2023 East Coast Rosters and Where Players Call Home | Syracusefan.com

2023 East Coast Rosters and Where Players Call Home

LeMoyneCuse

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It was raised on another thread that all teams start roster construction and get specific skill sets from outside areas. It got me thinking - is this true? Is there a standard template for how to build a team?

I aggregated 2023 rosters - including name, position, and hometown - for all ACC teams, plus Notre Dame, Maryland, Rutgers, Penn State, and West Virginia. I then calculated as-the-crow-flies distance from hometown to the city their college is in using Excel. I organized the results into 3 buckets - 100 miles or less from home (Backyard Guys), 100 - 300 miles from home guys (One Tank of Gas Guys), and 300 Miles + (Long Distance Guys). Arbitrary, sure, but it's all subjective.

A few things stood out to me:

- Not surprisingly, Syracuse had the fewest players of the bunch from within 100 miles of campus. But Florida State (!?) and Virginia Tech also had few close-to-campus recruits. It makes sense when you think about it - Tallahassee and Blacksburg / Roanoke aren't huge population centers, and like Syracuse, they're both multiple hours from larger metros.

- 69% of Notre Dame's players come from 300+ miles from campus. BC comes in at 64%. While Syracuse has the fourth most long-distance players (58%), that's no different from Florida State or Louisville (Both 56%). And 54% of Miami's, MIAMI, squad came from more than 300 miles away.

- The team with the most localized rosters, Rutgers (68% 100 miles or less) and Maryland (59% 100 miles or less) went 7-6 in 2023. The three teams with the most players from far away (Notre Dame, Duke, BC) all posted winning records. At least in 2023, then, it's safe to say that there's no correlation between where players call home and winning.

- In general, there's no standard template of how to recruit - each team acquires talent as they seem fit and proximity to campus is not a huge factor for everyone.

Full results here and active Excel table attached.

Team% 100 Miles or Less% 101 - 300 Miles% 301+ Miles2023 Record
Notre Dame
14%​
18%​
69%​
10-3
Duke
10%​
24%​
66%​
8-5
BC
16%​
20%​
64%​
7-6
Syracuse
6%​
36%​
58%​
6-7
Florida State
10%​
34%​
56%​
13-1
Louisville
23%​
21%​
56%​
10-4
Miami
33%​
13%​
54%​
7-6
UVA
33%​
14%​
53%​
3-9
Wake Forest
18%​
36%​
46%​
4-8
Pitt
27%​
28%​
46%​
3-9
WVU
9%​
48%​
42%​
9-4
UNC
25%​
34%​
41%​
8-5
VTech
11%​
50%​
39%​
7-6
NC State
33%​
35%​
32%​
9-4
Clemson
36%​
35%​
28%​
9-4
Maryland
59%​
13%​
28%​
7-6
Penn State
11%​
64%​
25%​
10-3
Rutgers
68%​
9%​
23%​
7-6
Georgia Tech
59%​
22%​
20%​
7-6
 
Interesting analysis.

Two things that jump out at me are how PSU hammers PA. It’ll be great to keep Syracuse going in the Camden-Philly recruiting area.
Lastly surprised at Duke when they have a plethora of in state talent. Glass half full guy would think that could be a sleeping giant. Glass half empty says they can’t compete against their neighbors and when does basketball season start.
 
Interesting analysis.

Two things that jump out at me are how PSU hammers PA. It’ll be great to keep Syracuse going in the Camden-Philly recruiting area.
Lastly surprised at Duke when they have a plethora of in state talent. Glass half full guy would think that could be a sleeping giant. Glass half empty says they can’t compete against their neighbors and when does basketball season start.
Again, the numbers suggest there’s no connection between where your players come from and winning. This is not an instruction guide for “Syracuse should go here to recruit and they’ll replicate the performance of school X.”

UNC and NC State each have ~35 local players. They don’t seem to look hyper local either, so that suggests the talent in NC is not centered around Raleigh-Durham.
 
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I think your range is off. I would say 250 mile radius is the back yard. That’s a 4 hour drive. That’s the entire state of PA east or west for PSU. That’s, “don’t fly, it’s not worth it” range. That said, I fly to Boston all the time and that’s about 240 miles away. Most of the SU student population is from the NYC metro area. That’s about 250 miles.
 
Also, I think your analysis suggests that schools with a greater percentage closer to “home” do better on the field, which I don’t think was your goal with this. I also think there are other factors, like Tallahassee is 480 miles from Miami, but that’s in state, and aid/tuition may factor into that being “back yard”. I think you will see the same with mid-west schools too. ND has always been an outlier and their national footprint is still a reason they have not joined a football conference.
 
