Wednesday, October 20, 2010

College Football Freshman Report Card

Recruiting is a huge part of college football these days. As each year passes, services like,, and ESPN Recruiting increase their revenue from covering the standout players from high schools around the country. But how well do these guys do?

In order to really see if their recruiting rankings are worth the $9.95 per month, lets take a look around the country and see how some of the freshman, both true and redshirt, are looking. Based on each individual's performance in their first year of college, I will grade the recruiting ranks.

***For example, if a player was very highly ranked in high school, and is stinking the place up in a starting role, the rank would be very poor- say a D-. If the player was ranked highly in high school and has performed very well, the grade would be very good. 

Taylor Martinez wasn't highly recruited out of high school as you can tell. He did, however, blow up late in the process and put up some extremely impressive numbers at various combines. Nebraska was the first to offer Martinez, who was being recruited by most schools as a safety. The Huskers offered him a scholarship as an athlete and now he's leading the Huskers potent rushing attack at QB. 

Rushing Stats: 81/758, 12 TD, 126.3 ypg
Passing Stats: 43/76 (56.6%), 723 yards, 3 TD/ 3INT, 120.5 ypg

Clearly Martinez was a guy who slipped through the cracks. His athleticism probably was his downfall, as he didn't project well to the college game at the QB spot. He sure looks like he's found his niche at Nebraska though. Before the loss to Texas and an underwhelming performance, he was in the Heisman mix. Just goes to show you, sometimes it's just better to have a stack of athletes at your disposal.

Recruiting Grade: C

If you can't see, Robinson didn't get the most acclaim out of high school. Rivals didn't think enough of him to even put a picture on his profile. Robinson took exception to the recruiting neglect and has proceeded to throw for a bazillion yards this season. Troy runs the spread, but Corey is a top-20 passer and is only in his redshirt freshman season. 

Passing Stats: 146/227 (64.3%) 1740 yards, 12 TD/ 6 INT, 290 ypg

This is a guy that apparently had a great deal of ability, but wasn't a household name. It may have had something to do with the fact that he was from Paducah, KY. Here's another no name from a small school who is lighting it up this season. 

Recruiting Grade: D

Okay, sorry. As a Georgia fan, I had to put this guy in here. Da'Rick was pretty much snatched from the jaws of victory by the Vols. His buddy and high school quarterback, Nash Nance was offered a scholarship to UTk and Rogers followed him there. You really can't blame the kid for going there with his very close friend, but lets face it, nothing sucks like a Big Orange.

Receiving Stats: 4 catches for 22 yards, 3.67 ypg

When you look at that stat line, you can't help but think that it's wrong. But it isn't. Rogers was bigger, faster, and meaner than pretty much all of the other receivers in his class. I think he would say his freshman year has been a little disappointing. Fellow freshman, four-star Justin Hunter has over ten times the yards and was ranked ranked #75 in his class, compared with #9 overall for Rogers. I'm not ready to say he won't be an all-star by his senior year, but he doesn't look to be the all-world talent he was in high school just yet. 

Recruiting Grade: D

Robert Woods was one of Lane Kiffin's prized recruits in his first year at USC. I guess, to be more correct, Kiffykins held on to Woods after he committed to Cartoon Pete on August 8, 2009. Woods was the number one athlete in the class of 2010, while his USC teammate Kyle Prater was the number one wide receiver in that class. 

Receiving Stats: 32 for 515, 6 TD, 73.6 ypg (4th in the Pac-10 in receiving, 1st Trojan on the list)

Woods certainly has looked very good in his freshman campaign. It doesn't hurt that he has Matt Barkley chunking passes his way. I think the folks who pegged him this high were watching the same tapes I was. This guy is yet another in the line of great receivers from USC.

Recruiting Grade: A+

Yeah, I had to plug our guy. You can call me a shameless homer, but take a look at his stats below and you'll see why. Murray has looked very poised in all of his starts and has displayed a level of ability far above any recent freshman quarterback we've had at Georgia (beside arm strength). This includes Matt Stafford, who had three future top-50 draft picks at his disposal at all times. 

Passing Stats: 112/181 (61.9%), 1653 yards, 12 TD/ 3 INT, 236 ypg (Leads all freshman in pass efficiency and is 18th in the nation)
Rushing Stats: 51 for 158, 4 TD

Murray is a pro-style quarterback but is extremely mobile in the pocket, as evidenced by his rushing totals. He has been in some very tough spots personnel wise, but has still impressed. In the first four games A.J. Green was out and Kris Durham also sat out one game and part of another. Durham was extremely good in A.J.'s absence and continues to impress. Murray has been better than expected and, because of the running game's struggles, has really put the offense on his shoulders. Decent job by the recruitniks but they probably could have ranked him ahead of Russell Shepherd and Garrett Gilbert. 

Recruiting Grade: A-

In all, considering how many prospects these guys have to evaluate, they seem to do a pretty good job. They really seem to excel on the high end, although there are some disappointments. Altogether, I would say the $9.95 is worth it. It's really worth it if you like hearing incessant griping and gnashing of teeth if the Dawgs don't get the best of the best.

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