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Illinois / NIU recruiting observations
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Illinois / NIU recruiting observations
My comments are mine alone and are general observations of the recruiting process in Illinois only. I am not indicating a lack of respect for all of the current rostered players and coaches. I pen these observations so that some additional perspective can be brought to this table. I also acknowledge that this is my first post and that hopefully I will be given some latitude.

MA= my answer
Q. why are there 8 classes in Illinois football?
MA. To provide a meaningful separation of the schools athletic
programs and level the playing field.

Q. why is there a need to level the playing field?
MA. because the larger schools will have a larger talent pool to draw from. This larger talent pool means that each of the teams will play a more difficult schedule and the playoffs will be far more difficult.

Q. does this mean that a team in 2A 3A 4A wouldn't have equal players to the 7A and 8A schools?
MA. No! but there is a likliehood that the larger schools would have more depth in talent, i.e. field teams that will have higher proportion of skilled players then the smaller school.

Q. does this mean that the competition between the larger schools would be affected by the larger skilled player talent pools.
MA.YES Duh!

Q. does this mean that a playoff level small school couldn't compete with a playoff team at the higher classes.
MA. No. It does mean that there is a likelihood that the larger school would be able to wear down the smaller school due to depth. If a team has 15 studs who can play team football the common logic would have to be that it should beat the team with 2 studs on any given Saturday.

Q. how does this relate to recruiting?
MA. NIU seems to seek out the smaller schools and their individual studs for scholy offers. This may result from not having too much success recruiting the large school studs as they are probably being recruited by larger programs.

Q. it seems like decent logic so how does it adversely affect recruiting.
MA. When you take a stud from a smaller school the major unknown is the level of competition doesn't challenge the individual players skills. More than likely a good number of small school studs wouldn't start at the larger schools. This is awfully imflammatory but it is my opinion.

Q. what does this mean as far as NIU is concerned.?
MA. It means that the level of competition between recruits at spring ball and on the practice squads is being played by a pool of players that may have been all state at there respective levels but now need to be raised in capability beyond a level that they have been taught at. In other words the skill levels required at D-1 exceed that skills of the typical small school player. Sure, a percentage will raise their game due to maturity, competitiveness and coaching but if they are praciticing everyday amongst themselves then the equalizing factor must be the quality of coaching. If the skills aren't there to begin with it is far more difficult to elevate the individuals. Take the example of Ohio State. When the scout squad has higher skill levels coming out of high school then it makes sense that practice will be more competitive and the coaches can concentrate on making the team better not the individual players talent.
Q. How does this sum up for NIU recruiting.
MA. If a kid is a stud at the 7A / 8A level in Illinois but is not BCS material due to size or speed whatever, then rather than pride ourselves on seeking out the small school stud we should be hunting through the larger schools studs who can compete at this level. It really seams as though NIU likes to recruit small schools and polish its apple when it shines. Fair enough but there are over one hundred schools at 7A / 8A with football populations exceeding 3500. Concentration on this level should yield a dozen players a year who have the skills and want to keep playing at D1 and NIU could be an obvious fit. The beauty of this is that the majority of the teams and games are within a hundred miles of Dekalb.

If you are a 7A / 8A player or parent out there I feel pretty confident that for the most part we can agree. I'd bet that there were three or four players from those teams who would have come to NIU if they were offered the chance.

Just some observations, I could go on for a few hundred more lines but I'll let you guy's blow me up now rather than later.
10-28-2007 10:06 AM
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