clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Peak Perspective: Recruiting Pipelines in the 2022 Class

Today’s post looks at how each team did in their recruiting pipeline areas.

In December of 2020, we established state and area recruiting pipelines for each team. Here is that original post for reference. Then, in February of 2021, we analyzed how teams recruited in relation to their pipelines with this post. For this year’s post, recruiting pipelines from 2021 have been added to the list of existing states and cities, and 2022 additions are stated added in after.

Recruiting is the lifeblood of a college program. Successful recruiting can be due to many factors, including winning tradition, top facilities, and player development. Perhaps the most crucial factor of all, however, is relationships.

Coaches build relationships with players and sell them on turning them into better players and winning seasons. College coaches also build relationships with high school coaches, which can serve a few different purposes. High school coaches can serve as a middle ground between a recruit and a college coach; the recruit already has trust established with his high school coach, and if that coach trusts the college coach, the chance of the recruit trusting the college coach increases. There is also a long-term benefit, as high school coaches can tell their current players which college programs may develop them based on past experiences and steer them to programs where they will succeed. Similarly, high school coaches can be honest with college coaches about how good a player is or how hard they will work. Bottom line: it pays to foster those relationships.

When college programs find sustained success in a particular state, it’s described using the term “recruiting pipeline.” Likewise, college teams can also have pipelines in specific cities or areas of a state or even specific high school programs. This article will examine each of the twelve Mountain West Conference teams’ rosters, looking at the pipelines they may or may not have in states. For this post, city pipelines are used instead of specific high schools because the number of players from a city may point to more accurate success than how often they recruit from a high school. A pipeline is defined here as any state where three or more players are from or any city where two or more players are from. To create a new pipeline in the current class, a team has to sign two or more players from the same state or city.

It’s important to note that the number of pipelines or even a school having recruiting pipelines isn’t necessarily an indicator of recruiting success, although it does help. Some schools go back to the same states and cities year after year, while other schools recruit more nationally or simply wherever they can find the best talent. None of these approaches are necessarily better than the other. See below for how each team steered into or away from their established pipelines.

Keep in mind that some of the players from the city where the team is located are walk-ons, but that doesn’t mean the program doesn’t have a pipeline in the area. In fact, one could argue it’s more likely they have a pipeline there if players want to walk on.

Air Force

Note: All of the Air Force pipelines listed are per 247. Thus, they do not reflect every Falcon signee in the 2021 class.

State Pipelines:

Texas (25)

California (14)

Ohio (6)

Colorado (6)

Arizona (5)

Washington (5)

Maryland (4)

Florida (3)

Utah (3)

City pipelines:

Gilbert, AZ (2 players)

New Palestine, IN (2)

San Antonio, TX (2 players)

The Falcons don’t need traditional pipelines as they arguably recruit nationally compared to every other team in the Mountain West. The academy can attract players from all over due to what they offer as a school. If someone is interested in entering the academy, it doesn’t matter where they are from.

States pipelines in the 2022 Class: 10 Texas, 4 California, 4 Washington, 3 Colorado, 3 Florida, 2 Arizona, 1 Ohio

City pipelines in the 2022 Class: 1 Gilbert, AZ, 2 Littleton, CO

Bottom Line: As with any big class, the commits are spread through a number of states. Like other MWC teams, Texas and California appear, as do Washington and Florida. To a lesser degree, so do their smaller pipeline states. While the Falcons don’t have many city pipelines, they did add from two of their three established ones this recruiting cycle. This shows the Falcons do have some repeat areas they recruit.

Boise State

States pipelines:

California (50)

Texas (19)

Idaho (16)

Hawaii (5)

Arizona (4)

Florida (4)

Nevada (3)

Colorado (3)

Washington (3)

City pipelines:

Boise, ID (7 players)

Kahuku, HI (2 players)

Lancaster HS, Texas (3 players),

Meridian, ID (3 players)

Mission Viejo, CA (2 players)

Murrieta, CA (3 players)

Pasadena, CA (2 players)

Peoria, AZ (2 players)

San Bernardino, CA (2 players)

San Clemente, CA (3 players)

San Diego, CA (2)

Tacoma, WA (2 players)

Yorba Linda, CA (3 players)

The Broncos hit pretty much every one of the traditional MWC recruiting states. They have always done the majority of their work in California, and these numbers demonstrate it. Being in Idaho, they obviously hit Idaho more than any other team and almost always secure the top players in their state each cycle. Over the past few years, BSU has made more of a concentrated effort to recruit Texas, and it is paying off. They have consistently done well in Hawaii and Arizona, tried (and often failed) to recruit Florida but have seen more recent success there. Sprinkling in Nevada Washington and they hit pretty much all the major states in the West. You may have noticed Utah missing, but they have never been able to get a foothold in that state.

