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Iowa Not Spending Time Recruiting Florida Any More?

  • I do think it's possible to build those relationships over a 3-4 year span. However, keep in mind that there are only so many days where the coaches can be on the road recruiting. So every hour spent in CA or FL is an hour not being spent in another place.

  • I agree with Todd and think it's a good idea to get out of Florida for right now. People need to realize that even when we tried we hardly ever found a guy that ended up doing anything at Iowa. I would much rather focus on Texas, Ohio, Illinois (obviously), and along the east coach.

  • So...

    Brad Banks (Heisman runner-up), Mo Brown (one of the most talented receivers Ferentz has had at Iowa), and Abdul Hodge (one of the best linebackers Ferentz has had at Iowa), Colin Cole, Fred Barr, Antwan Allen, CJ Jones, all from Florida, didn't end up doing anything?

  • AMEN!

    As the other post also mentioned, go out and sell yourself and your program. Par for the course though. Conservative philosophy in coaching carries over to conservative philosophy in recruiting. Afraid of rejection I guess. Sure wish we had some aggressive coaches. We need some coaches with fire in their bellies.

    Apparently, it is just easier to be a .500 B1G school and let us all know we are just poor ol' Iowa to get off the hook.

  • These FLA kids were a huge part of the early 2000's run. Also had some kids outta Cal that contributed. Throw in quite a few JUCO kids.

    I know Ive been in the minority with my disappointment in last years recruiting effort. Everybody has a boner cause we have landed 2 in state 4*s this year. We should land ALL 4* instate lineman and most skill guys. ISU got a nice legacy 4* in Lazard.

    The recruiting game passed KF by years ago.
    To have an asst coach say in public that we arent recruiting FLA is crazy.
    We struck out down there this year so we are done?
    We have some FLA attrition so we are done?
    Our OC doesnt travel to his home state of TX to recruit?
    Our DC doesnt travel to recruit?
    Think KF will take advantage of the new recruiting rules?
    Ask Texas fans what they think Bobby Kennedy. They will tell you Kennedy should be a DB coach because nobody shuts down WRs like him. KF has offically put all his eggs in the GDGD basket and the only ones not laughing are Hawk fans.

    RIP Iowa Football: 1889-2009

  • Some people seem to think that the athletes in Texas and Florida are better than the athletes of the Mid West. In a way it is right but that sentence fails to tell the story. This is how I see it and keep in mind I lived in Texas for just over 30 years and played football there. I also lived in Florida and I have family that lives there, so I see the kids up close.
    #1 The players down south have sports year round! As a kid my friends and I could have football, baseball, basketball, soccer, you name it, all year! If it snowed then we would play that afternoon when it melted. About 5 years before I moved here, we had a Christmas where the temp was 85. No kidding, it's usually cooler than that but you get the point.
    If kids stay active all year then they are in better shape and they learn the game by playing it instead of by playing a video game. My nephews in Florida play in a baseball league twice a year. They start the second one about the time that kids in Iowa knock the dust from their balls (pun intended).

    #2 Coaching!!! Many serious coaching candidates want to be in those states because of the reasons that I mentioned above. They want players that they can train year round!

    #3 Football is HUGE in those states and because of that and family tradition, the percentage of kids playing the sport is higher than in the Mid West (I have never seen any hard numbers to back that up but I really belive that it is true). I can't stress to you strongly enough how big football is in Texas.

    Coaching makes a difference and players training all year make a big difference and family tradition plays a HUGE part in it.

    So what do we have when we compare those players to Iowa recruits? Imo, Iowa coaches have done a great job of building up players and helping them train all year. With the indoor field the guys can get what the southern schools already have and they don't have to deal with 110 temps either. But how do we know if they are as good as Texas and Florida recruits? They may be behind them in some ways and probably are, but with the training and a GREAT strength coach Iowa can even the playing field.
    I remember after we played Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl, I read where one of their players said that they were shocked at how big and athletic Iowa's players were. How could he say that if Southern players are better? The coaching staff knows that enviorment is the key. There is no food or water that the south has that makes those guys the way they are. It's only the enviorment and it was recreated here to a large degree by the coaches. Once the freshman join the fold then the ones that are behind the others, start to join them when they get the chance to train year round.
    Thank you for reading my two somewhat worthless cents.peace

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by CrestHawk69 14 months ago

  • From what I've gathered....they break Florida down into 4 areas and have a staff member assigned to each one, including both the OC and DC.

  • A great look there Crest.

    A couple of things. Its not just that its a higher percentage, its also that there are simply far more kids playing in the South than in the Midwest. Population trends show that families are moving into the South more and more.

    And also, the recruits and players we had in that Orange Bowl were better than what we have now. Particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

  • That's interesting - thanks for sharing. In that case, I would imagine one of the head coach's main goals when building his staff was to be as active as possible in Florida. Sounds like it's starting to pay off for them. Do you know if those four coaches previously had experience recruiting in Florida, or if they're doing it for the first time at BG? This could be an interesting test case.

