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December 16, 2021 @ 09:33 AM

Why I like this class.

I ignore star ratings and scores because of grade inflation. As a result, you cannot compare classes. One thing that cannot change though is there are always 1000 players in the top 1000, and 500 players in the top 500.

This is BB's first class and it was coming off a terrible season with little to sell other than hope. Despite that we signed 10 top 1000 recruits. We have not signed double digit top 1000 recruits since 2011. Last year we signed one, and the year before five. This class has depth.

Then lets look at the players who are not top 1000. Whitenack missed by 1 (1001) and Freis by 18 (1018).

Then you have the early commits. Did we reach on some maybe, but we evaluated them and offered early because we saw something we liked (Hood, Anderson, Leary, Hollins, Boyer, Beatty and Leonard). They were all committed by the end of June. You can say they were bad evals, maybe, but they are not reaches as we offered them when we did not have to.

That leaves Jacas (who we beat out Tennessee for), Rooks (started playing football this year), Griffin (plays for a team that no one watched) and Kreutz (who may have been a reach but is a bulldog).

What this class lacks and why its rated so low, zero headline recruits. Not a single recruit rated in the top 500. Even last year when we had one recruit in the top 1000, Brody was also in the top 500 (albeit 488). In the last 20 classes, we have had 2 (2016 and 2012) and maybe 3 (2014 our top recruit was a Juco and may have been equal to a top 500) classes without a top 500 recruit. So that is a wart on the class.

Another wart is back to back classes with a total of one DL recruit. I am a fan of the stacking classes theory. In every two classes, you should be able to field a football team. We cant at DL. We needed two this class and got zero. This can be cured in the transfer portal.

But depth interests me the most. So getting double digit top 1000 recruits for the first time in more than 10 years in BBs first class. That gives me something I like to call "Hope." Will we get back to 2008, the greatest class in modern Illinois recruiting (18 top 1000 recruits, and 10 of those in the top 500), we can pray, but if BB stacks a couple classes with double digit top 1000 recruits and sprinkles in 3-5 top 500s, we can again be cooking with gas (with the added benefit of a competent coaching staff).

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