Today is national signing day for Division I football. The day where high school kids officially commit to a program. UW's class is currently ranked 42 in the nation. There are two things about this class that please me--
(1) Wisco again locked up all the top in-state kids, including guys who turned down scholarships to walk on at UW, and guys who were offered by other big name schools, like Michigan; and
(2) the class is defensive lineman heavy, which matches the team's needs.
Otherwise, I have great hopes for everybody, but frankly, I'm underwhelmed. First off, this was not an awesome year for high school talent in Wisconsin. Second and mainly, BB was allegedly hired in large part because he was a good recruiter. Cooks and Doeren are supposed to be great recruiters. And I've been to many other college campuses. UW has a very good product to sell, and is not far from the Chicago area, which produces a ton of talent. Yet schools like Illinois and friggin' Minnesota beat us out for kids? Are they just dirtier? I know that Henry Mason being incapacitated probably hindered this year's recruiting efforts, but still. Maybe my expectations were out of whack. Maybe UW's staff members are such great talent evaluators that this class is full of overlooked gems? I certainly hope so. I guess we'll check back in four years.
To add fuel to the flame, a recent Sports Illustrated article said that a statistical analysis of the top players in the country and their college decisions revealed that the biggest things for kids are proximity, size of the stadium, and recent success. However, I don't think that necessarily explains things. How did the Zookster bring in so many good kids from DC? How does Notre Dame suck but then still get sick recruits? Anyone else out there have any theories about why UW doesn't recruit as well as it should? Or is it about where it should be, given the iffy talent Wisconsin produces?