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Boston College Football Recruiting And The Garden State

We don't pump our gas, we pump our fists! Via <a href="">MPD01605 flickr</a>
We don't pump our gas, we pump our fists! Via MPD01605 flickr

Last week, Nunes Magician's Sean Keeley examined Syracuse football's recruiting efforts, asking a lot of the same questions that you typically hear from the Boston College fan base:

"-- We get 2/3 star guys but what about the 4/5 star players?
-- How does any player from NY State not commit to the Orange? [ed. note -- replace "NY State" with "Mass"]
-- We need to get more guys from Florida and Texas.
-- How come we don't get more guys from New Jersey?"

It's that last point that I thought was particularly interesting. Syracuse has struggled recruiting New Jersey in recent years, and the Rutgers blog On The Banks examines why that's the case. Of Syracuse's 16 recruits in the Class of 2012, just one player hails from the Garden State.

It's no secret that Boston College's recruiting efforts in New Jersey have been a big part of the Eagles' historical success in the last decade. In fact, New Jersey has been home to 29 BC recruits from 2002-2012, the second highest total behind only Massachusetts.

Spaz and the coaching staff has gotten an early jump in New Jersey again this year, landing four verbals in the Class of 2012 -- TE Dan Crimmins (Demarest), WR Malachi Moore (Sparta), OT Jim Cashman (Haddonfield) and MLB Mike Strizak (Ramsey).

I thought it would be interesting to compare the recruiting efforts of the five northeastern most BCS programs to see which programs have found the most success in the Dirty Jerz.

New Jersey football recruits, 2002-2012

Program 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Total
Rutgers 6 9 14 10 9 11 9 10 9 13 7 107
Boston College 1 3 4 1 2 3 5 2 3 2 4 30
Penn State 2 1 2 3 4 0 1 3 1 3 2 22
Syracuse 0 2 2 0 1 5 3 1 2 1 1 18
Connecticut 0 1 2 5 0 2 3 2 0 0 1 16

Obviously, no one recruits Jersey like Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Rutgers hauled in 107 recruits from NJ over the time period, averaging nearly 10 a class. The Scarlet Knights are well on their way to to matching that ten-year average, with seven recruits already in the Class of 2012.

But after Rutgers, and a sizable drop-off, there's Boston College in second with 30 commitments. Penn State is third with 22 commits, Syracuse fourth with 18 and UConn fifth with 16.

The larger trend line for these other programs is generally negative. BC's four NJ recruits in this year's class is well above the 10-year average (2.6). On the other hand, Syracuse and UConn were both below their 10-year averages for the Class of 2011, and both's recent high-water mark of NJ talent (UConn in 2005, 'Cuse in 2007) are well in the program's rear-view mirrors.

In fact, in the last four recruiting classes, BC has landed 11 New Jersey commitments. Syracuse had just 5, UConn 3.

Hopefully, these trends continue and BC continues to maintain strong inroads into the New Jersey pipeline. Going forward, the Eagles success in both the Syracuse and Notre Dame football series will be very important to keep New Jersey high school football players interested in playing on the Heights.