Thursday, February 21, 2008

Davis' revamped strategy brings Heels a pack of underclassmen

On national signing day this month, North Carolina coach Butch Davis indicated he was changing his recruiting strategy for future classes.

He said the dynamics of recruiting had changed significantly in the six years between the time he rebuilt Miami into a national title contender and accepted the North Carolina job. Players were committing to schools a lot earlier, and Davis had to adjust. Two weeks later, it’s obvious that he has.

North Carolina has seven commitments for the Class of 2009, including receiver Joshua Adams of Cheshire, Conn., who could be ranked in the national top 100. Four of those commitments came from North Carolina, which Davis had said is his top focus in recruiting but yielded just five Class of 2008 signees for the Tar Heels.

Davis estimated that 60 percent of January’s recruiting was spent on underclassmen, and the results appear to be paying off. He said North Carolina might have been 18 months behind in recruiting a year ago, but hoped to be caught up by May.

"We’re gaining ground quickly," he said.

N.C. State’s Tom O’Brien established himself as a formidable rival for Davis during their first full recruiting cycle at their respective schools. O’Brien’s recruiting operation is well organized and impresses serious-minded prospects with its emphasis on academics and discipline.

O’Brien immediately made establishing relationships with North Carolina high school coaches a priority. He has extensive ties in the Virginia Beach area, which is teeming with recruits, because he worked that area as an assistant coach for Virginia. He was extremely successful using N.C. State’s football camps as a recruiting tool last summer, locking up some of the state’s top prospects before the school year began.

Davis didn’t wait until the summer to make his recruiting pitch this year. He organized a Junior Day last weekend that produced five commitments, all from the Carolinas. If he wasn’t quite up to speed with the early commitment concept when he accepted the job, he has shown he is a quick learner who’s willing to change when necessary.

-- Ken Tysiac

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually, 2008 was a very poor year for talent in NC. Davis evaluated that fact and decided to concentrate mostly out of state this year, and devote more resources to the class of 2009, which is much better for football talent. This isn't so much a change in strategy, than it is an indication that the overall recruiting strategy at UNC will flex with the evaluation of talent and needs.

E said...

Actually, Davis underestimated Tom Obrien's ability to recruit and rested on his laurels. In reality, Tom Obrien out recruited Davis for several top NC prospects in 2008. That is a fact, you can spin this all you want. Carolina was left scrambling at the end with only 9 committments with less than a month until National Signing day. N.C. State will recruit the best athletes for Tom Obrien's system, with top emphasis on NC. His recruiting strategy is transparent unlike how UNC likes to operate.

Anonymous said...

e, you don't know jack about BD and his recruiting style. They were not left scrambling, they knew that some decisions would go the distance. You my friend are an idiot!

Anonymous said...

Actually, UNC did a poor job of recruiting NC last year. Davis evaluated the fact that Tom O'Brien had made a strong impression on NC high school coaches and players and he knew what Tom was not getting, T. Bowden and F. Beamer were. It is way too early to know what 2009 football recruiting has in store but Tom O'Brien fully plans to make,"Building Champions in the Community,Champions in the Classroom, and Champions on the Football Field" more than just a saying! NC State is the State University of North Carolina; no different than Penn State or Ohio State.

Anonymous said...

Putting all arguing aside, Davis' 2008 class was one of the nation's best in terms of quality players. The overall rankings were a little lower simply because the class was a little smaller than most others.

Davis vs O'Brien will be interesting to watch. Over the last 2 years, Davis has signed 21 recruits rated 4 stars or higher by Scout.com. O'Brien has signed 6. Both are good coaches with strong backgrounds. O'Brien has developed a sorta "win with less" reputation. Assuming there's some truth to that, just how much talent differential will he be able to overcome over the long haul? 21 to 6 is a pretty substantial hole.

--Jerry

Anonymous said...

Finally, some positive pub about the happenings in Raleigh... However, the Tarheels continue to show their elitist attitude.

