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December 8, 2006

Recruiting in West Virginia and working Miracles

Alabama's New Coach? Maybe not? No..yes he is.

I'm not sure if Alabama fans know hard the West Virginia head coach's job really is. There are probably more Blue Chip football players at Hoover High School each year than in the entire state of West Virginia.

I wrote an article a year ago about which states produce NFL players. My article was based on this story and fact list. At the time, I mentioned about what an amazing job Rodriguez was doing in the face of his challenges.

The entire state of West Virginia has produced only 4 players that are on current NFL active rosters. By comparison, the State of Georgia has 90 players on active rosters, and the state of Alabama has 44. The island nation/province of American Samoa has produced as many NFL players on active rosters as West Virginia.

Rodriguez has to travel all over the country to attract talent without an "Instate" recruiting pitch. He almost never gets to talk to kids about the pride of staying at home and playing in front of your own fans. His current recruiting class only has 3 of 18 players from the State of WVa.

(Image: Pat White is from Daphne, Ala.)

Last year's recruiting class had ZERO in state kids. There weren't any worth offering. This year, the state has only 2 players rated above 3 stars. He's signing both of them. He normally has to go into Pennsylvania and battle with Penn State. He has to go into Ohio and battle with Ohio State. Or get their left overs.

All of this with crap facilities in a Tier 2 conference. That's more time on the road. That's less time knowing kids b/c you're spreading your relationships thinner. That's just tougher recruiting.

Yet, he's put together a quality team.

Pair this dude up with a guy like Kines, and you've got something special. Hell, just better in game decision making and better offensive line play would get Bama 2-3 more wins per year 3 of the past 4 years.

The only pro UGA photo from the Sugar Bowl

He can give Bama that. His defense sucks but he just doesn't have the players up there. His Offensive Line is SMASH MOUTH. They are the only smash mouth spread offense that I've seen. This guy can coach., and he's been working miracles at WVU.

Yes, their schedule sucks. Yes, he shouldn't have lost to South Florida. But you should've seen all the turnovers.

BTW -- As for the snide comments in certain circles about his last night. This guy is about as Mexican as Mike Shula. I think his grandparents immigrated from Spain. The dude's ancestors are European. Just like most Bama fans. Although, I have to hand it to the commenter over at EDSBS who suggested a Houndstooth Sombrero for the press conference. Rodriguez is just a country boy from the West Virginia mountains with a lot of vowels in his surname.

I think that Bama fans will like him.


See also -- "The Land of the Misfits" (Yahoo Sports)


Justin said...

4 in the whole state in the nfl? thats sad

My former high school (lowndes high in valdosta)has 3 right now. Randal Godfrey, Vincent "Sweet Pea" Burns, and Jay Ratclif.

Anonymous said...

Your comments about recruiting is why Fulmer's success at Tennessee for the last 15 years has been miraculous. I don't think fans of Uga, UF, Texas, etc. realize how easy it is to win there. Send our a couple flyers, make a phone call, drive 12 miles to see the 100 All-Americans who grew up wanting to go there, win ballgames without much effort.

KDog said...

Rodriguez will make an easy transition into recruiting in Alabama. He's has 4 from Mobile/Baldwin counties (AL) on WVU now including, of course, Mr. White and HAD a couple more on the way to Morgantown. He's already been recruiting in Alabama for some time. He's about to start raking 'em into Tuscaloosa.

S.A.W.B. said...

Just heard on ESPN the Radio that RR may not be leaving WVU, as WVU is now in contract negotiations with him for an extension at close to Alabama money...

mac the mountie said...

Gee Whiz fellas , Maybe someday these All Americans will be smart enough to coach. You would think that this abundance of talent would graduate a least one division one coach.
Don't choke on your grits but Coach rod just played you guys like Senator Byrd's fiddle.

Anonymous said...

WVU has 'crap facilities?" Do some homework son.

Christopher said...

Did you know West Virginia beat the Bulldogs in the Sugar Bowl? And uhm...they have Steve Slaton and....uh, did I mention we beat Georgia?
[/WVU fan impression]

I'm glad my team has more than one thing to brag about. Go Dawgs!

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