  • True, true!
    FWIW, I bet the defense is only a year away from returning. I know we need a great DE but Clayborn was not the super fast DE that we all now want on the team but more of a strong side DE. We get those types already aboard, the question is will they be anywhere near as good as he was. Of course we still need to know if the DC can fit the bill.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by CrestHawk69 14 months ago

  • The OC, Warren Ruggiero has none that I can see. Coached at Hofstra, K State, Elon before BG, along with Defiance college in Ohio and Glenville St in WV. Graduated from Delaware in '88.

    The DC, Mike Elko has none that I can see. Coached at Penn, US Merchant Marine Academy (!), Fordham, Richmond, Hofstra and BG.

    The grad assistant, Ian Pace, graduated from Fordham in '09

    The secondary coach, Nick Monroe coached at Colgate before BG, so I'm gonna say no to him too.

    All guys with ties to the Northeast.

    They had 3 kids from Florida in 2012, but 7 in 2011. Most of those in '11 were low level 2☆'s, but they've trended upwards.

  • Just wanted to weigh in on the dialogue between Crest and OhioHawk about the talent in Florida/Texas/California versus the Midwest. First of all, great discussion here. I'm really enjoying reading everyone's thoughts on this.

    You guys make great points about the ability to train year-round, the cultural emphasis on the sport and the population trends. Another thing to consider is the way high school coaches are compensated. My understanding is that high school coaches in Texas make much, much, much more than they do in just about any other state in the country. Many head coaches make over $100,000 and have zero teaching obligations. I personally know several assistant coaches in Texas that make 60-65 and teach four periods per day, max. They aren't coordinators, they're position coaches. On the other hand, in most other states, even the head coaches are just making a relatively small stipend, and the assistant coaches make even less than that, and also have to teach 6-7 periods a day, and they're teaching salaries are much less as well. For that reason, the quality of coaching and strength training that the kids in Texas are exposed to is far superior to any other state.

    As Crest pointed out, I think the playing field ultimately evens out once the kids get to the college level and are exposed to the same level of coaching and strength training. But I do think this is a significant issue in the evaluation of prospects, because a lot of kids in Texas may look much better relative to kids elsewhere due to those aforementioned advantages. With that in mind, some of them may not have as high of a ceiling, while the ceiling for kids from other parts of the country might be much higher. IMO, this is one major reason (the incredible disparity between the level of coaching and strength training that high school kids are exposed to) why so many recruits slip through the cracks every year.

    Another thing, and you guys sort of alluded to this, but I don't think the kids are made any differently down in the south, in TX or in CA than kids in the Midwest. Keep in mind that CA, TX and FL are the three most populated states in the country (NY and FL are very close, but NYC - a city that produces very few elite college football players per capita - accounts for the majority of that). With that in mind, it's no surprise that the sheer number of prospects each of those states turns out will be higher than an OH, PA or IL.

    With those two factors in mind, I really don't think there's a long term difference between the per capita quality of prospects produced by any of those states versus an OH or PA. With Iowa having a much, much better shot at landing the top (or close to the top) prospects in OH/PA as opposed to CA/TX/FL, I think it makes the most sense to double down in those two midwestern states and hit them harder than ever before.

  • Thanks for the info. I don't know much about the backgrounds of those guys, but it's possible the OC developed some ties in FL while he was at Elon, and maybe the DC did so while at Richmond. Either way, though, this will be very interesting to monitor moving forward, not only how many recruits from Florida that they continue to land, but how those kids pan out for them.

  • I know someone who coached HS ball in Missouri. He made Mo. teaching salary money but only had to teach one class of weight lifting.

    The playing field may level out eventually, but the problem is that Ferentz's system seems to be set up to bring people in, get them on the wt. lifting program and develop them to be good players by their RS soph year. That would have worked better in the good ol' days but these days with the 85 limit and injuries and people leaving, you don't always have time to develop your entire recruiting class. If you don't recruit any of these players who train year round and are ready to go their frosh year, you are going to be treading water. Ferentz almost always used to RS every player coming in but now doesn't have that luxury.

    Ferentz has never made it a secret that he hates recruiting. I don't think we see the same effort with our recruiting that some of the other schools have. He hates it and he hasn't sent his OC and DC out recruiting. I feel our efforts and attitude toward recruiting are two of the main reasons we continue to be a middle of the pack B1G school. I think we should be always be in the upper half of the league. We have the money and better facilities than other B1G schools that we can't surpass.We aren't taking advantage of it. Our recruiting expenditures reflect that.

  • Bielema recruited all of those players. He's now been gone for the last 10-11 years.

    2003: 0 of 1
    Chris Brevi (MISS): Transfered

    2004: 1 of 1
    Damian Sims (HIT)

    2005: 0 of 2
    Vernon Jackson (MISS): Transfered
    Kalvin Bailey (MISS): Transfered

    2006: 0 of 2
    Lance Tillison (MISS): Never factored into two deep
    Troy Johnson (MISS): Never factored into two deep

    2007: 0 of 1
    Jevon Pugh (MISS): Transfered

    2008: 0 of 2
    Jeff Brinson (MISS): Transfered
    David Blackwell (MISS): Academics

    2009: 0 of 1
    Josh Brown (MISS): Transfered

    2010: 0 of 1
    De’Andre Johsnon (MISS): Transfered

    2011: To Be Determined
    Torrey Campbell: TBD
    Jake Rudock: TBD

    2012: To Be Determined
    Damantas Venckus: TBD
    Greg Mabin: TBD

    It hasn't worked out for Iowa in Florida for a long time.

