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Drew Thurman (8:36 am)

He's Back! Well, Tressel has found a replacement for Doug Davis, the assistant strength coach who headed to join Darrell Hazell at Kent State. The choice? Well, that would be former Buckeye Anthony Schlegel. Normally the assistant strength coach isn't something that is newsworthy, but Schlegel's recent history in Columbus combined with his unique personality should be enjoyable to watch. The guy just bleeds scarlet and gray too.

"This was the only job I would have moved my family out of Texas for," he said. "I'm happy to be here and proud to be back."

I got to meet Schlegel a few years back, right before he departed for the NFL, and the guy is hilarious. He's definitely all country, and I hope we see him rock the "sweater vest only" look that he made famous while at OSU. This is a great hire for the staff, let's hope they hit a home run with the WR Coach position as well.

Pay attention NCAA! Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated, is bringing even more exposure to the oversigning topic, calling out the SEC in particular. This had been a hot topic over the past several months as many national writers have shared their opinions and ESPN's Outside the Lines even did a feature on it. Of course, the NCAA has yet to really do anything that matters to change what is happening. Yes, the new NCAA bylaw (13.9.2.3) does limit coaches to 28 signees by May 31st for the first time this season, but as Staples talks about, this isn't a real solution.

"So now that a nationwide rule governs signee totals, the morally shaky practice of oversigning should end. Shouldn't it? Not even close. The rule isn't worth the paper on which it's printed, and everyone in college football knows it.

"The NCAA rule was sponsored by the SEC, home to some of the nation's most notorious oversigners. The SEC passed its own rule in 2009, and that rule was in place last year when Auburn signed 32 players and LSU signed 29. Thanks to a lingering numbers drought in the Loveliest Village on the Plains following Coach Tommy Tuberville's 2008 ouster, Auburn managed to squeeze every academically qualified player onto the roster. That wasn't the case at LSU, where Coach Les Miles already had tried to clear the decks by cutting quarterback Chris Garrett. Miles misjudged how many of his academically shaky signees would qualify, and by summer's end, Miles had two more qualified newcomers than he had available scholarships."

Staples goes on to expose the real problem:

"In spite of NCAA bylaw 13.9.2.3, more players will get caught in a similar scholarship crunch this year because the 28-signee limit is so toothless. The reason? The dates. Auburn could sign 32 players last year in spite of the SEC rule because the Tigers brought in five players -- including Heisman Trophy-winning junior college transfer quarterback Cam Newton -- in January. Only 27 players signed between February and May, one under the limit."

What's really interesting is that Staples goes on to talk about the Big Ten's stand against oversigning as one of the examples the NCAA should follow. On his list of oversigning in the last five years, Illinois is the top Big Ten team at No. 33 on the list. What about Ohio State? Well, Tressel has the Buckeyes all the way at the bottom of the list, next to only Northwestern in the Big Ten. Pretty impressive stuff when you consider what Tressel has accomplished on the field. Also, in case you're too lazy to look for yourself, seven of the top twelve worst teams in terms of oversigning come from the SEC.

Time for some recruiting predictions. The guys at Scout.com have their annual Scout Commitment Tracker, which is full of predictions on where the best recruits in the country will end up. Let's hope their recruiting team is right, because their predictions look good for the Buckeyes. They have Curtis Grant and Aundrey Walker heading to Columbus, and Allen Wallace their National editor, even has JuJuan Story picking OSU.

One warning though, don't plan on them being right. I have kept my eye on the commitment tracker before, and they have missed badly when it comes to the Buckeyes. If nothing else, bookmark this page and see if it's worth your time in the future.

Recruiting Math. Matt Hinton of Dr. Saturday has a great piece on how recruiting stars actually do have value. You always hear the argument that the recruiting services and their rankings are worthless, but the statistics would show you otherwise. While there is always some two and three star guys proving their ratings wrong, they do get it right plenty of times too. In fact, as the graph shows below, the higher the player is rated the better chance they have of becoming an All-American.   
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Comments

Mike
01/25/2011 10:51

I think you are giving the recruiting services credit that they are not due. They provide information but I don't really think they have an special expertise as far as rating players. To me a 5-star recruit is a can't miss surefire star but less than 8% become All-Americans. Are they really doing anything the average football fan couldn't do if they had the time. I could figure out which juniors have offers from the top schools, maybe watcha few of their games, and assign them the ratings. I bet a lot of people could match 8% AA rates on their 5-star prospects. I am starting a recruiting service and I am giving every OSU, USC, Texas, and UF recruit 5-stars. That should be about 100 recruits. If 8 of them become AA's then I am just as good as the recruiting services.

The real value they provide is giving fans information about these kids. Their skill is their willingness to video tape and incessantly call 17 year-olds to ask them where they are going to college.

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