Monday, February 05, 2007

Map Game Day's Incredible Recruiting Maps

The restocking of college football rosters begins in earnest Wednesday, the first day high school players are eligible to sign national letters of intent. Map Game Day, a site we've told you about before, has arguably the coolest approach to all the madness and Richard, the man behind Map Game Day, has agreed to allow the Wiz to give a sneak preview of his amazing new use of Google Maps. Currently his database has roughly 800 recruits, but by the time he officially launches the site on Wednesday, it will be much more robust, with data on nearly all signings for Division I-A teams. This site is already a wealth of information and frankly, we're blown away by much of this. We can't possibly cover everything here, so it will be up to you to unearth all the gems. But here are some of the highlights:

First, you can view recruits by school. Every 119 Division I-A team is accounted for. We've been feeling a little guilty for picking on Alabama lately, so here is the map of Nick Saban's recruiting class.
You can click on any of the blue dots at Map Game Day and a window will pop up with data on that recruit. A sidebar gives statistics for the Crimson Tide's class and a breakdown on how Alabama players fared in the 2006 NFL draft. As you can see, the average distance a recruit travels to get to Tuscaloosa is 301 miles and currently five states are represented in Alabama's class. Again, the data will become more robust in the coming days.

The next feature we will highlight is a state view. We decided to pick Ohio, a hotbed of prep talent.
Along with each state map comes a statistical breakdown. As you can see, currently 38% of Ohio players stay in-state and 62% venture elsewhere. Richard sends along this note: "It is pretty interesting to note that California (20% staying, and 80% going), and Florida (38% staying, and 62% going) are sending out more players, while Texas (58% staying, 42% going) and Louisiana (68% staying, 32% going) are keeping more of the players in state. It will be interesting to see if this holds up over signing day."

Next we take a look at the conference view. We've selected the Big East.By selecting a conference filter, you can view where all the incoming recruits — in this case the Big East — currently reside. As you can see, the Northeast and Southeast — especially Florida — are primary targets of Big East recruiters. And the statistical breakdown to the left shows that 17 states are represented thus far in Big East recruiting, with the average distance of a player traveling to attend a Big East school at 453 miles. ... Needless to say, Richard's site is an incredible resource and is likely headed for the bookmarks of every Division I-A coach in the country.

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