  • Bret B. had fire in his belly and wanted to prove himself. So basically what you are saying is that KF hasn't done a good job replacing Bret B.

  • Was your friend in Missouri a position coach, or the head coach? It does happen every now and then in other states where the head coach has a set up similar to that. And in Ohio, I've heard that there have been head coaches that make over $100,000 without having to teach. But whereas that's very common in Texas, it may be the case at less than five schools throughout Ohio. And the assistants at those schools aren't getting anywhere near the set up that they get in Texas.

    I don't think you necessarily need to regularly bring in prospects that can contribute (beyond special teams) as a true freshman. The key is to minimize your misses each year, so the vast majority of recruits you sign develop into solid contributors at the very least.

    Regarding recruiting, I'd honestly be surprised if more than 25% of college coaches actually like it, yet they all know they have to do it. So I'm not sure Ferentz's dislike for it is overly relevant. He and/or his staff don't have to like it in order to do well at it. I've said multiple times that I disagree with his approach of not sending his coordinators on the road as much as other schools do. I think that definitely hurts Iowa. But I don't think he takes that approach just because he doesn't like recruiting.

  • Todd, great post. I hear that a lot about various programs in Texas.

    But, the interesting dicotomy is the fact that I'm told Florida coaches don't reap the same benefits as coaches in Texas. So, if true, how is that Florida continues to churn out a disproportionate number of elite athletes, from, let's say a state like NY? It can't be coaching in Florida. It has to be strictly the natural talent and the amount of time spent playing football - which is why Iowa shouldn't be saying that the benefits of an increased presence on the east coast equates to Florida. I'm not sure if there is a successful school in the nation that ignores Florida except for maybe Cali or Texas schools.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by lumuhawk 14 months ago

  • Great point here, and I'm glad you mentioned it. You're absolutely right - while coaches in Texas are paid very, very well, that isn't nearly the case in CA or FL. Comparing those two to NY, most of NY's population is heavily concentrated in NYC, where a lot of schools don't even field football programs. I'm not sure whether that's due to a lack of space for fields, financial concerns or what. But that's my understanding why there's such a disparity in terms of the quality of talent coming out of CA and FL versus NY.

    The climate in CA and FL definitely help to a certain extent, but then again, states like AZ, NV and NM aren't producing anywhere near that level of talent. So I think a lot of it gets back to the population in CA and FL providing such a large pool of recruits each year.

  • Good discussion.

    Getting back to the original thought regarding abandoning Florida, my take is that Iowa should recruit every state, but do so with efficiency in mind. There's no point chasing the "belle of the ball" only to lose out on all the other dates.

    What I would like to see is Iowa take advantage of its reputation at the OL and TE positions. Our program is well-represented in the NFL at those positions, and we shouldn't sell ourselves short in terms of how that is perceived by recruits. As far as I'm concerned, the coaches should be reaching out to every top level recruit in the country at those particular spots to gauge interest. If a blue-chip player lights up a little, we should jump at the opportunity. We may not land him, but there is at least a reasonable chance, AND, perhaps even more importantly, that allows us to gain access to that coaching staff and develop those relationships that are extremely important and could pay off down the road.

  • Kirk actually hinted at this during one of his press conferences quite a while ago. I guess I'm a little surprised that everyone is surprised by this. This cat has been out of the bag for a while.

  • Hmmm, I thought he was being facetious/sarcastic by listing a bunch of guys I'd never heard of (or at least can't remember).

  • Head coach and the lifting 'class' was primarily for football. LOL.

    Injuries are a crapshoot and we seem to have more than our fair share of kids leaving, then you have the kids who never develop. I don't think you have the luxury of bringing in 25 guys and having to spend time trying to develop the majority of them to be ready as RS sophs.

    I think the young, single coaches do like recruiting. Traveling around, trying to sell the program, hobnobbing, wining and dining. You have to have a certain personality to be a great recruiter. It's a sales job. Some people like selling and get that thrill on the recruiting trail. I think to be a successful recruiter, you really have to have an ego. You have to be ooze confidence that your program is it. I have friends who have recruited for various sports at various levels (JUCO thru DI). For the most part, they enjoy it. It's a lot of go, go, go especially during the peak period, but they feed off that high of getting someone to commit. Coaches who are married and have kids, they don't like it so much because it does involve being gone a lot.

    As little as Ferentz says, he has certainly vocalized he doesn't like recruiting. Aren't we like 10th or 11th in the league in money spent on recruiting? I think we could definitely amp up our recruiting and not be so conversative.

  • You will never be queen if you don't chase after the prince, either.

  • Neat.

    KF hinted at one of his press conferences quite a while no more recruiting Florida. Every Iowa website has a lenghty thread on this topic since yesterday, but the cats been out of the bag for a while.

    Neat.