Mike Gundy's Recruiting Strategy: Three Stars Beat Waiting For Four Stars

Originally published at: https://pistolsfiringblog.com/mike-gundys-recruiting-strategy-three-stars-beat-waiting-for-four-stars/

How risk-averse are you?

I wonder how the portal could affect this? Seems like if you decided to try and double your 4 stars, they wouldn’t necessarily need to come from high school. There are a lot of good players wanting to increase their playing time by transferring.


I always believe that the more data you got the better the odds of making good decisions/judgements …that said…the article is a thoughtful slant on recruiting…however, it does nothing to support Gundy’s strategy …rather…it reinforces why Gundy should be more aggressive (aka …work smarter) in pursuit of increasing # of 4*'s with each class …maintaing avg player ratings in the 88.5 to 90 range with every class …


If you look at the 2019 oSu roster this theory doesn’t add up. oSu is struggling to fill it’s roster with 3 and 4 star players.

(7) 4 Star recruits
(59) 3 Star recruits

66 of 85 available scholarships are 3 and 4 star players.

19 available scholarships (22% of scholarships) aren’t going to 3 or 4 star players. Almost 1 in 4.

oSu has 53 players on the current roster that have 2 stars or below. This IMO is why so many younger players have been pressed into action. Of those 53 players the following are guys most fans will know: Dru Brown (2* Grad Transfer), Mike Scott (Juco), Ry Schneider (former walk on), J. McCray (Grad Transfer), P. Kaufman (JUCO in portal), Landon Wolff (former walk on), Logan Carter (former walk on), M. Ammendola (former walk on).

This is why a coach with 15 years on the job has a very young roster.


Herm Edwards brought in EIGHT 4-star kids so far in Az St’s 2020 class. OSU has total up the past 5 classes to get to 8.
Both schools finished 8-5 this past season with Az St winning their bowl game.
It’ll be interesting to watch how the 2 programs perform in the next season or two considering the vast difference in recruiting success.

I hear ya. The problem is that there’s a 25 player limit in each class but there’s no cap on the amount of players that want to leave or transfer.

Look at the 2018 class, you sign 24 players (all three stars and above) then for various reasons Lemons, Ross, Tuihalamaka, Blake Barron, Cardwell, Jeter all gone. OSU doesn’t get to sign the amount of spots they have open, they get to sign 25. Attrition isn’t an OSU problem either - it’s college football. So you take those scholarships and you give it to deserving walkons and you go down the road.

What you’re touching on is definitely an issue - one Gundy has hit on before.

Guess how many times Gundy has signed a class with 25 recruits in that class? Guess how much Gundy complains about the 25 limit that he doesn’t typically reach? The latter exceeds the former.

Now lets go back and look at those recruits.

Jeter Tied for 6th of 8 total APB/RB offers (1 rated below him went to Georgia Southern)
Barron 7th highest Inside LB
Cardwell 10th highest CB
Ross 9th highest ranked TE offer
Lemmon 9th of 9 rated Athletes
Tuihalamaka 11th of 11 DT offers

This isn’t to bash recruiting or the players. This is to shed light on why they might exit early. Signing Boomer was the writing on the wall for Ross. Current recruiting is often described as settling for 3 star guys over 4 stars guys. The data shows oSu is settling for lower rated 3 star guys over higher rated 3 star guys often. I don’t think most fans think oSu is going this far down on the list of offers.

This all boils down to one thing IMO:

“We win 10, 12 games, and we can get in on these [five-star] guys. We would get in a little bit, but we didn’t finish,” Gundy told ESPN.

This is exactly Holder’s solution to his criticism of wanting to finish higher in the recruiting rankings.

You have to be able to sell a vision to recruits that demonstrates they can pursue and achieve their personal goals in your program. That is vastly different than Gundy’s approach IMO which gets players to adapt to his culture. One guy has 8 national championships and the other guy responds to criticism with fart noises.

Gundy’s strategy is good if Boone Pickens didn’t spend all that money. When you have such amazing facilities, you shouldn’t have to wait to lock in 4 star or 5 stars. You should turn the program into such a powerhouse or at least competitive for a big 12 championship that players should be begging to come to OSU over OU. Also Gundy gets paid too much money for him to think paying alumni are ok with this. Gundy needs to go. Mike Holder needs to retire. Until than nothing will change.

Regardless of how an individual feels about Gundy/Holder, 1 thing I’m certain of is, those guys are smart enough to know exactly the right time to move on… they will not need to be told by anyone when that time is …folks wired like those 2 …instinctively know it !

I couldn’t disagree more about Gundy and Holder. Both will have to be forced out, maybe quietly but forced just the same.

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