I ran into this interesting tidbit on the College Football Matrix website.
The University of Wisconsin football team's recently signed recruiting class represented the fifth-biggest jump among schools when compared to their average ranking over the previous five years.
UW's average national ranking for its last five recruiting classes was 40th. This year's class was ranked 28th, an improvement of 12 spots.
Arizona State had the biggest jump, a plus-20, going from an average of 38 the previous five years, to 18th this year.
The rest of the top five included Kentucky (plus-19), North Carolina State (plus-17) and Kansas State (plus-14).
There were only eight total schools whose 2014 composite class ranking exceeded their five-year average by 10 or more spots.
The remaining three are Arizona (plus-11), Tennessee (plus-11) and Texas A&M (plus-10).
Only one school among the top eight was also listed in 2013 among the "Recruiters Risers List." That was Texas A&M.
So, how significant is this for the Badgers?
This was UW coach Gary Andersen's first full recruiting class, so that's certainly an encouraging sign for the Badgers. But the story also made it clear, it's difficult to change recruiting trends over the long haul.
"To have any big break-out year is exceptional. To do it for several years, extremely difficult. To break out, re-establish a new ‘range’ and maintain it is very rare."
Still, any new trend has to start somewhere and we'll see if Andersen is able to keep this up in the 2015 recruiting class.
One other noteworthy item, UW was the only one of the eight schools to have the same average ranking over the past three and past five recruiting classes. The Badgers averaged No. 40 for both periods, so they have been nothing if not consistent in recent years.
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