Analysis: Good recruiting saving Mike London at UVa.? What good recruiting?

The story at the end of the miserable 2013 UVa. football season was that it was a big recruiting haul in the Class of 2014 that was saving Mike London.

mike-london-ndAndrew Brown: check. Top 10 national recruit. Quin Blanding: check. Top 10 national recruit. Got it. We can build around those two guys and have a heckuva class.

Um, OK, so … what happened?

On the eve of signing day, the Virginia recruiting class is ranked #37 nationally by, and eighth in the 15-team ACC, with just the two five-star recruits, two four-stars and seven three-stars.

For comparison sake, nobody down the road at Virginia Tech is clamoring for attention about the Hokies’ Class of 2014, but Frank Beamer has the 21st-ranked class nationally, fifth-best in the ACC, with no five-stars, but eight four-stars and 12 three-stars.

This myth of a great recruiting class overlooks another inconvenient fact: that the Class of 2014 isn’t even London’s best. His 2013 class was ranked 28th nationally (fifth in the ACC); the UVa. Class of 2012 was 27th nationally (fifth in the ACC); and London’s first class, in 2011, was 25th nationally (fourth in the ACC).

So not only is this not London’s best class, but actually it’s his worst, and though it’s quibbling a bit to point this out, his classes have been ranked a little lower each year from the previous year.

Recruiting, then, at best, has stagnated since 2011, as the product on the field has gotten progressively worse since 2011, from the 8-5 finish that season to 4-8 in 2012 and the 2-10 2013 that few UVa. fans will be able to forget, try as they might.

Is this not the sign of a program in steady decline? It shouldn’t take an MBA to look at these numbers and come to that conclusion.

Column by Chris Graham


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