiting services like Scout and Rivals do not make money by identifying who will be the best college football players in the country. They make money by selling subscriptions and having players attend their camps and all-star games.
Therefore, a player that dramatically drags on their recruitment (aka creates an interesting story to write about) while attending multiple camps sponsored by a recruiting service is much more likely to be highly rated than an equally talented player that commits early and does not attend any camps sponsored by the recruiting services.
-Almost all 18 year olds are not at the peak of their athletic ability. Most high school seniors are still developing athletically and physically (aka raw prospects), and on top of that, being the most dominant player in high school does not guarantee success in college. In fact, being the most dominant player in high school may actually be a bad thing in some situations.
The first negative situation is a player that dominates high school competition due to athletically peaking and having no room to get better in college. They may be the best 18 year-old around, but as other players continue to develop and grow, the early peaking players can get passed up pretty quickly.
There are obviously plenty of examples when this wasn’t the case and high school stars continued to dominate(Maurice Clarett, Beanie Wells, Adrien Peterson, etc.) but there are just as many, if not more, examples of dominant high school players failing to live up to the hype in college. Just go through past lists of five star players for all the proof you will ever need of this.
For every name that you recognize, there will be 2 or 3 names that will make you think, “who is that and why were they a five star?”
The second negative situation feeds directly into the first. When a player has been naturally better than everyone else their entire life and have never been challenged, it is possible that they will never develop the work ethic necessary to compete with other players that are equally as talented as themselves in college.
Example 1A of this phenomenon is Alex Boone, who was just as good as a true freshman in college as he was as a senior starting in his fourth year. Boone had many issues, but the source of almost all of his problems was a lack of work ethic and commitment off the field.
For this reason, identifying the “raw” three star prospects that have the work ethic and potential to turn into All-Americans is just as important as pulling in five star players.
I am not saying that Luke Roberts or Patrick Elflein are going to be All-Americans, but the fact that they aren’t highly rated clearly does not mean that they won’t be if they have the right attitude and commitment… and by all accounts they both do, which is the exciting thing about them.
-Ohio State’s coaching staff is good at identifying under rated/ranked players that they can turn into stars, especially at camp. Seriously, go back and look at the recruiting rankings from past seasons. 3-stars have not only made up a large portion of Ohio State’s starting lineups over the years, but they have represented a large chunk of the All-Americans as well.
Getting talented players onto campus and onto the field is the name of the game, regardless of their recruiting rankings, and clearly star ratings are not the final word on whether a player will be successful or not.
The moral of the story is that getting too worked up over recruits before they step foot on campus is a major waste of emotions. Some lower rated players will be pleasant surprises, some highly rated players will be disappointments, but in the end, things will balance out.
That being said, recruiting does matter, that is why we all spend so much time following it. Let’s just not get so worked up over how many stars players do or don’t have in front of their names.
Now that that’s out of the way, there is some more positive buzz from the 2012 class to talk about.
The recent addition of LB coach Mike Vrabel is making some waves. His early recruiting efforts are making players take notice, which is injecting some life into what remains an extremely difficult period in Columbus.
The best news of all, however, is that there are still months and months between now and signing day, meaning that there is still plenty of time for some good recruiting news to come down the line.
I have said it before, but right now, patience is the name of the game in the 2012 class. The players that wait until late in the process will find Columbus a much more attractive place than anyone looking to commit now.
As always, check out the 2012 Big Board and the 2013 Big Board for a list of Ohio State’s targets and follow the links for all the latest recruiting news and discussion from the Buckeye Planet Recruiting Team.
OH OL Kyle Kalis committed to Michigan.
FL WR Herbert Waters committed to Miami (FL).
SC WR Kwinton Smith committed to South Carolina.
MN OT Jonah Pirsig eliminated Ohio State from consideration.
FL DB Deon Bush eliminated Ohio State from consideration.
NC OL D.J. Humphries eliminated Ohio State from consideration.
OH S Jarrod Wilson committed to Michigan (no Ohio State offer).