I know that we generally don’t think about budgetary constraints on something like football, but I found this 24/7 Sports article on the 2021 recruiting cycle.
I want to preface all of this by stating that I don’t have a clue as to how this all fits into the Texas Tech 2021 recruiting class. I’m simply presenting something that I thought was interesting and my hope is that someone in the media would ask whether or not there were constructs on how the 2021 class would come together.
I’d also like to state that if there were budgetary constraints then Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt didn’t let that stop him from letting David Yost go and paying his buyout and then paying Sonny Cumbie significantly more money to be Texas Tech’s offensive coordinator.
With that being said, the 24/7 Sports article notes that FBS teams signed 400 fewer recruits to the 2021 class than in 2020 and 2019.
Small classes were the relative norm, and not the exception (except for Alabama who signed 26). Basically, teams wanted to take the transfer rather than the potential of a recruit because the transfer is a bit more certain that a high school player in terms of athleticism.
The other aspect for certain colleges was the idea that they didn’t get to see their senior seasons (obviously this was not an issue in Texas) so with teams not seeing a senior’s final year, it made a difference.
“If it is a borderline recruit for us, we’d rather take a transfer who we know can cut it physically at the college level,” said one staffer.
The other part of the equation was that money is tight in pandemic and if a program brings 10 seniors back and has a scholarship roster of 95 (10 plus 85 regular spots), that may be more than a program wants to afford this particular year.
I know of multiple schools whose administrations have told their staffs that even though the NCAA will allow teams to temporarily exceed the 85 total scholarship cap via use of the extra years, that they will not be allowed to do so due to budget constraints.
If you are coaching at a school which is light on cash or tight with the purse strings, the reality is that you are faced with a choice of allowing a bonus-year senior to return or taking a high school player. The same logic applies here as it does above: to take a high school player who you might have never seen, or take another year of a bonus senior with whom you’re intimately familiar due to him being on your roster for several years already.
The other idea here is that there might be some gems that have gone unsigned and Wells has already said that he’s going to go after transfers. Again, not excuse-making, just presenting something that says that this may have been a trend across a handful of programs, not just Texas Tech.
I enjoyed this short interview with offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie.
In Pt 2 Coach Cumbie talks about his West Texas roots, what’s different about this area and what is different about the support the Red Raiders receive (1/2) pic.twitter.com/tpd6rl1KOb
— Ryan King (@Ryan_King_Now) February 9, 2021
You may not want to do this, but ESPN’s Bill Connelly with his preseason SP+ preseason projections and here’s how the Big 12 shakes out:
7. Iowa State
29. Oklahoma State
34. West Virginia
63. Kansas State
70. Texas Tech
As you all know, the SP+ is supposed to be predictive of future success that includes returning production, recent recruiting, and recent history. Gonna have to punch up. Punch up.
This has nothing to do with Texas Tech, but former Kansas Brent Dearmon left Kansas as the OC to go to Middle Tennessee and is having to pay Kansas $100,000 in 24 monthly installments. Originally, Dearmon was supposed to pay $500,000, but entered into a settlement agreement with some language in the agreement that says that Dearmon won’t pursue any legal action against Kansas and won’t disparage Kansas. Dearmon said that Kansas head coach Les Miles wanted to get away from the fast-paced spread offense and move towards a smash-mouth pro-style offense. Miles hired former Michigan assistant and NFL guy Mike DeBord. In fact, DeBord coached Tom Brady and Brian Griese if you want to know how long he’s been around.