Recruiting and Attrition Data

One way to measure recruiting is to look at the average ranking of classes by star average rather than total point. The reason is the average star looks at the average ranking of each recruit and is more predictive than total points which places emphasis on the size of the class. For example a class with 15 recruits and a 4.0 star average would be rated below a class with 25 recruits and a 2.5 star average.

We use Scout.com as they evaluate the west coast most favorably. This is according to a study by metrics superiority guy. He actually emailed ESPN’s Tom Luginbill and called him out on their absurd rankings which favor the SEC to the detriment of other regions and especially the west coast.

The graph below plots the ratings of classes by star average along with the SRS of each team that season. We put the 2016 class as 2015 since it really coincides with that season and not the future season. Anyway we looked at UW along with four other schools: Michigan St, Oregon, Stanford and Clemson. (If Petersen wins 10 this year his first few years will be quite similar to Dabo Swinney’s first few years at Clemson).

Click to enlarge.

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The point here for husky fans is note how Oregon and Stanford have consistently outperformed their recruiting rankings (black line-SRS is above blue-recruiting). Do note that both Oregon and Stanford’s recruiting by this metric is regressing. Oregon’s is much faster. Both schools show you don’t need to be recruiting in the top 10 to be a top 10 program. If you recruit in the top 20, build on it and then recruit in the top 15 you can be a regular playoff contender.

UW’s 2016 class (2015 by the chart) was tied for 17th. It was a small class but as far as the ranking it is the best UW has had probably since the class that followed the 2001 Rose Bowl win.

UW is off to a good start for the 2017 recruiting class. If Petersen can win 10+ this year and next year then UW has a great shot to recruit at that top 15 level. Petersen has already proved he can develop talent. Now he has to make this program nationally relevant in 2016 and 2017. If he does that UW could be a playoff contender in the years ahead.

This next chart shows attrition data for various schools dating back several years. We look at the 4-year average, so in 2012 it is the 4-year average from 2009-2012, then 2010-2013 for 2013 and so on.

Part of what hurt UW and creating a rebuild for Petersen was the awful attrition in UW’s recruiting classes under Steve Sarkisian. Those who hailed him as a great recruiter either ignored the fact that most of his recruits either: quit football, retired due to injury, transferred or flat out sucked. Even in Sark’s 5th year the 4-year attrition rate was at 44%! With a real coach (and adult) in charge, that has come down to 28% last year. Shoutout to Coker who compiled this data. I’ll bet the figure now is close to 20%.

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Top 5 and top 10 programs can have attrition around 30% because they bring in great recruits annually that can beat out players and cause them to transfer. Stanford has very low attrition because they don’t recruit the type of kids who transfer.

More comments on this later.

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