Seems like you are fighting a lost war about “proximity”. For SU, with few D1 prospects Upstate, proximity has to include Long Island, Camden/Philly and the DMV (375 miles). We have to do well in that 6 hour drive range. If we do well in recruiting that region, as Fran has (mainly NJ), we can put together a strong nucleus and fill in from occasional hits here and there, and the portal.

Some brand schools (ND, Duke, Stanford) may have strong appeal well outside 375 miles.
 
I think your range is off. I would say 250 mile radius is the back yard. That’s a 4 hour drive. That’s the entire state of PA east or west for PSU. That’s, “don’t fly, it’s not worth it” range. That said, I fly to Boston all the time and that’s about 240 miles away. Most of the SU student population is from the NYC metro area. That’s about 250 miles.
Define "Back Yard."

To me, "Back Yard" is go up to 50 people who follow college football and most will tell you their team is Syracuse. That is, the school is top of mind among the locals. That's where the "local" advantage comes from - a lifelong desire to play for the "local" school because a kid has been a fan since and therefore it's an easy recruiting process.

I lived in North Jersey for 6 years and live in Philly now. Syracuse isn't anyone's top draw for football in either area.
 
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Seems like you are fighting a lost war about “proximity”. For SU, with few D1 prospects Upstate, proximity has to include Long Island, Camden/Philly and the DMV (375 miles). We have to do well in that 6 hour drive range. If we do well in recruiting that region, as Fran has (mainly NJ), we can put together a strong nucleus and fill in from occasional hits here and there, and the portal.

Some brand schools (ND, Duke, Stanford) may have strong appeal well outside 375 miles.
"Syracuse has to do this but other schools don't." You saying that doesn't convince me I'm "losing anything."

My data shows there isn't a single approach that coaches follow or need to follow, especially when you arbitrarily start saying "well these schools don't need to because of X, Y, or Z." If other schools don't NEED to do something, why does Syracuse?

And how is Duke a "brand school" if Syracuse isn't? Their football success has had a couple more bright spots over the last decade or so, but my wife's cousin played there and they won 4 games his entire time on campus.
 
I think your range is off. I would say 250 mile radius is the back yard. That’s a 4 hour drive. That’s the entire state of PA east or west for PSU. That’s, “don’t fly, it’s not worth it” range. That said, I fly to Boston all the time and that’s about 240 miles away. Most of the SU student population is from the NYC metro area. That’s about 250 miles.
What's the difference between 250 miles and 300 miles? It's still a long drive that requires a hotel stay.

The "backyard" in my mind is a place you can comfortably drive to, and not need to stay overnight after a game. I've done the 3.5 hour drive back to NJ after a Cuse game before. It's MISERABLE. Would not call that my "backyard" and I live in Northern NJ.
 
What's the difference between 250 miles and 300 miles? It's still a long drive that requires a hotel stay.

The "backyard" in my mind is a place you can comfortably drive to, and not need to stay overnight after a game. I've done the 3.5 hour drive back to NJ after a Cuse game before. It's MISERABLE. Would not call that my "backyard" and I live in Northern NJ.
50 miles
 
Define "Back Yard."

To me, "Back Yard" is go up to 50 people who follow college football and most will tell you their team is Syracuse. That is, the school is top of mind among the locals. That's where the "local" advantage comes from - a lifelong desire to play for the "local" school because a kid has been a fan since and therefore it's an easy recruiting process.

I lived in North Jersey for 6 years and live in Philly now. Syracuse isn't anyone's top draw for football in either area.
That discredits the area’s preference for pro sports, as well as its transient population due to major metropolises like Boston, Philly, and NYC. I happen to feel the makeup of the student body and then the larger congregation spots of alumni define the backyard. General fandom while not unimportant may come after that. By your approach, places like Buffalo, NY could be considered the backyard for Duke basketball. NYC and western NJ are in PSU’s backyard, and that’s a solid 200-250 miles. It relies more on the strength of the brand than anything else, and we all know our brand isn’t what it used to be. That said, even if I use your criteria for backyard, I see most schools with a roster over 50% from 300+ miles fared worse than those with less than 50%. It kinda invalidates your point, which I am interpreting as first, there is little to no value in recruiting your backyard, and second, there is great value in building your roster by focusing recruiting on current talent hotbeds no matter the distance. I hope we agree that there is no black or white, right or wrong absolute, but I see greater value in putting in the greater work in your local region.
 
What's the difference between 250 miles and 300 miles? It's still a long drive that requires a hotel stay.

