An additional 2,250-word edition will be available in the Badger Nation Recruiting Yearbook, which comes out in March.
Badger Nation: It seems like players are targeted earlier and earlier in their high school careers these days. It is not like basketball where you can watch them play AAU when they're freshmen. When do you really start assessing players and when do you formulate your rankings of guys at different positions?
Jeremy Sinz: Typically we don't put our board together until a kid is entering his senior year. That is when a kid will enter our board, our recruiting board, so-to-speak. I would tell you kids get assessed the first time we have a chance to see them in our camp or the first chance we get to watch them on film. Again, you've seen the volumes of film we have in this office. If you are watching a kid that's a senior-to-be or a senior film and all of a sudden some kid's jumping off the tape and you are wondering who the heck he is and you happen to look at the roster and the kid's only a sophomore, well, obviously now you start to pay attention to that kid a little bit. Maybe his name gets slid into a different category of a top kid in that age group. But I will tell you typically we don't put them on our board until they are entering their senior year. The NCAA also regulates the recruitment process a great deal and does not allow you to begin mailing kids until their junior year.
The Internet is a mass form of information as well and we've talked—you know my feelings on the information on the Internet. Until there's some type of guidelines—the biggest problem with the Internet is it is mass information but none of it has to be viable at all and it doesn't matter. There is no repercussion for that. So the biggest challenge with the information, not only for guys like myself, but for kids, is sorting out what is real and what's BS. I don't know that the Internet has done anything great for recruiting. It's obviously changed the landscape of recruiting no doubt, but I don't know that it's changed it for the better to be honest with you.
BN: Maybe without naming names, is there anyone out there that you will actually look at and trust their assessments?
JS: Yeah, a little bit, but not really. That is the reason I love working for coach Alvarez: the assessment that we are going to use is our assessment. There is no question, you use the [Internet] to find who whatever service it might be has listed as their top juniors. I'm at the point now where I'm printing those lists off to go through them, checking them with information we have, do follow up on those kinds of things and obviously the more of those you have, the more cross-references, the more times a guy shows up on a list, most likely the better prospect he is. The Internet has been incredible for that but it can be an unbelievable self-promotion tool too. Guys can call these services, throw out a bunch of names and numbers and none of it has to be true. The service doesn't necessarily have the time to check all these things or won't because again there's no repercussions so it doesn't matter. And now you've got guys promoting themselves and the self-made-All-American that in reality has nobody recruiting him or really isn't that good. The Internet is a great source of information and you have to, like anything, I guess, digest and cut up and piece it together and figure out what you are going to believe and what you are not going to believe and what it can do for you. As long as you understand that going into it I still think the net can be a heck of a tool, but I would not base my recruiting philosophies on it. I know that for sure.