The View From 217 - Rankings and Recruiting

Well, signing day has come and gone. WVU has inked some pretty good prospects. Some have qualified, some haven't. Some who haven't qualified, will, and some will not. Now the recruiting rankings are coming out. And if you can make heads or tails of it, you deserve the Nobel Prize.

It is a good thing that recruiting rankings are not included in the BCS rankings, or WVU would never have a shot. It is a well known fact that recruit X would be a five star if he signed with Notre Dame, but he becomes a three star if he signs with us.

The theory being, if he is going to WVU instead of Notre Dame, there must be a reason. And don't try to sell them the idea that it is because they like WVU better.

In the end, recruiting rankings are about as relevant to what happens on the field as the weight of the water boy. Even if it is Adam Sandler.

A recruiting class can realistically only be judged on its accomplishments, not its potential. I have it on good authority they don't keep stats during a ballgame comparing recruiting class rankings. The ranking of your recruiting class doesn't get you style points in the Place Your Name Here Bowl.

Games are won and lost on the field. Coaches recruit kids who they believe will fit into their system. They recruit kids who meet certain needs, whether they be immediate, or distant.

West Virginia has made a pretty good living off of signing kids who were considered "sleepers", turning them into pretty darn good players, and sending some of them to the NFL. West Virginia has also signed some pretty solid recruits, only to see them fall way short of expectations. Mike Booth, Osa Nosa and Sedrick Lewis come immediately to mind.

Let's remember, most recruiting services never heard of Amos or Avon before they came to school on the banks of the Mon River.

Results are all that matters. Mark my words, if WVU rips off four or five straight winning seasons, wins their bowl games, and turns into a yearly top 15 school, the recruiting ranking will climb with it. Fact of the matter is, had Virginia Tech signed the exact same kids WVU did, their class would be ranked higher. It is respect of their on field performance.

Certainly, if Rich and the other coaches went out and signed all 22 kids off the USA Today All-American team, the class would be ranked right up there in the top spot. But realistically, that doesn't happen for anyone.

One more thing to harp upon. People will talk during the football season, and rank this class based upon who helped out big time this season. People will call the class a failure if we have six props and none of the other freshmen become first year starters.

I'd point out that is really unfair. Because if you are needing your first year freshmen to contribute more than just a supporting role in the upcoming season, you have a problem. And it is a problem that won't be fixed with one recruiting class.

Judge these players in four to five years. Judge them by who stayed, who played, who sat, who left early, and how many games they won.

That is the only way to do it.

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