TOB's only had six more signings... Guess that made a big deal. However, the thing to look at is not how many stars each player has, but how they plug holes left over by the previous coaching staff... In this case, TOB has beaten Davis hands down....

The Carolina Observer should be ashamed when they continue to refuse to post comments about the best recruiting class in NC.

PC said...

I would caution everyone in Carolina to keep a close eye on Tom O'Brien, particularly if you have a young man you care about committed, or thinking about committing, to his program. In the summers of 2001 and 2002, I had the pleasure of training an athlete up here in New England who ended up getting a scholarship from O'Brien at BC. This athlete saw significant playing time during his true freshman year, and earned a starting defensive spot for the rest of his career during his sophomore year. Everything was great for this kid, who was an EXTREMELY hard worker, earned everything he had, and was a really good athlete. That was, until, he got hurt during spring practice of his senior year -- an injury that required a full 8 months to recover ( hip fracture ). Instead of this "great" coach reciprocating the work and great play this player gave him the previous 3 years ( by redshirting him, and giving him another year to solidify his position w/ NFL scouts as a top player at his position ), Coach O'Brien told him to get better or lose his scholarship. This man does NOT take care of his players -- PERIOD!!! If I were you, I'd send your student-athletes to another school.

PC said...

To conclude to the story above, the athlete at BC wound up having to come back earlier than he should have, increasing his recovery time significantly. In addition, the leverage he had of being a 2nd to 3rd round pick in the 2007 NFL draft evaporated, and this kid had to prove himself all over because all of these scouts saw him play 4 games his senior year ( and the Hula Bowl ) at 75 to 85%. Like I said above, if you get hurt while playing for this guy, he will not take care of you. Use caution!!

Anonymous said...

Ryan Glasper... Started the final nine games of the season at strong safety at BC; missed the first four games because of injury...made 25 tackles (12 solo), including 2.0 tackles for loss and made two interceptions...received All-ACC honorable mention honors...had a career-high 10 tackles (five solo), including 2.0 tackles for loss and forced one fumble in the Meineke Car Care Bowl against Navy.

"Ryan was like having another coach on the field, but this one was playing. He was one of the smartest kids I have ever coached, a true leader." -- Former Boston College defensive-back coach, Kevin Lempa.

In 2006 Ryan missed spring practice, preseason camp, and the first four games of the season after undergoing surgery April 11 to repair a torn labrum and a torn cartilage in his left hip, and still returned to earn ALL-ACC Honorable Mention. He returned at 226 lbs., by the Bowl game (NAVY) Ryan was down to 212 lbs, he had 10 tackles, 2 TFL and a FF in the game.

Glasper was the 2006 recipient of the Jay McGillis Scholarship, awarded annually to the B.C. defensive back who best exemplifies the qualities of the late Brockton, Mass., native. In honoring McGillis in his last home game, Glasper, who wears No. 24, asked his parents if they would mind if he wore Jay's number. He shed his No. 24 jersey in favor of the No. 31 last worn by McGillis.

""Doctor's report on Ryan prior to the NFL Draft... His quad ham ratio's were very impressive: R 162 to 126 and L 142 to 106.

I told him just keep that where it is and that will be a big bonus, no ham injuries or ACL predispositions! Let me know if there is anything I can do to help! Ryan was a very nice guy, and pleasure to evaluate.""

Before the NFL Draft... So, on a scale from 0 to 100 percent, how would you grade the health status of your hip?

Ryan... Definitely 100 percent. I'm where I need to be. I highly believe that whoever ends up with me will be getting a steal. I think that no one possesses the will power, determination and leadership skills that I bring to the table. I'm not trying to demean anyone by saying that, but I've always been a competitor. I refuse to let someone outwork me.

"I have no animosity toward Coach O’Brien. I’m not bitter about anything or have any hatred. He’s a good coach, a phenomenal coach. I understand what he did. From a coach’s perspective, he did what he thought was best for the team."....Ryan Glasper

Anonymous said...

typical carolina fans, always putting there egos first, reminds me of a hilary clinton debate, at least she doesnt wear pink oxford cloth shirts to home games!!!

