Mac Attack 02/07/13: ESPN’s National Director of Recruiting Tom Luginbill joined the show to breakdown how teams from around the nation and our local teams did on signing day.
First question out of the gate from the guys was concerning the rumors regarding deregulation in College Football recruiting.
“They’re trying, and I think there’s good intentions here, to start allowing these coaches to communicate on the spectrums and wavelengths that the kids are communicating now, which is texting, Facebook, Twitter. And they want these coaches to have more contact to make better assessments, but in doing so, there is not ever going to be any down time. As I’ve been saying, you better have a waterproof cell phone, because (these coaches) are going to be on them in the shower.”
He also had some thoughts on how deregulation could favor certain programs if implemented.
“Really what’s going to happen now is… it’s going to allow the programs with the most resources, the most finances to really expand their evaluation in-house personnel group to meet their own individual needs, knowing full well that not each and every program is going to be on an equal level field with those available resources… So it’s going to get really interesting here in the next two three years, and I actually think it’s going to lead to some more streamlined rules and maybe some tweaks after they go through this and see some of the pitfalls that are going to come up”
A lot of schools had great dyas on National Signing day, but he was asked which programs may have had the best day.
“We certainly felt that Alabama closed out the day and put together the strongest class from top to bottom… But the reality is, you won’t truly know for two to three years down the road just how good a class is. I think Alabama hit exactly the way they needed to overall. I really felt that Ohio State in the Big 10 and Urban Meyer took big strides overall and ended up finish in our top 5, at number 3. Florida ended up finishing up number 2, but the story, the buzz, all the exposure yesterday seemed to fall on Ole Miss.”
The conversation then transitioned from the national stage to a more local scene and to which school had the best signing day in the state South Carolina.
“Dabo (Swinney and Clemson) closed very well, and that’s three years in a row now that they’ve closed extremely well…. It’s one of those classes where they felt they did a really nice job at receiver… and really hit on a lot of positions across the board. South Carolina did a fine job too, but South Carolina’s class, for the most part, had been closed out and solidified, long before National Signing Day. What they do a really good job of is recruiting to their needs and then holding on to them; protecting their guys down the stretch so they don’t lose them.”
Urban Meyer and Ohio State recruited well and he spoke to prevailing notion that the Buckeyes could be that school that dethrones the SEC.
” I think that there’s an opportunity. The challenge for Urban Meyer and Ohio State.. is when he used to sit in his office in Gainesville, he could throw a rock out of his window, in any direction, and hit the premium postions that make a difference in college football… That is much more of a challenge in the geographical region that he draws from in the player pool now at Ohio State… But don’t kid yourself. Urban Meyer was sitting on the sideline on our broadcast of the National Championship game and he’s looking over his shoulder, and he knew before that ball was even kicked off that Notre Dame was in big trouble; just on the eye test alone. And he realizes that his team right now probably matches up a lot better with Notre Dame, far more than they would with Alabama, but he’s had those guys that match up well with Alabama, so he knows what it takes. I just think that the challenge if getting there will be more difficult at Ohio State than it was at Florida.”
He then spoke on his own recruiting experience, coming out of the Junior College ranks, and how much the process has changed throughout the years.
“The thing that’s so interesting about that, at that time, is when there’s no internet and there’s no readily accessible information, there’s no media coverage, there’s no exposure, the whole process was so much easier for kids and coaches, alike, because you didn’t have to deal with all the auxiliary things we have to deal with now.”
We couldn’t leave South Carolina’s northern neighbor out of the mix for National Recruiting Day and he had some very flattering comments regarding the job Larry Fedora did at the University of North Carolina and described the challenge Dave Doeren and his staff faced at NC State.
“I think that Coach Fedora did and outstanding job. And keep in mind, he’s recruting a ‘promise of the future.’ This is what it’s going to take. We’re almost there. We’re going to be back up to full complement. We’ve got a real chance to do something here. Stick with us. This is going to take another turn here. I think with Dave Doeren and NC State it was a much more difficult challenge coming in at the time in which he did. Understanding the challenges before him, not only for the program, but for him and his staff, who are now trying to get themselves in a position with highs schools, high school coaches, regions that they aren;t overly familiar with, because it hasn’t been what has been their fertile recruiting ground… It’ll be interesting. I think we judge NC State going forward, when you give a coaching staff a full calendar year to lay down their blueprint.”