The 2022 recruiting season is basically over. There are still two unsigned 5-stars. There are no unsigned 4-stars in the Rivals 250.
For the last 4 or 5 years I have been gathering recruiting data for the 65 P5 teams. I use Rivals data. Yes, there are some other sites (24/7, 24/7 composite, ESPN, and On3) but to be consistent and because I consider Rivals the easiest to understand & duplicate, I use Rivals.
For those of you who are not steeped in the intricacies of Rivals ranking here is this explanation from Rivals: https://n.rivals.com/news/rivals-com-football-team-recruiting-rankings-formula
The chart (Pitt’s) below shows the basic Rivals formula at work. All the key points are covered – Stars (5 thru 2), Rivals Rating ( 6.1 thru 5.2), Points awarded (150 to 15). The only thing missing are Rivals bonus points awarded for a recruit listed in their top 250. Unlike the 2021 class, both of Pitt’s 4 stars were not in the top 250.
For those interested in the math behind the chart, here is a simple explanation:
- Avg Star Ranking – Multiply your total number of 5-stars by five, your total number of 4-stars by 4 and do the same for the 3 and 2-stars. Sum those numbers and divide by the total number of recruits. Pitt’s cumulative stars are 37. Divided by 12 gives a 3.08 average star ranking. Rivals includes all committed recruits in this ranking be it 29 (Texas A&M, Georgia) or seven (Kansas).
- Rival Points Ranking (20 or less commits) – Multiply the number of recruits in the assigned Rivals “Rating” (6.1 down to 5.2) by the assigned “Points” for that “Rating”( 150 down to 15). (Example: Pitt’s two 4-stars have a rating of 5.8. Multiply the assigned “Points” (105) by two (recruits) for a total of 210.) Sum the individual Ratings and you have the basis for how Rivals ranks team except for:
- Rivals Points Ranking (21 or more commits) – Rivals only uses a team’s 20 top rated commits in calculating a team’s points. Calculation is the same as above bullet point #2 but includes only the top 20 commits.
- In addition, Rivals awards bonus points for commits in the Rivals 250. These points are awarded in addition to the calculated points in bullet points 2 or 3. The points awarded range from 100 for the number one recruit down to 3 points for numbers 246 thru 250.
- Numerical Rivals Ranking (NRR) – This is my attempt at judging the overall quality of a team’s commits. It uses Rivals Ratings (61 thru 5.2) as the basis. It sums the value of each rating and divides by the total commits. In Pitt’s case, the value is 5.608.
I’m sorry for the long winded explanation. In the future (if I’m still doing a recruiting recap), I will just throw in a link to this article.
Did you notice I used the word “commit(s)” in all those bullet points? Unlike 24/7 and On3, Rivals in their data, includes a recruit that commits but is not signed (Verbal). I know the grandparents of one recruit who received an offer and committed to a FBS team but then ran afoul of the law. He will not sign with that team. Others, not signed, could be over eager recruits who verbally committed but had no chance of receiving a real offer or have grade problems.
I was always under the impression that the majority of college football teams used walk-on’s as their punters or placekickers (a ‘K” on most recruiting sites) and then later placed on scholarship. I thought Pitt did both (Alex Kessman was a walk-on) but has trended to offering scholarships. That and the fact Clemson signed two “K’s” in the 2022 class got me to wondering if ACC teams used walk-ons or scholarships. Including the 2018 class (five classes), eight ACC teams have signed two scholarship K’s. The other six teams have signed one (Louisville, UNC, and Virginia Tech), three (Wake Forest and Miami). Clemson signed four.
I like to color code my charts to point out what I consider interesting items. I will be highlighting ”K’s” in yellow and unsigned commits in pink. Georgia Tech is in brownish orange as they are both in same 5.5 3-star rating.
The chart shows the 2022 ACC recruiting ranking sorted by Rivals rankings.
Pitt comes in as Rivals 71’st ( 13’th ACC) ranked recruiting class (out of 100). That is mainly due to the small class size (12). Our new Aussie 5.2 2-star punter (I wonder if he knows my Aussie cousins) doesn’t help our 9’th place finish in the ACC for star ranking. Using NRR, Pitt comes in 7’th in the ACC.
Clemson signed nine player with a rating of 5.6 or lower. The highest number for Clemson since I began tracking recruiting data in 2016. But they also signed the overall #3 recruit in QB Cade Klubnic. Will he follow the 2018 overall #1 recruit Trevor Lawrence? Lawrence sat on the bench for three games before starting. Clemson needs at least average QB play to reclaim the Atlantic.
I am done with ACC recruiting but I promised “More” in the heading. On to the Rivals top 100 rankings concentrating on the P5 teams. In the 2021 class, only one team (Oregon State ) did not make the Rivals top 100. This year, there were two (Arizona State and Kansas). In the 21 class, the lowest ranked P5 teams that made the top 100 were tied for #78 (Texas Tech and South Carolina). This class had Washington come in at #96.
The chart below shows the number of P5 recruits by stars since 2013.
The transfer portal continues to have an impact on recruiting. The 2022 class was also impacted by the return to the 85 man scholarship limit combined with the additional covid year. Overall, recruits are down 316 from its 2014 peak. Class size decreased while average stars increased. Besides the signing of 2-stars, the lower rated 3-star are suffering.
On to the tidbits.
Pitt’s twelve recruits are tied for the fifth lowest number in the Rivals 100 (plus two). Kansas (7), Southern Cal (8), Washington and Arizona State (9) have fewer. Pitt is tied with UCLA, South Florida, and Southern Methodist at twelve. Sothern Cal class, while small in size, come in at # 6 in Star Ranking’s (3.75).
The highest rated non-P5 team is Cincinnati at #41 – nineteen recruits, two 4-stars, and a 3.05 star rating.
In the 2021 class, Jackson State was the first division 1-FCS team to make the Rivals top 100 list. Head Coach “Neon” Deion Sanders did not reel in a ranked class this year but did sign the overall #1 recruit (5-star) in the 2022 class. He also reeled in the 50’th rated player a 4-star. He may be shifting to the transfer portal for recruits as he has sighed two from Florida State and a former 5-star from Miami. Since Jackson State is in Mississippi, it wouldn’t surprise me that Sanders picked up way more from the SEC.
But the FCS was not shut out. To my surprise and delight, out of the Big South Conference (the FCS conference that Robert Morris joined for football) are the 80’th ranked Campbell Fighting Camels. The Fighting Camels reeled in one 4-star (# 185). Campbell is located in Buies Creek, NC.
I am not delighted at the Fighting Camels as a football team but from the memories the mention of Campbell and nickname (Fighting Camels) dredges up. Back in my 20’s and 30’s, there was a freight line called Campbell 66 Express headquartered in Springfield, Missouri. They had a service area that stretched from Missouri to North Carolina. What always made me smile was seeing their logo (a Camel) but more importantly to my juvenile mind was their motto.
I have been waiting for years to work this into an article or comment. I am sorry if you find it a tad blue.
A nice article by ESPN on the Campbell Fighting Camels and their recruiting prowess. This ESPN article was written 2/23 about a week after I finished this article.
I will be doing an ACC Transfer Portal article. I was planning to include it in this article, but this piece is already too long.