Anonymous said...

Please Carolina fans, don't commit on things you don't know anything about. Especally football. Coach O'Brien had a outstanding program at BC and will bring that additude to NC State.
Coach O'Brien and his staff saw that alot of NC's best talent was leaving to play out of state. He made it a priority to recruit NC. It took Coach Davis 2 years to figure that out.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised no one is talking about the Carolina Class Act that sold these kids on a defensive coach who was already out the door. I couldn't imagine being a 17-18 yr old kid signing a LOI with a school and not even a week later the whole defense is a "?"

Shady...resembles the shady HC, shady egos, shady everything that is UNC. Butch Davis was a fraud at Miami, didn't know how to cheat in the NFL, misleading kids now, and will continue to be that guy going into the future. I wouldn't send my dog to play for that shade.

Yeah yeah yeah, UNC has the best recruiting class in the nation "talent" wise. You just concentrated on a smaller number of recruits. PURELY GENIOUS. UNC is the Holy Grail of....wait no, they are even better than that....according to them.

3/4 of you nitwits didn't go to school there, much more could even afford to buy a classbook. However, you did discover the ability to buy the $3.99 hat at Walmart, talk about your lovefest for MJ (not a great college bball player), and don't forget Roy Boy and PSYCO T. I mean, seriously...Psyco T???? WTF.

UNC Grad said...

You State fans and your inferiority complexes kill me. Yes, I did go to school at UNC. Let's discuss facts, shall we?

I'll start with NC State. The QB you signed, Mike Glennon looks to be a great players. Congrats. Two of the in-state players you signed, ATH Brandon Barnes and LB Terell Manning are interesting cases. For Barnes, it will be interesting to see which position he ends up playing. For his 4-star status, his SR stats were unimpressive. As for Manning, he was considered one of top LB in the country & UNC recruited him hard. However, he tore both his MCL & ACL his SR season and faces a long road to recovery. Will he be the same player? Who knows. State also signed two quality OL's in RJ Mattes & Andrew Wallace which UNC would have loved to have had. Another NC player, Duane Maddox from Crest is a good player, 3-star LB, but Carolina decided to pursue LB's that fit the scheme Coach Davis wants to run better (read: faster). While Maddox runs the 40 in the 4.7-4.8 range, UNC signed 3 LB's who run 4.5's or better - NC LB Kevin Reddick, MVP of the State Title game vs Independence, LB Ebele Okakpu from GA, and LB Zach Brown from Hargrave (who ran a timed 4.39 at their pro day). Some other "facts" - UNC signed 4-star players at RB, TE, WR, DT, DE (2), LB (3), S, CB. UNC did have a smaller class than NC State, though the two classes were ranked basically the same, obvious weight is given to class size as many SEC programs with higher rated recruiting classes typically sign 30+ players then figure out what to do with them later (Miami did so this year as well). UNC ranked in the top 15 this year in star average (read: quality). I do foresee UNC getting great players in the years to come and it looks like UNC is well ahead of where it was at this time last year. Oh and finally, to address the change in defensive coordinators - face it this happens at every major college program. As State fans, I thought you'd be well aware of this fact, what with all the annual staff turnover that went on while Chuck Amato was in Raleigh. Coach Pagano is truly one of the games best teachers (as his coaching of the Raiders secondary to the #1 pass defense ranking in the NFL in 2006 attests) and will be missed. However, Coach Davis went out and made an excellent hire in Coach Everett Withers - a West Charlotte grad, App State alum and who has had successful coaching/coordinator experience at Louisville, Texas and the Tennessee Titans. Finally, just to refresh the State fans memories, UNC did sign 6 of the top 12 players in NC in 2007 - 5 if which were 4-star players. I look forward to the UNC-State game this year, as I'm sure both coaches will do a fine job in 2008. Go Heels!

