Class of 2019 Recruiting

Discussion in 'Women's College' started by Soccerhunter, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. Tom81

    Tom81 Member

    Jan 25, 2008
    SH, I'll go for two.
    Jenna Nighswonger is coming in this fall.
    Highly ranked by TDS ;-(.
    What say you of her skills and how and where she might fit in at FSU?
  2. Soccerhunter

    Soccerhunter Member+

    Sep 12, 2009
    I appreciate your interest in gathering data on committed players, but I'd rather not get into the position of commenting on lots of individual players.... I look at stats and make judgements on a numerical scale for the purpose of eventually accumulating a recruiting class score....

    That being said, I'll go ahead perhaps to illustrate (as I and 007 and many other have said) that this is really a very subjective area, even as I maintain that overall a useful overview can be derived.

    First of all I have Nighswonger as a very strong prospect. I have scored her as an 8 in my system. So in my system what does an "8" mean? Let's put it this way In my ten point scale I calculate that if I were to rate all of the young women in any year's class (about 2,750 more or less matriculating at the 335 or so Division I schools) it would on the average fall out thus:

    Tier 10 -- 1 to 3 players. (These are the truly exceptional players.)
    Tier 9 -- 5 to 10 players. (If I've done it right these girls are are top players.)
    Tier 8 -- 15 to 35 players. (A tier 8 player would be in the top 1.3 % of all players.
    Tier 7 -- 40 to 80 players.
    Tier 6 -- 100 to 200 players.
    Tier 5 -- 200 to 300 players
    Tier 4 -- 200 to 400 players.
    Tier 3 -- 100 to 500 players
    Tier 2 -- 300 to 600 players
    Tier 1 -- 800 to 1,000 players

    Needless to say, I do not attempt to to rank all of the players going in Di recruiting classes! In trying to find the top 50 recruiting classes I only end up looking at the top D-1 soccer schools. When I had the time to do this (when CBG was doing his spread sheet which was incredibly time savings as an initial screen) I identified the top 50 by looking at about 80 classes....and conveniently the top 80 would usually closely correspond to the top 80 of the rpi as an initial guide. (Note: I will be only attempting a top 25 or 30 or so going forward as I just do not have the time to do the research for 50.)

    So only doing the top schools I began to notice patterns in the top 80 recruiting classes the range of rated players has a different. Virtually all of the 10s and 9s would be in those top 80, and for Tier 8 ranked players only 3 or 4 would end up at schools what were not in the top 80 rpi. and so it goes down the list. For top 80 rpi D-I soccer schools the distribution looks something like this:

    10 -- 1 to 3
    9 -- 5 to 10
    8 -- 15 to 30
    7 -- 35 to 50
    6 -- 70 to 100
    5 -- 150 to 200
    4 -- 80 to 150
    3 -- 50 to 100
    2 -- 20 to 40
    1 -- 200 to 350*
    *(The top 80 rpi schools absorb about 750 recruits per class. The reason there are so m any tier 1 players at the top 80 is that I sometimes (actually often) simply can find NO useful data on many players who have been completely under the radar. This is probably a statistical mistake om my part to award a "1" when I know nothing about a player.)

    What I have noticed is that the top schools get the top players. Only the usual suspect schools get the 10s and 9s, and also the 8s except for the very few players going to non top 80 schools and the remaining are concentrated with the top 10 schools although a handful are distributed among other top 80 schools .

    The top 20 schools get most of the 7s and lots of 6s, and then also have 4s and some 3s and even 1s as walk-ons hoping for a diamond in the rough. There are a lot of schools in the top 30 or so who do very well with 6s. 6s are good players tho can surprise and develop. For example UNC (which I know well) has commonly started 3 or 4 6s even in their championship seasons.

    But back to Nighswonger as an example. In looking at video of her she is a relatively short (5'3-4" or so?) quick and highly technical player (great foot skills wit a great soccer brain.) As attacking mid on her club team and on the YNT teams as well, she seems to excel with great through passes for scores. Now bear in mind that much of the video out there (especially highlight reels) is filmed against poorer teams, making the featured team and player look fabulous so when watching film, I always first try to rate the opposition defense, and only after I can gauge the organization, athleticism, speed, and skill of the defenders, can I say an thing about the player I'm looking at. In Nighswonger's case, she comes off quite well. She may yet end up as a 9 before she matriculates next summer, but for now I have her as a very solid 8.

    I hope that this is helpful.
  3. Number007

    Number007 Member

    Santos FC
    Aug 29, 2018
    @Soccerhunter we have very different methods. you have an exhaustive numerical analysis that grades a huge number of players on a relative basis. I watch the players i am interested in several times and then form my own opinion. The flaw in my method is its only relative vs my own standard. Clearly that upsets a few people.

    Funnily i think we would agree on the majority of players we overlapped on.

    JN 3+/-

    + Superior soccer IQ, Good feet in tight areas, good passer in final 3rd
    - Quality of competition, durability/fitness, range of passing

    A good comparison would be Emily Ogle.

    Have enjoyed watching her play.
  4. Tom81

    Tom81 Member

    Jan 25, 2008
    For anyone who doesn't have full time to devote to watching and analyzing these girls, I don't know how you could do it.

    Even if you're watch high level clubs or even YNT tryouts, you would honestly have to have video of everything and rewatch it several times to do a quality job for all the players. If you are just watching for one or two players it becomes easier.

    We have a guy on a football website I follow that gives grades to each OL on our team. To do it, he watches every play multiple times so he can evaluate each player. IOW he justifies his grade by pointing out which plays were definite pluses or minuses.

    To essentially do that on a national basis seems impossible.
    For that reason, I applaud Soccerhunter and OO7 and even TDS, because they give some basis of comparison and expectation.