States pipelines in the 2022 Class: 6 California, 3 Utah, 3 Washington, 1 Florida, 1 Hawaii, 1 Texas

City pipelines in the 2022 Class: 1 San Diego CA

Bottom Line: The Broncos changed it up a bit from recent years under the old staff. California is still their state and likely always will be. However, they put more emphasis on Utah and Washington this year (as well as Oregon) and less emphasis on Texas and Arizona, and did not take a scholarship player from home-state Idaho. As far as city pipelines, San Diego was the only one to show up, which continued last year’s trend in that city.

Colorado State

State pipelines:

Colorado (37)

California (15)

Florida (15)

Georgia (9)

Texas: (8)

Louisiana (6)

City pipelines:

Arvada, CO (4 players)

Aurora, CO (3)

Castle Rock, CO (2 players)

Colorado Springs, CO (3 players)

Denver, CO (5 players)

Fort Morgan, CO (2 players)

Highlands Ranch, CO (2 players)

Jacksonville, FL (4 players)

Los Angeles, CA (2 players)

Loveland, CO (2 players)

New Orleans, LA (2 players)

Phoenix, AZ (2 players)

Pueblo, CO (2 players)

The Rams have one of the more unique state lists for pipelines. They commit to their in-state talent and, like everyone else, spend time in California. However, while the rest of the conference mainly stays West, CSU looks southeast. This may, in part, be from the current coaching staff, which is used to recruiting in that area of the country. However it came about, it’s working for them, and they don’t always have to compete with their conference-mates.

States pipelines in the 2022 Class: 8 California, 2 Colorado, 1 Georgia, 1 Louisiana, 1 Texas

City pipelines in the 2022 Class: 1 Arvada, CO, 3 Inglewood, CA, 1 New Orleans, LA

Bottom Line: The Rams continue to branch out to the states in the southeastern part of the country. However, they really emphasized California once Coach Norvell came in, and that will likely continue moving forward. Also, they continued to recruit their own state, and it will be interesting to see how that continues with the new staff. When it comes to city pipelines, CSU continued in familiar Arvada, newly established New Orleans, and made headway in a brand new area, Inglewood.

Fresno State

State pipelines:

California (107)

Texas (5)

Arizona (3)

Hawaii (3)

City pipelines:

Bakersfield, CA (5 players)

Clovis, CA (4 players)

Compton, CA (2 players)

Corona, CA (2 players)

Fontana, CA (2 players)

Fresno, CA (16 players)

Lawndale, CA (2 players)

Long Beach, CA (3 players)

Los Angeles, CA (6 players)

Modesto, CA (2 players)

Murrieta, CA (3 players)

Portland, OR (2 players)

Sacramento, CA (2 players)

San Diego, CA (3 players)

Tracy, CA (2 players)

Tulare, CA (3 players)

Being in talent-rich California, Fresno State only recruits outside of their state when they want to. They find more than enough players in different Cali areas but have shown the ability to dip into neighboring states from time to time. Though they are tied for the most players from one state in the conference, they have made inroads in other states which produce talent annually.

States pipelines in the 2022 Class: 14 California, 2 Arizona

City pipelines in the 2022 Class: 1 Corona, CA, 1 Sacramento, CA, 1 San Diego, CA, 3 Stockton, CA, 2 Riverside, CA

Bottom Line: To the surprise of no one, the Bulldogs stayed within California for the bulk of their class and then dabbled in Arizona as well. After branching out to Nevada and Texas in the last cycle, Fresno State did not sign any players from those states this year. They made big investments in Stockton and Riverside, plus a few other cities up and down California. It is clear their deepest roots are in their hometown state, although no players out of Fresno (and only one last year) is something to take note of.