Anonymous said...

And, exactly what was UNC Chapel Hill's record last year? They lost to NCSU and it took OT to beat DUKE!!!

Maybe they will get better, maybe they won't, but TOB has a proven record of turning programs into winning programs. Davis has a record of inheriting a program and taking the credit.

Anonymous said...

state people are funny

Anonymous said...

State people "funny"?

State may be full of rednecks, but funny they are not... They are dead serious and can shoot the wings off flies from 100 yds.

Exactly, which left wing fudge packing college is the definition of funny in this state... Of course, I we should not include UNC-A in this convesation... We are talking about football.

Anonymous said...

Wow this conversation got out of hand fast. One comment that I thought was interesting was, "wear pink oxford cloth shirts to home games" made in reference to UNC fans. To tell the truth you see this at NCSU games not UNC although there will be powder blue oxford shirts, but that really is their color! Also both of these schools have a great tradition and a rivalry that has not really mattered much in the recent years since neither has been great. I am hoping both schools improve in fact i root for all the NC schools in the acc even if Duke may be a lost cause. As far as all this who is better talk well....

Only in football: Listed by number of matches won.

Alltime record[7] North Carolina: 63; NC State: 28; Ties: 6

Record in ACC (1953-2006): North Carolina: 34; NC State: 20[8]

Record in Carter-Finley Stadium [9] North Carolina:12; NC State 8
Carolina even tops State at home. There is a reason that, "The NCAA refers to UNC-Chapel Hill as 'University of North Carolina' for athletic purposes." Sorry NCSU fans!

Anonymous said...

football will take care of itself in the fall. Today the fact is that Raleigh College is 12th of 12 in basketball, being coached by one of its own. The other fact is that State is no longer our rival school. Hard to ge excited about a school we've beaten like a drum.

Anonymous said...

That's State College!!!

Anonymous said...

Good Lord, people...

Look, neither of us (speaking as a UNC fan) have much to brag about. We've both put ridiculous millions of dollars building "state of the art" facilities, turning the once sleepy and quaint Kenan and Carter Finley into full fledged major program stadiums. And what's happened? ACC remains the laughingstock of BCS conferences. Even in down years for Fl. State, Va. Tech, and Miami, the "old powers" of the ACC can't get up off the mat.

Tom O'Brien and Butch Davis are both excellent, widely respected coaches. O'Brien has had a bit of an advantage because he was already deep in the ACC recruiting game before Davis arrived, so of course he's going to have an advantage. And no, when Davis gets everything firing on all cylinders, he's not going to blow TOB out of the water.

Frankly, I'm just happy that the UNC System's two flagship schools finally have coaches that can both attract top notch in state talent (which Bunting and Amato could usually do), out of state talent (which they could occasionally do), and coach them well in practice and at game time (which they hardly ever did). If UNC isn't contending for a BCS bowl, I want ol' A&M up there in the running. I want NCSU as a national title contender before we go into their house and beat them by 40. I want the UNC-NCSU to be the annual showdown for the conference title.

But face it. Right now, BOTH of our schools are completely irrelevant on the national scene. I just hope that changes.

And that after it changes, we beat the snot out of you.

Anonymous said...