The "backyard" in my mind is a place you can comfortably drive to, and not need to stay overnight after a game. I've done the 3.5 hour drive back to NJ after a Cuse game before. It's MISERABLE. Would not call that my "backyard" and I live in Northern NJ.
I grew up in North Jersey and now live in Central (yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus) Jersey. I can’t deny that I too don’t love a 7-8 hour round trip in a day, so that’s fair, but I think for me “backyard” is more concept or state of mind than geographic criteria. By your argument, and to some extent LeMoyneCuse too, Dallas and Houston are not UT’s backyard. Nashville is to far from Knoxville to be considered Vol territory. VaTech has no business in Newport News. A vast majority of Nebraska has no business being backyard recruiting territory for the Cornhuskers, and on and on. As I’m suggesting, there are other factors beyond geography that factor in and the include state school status/tuition and enrollment preference, brand reach, and a shared culture or personality.
 
That discredits the area’s preference for pro sports, as well as its transient population due to major metropolises like Boston, Philly, and NYC. I happen to feel the makeup of the student body and then the larger congregation spots of alumni define the backyard. General fandom while not unimportant may come after that. By your approach, places like Buffalo, NY could be considered the backyard for Duke basketball. NYC and western NJ are in PSU’s backyard, and that’s a solid 200-250 miles. It relies more on the strength of the brand than anything else, and we all know our brand isn’t what it used to be. That said, even if I use your criteria for backyard, I see most schools with a roster over 50% from 300+ miles fared worse than those with less than 50%. It kinda invalidates your point, which I am interpreting as first, there is little to no value in recruiting your backyard, and second, there is great value in building your roster by focusing recruiting on current talent hotbeds no matter the distance. I hope we agree that there is no black or white, right or wrong absolute, but I see greater value in putting in the greater work in your local region.
1) What does pro sports have to do with anything in this conversation, other than it makes people not care about college sports and therefore have little awareness about various nuances regarding different teams?

2) "Most schools with a roster over 50% from 300+ miles faired worse than those with less than 50%." If you had actually read my whole post, you'd notice that I argue there's no correlation between wins and losses and how far players' hometowns are from campus because of the wide distribution of wins and losses for schools with the same type of player draw.

But since you mentioned it, the Mean (8) and Median (7.5) wins for the 50%+ group is slightly higher than the Mean (7.27) and Median (7) for the under 50% group. So this is the opposite of your claim.

3) The key word is "majority." The majority of Syracuse locals are fans of the Orange. That's the inherent advantage of being able to get local recruits - a kid knows you before you know them and not the other way around. But Upstate NY doesn't produce many, so it's a natural barrier Syracuse faces.

4) Regarding your opinion on a backyard - by your logic and based on my experience from living in NYC, the city is Michigan's backyard, because I met more alums who went to Michigan than from anywhere else (not Penn State). But in reality, there's no majority or loyalty to a school of any kind in the tri-state - I went through the alma mater of the first 20 Jersey native friends / coworkers I had while living in Hoboken and came up with 16 different schools, including Maryland, Delaware, UConn, and Vanderbilt.

Plus, if alums aren't the parents of high D1 caliber athletes, that has no impact on the awareness / fandom of the kids who are high caliber D1 athletes, so who cares?

5) Use the enter key once in a while. This is super hard to read.
 
I grew up in North Jersey and now live in Central (yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus) Jersey. I can’t deny that I too don’t love a 7-8 hour round trip in a day, so that’s fair, but I think for me “backyard” is more concept or state of mind than geographic criteria. By your argument, and to some extent LeMoyneCuse too, Dallas and Houston are not UT’s backyard. Nashville is to far from Knoxville to be considered Vol territory. VaTech has no business in Newport News. A vast majority of Nebraska has no business being backyard recruiting territory for the Cornhuskers, and on and on. As I’m suggesting, there are other factors beyond geography that factor in and the include state school status/tuition and enrollment preference, brand reach, and a shared culture or personality.
Are you incapable of understanding nuance?

First of all, I say in my initial post "100 miles is arbitrary" because you can't run Excel calculations saying "vibes", so I picked a number that made sense to me and ran it by non-Cuse football friends to get a sense of what their opinion would be, and I came to an unofficial average.

I also say, "In general, there's no standard template of how to recruit - each team acquires talent as they seem fit and proximity to campus is not a huge factor for everyone."

Any team can recruit anywhere they want. No one is arguing Syracuse shouldn't recruit New Jersey, no one is arguing Virginia Tech shouldn't recruit Hampton Roads. Nebraska shouldn't and doesn't recruit most of Nebraska because no one lives there.

