JoePa's Doghouse

Where Does PSU Get Its Recruits?

A quick post today with a lot of information. I made a map detailing the location of Penn State's signed football recruits from 2006 to 2010, as well as their year.  I also included the solid verbals from 2011 as a reference.  By placing a halo around the signing we can create a heat map to see where there are concentrations of signings--the darker the red halo, the more signings come from that area.

The map is a bit large for our website, so you may have to click on it to see it at full size.

Where PSU Gets Its Recruits

What does this indicate? What many of us know--that the heart of PSU recruiting has been in the Northeast, with only extremely limited recruiting in the Sun Belt States. Penn State's biggest recruting base comes primarily from the Baltimore-New York corridor and Pittsburgh, although notable concentrations of signings have occurred in the Detroit and Virginia Beach area.

Penn State has amassed a 47-18 record from 2006 to 2010--the 11th best record in the BCS. It's the exact same record as Auburn and one less win than Oregon.

So what are your thoughts?

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Comments (12) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Lots of stuff to digest here. Let’s take the recruiting stuff first.

    I do not like that PSU limits its recruiting base to the 400-500 mile radius of State College. In lean years, we’re putting ourselves at a disadvantage by not having established relationships beyond that comfort zone. There is no reason why a school with our resources and tradition can’t be a national player in recruiting. Why limit ourselves?

    That said, I would be perfectly fine with the 400-500 mile radius is we LOCKED DOWN Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and New York. There is plenty of talent in our immediate area to compete with Ohio State (who is the Big Ten measuring stick, like it or not). The trouble is that PSU is unable to get the best of the best in its own backyard on a consistent enough basis.

    This is one of the things I hope happens post-Joe. Either lock up our backyard or recruit nationally. The goal is to win national championships. You don’t have to be dirty to assemble the talent necessary to achieve that goal. You just have to have the desire, and that has been absent at PSU for quite some time.

  2. I completely agree with everything you’re saying Rowlff Dogg. Personally, I think it’s ridiculous that a program with the funds and resources, like Penn State, doesn’t recruit on a national level. Now I’m sure the blue kool aid drinking homers will say “But hey, we got a kid from Arizona, and Canada, and there is a GA from Guam, and Tom Bradley’s newest gf is from China. So suck it Snydo!!”. But I don’t see landing a few guys here and there as “recruiting nationally”. It’s more like throwing a dart with your eyes closed, tripping over a naked chick and then finding a $100 bill by your face after it slams into the bar floor. I say if we can’t lock down the PSU 500 Radius XL (sounds like either a really cool new radar machine, or a very painful pledge hazing device), then let’s take the recruiting nationally with the next HC. Cuz the current staff isn’t about to change its ways anytime soon.

    Great post!

    • I can’t stand how any criticism of our current recruiting philosophies turns into a “do you want us to cheat?” situation. We can do great things without cheating. There are a lot of great players in our natural recruiting area. Why can’t we land more? Are the coaches not being aggressive enough? Are the offers coming too late? Are our antiquated schemes unappealing?

      Anyway, we’re stuck with the status quo until fresh blood is brought in. An old staff like ours isn’t going to suddenly start recruiting new territory. It takes time to build relationships that turn into legit interest that turn into commitments. Hopefully, our next HC has a diverse background and is willing to hop on the plane to make some in-roads.

      With all the injuries we sustained this year, it was obvious that our depth is not up to snuff. That comes from giving out too many scholarships to reaches. Why are we looking for diamonds in the rough??? We’re an elite program. When are we going to start acting like one?

  3. Interesting map. But I’d wager it doesn’t look a whole lot different than Ohio State’s, or Michigan’s, or any other Big Ten school. It’s only natural that the bulk of your recruiting is within driving distance. That’s where high schools are likely to have alumni coaches and where your football camps draw most of their participants.

    • I kept some numbers from a story a few years ago on Sports Illustrated that looked at the average distance of recruits from their home to their school. PSU had the 10th shortest distance with a recruit averaging only 242 miles from their home. Schools like Nebraska and Minnesota averaged over 600 miles. A check on the current Minnesota roster, for example, shows a lot of California and Florida recruits. Unfortunately I never wrote down the source.

  4. Interesting map. But I’d wager it doesn’t look a whole lot different than Ohio State’s, or Michigan’s, or any other Big Ten school. It’s only natural that the bulk of your recruiting is within driving distance. That’s where high schools are likely to have alumni coaches and where your football camps draw most of their participants.

  5. Delaware represent!

  6. In the ’90′s, perhaps at the height of our recruiting powers, this map would show a much stronger presence in the Carolinas, Virginia, and Ohio…really just an expanded version of where we’re at today – now with Vanderlinden’s presence in Michigan.

  7. It would be interesting to compare our map to maps of USC, Texas, Alabama, Ohio State, etc. The teams that are perennially out playing and recruiting us…to see just how bad it is. Without said comparison it looks bad, but I think in comparison to theirs it would look really bad. Another map comparison that would be interesting is a map of our heyday compared to the recruiting of late. I personally hypothesize that with a younger more active staff we were recruiting a much wider zone more effectively. Just a hunch.

  8. Great piece of reporting and interesting. The most concerning thing to me is that THREE of the top coaches at PSU don’t go on recruiting trips. They rely on Bradley, Johnson, JayPa and Big Red and others to do it all. Can you imagine if the offensive coordinator and head coach were involved? Certainly, JoPa could make a half dozen trips to land key guys. On the geographical issue, PSU is slipping on locking down locals for sure and that must change (again, get the big three out on the road!). I spend a lot of time in Texas and there are hoards of recruits that I bet would love to escape the heat and blandness of the Texas for beautiful State College. From a strategy point of view, I would 1) lock down locals, 2) get the Big Three out on visitations 3) add Texas to a pin-point recruiting strategy. Agree?

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