More thoughts on 2014 recruiting class

Team Ontario alumni in the 2014 Gryphon recruiting class

Team Ontario alumni in the 2014 Gryphon recruiting class

To say the least, I’m very pleased with the quality of student athletes that Guelph has signed in the 2014. I also think they have done a great job of meeting the program’s specific needs. So I was not at all surprised to see this Gryphon class ranked among the best in the nation in CanadaFootballChat.com’s latest rankings.

CFC’s 2014 CIS Team – Class Recruiting Rankings

RANK TEAM COMMITS TOTAL
1 Laval 25 697
2 Western 35 692
3 Guelph 27 669
4 Montreal 25 633
5 Carleton 25 617

The balance of the CIS top 10 rankings is filled out by McGill and four CanadaWest teams. The next closest ranked OUA recruiting classes are #13 Queen’s, followed by #14 Mac. You can find the full Top 27 rankings here but you do need to be a $30 per year subscriber for complete access. [I subscribed back in February. It was well worth it for me, as you also have access to the complete Top 100 Prospects list (all 3 versions) and archives of past recruiting classes.]

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What do I think this ranking means? First off, it says the Gryphons have brought in the quality of talent that is needed to compete for Yates and Vanier Cups in future years. Just look who else we are ranked with. But keep in mind that a championship team requires a series of very good recruiting classes. In my opinion Guelph is already well on their way to doing that.

Announcing an impressive list of recruits is one thing but getting them into school and keeping them there is another matter. Guelph has done an excellent job in recent years of reducing attrition. That has come from being able to be more selective in who they recruit. More strong students, more superior athletes and student-athletes who are more dedicated. It also comes from an improved academic support program and monitoring of grades and school work by coaches.

A second thing I see in the ranking numbers is that there is excellent depth in this recruiting class. Compare the average points per recruit of Guelph’s class [24.8] and Western’s [19.8].  I think there is very little to chose between the two recruiting classes if you just look at the top dozen players. But Guelph has a considerable edge in talent among the next 15 recruits. My interpretation of that … Guelph’s 27-man class has greater quality of depth than the larger 35-man class of the Mustangs. The fact that CFC’s system rewards larger recruiting classes doesn’t really concern me. I’m very happy with what Guelph has.

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