I once tried to cover recruiting here at TNL at least from a birds-eye perspective but found the task a little daunting and quite frankly, the guys over at BSD do a much better job than me so I gave it up altogether. Having said that, it is national signing day and Christmas for adults if you believe some news services. Really, if you want no better example, look at SportingNews.com's college football home page. It's plastered with all kinds of recruiting stories and if you want exhibit A of why recruiting is so dirty and sleazy to me, look no further than the main picture of undecided WR Marlon Brown on the front page. There's something a little… oh… less than straight about having a website geared toward grown men with a picture of an 18-year old football player with his shirt half off. Just sayin'.
While most articles tend to laud the exploits of Team A's talent or Coach B's recruiting prowess, there is one very interesting article that needs our attention.
The Associated Press reviewed the top 50 recruits as named by Scout.com and Rivals.com from 2002-04, two services that essentially began as start ups but sold in recent years for tens of millions of dollars.
The AP found that when picking the 10 players with the brightest football futures, the services were right a little more than half the time, based on whether a player started 20 games or more in college, his recognition for awards or whether he made it to the NFL.
When it got to picks 11-50, the services were even more hit and miss.
I've been around for the exponential rise of Scout and Rivals and quite frankly I've always looked at them with a skeptical eye, and don't even get me started on sleezemaster Tom Lemming. At any rate though, Penn State is looking to turn in a very good recruiting class and they still have Linebacker Jelani Jenkins, wide receiver Justin Brown and defensive back Jim Noel on the radar screen. Jenkins is one of the best linebackers in the country (if you believe all the recruiting services) and would make a great exclamation point to this class.