It wasn’t too long ago that BC fans felt like they had a head coach that was as good as any that they’ve had at the Heights in terms of recruiting. Steve Addazio’s first full recruiting class at the Heights was the 42nd ranked recruiting class by Rivals.com, which seemed like a great jump out of the starting gate from the fiery new coach considering the condition that the program was in when he took over. The general consensus after signing day in 2014 was that the program making a lot of progress digging out of a hole that was created by some lean recruiting years under Frank Spaziani. Flash forward two years and yesterday’s signing class left some fans wanting more of what they saw in the 2014 class.
Addazio has had three full recruiting classes for himself and one "mini class" which he more inherited after Spaziani was fire. Coincidently it is the same number of recruiting classes that Spaziani had during his time at the Heights. How do Addazio and Spaz stack up? According to Rivals.com the numbers might surprise you:
Spaziani 2009 class 70th Overall, 12th in ACC
Spaziani 2010 class 47th Overall, 9th in ACC
Spaziani 2011 class 38th Overall, 12th in ACC
Spaziani 2012 class 64th Overall, 12th in ACC
Addazio 2013 class 89th Overall, 14th in ACC
Addazio 2014 class 42nd Overall, 9th in ACC
Addazio 2015 class 47th Overall, 10th in ACC
Addazio 2016 class 82nd Overall, 14th in ACC
(Note: ACC Ranking includes "late" ACC enrollees, Louisville, Pitt and Syracuse for consistency in rankings)
Many people have pointed out to me that a big reason that the 2016 class is so low ranked is because it was a class with a low number of signees, and that’s correct. However, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Take a look at what the average stars have been of the last eight recruiting classes.
Spaziani 2009 Avg Star Ranking 2.47
Spaziani 2010 Avg Star Ranking 2.86
Spaziani 2011 Avg Star Ranking 2.74
Spaziani 2012 Avg Star Ranking 2.75
Addazio 2013 Avg Star Ranking 2.53
Addazio 2014 Avg Star Ranking 2.78
Addazio 2015 Avg Star Ranking 2.76
Addazio 2016 Avg Star Ranking 2.50
In terms of average star ranking, Addazio’s classes have been a little lower than Spaziani’s and are dropping more quickly than Spaz’s did after the peak.
Those are the facts and people can do what they wish with those data results. The easiest thing to do with this data would be to say "Addazio sucks" or "Addazio can’t recruit" and be done with it. You’re certainly allowed to have that perspective. Hell, some people might even look at this and say Spaziani’s recruiting deficiencies were a little over exaggerated.
For me it leads me to take a bigger picture look at what’s going on. Addazio is still the same fiery and emotional coach that he has always been, and that helps him to connect with 17 and 18 year old recruits. He didn’t just lose motivation to recruit.
The poor 2015 season certainly led to some negative vibe around the program but as of October 1st the team was 3-1 and miles away from a disappointing 3-9 season. By October 1, more than 60-65% of the recruiting process was already over. It’s not like they had some insane amount of de-commitments or something either.
The bigger question I have is if BC’s facilities are starting to hurt Addazio’s recruiting efforts more than people realize. The reality is that BC has been at the bottom of the ACC facilities arms race for a long time, but now the gap between them and the next tier is getting wider and wider by the year. We may be reaching the point where instead of telling the coaches to deal with it someone has to do something about it. There have been rumors that announcements will be coming soon but it feels like they can’t come soon enough.