Two weeks. Two weeks til the fax machines start humming and the National Letters of Intent start coming in to football offices all over the country. Including the football offices in the Hale Center.
Two weeks ago we looked at where Rutgers was in the rankings as 2017 began. And we’ll take a look now - for the last time in this format - at what this recruiting class looks like compared to our peers across the nation and within the Big Ten.
Over the weekend we looked at some events that impacted RU’s current class along with some decommits - including one for 2018. But where are we now?
The National Scene
Rutgers fell, across the board. We lost only one commitment over the last two weeks, but other schools have been busy and, in some cases picked up bodies and stars. Each of the services has its own methodology which creates some weird and greatly varying comparisons.
It’s still interesting to see the schools Rutgers is ahead of, for now, in the rankings. The next five after RU:
The Big Ten
For a lot of us, this is what really matters. And overall, Rutgers is still holding its own against the B1G guns. Maryland is the sore point for many, and D.J. Durkin is still doing very well in recruiting although he also lost a recruit. He also has 28 recruits, an enormous number. With the exception of Nebraska, every team ahead of Rutgers is in the East Division.
Jerry DiNardo and BTN
BTN’s DiNardo posted his weekly look at the process, including where the Big Ten’s schools were compared to each other in terms of stars. As we know all too well, we do play in a tough neighborhood.
B1G 2017 Recruiting Update #Rutgers Ranked 37 Nationally by Scout,35 by 247,— Gerry DiNardo (@gerrydinardo) January 16, 2017
39 by Rivals,36 by ESPN with ave. star rating of 2.95 19 Commit
B1G 2017 Recruiting Update East average ranking 20 with an average star rating of 3.38 West average ranking 44 with a star rating of 2.99— Gerry DiNardo (@gerrydinardo) January 16, 2017
The thing that most people look at in “criticism” of Rutgers is the number of blue-chippers it has. Star power is not in abundance, but that is a factor that everyone not called Ohio State or Michigan tends to face.
Ranks by Stars = OSU 4.29, UM 3.73,PSU 3.58,Neb 3.38,MSU 3.28 ILL 3.15 Mary 3.15,NU 3.04 UW 3.04 Iowa 3.04 RU 2.95,Minn 2.74,IU 2.71,PU 2.56— Gerry DiNardo (@gerrydinardo) January 16, 2017
The Fleck Factor.....
So, does the coach make a difference in recruiting? PJ Fleck was a coach that Rutgers fans thought about as a replacement for Kyle Flood. But the former RU assistant stayed at Western Michigan, ran up a 13-0 record, took the Broncos to the Cotton Bowl, and then got a job in the Big Ten.
Is there a PJ Fleck effect on recruiting? Since Fleck was hired at Minnesota, what has happened to its recruiting and what’s happened to Western Michigan’s? Is the boat still being rowed in Kalamazoo?
Rather than look at every recruiting service, we just used 247 Sports.
Back on on January 7, Western Michigan was the No. 2 school in the MAC and was No. 74 nationally.
Fleck’s new employer, Minnesota, was at No. 56 on that date.
The Broncos have been hurt a bit....to say the least.
That’s a drop of 13 spots in two weeks. And a two spot fall within the MAC. And a loss of three commitments along the way.
Minnesota? Life ain’t so bad in Minneapolis. Since Fleck’s hiring, the Gophers have moved to No. 52 nationally, up four.