The TRUTH about Ryan Glasper and Coach O'Brien is this!! What was reported in this blog before about Ryan was ALL TRUE!! And, yes, in the literal sense, everything that Ryan was reported to have said in "anonymous" 's blog entry was true -- because Ryan is a great human being. But all the things that were reported in that blog do not excuse the fact that Coach O'Brien did this kid wrong! AND, the fact that Ryan WAS/IS such a team player, WAS/IS such a leader, and DID/DOES give his all like he does makes what O'Brien did so messed up -- especially considering the guy LEFT THE VERY NEXT SEASON TO GO TO NC STATE!!! This kid hurt his hip in Jan. '06 and was not permitted to lift/condition for 9 months. Then, in Oct. 06', when O'Brien is feeling sorry for himself because his pass defense is 114th in the country, he tells Glasper to his face,"your playing or your losing your scholarship" -- THE VERY DAY THE KID WAS FINALLY CLEARED TO CONDITION/LIFT AND 2 DAYS BEFORE HIS FIRST GAME BACK!!! Yes, Ryan WAS like having a coach on the field, which is why the pass defense moved from 114th to 14th by the end of the season. But, that coach risked that kid's career and health to promote his own motives!!
Those on his staff that spoke up about how messed up his treatment of Glasper was -- like Coach Lempa, THE SAME GUY "ANONYMOUS" QUOTES ON HOW GREAT A LEADER GLASPER IS -- were FIRED!!! Ryan was, AT BEST, 75% that whole season! Coach O'Brien has a funny way of taking care of players of his like Ryan -- a kid who started his first 3 years and was, going into the 2006 season, the second highest rated safety prospect in the country.
To cover other points in "anonymous" 's blog entry:
1.) The doctor who you quote in giving RG's hip ranges did not even perform the surgery!
2.) When Glasper was quoted to have said he was 100% prior to the combine, what the hell else do you expect a kid in his situation to say?!! The kid was NOT 100%! And everyone knows that, if he DID admit in front of NFL scouts he was not 100%, he'd be scapegoated for life and be given NO shot!
3.) All of the wonderful things said about Ryan in your blog were true -- because he is a great human being. But Ryan is also smart enough to take care of himself at that time and do what he had to do/say what he had to say about Coach O'Brien to preserve his chances at a pro career. To this day, Ryan -- as anyone would in his position -- is still very angry over how his situation was handled.
So, again, to Brandon Barnes, Mario Carter, Andrew Wallace, CJ Wilson, RJ Mattes, and all you other recruits / future recruits -- as I warned in my last entry -- watch your back w/ Coach O'Brien.

Anonymous said...

anonymous, e and all the other buffoon bloggers, please go and try to find a real and meaningful life. Certainly you can find better things to do with your obviously empty lives. What will be the end result of this mindless blabber? Absolutely nada. Go volunteer this wasted time and try to make a real difference.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, how many players did Coach Davis bail out while at Miami?

UNC Grad said...

So many uninformed, uneducated comments on here. Coach Davis did a remarkable job at Miami considering the circumstances facing him - which included the discussion of Miami dropping football (discussed in linked article via Sports Illustrated) - prior to his tenure as head coach.

http://www.centralohio.com/ohiostate/stories/20021230/football/676549.html

Read and be informed.

Some excertps:
"I think (Davis) has left a big imprint on us," said Miami quarterback Ken Dorsey, who is 38-1 as a starter. "I think you can see it through the style of players we have right now. As long as we've been here, no one's gone out and gotten arrested. That has a lot to do with the type of people coach Davis tried to bring in -- guys that aren't going to go out and cause trouble off the field."

Davis, the grandson of a sheriff, was hired to clean up what was perceived as an outlaw program under coaches Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson. They won three national titles between them, but saw that success tarnished by the team's bad-boy image."

"He overcame the loss of 31 scholarships** -- or "half the death penalty" as he called it -- and started the 34-game winning streak Miami carries into its national championship showdown with the Buckeyes in Friday's Fiesta Bowl."

**Note that this penalty was a result of the previous regime's actions while Coach Davis was with the Dallas Cowboys.

Anonymous said...

The national rankings of the 2 classes signed by Davis and O'Brien show Davis with a decided edge.In 2007 Carolina ranked #14 in the country and State a dismal #60 ranking.In 2008 State has a #29ranking and Carolina #30.In both years Carolina has a higher average player rating.Butch was limited this year as he had very few seniors on this team leaving fewer available open scholarships. However recruiting means nothing if they do not perform on the field. Lets look again after they both have had a few more signing classes.And remember State fans were very excitesd about Sidney Lowe and the talent and success he would bring to Raleigh. How is that working out??