Thursday, June 3, 2010

We Never Graduate presents: The Recruiting Guru

Because I'm feeling a bit frisky (and attempting to carry Billy's carcass on this site) I thought it'd be a good time to introduce another feature we'll run weekly every Thursday or Friday until the season starts.

Recruiting has taken on a world of its own in college football. There are so many sites devoted to it now--Rivals, Scout, MaxPreps, ESPN--and the list seems to be continually growing. Grainy film of 17 year olds is used to formulate rankings and grown men pay $9.95 a month to read about other grown men dissecting the potential of these 17 year olds ad nauseum (and in Rivals' case, $9.95 to read Barry Every writing about these kids' bodies in a manner that makes you wonder if Chris Hansen will suddenly interject in one of his

So here at WNG we're going to help you wade through the quagmire of the recruiting sites. I've enlisted the help of the best talent evaluator I know. For anonymity's sake we will call him The Guru.

Little background: The Guru is an '08 Notre Dame grad, a former high school and interhall football star, a future coach, and probably has the record for most total Rivals film watched over the past six years. He's a go-to guy when it comes to getting a true read on a prospect and a true die-hard fan. Our freshman year we used to break down the depth chart every Calculus class and I'm totally convinced if you would've ta
ped all those conversations they were identical every single time.

During the Washington game last season he changed all his clothes four times over the course of the contest and ended up grasping a chain with no shirt on by the end. There's little doubt in my mind that neither of us will be allowed to watch ND games at age 40 due to doctor's orders.

To kick this series off we'll start with 2011 recruiting class verbal commit Matthias Farley.

Matthias Farley
Position: ATH (WR/CB...most likely CB)
Height/Weight: 6-2 185
Forty Time: 4.5
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Stats: 37 Catches 900 yds 12 Td's
Offer List: Duke, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, NC State, UCLA, Wisconsin

Good burst off the line of scrimmage and seems to be a legit 4.5 receiver...good feet (former soccer player)...good body control and shows the ability to catch the ball at the highest point...soft hands- catches the football with his hands (rarely lets the ball get into his body)...Not much film on defense (only shows him playing as a safety in a cover 2 defense), however his soccer background leads me to believe he has good hips and good feet which are very important skills to have at the cornerback position...He has a brother that played football for East Carolina.

Doesn't use his hands to fight the jam at the line of scrimmage(he can get away with this at the HS level because of his quickness but will need to develop this skill to be successful in college if he ends up on the offensive side of the ball)...shows that he has the ability to make moves in the open-field however he does not seem to run with power (think of your boy Neon Deion Walker)...will need to improve his strength...tackles too high...only his first year of football (he is not a kid that grew up loving the game).

My evaluation for his overall contribution is based heavily on the fact that he has good feet and hips, an assumption based on the fact that he was a former soccer player.

His HS coach describes him as a physical kid that is coachable, has raw athletic ability, and can flat out fly. Notre Dame is recruiting him as a cornerback despite that fact that he played very little defense in his only year of football. He's probably the hardest prospect to evaluate due to the fact that he has only played one year of football and the Irish are recruiting him at a position he has played very little (and which there is virtually no film available to evaluate him from).

I question his toughness but it is clear that he has the athleticism to be a Division I player. The fact that he his first year of football can be looked at as both a positive and a negative. The positive is in only one year he managed to impress numerous D-I coaches. The negative is he's not the type of kid that grew up loving the game.

Initially I wanted to draw comparisons to Shane Walton due to the soccer background. However, after evaluating his strengths and weaknesses I would compare him to Darrin Walls. He is a three-star prospect with four-star potential. I think that if he buys into Kelly's system he will develop the strength that he needs to be a successful collegiate cornerback. He will never be a big-hitter or a corner that is known for his tackling ability, but he has the potential to be a great cover-corner.

Where He Fits:
Assuming Gary Gray and Robert Blanton both stay for their final years, he will not see the field as a freshman (he'll need the red-shirt year anyway). Both corner back spots should be open his sophomore year. Will he be ready? Probably not, but the only other corners on the depth chart are Spencer Boyd, Lo Wood, and EJ Banks so who knows. Shane Walton came from farther in left field than Farley will be coming from so anything can happen.

No comments:

Post a Comment