As many of you know, i am a huge fan of the art of recruiting. Being on the sidelines for most of it, all I have to go on are the recruiting resources available. Whether it is reading the latest recruiting reports at BeaverBlitz, or perusing other recruiting sites for other market information, I am always amazed at how much info is out there, but also at how unreliable it is.
Today, Oregon State welcomed 3 new commits. Isaiah Miller, a fast, powerful and elusive running back from Baldwin, FL (a town of 2000+ people) was the first to commit. His film is impressive, looking every bit as good as any back OSU has gotten in the last 4 or 5 classes.
These players are under the radar talent with speed and agility that are ready to come in and compete for the Beavers. But to look at the recruiting services, it is like they are ghosts. In some cases it might be financial, and the cost of getting access to quality film can be tough. In other cases it might be that their coaches are not able to, or just not willing to promote their players and help them. I have no idea, and the circumstances for players that run reported 4.4 40’s to get overlooked seem incredible, when all this information is at our finger tips.
Unfortunately, the problem with the services is that, like news and media and all the rest of the world, it is easier to get noticed if you live in an urban setting. Just like it is easier for USC and UW to get recruits from big cities, big cities promote their own. In many cases, a lot of recruiting services have gone to holding camps to evaluate players. I know Rivals does, but how much does that detract from actual film study? Do players at camps get rated higher because you have actually seen them play? Yes, yes they do. And that is natural. But what happens is that players who are not able to find their way to Elite 11 or Openings or the 5 Star Challenge, are left to local camps, letters and word of mouth to get their name out there.
Fortunately for guys like Justin or Kaleb, Coach Andersen and his staff went to them and they felt that these players were going to help them win championships. Some players will never get that. Some will never see the light of day on a Power 5 campus or in the minds and notebooks of ‘recruitnik’ nerds like me. Which is too bad, because it sure if fun to cheer for the overlooked players like James Rodgers or Mike Hass.