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Article: Best talent producing programs

Wandering Nebraskan

Scout Team
10 Year Member
Anyone with access should check this article on The Athletic: 3-Star U: Which schools are best (and worst) at developing NFL Draft talent?

The piece analyzes which schools are best at turning 5, 4, and 3-Star recruits into NFL draft picks. Leaving aside the issues around ranking recruits, the journalists focus on which programs have identified and maximized the football talent of their players in the last 11 years (recruiting rankings from 2009-2019; draft results from 2012 through 2022). While some of the findings are expected (Alabama, Florida, Ohio State rank highly; Texas, UCLA rank poorly), I found the information related to Nebraska interesting. The Huskers ranked as the worst program for developing 4-Star talent (4.5% draft rate on 67 recruits) since 2012. Baylor, including Rhule's tenure, had the highest success rate on 4-Stars: 37.9% on 29 recruits. On a related note, Wisconsin was one of the best schools at identifying and developing 3-Star recruits into NFL talent.

Let's hope that Rhule can bring some of his proven development acumen to a Nebraska program that has sorely missed it.
 
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This is why when I would hear National critics say the reason Nebraska isn't winning is due to lack of talent or "Nebraska can't recruit talent to Lincoln" I would pull my hair out thinking that they are crazy. NEB had talent, recruited talent, the main issue was molding the talent and keeping the talent.
 
Definitely telling to show we had the lowest percentage. The comment of "looking great coming off the bus" team has stuck with me for a while. I think we've had the athletes, just haven't made the most of them. That said, every high recruit isn't going to be a success. Take McCaffery as an example- 4 star QB as a recruit, didn't perform well at NU, transferred to a smaller school, couldn't be successful at QB there, moved to WR.
 
This is why when I would hear National critics say the reason Nebraska isn't winning is due to lack of talent or "Nebraska can't recruit talent to Lincoln" I would pull my hair out thinking that they are crazy. NEB had talent, recruited talent, the main issue was molding the talent and keeping the talent.
Agreed. Nebraska lost despite the talent of its recruits. The Huskers may not have had National Championship-level talent, but they had more than the W/L record suggests.
 



Baylor having the highest percentage for 4 stars which includes Rhule's tenure, bodes well for us. Just more proof that he develops talent. Nebraska's 4.5% rate is just plain mind numbing.
 




Just on this site recently, I saw some people saying Nebraska was worse than Texas in translating talent into wins. I almost lost it. But I chose to stay out or it. Yes, in the Frost years we did. But compare the volume and depth of the 4 and 5 stars the Whorns get compared to us. I think we recruited one 5 star (Marlon Lucky, perhaps Baker Steinkuhler was another) the last 20 years or so. Something like that. I am sure someone can come up with the exact stats. But based on the sheer volume of rating stars, nobody does less with more than Texa$, ND and U$C.
 
Just on this site recently, I saw some people saying Nebraska was worse than Texas in translating talent into wins. I almost lost it. But I chose to stay out or it. Yes, in the Frost years we did. But compare the volume and depth of the 4 and 5 stars the Whorns get compared to us. I think we recruited one 5 star (Marlon Lucky, perhaps Baker Steinkuhler was another) the last 20 years or so. Something like that. I am sure someone can come up with the exact stats. But based on the sheer volume of rating stars, nobody does less with more than Texa$, ND and U$C.
Texas and Tennessee were in the bottom 10 for development of 4 and 5-Star players.The article also tagged Texas for having one of the highest negative differentials between recruit ranking (7th composite) and number of NFL draftees (35th composite). Notre Dame and USC were bottom 10 for 5-Star development but Notre Dame was top 10 for 4-star development. Seems to indicate maybe some ranking over-inflation for high-profile school recruits.
 



Texas and Tennessee were in the bottom 10 for development of 4 and 5-Star players.The article also tagged Texas for having one of the highest negative differentials between recruit ranking (7th composite) and number of NFL draftees (35th composite). Notre Dame and USC were bottom 10 for 5-Star development but Notre Dame was top 10 for 4-star development. Seems to indicate maybe some ranking over-inflation for high-profile school recruits.
I live in GA. Up until recently, the Dawgs got ridiculous talent and face planted. Kirby has stopped that. But they wasted a lot of talent dating back to Ray Goff and Richt.

So maybe I am wrong about ND. Seems like under Kelly they were like 1-19 or something vs top 10 teams and got owned in bowls for a long time. The lone win was against an injury and Covid ridden Clemson team that hammered them in the rematch later in the season with a full team.

If we got HALF the talent U Still Cheat and Texa$ get we would not have had the issues we have had. I am talking sheer number of stars. We don't get anywhere close to the volume of 4 and 5 stars the Whorns and U$C get.
 
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Go back and look at recruiting class rankings since 2010. Nebraska is probably around 20-25. Nebraskas winning % is 59th over that span, thanks to Bo winning. Point being, even with Bo included for 4 of those years, they are 59th, with recruiting classes ranked around the top 20. This % drops even further under just Riley and Frost, 99th in win %, all while still producing near top 20 classes. It’s clearly been a coaching/development/scheme/culture issue.

For reference, Oklahoma State is the 11th most winning program since 2010, with recruiting classes ranked from 40-65. Yeah, much has been awry.
 
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Definitely telling to show we had the lowest percentage. The comment of "looking great coming off the bus" team has stuck with me for a while. I think we've had the athletes, just haven't made the most of them. That said, every high recruit isn't going to be a success. Take McCaffery as an example- 4 star QB as a recruit, didn't perform well at NU, transferred to a smaller school, couldn't be successful at QB there, moved to WR.
I suspect McCaffrey’s ranking was biased because of his brother.

The thing about McCaffrey that rings with me is that … here’s a good if not great athlete who wanted to play QB. All throughout his playing career he’s had coaches telling him yeah you’ll be a good QB. No one has the courage to tell him the truth, even if it causes him to go elsewhere.

LM would’ve been a great receiver, punt returner, jet sweep kind of player. By the time he faced reality, after transferring multiple times, he wasted his collegiate years. These kids rarely have people tell them what they should hear.
 

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