Part 2 - What 2-3 position groups is it most important to sign elite prospects?
I enjoyed reading all the comments and the answers Dawgnation sent in. There was actually a little consistency in some of the answers.
I had a strong opinion on what I thought the answer was but I also did a little research.
Over the past few weeks we have had a number of recruiters at the school and I asked them the same question. I also emailed a few of my friends who are coaches in various programs around the country.
I received responses from 16 total coaches at 16 different Div 1 schools. 4 Big 12, 3 American Athletic, 3 Mountain West, 2 Conference USA, 2 Sunbelt, 1 SEC and 1 Patriot League.
Only one of the schools had ever signed a 5* recruit - TCU - and they have only signed one.
Most all said that recruiting elite athletes at any position is important. Many also said that recruiting elite prospects at certain positions is almost impossible at their school. But they continue to try.
All 16 coaches (every single one) agreed on two positions that were the most important - OT and DT. One consistent reason mentioned is that there just aren't enough large athletic lineman to go around. One coach said that the drop off from a great OT or DT to an average one is very significant.
8 coaches said CB as one of their 3 choices, 6 said pass rusher (DE or OLB) and two said QB. The two that said QB are actually defensive coaches.
When asked about the least important position group to recruit elite prospects:
All 16 agreed on one position group - TE. Many of the schools didn't really recruit TEs. One coach said that there typically wasn't much separation in production between really good TEs and avg TEs. The position group choosen the 2nd most was WR. Every program I spoke to ran an up tempo spread offense where WR is very important. They try to recruit certain size and speed parameters but most ssid it just wasn't difficult to find good WRs.
Safety and guard was next in the number of picks for least important. A few picks for ILB and a few for RB.
What I learned was pretty consistent with what I had always thought. I don't believe that this suggests thst a George Pickens or Justin Ross isn't an important recruit. They are very important. It doesn't suggest that teams shouldn't try very hard to sign a Daxton Hill or Arik Gilbert - of course they should.
What it suggest is that there are certain positions that are very difficult to find really good players and there are other positions that aren't as difficult to find good players.
If I knew more coaches and I had more than 16 responses - there would probably be more inconsistencies in the answers. There probably really isn't a right answer.
At least Kirby can recruit 5*s in every position group and he's proven to be very good at it.