Three-point stance: big rule changes, team rankings, Midwest Riser

Rival National Recruitment Analyst Clint Cosgrove Take a look at a rule change that may come soon, the top of the team rankings and the five Midwest prospects could rise to the next ranking refresh.

1. Qualified coaches may change

Mark Emmert

Mark Emmert (USA Today Sports Image)

According to a story on FootballScoop.com this week, the NCAA is close to removing the rule that limits teams to 10 on-field coaches who are able to go on the road. While I am concerned that this could have an impact on smaller schools that do not have the budget to hire additional coaches, I think this is a common sense move by the NCAA.

Most large Power Five programs already have multiple analysts and quality control coaches who play a variety of roles, but technically do not allow players to coach on the field or go on road assignments. Even though the rules are in place, it is almost an open secret that these analysts are coaching on the field. Although there are occasional minor violations that teams are caught using uncountable coaches, this seems to be rarely enforced.

I see unlimited countable coaches as positive for a variety of reasons. First and foremost it eliminates the moral condition for these uncountable coaches. They want to be on the field coaching and when asked to do so they will not say no to the head coach. Second, it would create more opportunities for coaches who were unemployed or limited in their opportunities to be analysts because they do not have a field role with the current limit of 10 assistant coaches. Third, it will be a win-win for college athletes and improve their support system. The coaching, hiring and all the other hats that a college assistant coach has to wear can sometimes take the back seat of the attention and time spent on developing their players. With unlimited coaches many schools will have enough staff to relieve coaches of extra responsibilities, this will not only improve their work-life balance, it will also increase the amount of time they can focus on developing their players.

The last thing that stands out as a huge positive is that the workload of hiring individual coaches will be reduced. Some coaches will probably be given more appointments in the recruitment role while other coaches will be able to focus on football and think less about recruitment. It helps everyone from trainers to current listing, to employers.

There may be some downsides to this rule if it works, but at the end of the day it makes a lot of sense and should benefit many. It may take some time for everything to work out as intended, but with trial and error we will get there and eliminate an unnecessary NCAA rule.

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2. There is a distinct look at the top of the starting team rankings

Joey McGuire

Joey McGuire (Texas Tech Athletics)

We all know that there will be a lot of ranking movement in the early part of the 2023 recruitment cycle and now and in the days of signing. Many of the current rankings are based solely on a high number of committed teams while others have only a couple on board as of today. But, at the moment it is interesting to see the number of programs that are not known as recruitment capabilities towards the top of the rankings.

To put it bluntly, Alabama’s 2023 class is currently ranked 37th overall because they all have four commitments with four star appointments. It’s because of the hiring power that Alabama is going after. Top level players usually let their appointments take a little longer and the tide is also in a unique situation where they can often choose who they want versus chase players who are not up to their standards for the sake of initial commitment. It is highly unlikely that 2023 class signs will be found anywhere outside of the Alabama top five. At the other end of the spectrum, Colorado’s 2023 class is currently ranked 20th in the country with 11 commitments, but its average player rating is only 2.83 stars.

Notre Dame is No. 1 in the current top five and Ohio State No. 5 has some regulars. However, Spots No. 2-4 are currently in unknown areas. After finishing 38th in the 2022 class, Texas Tech is currently ranked 2nd with 20 commitments and an average star rating of 3.2. While I suspect the Red Riders will eventually be close to the top five, the 3.2 star rating is pretty good for 20 promises and they should finish much higher than their previous year’s class.

Coming in third is Cincinnati which is not too much of a surprise as the Bearcats are moving into the Big 12 and leaving an elite product on the field. That being said, their previous three recruiting classes never ranked higher than 38th. While their 19 commitments help in the rankings, there are also some serious star power here with a number of players including three four-star players and a high RR. Can have a three star. The Bearcats may not finish in the top five, but if they continue to recruit like them and they reach some more top goals, they will have a chance and should end up with the best class of all time.

Northwestern comes in at No. 4, one place ahead of perennial Big Ten recruiting champion Ohio State. I don’t know what I’ve seen before and the Northwest has done a great job of recruiting this class. The Wildcats currently have 18 commitments and, like Cincinnati, have three four-star players and a similar average star rating of 3.17. Both figures are very impressive considering their academic standards and the fact that they finish at number 57 in the 2022 class rankings. While they probably won’t finish in the top five, Northwest has a mix of a number of other high-rated possibilities and it’s going to be a very impressive class for Northwest when everything is said and done.

Team Ranking: Class of 2023

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3. Five Midwest 2024 prospects that should rise in the rankings

Brandon Davis-Swain

Brandon Davis-Swain

1. Brandon Davis-Swain – Davis-Swain has always been an impressive player, but the way he has grown and developed over the last year is hard to ignore. He has been out the light this season with an excellent performance Rival Camp Series In Indianapolis. Davis-Swain made a pit-stop at Notre Dame on his way to camp and on his way committed to the Irish.

2. Christian Bentancur – Bentancur was not included in our previous 2024 ranking publication, but it has become very difficult to ignore. He has a big and athletic tight finish that can play with his hands out of dirt or flex. Her appointment has also been blown away since the publication of our last ranking and she now sits on more than 20 offers, including a choice from Iowa, Michigan, Oklahoma and Oregon.

3. Mylan Graham – Graham wasn’t even on my radar at the time of the last 2024 ranking update, but when you launch the film it becomes pretty clear why his appointment blew up in the last few weeks. Graham began hiring her when Ohio State became the first program to offer. Over the next five days he traveled to Indiana, Michigan and Notre Dame to pick up offers. Graham has the potential to be a special player.

4. Aaron Scott – Scott is a skill-set with a long and athletic corner that matches his frame. He was really impressive during the off-season camp and because of that his recruitment has increased significantly. Scott was 5.6 three-star in our last ranking and should have a valid shot to be four-star during the next update. Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Cincinnati and Michigan are some of his recent big offers.

5. Luke Williams – Williams should have published our last 2024 ranking, which was really an observation on my part, since I’ve been a big fan of him ever since I saw him in practice in his new year. Williams’ older brother signed with Northern Illinois in 2022 class and was a player. Luke could be better and his latest offer came from Wisconsin and he seems to be high on the badgers.

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