The Rutgers Talent Gap: Inside the Recruiting Numbers

Rutgers ranks in the middle of the pack in Big Ten recruiting, so where is the talent discrepancy? Scarlet Report goes inside the numbers where roster turnover and player departures create significant depth concerns at Rutgers.

Recruiting talent is critical for any team, but it doesn't win games. But that talent needs to both stay in the program and develop before it translates to victories, and a 48-10 loss for Rutgers at Wisconsin showcases the talent issue.

"I don't really spend a lot of time trying to describe it," said coach Kyle Flood when asked about lopsided losses. "We evaluate the film and then we evaluate everything we did and then we move forward. We make the corrections, and we work towards being better. Players that are in our program played yesterday that weren't in the games last year, so again, we don't spend any time trying to describe it."

The 2012, 2013 and 2014 classes should represent the heart of the Rutgers roster and majority of on-field role players. We took a deeper look at the three recruiting classes (the first three under coach Kyle Flood) to see where the talent issue arises, where only 63 percent of those classes remain on the roster.

Class Year
Players Signed Still with on Rutgers Roster Number of Departures (transfer, dismissal, injury) Class Ranking Average Star Ranking on Signing Day Average Star Ranking after Departures
2012 (seniors & RS juniors) 20 13 7 T-31 3.05 2.85

2013 (juniors & RS sophomores)

22 14 8 T-31 2.91 2.86
2014 (sophomores and RS freshmen) 26 16 10 55 2.64 2.62

Inside the Numbers

  • Of Kyle Flood’s first three recruiting classes, 37 percent are no longer with the program.
  • The 25 scholarship departures from Flood's first three seasons create depth problems when replaced by transfers, walk ons and freshmen.
  • Between 12 decommitments and 10 player departures, Rutgers essentially lost a full recruiting class during the 2014 season.
  • Of the top 10 signed recruits in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 recruiting classes, 60 percent suited up against Wisconsin and 30 percent started.
  • Of the top 10 signed recruits in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 recruiting classes, 13 percent are out for injury reasons, and 26 percent are gone from the program.
  • The average star rating of Rutgers starters against Wisconsin was 2.9.
  • Rutgers outscored its Big Ten opponents by 7.5 points per game in victories.
  • Big Ten opponents outscored Rutgers by 27.9 points per game in losses.

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