If you cheat and glance down at the offers from the past week, two themes come to mind. A plethora of JUCO offers (mainly by UNLV) and a descent number of early offers going out to plays in the 2019 and 2020 class. Those two topics will be the bulk of this week’s article.
The Pros and Cons of JUCO Offers:
First of all, let’s get this out of the way: this is not a knock on any player who went to or is in a junior college football program. This is more about the positive and negatives of how it impacts the college program who is getting the influx of JUCO talent.
There are many pros to making junior college talent part of a recruiting class each season. For one, they have college experience and can usually come in to play right away. Those players coming in are almost always expected and able to step into a starting role or else a major back-up role. With having a 2-3 years in a college program already, they are used to the pace and expectations of the college game. They are usually physically mature having spent a few years in the weight room. If they are a full qualifier academically, they can come in mid-year and participate in spring ball. In short, it’s a quick fix, but one that usually produces on the field in some capacity.
On the other hand, a program should not aim to rely on picking up players from the junior college ranks every season. It’s one thing to use JUCO players to plug a few holes, but it’s a completely different thing when the bulk of a class is compromised with so few high school players. The biggest factor is their time in the program is so short. Having a player come in for 2-3 years instead of 4-5 is a big difference. It is more difficult for them to buy in or get use to the culture. If they struggle to adapt to the playbook or pace of the team, it often lessens their impact to just one season before they run out of eligibility. Bottom line is, when a player starts clicking in the system, there isn’t much time left with them in the program.
Seeing UNLV (and New Mexico in recent years) offering lots of JUCO prospects points to a team looking for short-term solutions and a coach hoping to buy some job security with an extra win or two. It’s not necessarily a negative, but shows they may be struggling recruiting talent from high school ranks.
Why Offer a Prospect Early?
There are many benefits to offers a prospect early. Most importantly, the recruit knows a school values them and the earlier you can build a relationship with a recruit, the better your chances increase of landing them. While not a guarantee, it certainly helps. Recruits don’t forget their first offer, the school that believed in them when no one else did. It could be before they really exploded, before their potential transitioned to game production.
For teams like SJSU or Hawaii, there is little to lost by offering prospects early and everything to gain. They are not traditional powerhouse recruiters and need to gain advantages wherever they can take it. The Spartans are taking such a small class this season, so it’s smart to start putting in major work for future classes. Hawaii has a hard time finding guys to go to the islands, so casting a wide net early and seeing what comes from it is a nice strategy.
- JUCO DL Noah Jefferson was offered by Fresno State
- JUCO DL Kevin Scott was offered by UNLV
- JUCO DL Charles Cole was offered by UNLV
- JUCO DB Myles Plummer was offered by UNLV
- JUCO LB Rahsaan York was offered by UNLV and SDSU
- DL Michael Azevedo was offered by Air Force
- LB Darien Butler was offered by Hawaii
- LB Nick Herbig was offered by Hawaii
- 2020 DL Stanley Mckenzie was offered by Hawaii
- 2019 ATH Jaren Mangham was offered by Wyoming
- DE Broc Ginavan was offered by Wyoming
- 2020 QB Shane Illingworth was offered by SJSU
- QB Zach Wilson visited Boise State
- RB Andrew VanBuren visited Boise State
- WR Kevon Ahmad visited Boise State
- WR Khalil Shakir visited Boise State
- TE Cole Ramseyer visited Boise State
- OL Kekanioka Gonzales visited Boise State
- JUCO DL Jonathan Lolohea visited Boise State
- LB Brandon Hawkins visited Boise State
- LB Phillip Mills visited Boise State
- LB DJ Schramm visited Boise State
- QB Devan Bridge visited Boise State (unofficial)
- LS Aiden Livingston visited Boise State (unofficial)
- DE Caleb Thueson visited Boise State (unofficial)
- 2020 QB CJ Jordon visited Boise State (unofficial)
- DB Chris Nash committed to Utah State
- WR Billy Bowens committed to Boise State
- LB Kilifi Leaaetoa committed to Fresno State
- WR Khalil Shakir committed to Boise State
Separate article on Boise State’s visitors coming out tomorrow