Hawaii

State pipelines:

Hawaii (42)

California (33)

American Samoa (8)

Texas (15)

Florida (3)

City pipelines:

Antioch, CA (2)

Aua, American Samoa (3)

Dallas, TX (3)

‘Ewa Beach, O’ahu, HI (2)

Honolulu, O’ahu, HI (13)

Houston, TX (2)

Kailua, O’ahu, HI (3)

Kane’ohe, O’ahu, HI (4)

Kapolei, O’ahu, HI (3)

Laie, O’ahu, HI (3)

Lancaster, CA (2)

Leone, American Samoa (2)

Riverside, CA (2)

Wahiawa, O’ahu, HI (2)

Wai’anae, O’ahu, HI (4)

To the surprise of no one, the Hawaii football program gets the majority of their recruits from Hawaii. They can’t always keep the top talent on the islands, but they get enough of the talent. Like everyone else, they also dip into California and get quite a bit from that state. Texas is a mild surprise, while Florida is a significant surprise. The Rainbow Warriors have also taken advantage of proximity and mine for talent in American Samoa, which is often full of athletic projects. They are more diverse than previously thought.

States pipelines in the 2022 Class: 6 California, 3 Hawaii, 2 Texas

City pipelines in the 2022 Class: 1 Dallas, TX, 2 Honolulu, O’ahu, HI

Bottom Line: After heavily prioritizing Texas the past year or two, the Rainbow Warriors returned to their more familiar recruiting states of California and Hawaii once Coach Chang took over. Texas was still sprinkled in and can hopefully remain a state pipeline moving forward. Specifically, the Dallas area remains a fertile recruiting ground for Hawaii. And of course, local city Honolulu continues to provide some talent for their local university.

Nevada

State pipelines:

California (67)

Texas (14)

Nevada (13)

Arizona (7)

Hawaii (5)

City pipelines:

Bakersfield, CA (2)

Chandler, AZ (3)

Compton, CA (3)

Dallas, TX (4)

Encino, CA (2)

Fresno, CA (2)

Harbor City, CA (2)

Honolulu, HI (3)

Lancaster, CA (3)

Las Vegas, NV (6)

Lincoln, NE (2)

Los Angeles, CA (9)

Rancho Cucamonga, CA (2)

Reno, NV (5)

Sacramento, CA (3)

San Diego, CA (3)

San Jose, CA (2)

Scottsdale, AZ (2)

Springfield, OR (2)

Vacaville, CA (2)

It is a bit of a surprise that Nevada does not recruit their state as much as they do other states. It’s still their second-largest recruiting state, but it’s much closer to third than first. Instead, they put almost all of their efforts into California, and it pays dividends. Other than that, they don’t have too much uniqueness about them. They hit Arizona, which makes sense, as well as Texas and Hawaii, all traditional Mountain West recruiting states. Thus, it all makes sense.

States pipelines in the 2022 Class: 6 California, 2 Nevada, 1 Hawaii

City pipelines in the 2022 Class: 1 Honolulu, HI, 1 Sacramento, CA

Bottom Line: Once again, the Wolf Pack continues to make California their recruiting home, finding more players from that state than anywhere else. After neglecting Nevada in the last cycle, they returned to mining for local talent and wound up successful. Looking at city pipelines, Sacramento is a priority in California, and Honolulu has been an area the Wolf Pack has a steady presence.

New Mexico

State pipelines:

California (35)

New Mexico (28)

Texas (21)

Arizona (8)

Florida (4)

City pipelines:

Albuquerque, NM (13)

Bellflower, CA (2)

Compton, CA (2)

El Paso, TX (2)

Fort Worth, TX (2)

Gilbert, AZ (2)

Huntsville, TX (2)

Las Vegas, NV (2)

Los Lunas, NM (2)

Morgan Hill, CA (2)

Pearland, TX (2)

Rio Rancho, NM (6)

San Bernardino, CA (2)

The Lobos turn to California to find the majority of their players. However, a close second is home-state New Mexico. While not known for churning out tons of top-end talent each year, it’s important not to let the top in-state talent leave the state. They are neighbors with Texas and Arizona, so it’s good to see those states getting a lot of attention from the Lobos. Florida is a bit of a surprise, but in a good way as it shows they are committed to finding players where they can.

States pipelines in the 2022 Class: 8 California, 6 Texas, 4 New Mexico, 2 Florida

City pipelines in the 2022 Class: 2 Albuquerque, NM, 2 Rio Rancho, NM, 1 Fort Worth, TX

Bottom Line: The Lobos are slowly but surely deepening their recruiting roots under Coach Gonzales. Establishing pipelines in New Mexico, Texas, and also California is as good of a strategy as any. They also continue to venture over to Florida and have an initial pipeline there. Their city pipelines demonstrate how far the Lobos have come in recruiting both Texas and local New Mexico, particularly in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.