    At FSU (and I'm sure other high level programs) they have a video staff that breaks down practices and games by individual, so they can receive appropriate feedback and training.
    That's just for one team.

    Again kudos!
  5. Number007

    Number007 Member

    Santos FC
    Aug 29, 2018
    I only comment on the players i have watched. I dont even try to watch them all. Only the interesting ones.
  6. Soccerhunter

    Soccerhunter Member+

    Sep 12, 2009
    I take your point. One factor for me is that there is just not time (or or enough data, videos, etc. that I can find) to do a thorough job for each player for 50 (or even 30) teams . This is why I go by tiers instead of ranking players 1,2,3,4 etc.

    But I do maintain, that (not without mistakes) one can get a reasonably accurate picture of the relative strength of recruiting class tiers. As I have always said, it is absurd to claim that one recruiting class only a few points different than another should be better or worse, but I would be quite confident in claiming a difference between my tiers except at the extreme ends of each tier relative to the class at the ends of adjacent tiers. (This is why I post my calculated scores so that the reader can make this judgment too.)

  7. Number007

    Number007 Member

    Santos FC
    Aug 29, 2018
    i have always argued with TDS over the rankings. I believe they should have Tiers and not 1-150. However numbers sell. its why parents subscribe. To see a specific number. even recruiting class rankings should be tiers as you say.

    Oh well.
  8. Soccerhunter

    Soccerhunter Member+

    Sep 12, 2009
    #58 Soccerhunter, Jan 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
    An overview of my system would include the following.

    Yes, it is highly numerical system. I have a list of things that I am looking for (such as you mention above) and have found enough nuances within that list that I normally have no difficulty assigning a 1 to 10 score to a player. (But sometimes I struggle with adjacent tiers.) But the main reasons I keep to the numeric scale is that (1) I want to be consistent over time, and if my player ranking is more subjective, then players will be poorly placed, and (2) I want the class rankings (which is a mathematical algorithm) to be comparable over the years and sticking to a numerical system helps to prevent "mission creep" (or what ever it should be called) and especially helps to prevent potential bias regarding specific schools or coaches that I may be a fan of.

    In ranking players, I am keenly aware that their skills and strengths change over the months and years. I revise players ranking scores about twice per year as new data comes available. Of the 100-150 players I try to track for each class, in my experience about half will move up and down over the three or four years they are on my radar. (The ones for whom I can not find new data, remain static.) Here again, applying a known numerical scale to each player at different times will show change. (I do not understand how a rating can remain static over 4 years.)

    [Note: While I long-term track about 100-150 players over time who are known and in tiers 5 through 10, the majority of players (mostly in tiers 1 through 4) are not known until the school posts its roster. So I have to scramble in August to quickly evaluate the 100s of unknowns who were announced.]

    I have listed above and in prior posts the various kinds of data I look at. But the data is indeed the Achilles heel of this whole process because it is so spotty and getting increasingly hard to find. For tiers 6 through 10 I can generally dig around on the internet to get the kinds of things I am looking for. For tiers 5 and below it is a crap shoot. For example, googling the name of a player who has been to an id camp, ODP, YNT, top scorer in high school, or outstanding in a club competition the name pops up with the correct identification (or at least ways to disambiguate) and I can go from there to look for game reports, rosters, videos (including game films), dates, accolades, etc that help me assign a number. But for lesser known players even if they have publicly committed, it's shoot or miss. If I wait until until their senior year and the college has published its class with bios of each player, then I have an opening to find other data. (And, believe me, I have long since learned how to parse the glowing descriptions of incoming players!) But many colleges do not publicly put out bios until they update the team website roster in late August, and by that time its too late for me. And then the bios themselves are often misleading. I'm a skeptic, and if the bio says that xxx played for ABC club or "led" her high school team, I'm stuck with trying to figure out if she was on the club's rec team or its DA team or whether she was a scrub or true contributor to her high school (which may have been dead last in the league or a regional champion.) A some schools (like Vanderbilt) will minimize the player bios, while others will make it sound as though everybody on the team is a soccer genius. Bottom line, I'm after facts, not glowing opinions.

    So after getting the individual players scores, then I weight and average those scores for each college's recruiting class by applying the algorithm such that both quality and quantity are taken into account.

    Again, it is numerical, but that is the intent for the purpose of characterizing a recruiting class (as opposed to a nuanced evaluation of a player whose specific strengths should not be directly compared to a different kind of player.)
  9. Number007

    Number007 Member

    Santos FC
    Aug 29, 2018
    @Soccerhunter having read you detailed description. you analysis sounds like it uses many factors including quality buzz to assign a rating. To me , this is quite different from looking at individual players and how they may or may not fit on a team. This has been very helpful. I now have a much better understanding of what you are doing. In your world, there is no such thing as an overrated class as its all relative.

    In my world, overrated means relative to expectation, buzz etc. and that is a purely subjective measure.

    Thank you for you detailed explanation. The word choices and phrasing when trying to discuss players and the game as relatively dispassionate soccer lovers is key and open to wide interpretation. the Internet is not the best medium. People make all sorts on assumptions and inferences that may or may not be accurate or intended.

    Most of us mean no harm or offence when talking about players. we are divorcing who they are from what we see them as on the field. I think parents and fans need to remember that when reading and try to give the benefit of the doubt unless it is blatantly insulting or unwarranted.

    Thanks again.
  10. Glove Stinks

    Glove Stinks Member

    Jan 20, 2014
    Chelsea FC
    Most of the programs use a program called Tango Match Analysis to analyze and individualize game film. It is incredible tool for the coaches and players ( and parents who are able to fanagle the login info)

Share This Page