Inside The Game: Distance In Recruiting

Ever wonder just how far recruits are willing to travel? Exactly what defines "staying close to home?" Well, see how far Top 50 prospects were willing to travel this year.

One of the common themes in recruiting deals with just how far players are willing stray from their families and leave the comfort of their homes to attend college. In order to further examine this aspect of recruiting, we've taken a look at the Top 50 players in the country and broken down their college choices by distance.

Of the 44 players in our Top 50 who signed early/committed, 20 signed with schools less than 200 miles from their homes. The average recruit signed with a school 535 miles from his home.

If you throw out the high and low -- Kennedy Winston who signed with California (2,323 miles from his home) and Brandon Roy who signed with Washington (3 miles from his home) -- that average drops to 480 miles per recruit.

So, how is "close to home" or "staying home" defined? Well, to this observer, "close to home" needs to be defined by 200 miles or approximately 3.5 hours from home. Working off that assumption then 45% of the players in the Top 50 opted to remain "close to home."

The following (Chart. No. 1) describes just how far Top 50 prospects are willing to travel for college. Of our pre-season Top 50 players, 44 made commitments.

 1-200 miles 201-500 miles 501-1,000 miles 1,001+ Miles
20 4 13 7

Of the 20 players who signed with schools less than 200 miles from their homes, here's a breakdown (Chart No. 2) of just how close they strayed from their residence in relation to campus.

less than 20 miles 21 - 100 miles 101 - 200 miles
6 5 9

Chart No. 3 details the conferences and how far each traveled to land its recruits. The numbers are skewed because they only take into account Top 50 players. Some conferences like the WAC and C-USA didn't sign many players in the Top 50 so the numbers aren't representative.

Also, most of the Top 50 recruits signed by the SEC this year inked with Florida and the Gators recruit nationally, which skews the conference's number.

However, it's interesting to compare and contrast just for kicks.

Scout Hoops Top Stories

Conference (avg. distance per recruit in miles) 1-200 miles 201-500 miles 501-1,000 miles 1,001 miles or greater
ACC (544) 5 1 5 1
Big Ten (425) 5 0 3 1
Big East (467) 4 1 2 1
SEC (650) 1 1 2 1
PAC 10 (868) 2 1 0 2
Big 12 (938) 1 0 0 1
C-USA (381) 1 0 1 0
WAC (6) 1 0 0 0