San Diego State

State pipelines:

California (88)

Nevada (11)

Texas (11)

Arizona (7)

Hawaii (3)

City pipelines:

Antioch, CA (2)

Carlsbad, CA (3)

Chula Vista, CA (4)

Compton, CA (2)

Honolulu, HI (2)

Las Vegas, NV (7)

Los Angeles, CA (2)

Norwalk, CA (2)

Palm Springs, CA (2)

Reno, NV (3)

San Diego, CA (18)

Santa Ana, CA (2)

Temecula, CA (2)

Turlock, CA (2)

The Aztecs understandably don’t have to leave the state much at all, instead choosing to recruit right in their own backyard for most of their recruits. Although they do seem to hit Nevada pretty well, almost as well as the two MWC schools in Nevada. San Diego State also dips into a few traditional Mountain West states (Arizona, Texas, and Hawaii) to fill out their class ranks.

States pipelines in the 202 Class: 12 California, 1 Hawaii, 1 Nevada, 1 Texas

City pipelines in the 2022 Class: 1 Chula Vista, CA, 2 Corona, CA, 1 Honolulu, HI, 1 Los Angeles, CA, 1 Santa Ana, CA, 1 San Diego, CA, 2 San Mateo, CA

Bottom Line: This year, the Aztecs put together a great class and did so mainly by recruiting in their own backyard in southern California. They have also reached outside the state to complement their primary recruiting efforts and continue their efforts in Hawaii, Nevada, and the newest state, Texas. Outside of Honolulu, all of their city pipelines are in California, and they have a lot of them. Like other teams on this list, they did not recruit Arizona as much this cycle. Perhaps it was a down year for the state. Regardless, it did not stop San Diego State’s efforts.

San Jose State

State pipelines:

California (104)

Arizona (3)

Texas (2)

City pipelines:

Antioch, CA (3)

Burbank, CA (2)

East Palo Alto, CA (3)

Elk Grove, CA (2)

Fresno, CA (2)

Gardena, CA (2)

Hayward, CA (2)

Los Angeles, CA (3)

Malibu, CA (2)

Milpitas, CA (3)

Mission Viejo, CA (2)

Murrieta, CA (2)

Oakland, CA (2)

Sacramento, CA (5)

Salinas, CA (2)

San Jose, CA (7)

Stockton, CA (4)

Temecula, CA (2)

The Spartans rarely leave California for their new talent, and quite frankly, they haven’t needed to. They are in a talent-rich area with the Bay and have committed to mining it for their players for years. They have been an under the radar good recruiting team in the conference, which becomes pretty easy when there is little need to leave their own backyard.

States pipelines in the 2022 Class: 15 California

City pipelines in the 2022 Class: 3 Mountain View, CA, 1 Murrieta, CA, 1 Sacramento, CA

Bottom Line: The Spartans recruit California at a higher rate than anyone, with their roster made up almost exclusively of in-state players. That was the case again this year, with California being the only state they deepened their roots in. This was accurate at both a state and city level. In particular, Mountain View was a new area they established in 2022, and they hit it hard. Also, they continued their recruiting work in the Murrieta and Sacramento areas.

UNLV

State pipelines

California (50)

Nevada (16)

Texas (13)

Arizona (6)

Hawaii (5)

Washington (4)

Oregon (3)

City pipelines:

Bakersfield, CA (2 players)

Columbia, SC (2 players)

Encino, CA (2 players)

Grand Prairie, TX (2)

Hawthorne, CA (2 players)

Henderson, NV (2 players)

Houston, TX (3 players)

Inglewood, CA (2 players)

Las Vegas, NV (16 players)

Los Angeles, CA (2 players)

Oxnard, CA (2 players)

Portland, OR (2 players)

San Diego, CA (2 players)

Scottsdale, AZ (2 players)

Seattle, WA (2 players)

Temecula, CA (2 players)

Thousand Oaks, CA (2 players)

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Rebels do the bulk of their recruiting in the state of California. They clean up in Nevada as well, leading the way among the schools which heavily recruit there. They feature the traditional recruiting beds of Texas, Arizona, and Hawaii and the minority of schools that can snag recruits from Pacific Northwest states like Oregon and Washington.

