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Peak Perspective: 2019 MWC Recruiting Comparisons

Where does each MWC team fit in the landscape of recruiting?

NCAA Football: Boise State at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Last year we ran a post on looking at the level each Mountain West team was recruiting at over the past five seasons. It went over well and the plan is for it to be an annual post following every signing day. You can view that post here. The aim of these posts is to identify how each team does in recruiting by looking at the teams in the same range as them. That helps us identify which MWC teams are recruiting above, at, or below their conference affiliation.

Note: all rankings taken from 247 sports composite rankings.

Air Force

2019 Ranking: 102

Closest Comparisons: Ohio, Central Michigan, Temple

Bottom Line: As has been discussed many times, the Falcons’ recruiting is much different from the rest of the conference being an academy school. Many of their commits aren’t counted in the rankings and they are looking for specific types of players to fit their scheme. Still, they have a better average than a few other schools who don’t have the same restrictions, which means they are doing something right.

Boise State

2019 Ranking: 50

Closest Comparisons: Duke, Iowa State, West Virginia, Northwestern, Georgia Tech

Bottom Line: The Broncos turned in one what two major sites (including SBNation) are calling the best Group of 5 class ever. That being said, they still finished behind 49 other teams in the composite rankings. Although they were able to beat out many power 5 schools, meaning they were able to recruit at a solid Power 5 level this season.

Colorado State

2019 Ranking: 73

Closest Comparisons: Toledo, Louisville, East Carolina, North Texas, USF, Cincinnati

Bottom Line: The Rams were somehow able to do it again. They found a way to fill out another very solid recruiting class, securing a few players who held power 5 offers. As can be seen by the list above, they were right in line with many AAC teams, which often recruit better due to their locations in the southeast football hotbeds. They recruited in the top of the group of 5 this year.

Fresno State

2019 Ranking: 87

Closest Comparisons: Louisiana Tech, Western Michigan, Miami (OH), Utah State

Bottom Line: The Bulldogs are still lagging a bit in recruiting compared to their success on the field the past two seasons. However, they the top of their recruiting class can compete with many other schools in the Group of 5. They make great use being in California and fall more or less in the middle of Group of 5 schools.


2019 Ranking: 119

Closest Comparisons: New Mexico State, Massachusetts, Georgia Southern, Eastern Michigan

Bottom Line: It isn’t easy to recruit to the Islands, but Hawaii does pretty well overall. The coaching staff is still rebuilding their efforts, and were more selective in who they offer given their unique offense.. All of that taken into consideration, the Rainbow Warriors lagged a bit in their recruiting efforts this season, ranked near the bottom of the FBS.


2019 Ranking: 92

Closest Comparisons: Utah State, Western Kentucky, Arkansas State, San Diego State

Bottom Line: The Wolf Pack turned in a very nice recruiting class this year, on par with many other MWC teams. Their class was pretty solid top to bottom and that helped them to basically be middle of the pack (pun intended) Group of 5 class.

New Mexico

2019 Ranking: 113

Closest Comparisons: UTEP, Akron, Old Dominion, Rice

Bottom Line: The Lobos would of course rather be on the other side of 100, but they have to be happy with where they stand considering their approach. New Mexico, like Air Force, recruits more unique players in the sense that they bring in loads of JUCO players. They aren’t in a fertile recruiting state and overall recruit like a bottom tier Group of 5 school.

San Diego State

2019 Ranking: 94

Closest Comparisons: Nevada, Arkansas State, Tulane, UTSA

Bottom Line: The Aztecs had a down year on the field, but still ended up with a class that was in the top half of the conference. It may have not been as highly rated as past years, but they still are rated basically like an average Group of 5 recruiting class.

San Jose State

2019 Ranking: 116

Closest Comparisons: Rice, New Mexico State, Massachusetts, Hawaii

Bottom Line: The Spartans may actually be a bit better than their ranking, as they have some talented players coming in. They recruit better than their record, which means they are doing less with more for a well-located California school. On the other hand, they aren’t winning many head-to-head battles and are often left scouring for players who are overlooked or didn’t get in to other schools. They finished closer to the bottom of the FBS in recruiting this year.


2019 Ranking: 108

Closest Comparisons: Buffalo, Kent State, Northern Illinois, Tulsa

Bottom Line: Like their counterparts, UNLV pretty much recruits as a middle of conference Group of 5 team, which is what they have been. That isn’t meant as a knock on them, but rather a way to say their recruiting and on field production pretty much go hand in hand. They are recruiting at a level of their play and playing how one would expect based on their recruiting classes.

Utah State

2019 Ranking: 90

Closest Comparisons: Fresno State, Western Michigan, Miami (OH), Western Kentucky, Nevada

Bottom Line: Like many of the teams mentioned above already, the Aggies recruit pretty well for a Group of 5 team and are a top half MWC team in recruiting rankings. They may have ended up with a quantity type of class this season but still ended up with as a high to middling Group of 5 team this past season.


2019 Ranking: 97

Closest Comparisons: Army, Appalachian State, Ohio

Bottom Line: The thing to remember here is Bohl’s teams do more with less, as they consistently outplay their recruiting, which is a tribute to their coaching staff. However, they aren’t seeing a ton of movement up the recruiting rankings over the years and are still stuck in the middle to low levels of Group of 5 recruiting.


Let’s summarize and reorder a bit by putting the 12 teams into some groupings. Some groupings I just made up, but groupings nonetheless. Keep in mind there are 129 FBS teams.

Recruits at a middle Power 5 level: Boise State

Recruits at a high Group of 5 level: Colorado State

Recruits at a top-half to middle Group of 5 level: Fresno State, Utah State, Nevada, San Diego State

Recruits at a middle to lower Group of 5 level: Wyoming UNLV, Air Force

Recruits near the bottom of the FBS: New Mexico, San Jose State, Hawaii

Again, this is not meant to say one team is awesome or terrible at recruiting. Instead, it is meant to actually quantify what teams did this year and look at how they measure up to both other teams in the MWC and other teams around football. This exercise allows us to see which teams are outplaying their recruiting rankings and which teams are perhaps playing worse than they should be based on their rankings. Of course, quite a few teams actually recruit and play in a similar manner. If nothing else, looking at teams with similar rankings gives a more full picture to just how well (or not well) each team did in the recruiting world this past year.