I honestly don't understand how someone could read everything I've compiled and say "You're an idiot because you don't think we should recruit New Jersey."
 
Are you incapable of understanding nuance?

First of all, I say in my initial post "100 miles is arbitrary" because you can't run Excel calculations saying "vibes", so I picked a number that made sense to me and ran it by non-Cuse football friends to get a sense of what their opinion would be, and I came to an unofficial average.

I also say, "In general, there's no standard template of how to recruit - each team acquires talent as they seem fit and proximity to campus is not a huge factor for everyone."

Any team can recruit anywhere they want. No one is arguing Syracuse shouldn't recruit New Jersey, no one is arguing Virginia Tech shouldn't recruit Hampton Roads. Nebraska shouldn't and doesn't recruit most of Nebraska because no one lives there.

I honestly don't understand how someone could read everything I've compiled and say "You're an idiot because you don't think we should recruit New Jersey."
Never said you’re an idiot. Ever. I wouldn’t. It’s just not my point of view. There’s no nuance to in that either.

Return

You picked an arbitrary number and then based your entire analysis and conclusion on it. I suggested that you might consider using 250 as your arbitrary and therefore pointless number and ran it by my Cuse friends (because why non-Cuse?) who live in NYC, NJ, Philly, heck Seattle. They all have kids and other friends with kids, and as parents, have influence on them (which is why I mentioned alumni, because they don’t have to have a D1 child to influence a D1 child - your point 4 above).

Pro sports town factors in because in pro towns, less people pay attention to college sports, which contributes to a reduced strength of brand for schools proximate to pro towns. You actually answered this yourself.

Colleges proximate to major metro areas, especially international ones like NYC have a diluted presence because NYC draws people from all schools. You saw this and so did I. That’s why I brought it up and called it a transient population. It doesn’t change that I believe NYC to be in our backyard.

Your point 3 is that MAJORITY of Syracuse locals are fans. My point is that the MAJORITY of Syracuse fans (which is the alumni in particular, who we need to fund facilities and NIL) are not local to Syracuse. It is easier to find a Cuse fan at random in Syracuse, but that doesn’t mean the numbers aren’t greater in the NYC area. It’s just a much more populated area. That is why I suggest my definition of backyard differs from yours.

And that is a big part of the point here. I asked you this specifically and haven’t seen an answer.

Am I wrong in saying your original argument was against SU needing to recruit their backyard, which then led to you trying to define the backyard and directly asking me to do the same in post #7? Change the criteria, and you change the data output.

You seem to be upset by me trying to explain my definition and pointing out how it differs from yours, but also because I agree with many here that no matter the definition, it is a valid and important component of recruiting for most schools and should be for us (and may just be a major contribution for why we are seeing a recruiting resurgence).

You said “there’s no standard template” and I said we both agree on that.

“I hope we agree that there is no black or white, right or wrong absolute, but I see greater value in putting in the greater work in your local region.”

We’re having a conversation and you should not get so offended by a differing opinion, especially when there is also a lot of agreement too.
 
Perhaps rather than distances do in-state, border states/provinces, and non contiguous states/province? There's obviously not a perfect set of parameters but think that would negate a lot of regional nuances schools have.
 
Perhaps rather than distances do in-state, border states/provinces, and non contiguous states/province? There's obviously not a perfect set of parameters but think that would negate a lot of regional nuances schools have.
What I like about 100 miles is that it’s pretty reflective of what kind of area each school is in. It’s not perfect, of course.

If you go by state boundary, that gives Florida State credit for a lot of its players coming from Miami. (It currently has many.) Miami is about the same number of road miles from Tallahassee as Cuse is from Richmond, VA.

I mean, sure, they’re in-state, but they’re not really local, you know?
 
What I like about 100 miles is that it’s pretty reflective of what kind of area each school is in. It’s not perfect, of course.

If you go by state boundary, that gives Florida State credit for a lot of its players coming from Miami. (It currently has many.) Miami is about the same number of road miles from Tallahassee as Cuse is from Richmond, VA.

I mean, sure, they’re in-state, but they’re not really local, you know?

Oh I get it and I enjoy the effort and the read. Was just trying to think alternate means to maybe capture (potentially) more diverse data points while accounting for such a vast array of geographic differences.

Miami can only recruit locally and North for example and is equal distance to Orlando and Havana as the crow flies. In that area however the saturation of talent is probably equal to New York, New Jersey and New England combined for Cuse. Different size nets needed, also privates vs public, enrollment requirements (maybe explains Duke?), etc
 
If you break this down by recruiting ranking, we can probably see more light in this data.

Obviously there are bias in those ranking but this table is just too random IMO.
 

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