Tom Herman shares how research changed their approach to their “transitional” recruiting class

A few notable things happen most of the time a college coaching change is made. There is typically an uptick in excitement and interest among recruits, which in turn leads to a surge in commits and overall recruiting rankings (for those into that kind of thing), and there also tends to be some pushback from current players on the roster to the new staff, with new rules, and a new way of doing things that results in off-the-field issues regarding academics, or discipline.

In order to fully understand those issues that happen during a coaching transition, Tom Herman explains that he and his staff did some extensive research into issues that arise during “transitional” recruiting classes and adjusted their recruiting approach a bit after taking into account what they found.

On the Longhorn Network, Herman explained that the results of their research prompted them to recruit a bit differently than the approach that other programs going through a coaching change.

“We knew through all the metrics, all the analytics, all the numbers that point to most of the time in years of transition in coaching staffs, that signing class has the highest rate of attrition – meaning kids that quit – has the highest rate of off-field issues including academics, drugs and social, and has the highest rate of guys that can’t play, and don’t ever see the field.”

“I even went back to check, and when we took over at Ohio State in 2012, we signed 19 guys, and it was considered the 5th ranked recruiting class in the country, and I went back five years later and looking back at it, there were only 3 of those 19 that saw significant playing time for us at Ohio State.”

“I didn’t want to fall into the same trap. Coach Brown’s first class has one NFL draft pick, and less than half of his signees started more than one year.”

“We wanted to make sure that we weren’t chasing stars and that we weren’t just trying to grab guys because the recruiting sites said that these were good players, but that we really knew these young men and knew what they were about and that they would fit our culture.

We don’t sign backups here at the University of Texas. None of these guys were signed for depth or anything other than we believe that they can either play now and help us win championships, or be developed into guys that can play for us in the near future to help us win championships. So a lot of effort was put into the evaluation process.”

Hear more from Herman below.