States pipelines in the 2022 Class: 4 California, 2 Nevada, 2 Texas, 1 Arizona, 1 Washington

City pipelines in the 2022 Class: 2 Henderson, NV, 1 Houston, TX, 2 San Francisco, CA

Bottom Line: The Rebels stuck to the traditional westerns recruiting states in this cycle once again, with some minor alterations from last season. Their work in California led the way, and they made sure to recruit locally in Nevada. UNLV continues to put efforts into Texas and the Pacific Northwest (namely Washington) and even dipped into Arizona. On a city level, Henderson and San Fransico were big areas for the Rebels, and Houston isn’t far behind.

Utah State

State pipelines:

Utah (42)

California (27)

Texas (10)

Florida (7)

Oregon (7)

Washington (4)

Arizona (3)

City pipelines:

Anaheim, CA (2)

Houston, TX (2)

Orem, UT (3)

Portland, OR (2)

Provo, UT (2)

Salt Lake City, UT (12)

Sandy, UT (6)

Smithfield, UT (3)

South Jordan, UT (4)

As expected, the Aggies pick up most of their talent from in-state Utah, a fertile recruiting state. Along with every other MWC school, they find many California players, plus other standard states like Texas and Arizona. On the other hand, they are one of the few schools to glean from the Pacific Northwest (although they are closer than other schools) and, perhaps more surprising, have numerous Florida players.

States pipelines in the 2022 Class: 14 Utah, 3 Texas, 1 California

City pipelines in the 2022 Class: 1 Orem, UT, Provo, UT (2), 2 Salt Lake City, UT, 1 South Jordan, UT

Bottom Line: The Aggies continue to have a wall around Utah compared to their conference peers (although BSU put a bit of a dent in it). Their biggest state pipeline and all of their city pipelines were in their home state, and there was no close second. Utah State was able to continue doing work in Texas and California, and some of that will likely continue with the current coaching staff having footholds in those areas. But with Utah being such a talent-rich state, success in other states can be seen as somewhat of a bonus.

Wyoming

State pipelines:

California (25)

Colorado (24)

Texas (23)

Wyoming (22)

Nebraska (14)

Illinois (8)

Minnesota (4)

Wisconsin (3)

City pipelines:

Arvanda, CO (2 players)

Aurora, CO (4 players)

Buffalo, WY (2 players)

Casper, WY (4 players)

Colorado Springs, CO (2 players)

Denver, CO (2 players)

Fort Worth, TX (3 players)

Houston, TX (5 players)

Lancaster, TX (2 players)

Laramie, WY (2 players)

Loveland, CO (2 players)

Oak Park, IL (2 players)

Omaha, NE (4 players)

Parker, CO (3 players)

Sacramento, CA (3 players)

Sheridan, WY (3 players)

Torrington, WY (2 players)

Windsor, CO (3 players)

Wyoming has some of the most non-traditional pipeline states compared to the rest of the Mountain West, mainly due to Bohl’s time at North Dakota State. They are the only program to recruit the midwest with any regularity and do so pretty well. Surprisingly they still recruit the traditional MWC states, and the Cowboys recruit those pretty well too.

States pipelines in the 2022 Class: 5 Nebraska, 3 Colorado, 3 Texas, 2 California, 1 Wisconsin, 1 Wyoming

City pipelines in the 2022 Class: 1 Aurora, CO, 3 Omaha, NE, 1 Parker, CO

Bottom Line: The Cowboys found the most signees in states where they don’t have to battle their conference foes, namely Nebraska and Wyoming, but also Wisconsin. On the other hand, they found success in the more traditional states of Colorado, Texas, and California. Omaha was a prominent area on the city level, and Aurora and Park continue to be fruitful for them in Colorado. Something worth noting is the Cowboys did not sign any players from Illinois after that has been a critical state for them over the years.

Conclusion:

Again, the number of pipelines a school has or even a specific state or city pipeline does not equal success in and of itself. Instead, this data gathering should be seen more as the foundation and approach each school takes in recruiting. Use this post as a reference when looking at a team’s recruiting class each season. Suppose a team compiles a class with fewer players from a state they typically recruit well in or signs several players from a state they usually don’t recruit in. In that case, it may point to a poor recruiting year or a newfound focus in a different area. Likewise, if a school lands a player from a city or area they have signed players in recent years, it could be due to the relationship they have built over the years.