“Verification” seems to be the buzz term in high school football recruiting right now. Football players and coaches are travelling to combines, camps, and tournaments in order to find out if a kid is “legitimate”. These events are being televised, tweeted, and turned into viral videos. These events have captured the attention of corporate interests. These events are also becoming reasons for high school players to specialize in football. But are these events the best way to objectively analyze and compare the athleticism of high school football recruits?
TrackingFootball takes pride in providing the multiple sports background of high school football recruits. Year after year our research has shown that more football recruits participate in track and field in high school than in any other sport. However, there seems to be a misconception that “track” athleticism is different than “football” athleticism. Granted, not all great track athletes will be great football players, but track and field data may be the best predictive indicator of a football player’s raw athleticism.
Although many people simply equate track and field with “speed”, it is actually one of the most diverse sports offered to high school athletes. TrackingFootball has broken down the common events at a track and field meet into three different tiers. We believe these tiers measure different aspects of athleticism, and have different implications on a football player depending on what position he plays. Once we combine track and field data with height, weight, and position we can arrive at a Player Athletic Index rating for the recruit. The PAI is a powerful tool that allows us to evaluate a football player’s quantifiable speed and or athletic explosiveness through comparison algorithms.
Through studying the 2014 and 2015 B1G football recruiting classes, TrackingFootball has found that approximately 355 of out 615 (58%) recruits participated in track & field in high school. In contrast, only approximately 100 out of 615 (16%) of B1G recruits played football only in high school. We thought it would be interesting to see how these recruits stack up against each other in a “mock” track meet, tier by tier.
“A Tier” events are the “short speed” or anaerobic events at a track meet. Basically any race under 200 meters.
2014-2015 B1G Recruit “A Tier” Quality Rankings:
1. Penn State
2. Ohio State
2014-2015 B1G Recruit “A Tier” Event Breakdown:
55m Dash – 44 players
100m Dash – 150 players
110m Hurdles – 25 players
200m Dash – 147 players
“B Tier” events are the “power/explosion” or field events at a track meet. Essentially all throwing and jumping events.
2014-2015 B1G Recruit “B Tier” Quality Rankings:
2014-2015 B1G Recruit “B Tier” Event Breakdown:
Shot put – 131 players
Discus throw – 97 players
Long Jump – 49 players
High Jump – 98 players
“C Tier” events are the “long speed” or aerobic events at a track meet. Basically all races over 200 meters.
2014-2015 B1G Recruit “C Tier” Quality Rankings:
1. Penn State
2014-2015 B1G Recruit “C Tier” Event Breakdown:
300 Hurdles – 24 players
400m Dash – 62 players
TrackingFootball will continue with our mission of promoting multiple sports participation at the high school level. Yet, participation alone is only part of the message. Track and field data could be more widely understood and accepted by football players and coaches. We provide a simple yet effective way for teams and individuals to apply “predictive analytics”.