Such is the case with Holy Cross head football coach Tom Gilmore's Patsy Point class this go-around, his first with football scholarships at his disposal.
It's a small class, which in and of itself is not a bad thing, necessarily. But as you'll see below, the Patsy Point rating system was - shall we say - not kind to Holy Cross' incoming class for this season.
Everyone knows, and nobody is more aware of this than the Committee members, that the Patsy Ratings are a deeply flawed system. They are for entertainment purposes only. Any resemblance to the true worth of an incoming class is purely coincidental.
Using the same system used for the rest of the incoming classes, however, Holy Cross did not score well for the class of 2017. Not well at all.
THE GOOD - This may be a stretch - The Committee sure feels like it is - but Holy Cross got a class that literally spanned the Lower 48 States, from the shores of the Puget Sound in Washington State to the wheat fields of Kansas to President Barack Obama's home state of Illinois to Holy Cross' backyard of Massachusetts. You can't say that Gilmore lacked frequent-flyer miles putting together this class.
THE BAD - The Patsy Ratings, flawed as they are, reward "quality", "numbers" and "needs". The Committee argues, using their admittedly broken measuring sticks, that this year's Patsy Points rating reflects strengths in none of these three areas.
A small class with a lot of starred recruits would give a decent rating in "quality". A large, scattershot class, despite a lack of so-called "quality", would give "numbers". Even a focused class in Deep Purple's "need areas" would at least give some extra points their way. Holy Cross' class achieved none of these outcomes. Their Patsy Point production suffered mightily as a result.
QUALITY = 7. No, this isn't a typo.
In this 16-man class, only 7 future members of Deep Purple, or 43% of the class, fogged the mirror in the form of having a page on the recruiting websites in order to get the bare minimum of quality points. Not a single starred recruit graces the Holy Cross incoming class. Not even by accident.
The Crossers have been down this path before. Last year, the Committee saw a very similar class to this one quality points-wise, and even a similar percentage of rated recruits - 47%, to be exact. The difference is that last year's class size was a whopping 30 recruits, while this class only hits about half that.
Time will tell if this approach of essentially ignoring the ratings websites will work for this class. It might. The Committee Members candidly admit that they're almost never the smartest guys in a room, or even the third smartest. But the numbers don't lie. The Patsy Points still add up to 7.
CLASS SIZE = 0. 16 Recruits. As I mentioned in Fordham's Patsy Ratings, a "replacement" class size of 18 is the ideal number of recruited athletes in terms of Patsy points. With Gilmore's small recruiting class of 16, the minimum threshold for Patsy Points here was not met. There is reason to believe that he loaded up on athletes in last year's, need-based aid class, precluding the need for a large class here. But that doesn't change the Patsy Point grade. 0 points were awarded in this area.
DISTRIBUTION = 7. With the exception of linebacker, every position was found in this year's class. (And if you're a Holy Cross fan, you should be thank your lucky stars that they did.)
SPEED = 10. Another thing Crusaders need to be thankful for is the fact that a lot of these recruiting websites posted 40 yard dash times for the Cross recruits, netting 10 extra points for speed.
(It bears mentioning, too, that the biggest speed point producer for Holy Cross had two very different 40 times listed - a three-point Patsy Point swing. As is Committee policy, the best number is always assumed for speed points, thus saving the Crusaders from an even worse Patsy Point number.)
For those looking for positives, it does show that Gilmore appears to value speed in his recruiting. In that sense, he appears to have been successful. As someone who is smarter than the Committee members once pointed out, you can't teach speed.
TRIGGER = 0. One QB only fogged the mirror for the scouting services. No Patsy Points.
JUMBO = 5. 5 OL and 2 DL. All five offensive trench guys hit the Jumbo number with ease. None of the speedy defensive ends did. Again, for those looking for positives, the offensive line got bulk, and numbers.
NEEDS = 3 (of 12):
DL = 0 (of 5). Two defensive linemen, with only one recognized by the scouting services, ain't going to hack it when it comes to meeting this "need area", no matter how underrated the recruits are claimed to be. Unhelpfully, one is listed as a DL or TE, further underscoring that this need was not met.
OL = 3 (of 4). This was the only - the only! - need that was met for the Crusaders, with five jumbo linemen. Five jumbo linemen were good enough for three of the four needs points. Only two were recognized by the scouting services in any way, however, which denies the final needs point.
WR = 0 (of 3). Of all the areas in this disappointing Patsy Point analysis, it's here where the Committee was the most deeply disappointed.
Holy Cross is known for grooming wide receivers that pile up the numbers while thriving in Gilmore's pass-happy system, like WR Gerald Mistretta, WR Brett McDermott, or any number of kids who have caught Purple Passes over the seasons.
With scholarships now a part of Gilmore's Swiss army knife, the first thing on Holy Cross fans' minds had to involve the starred wide receiver recruits he'd be bringing in to Worcester.
So what does Gilmore's first scholarship class get?
One - count 'em, one - wide receiver recruit, and one not even recognized by the scouting services.
Before the Holy Cross fan base gets ready to send The Committee tons of hate mail, this is not, the Committee is at pains to remind, a knock on the quality of the solitary wide receiver recruit for the Cross. He will unquestionably have an opportunity to thrive in Holy Cross' system of offense.
But even if he's an unqualified success, who's going to catch passes around him? A cursory check of Holy Cross' 2013 spring roster counts five wide receivers as seniors. One recruit at wide receiver to replace five pass-catchers down the line? Even if he blossoms into an all-Patriot League performer his numbers might not replace the combined receptions and yardage of the five seniors this season.
Some might say that the recruited tight ends in the class should count in this "need area". The Committee was unanimous in this area when they said NO. While Gilmore generally recruits tight ends that can catch the football, they are NOT wide receivers. For better or for worse, they are in the never-never land of Patsy needs, like fullbacks, or kickers, or long snappers.
The Committee hastens to add that the zero is not a condemnation of the quality of the kid, not at all. (Again - and this seems to be borne out repeatedly - the Committee members are not smarter than anyone else.) But it is a condemnation of only pulling in one recruit at a position which is a constant, known need area for Deep Purple. Holy Cross not signing receivers is like Penn State not signing linebackers, or Al Davis not signing miscreants. The Crossers need to sign wide receivers - not some combination of wide receivers and tight ends - to make their system work. They only got one. By any measure, that's not getting the job done.
COMMITTEE ADJUSTMENT: +2. To show the Committee is not without compassion, nor is the Committee completely sold on Holy Cross' low, low Quality rating, two points were given in the Quality area to reflect multiple (and in one case, well-confirmed) offers for two Cross players which, in the Committee's estimation, robbed a potential ratings star or two from Deep Purple's class.
The Committee thinks it's reasonable to assume that there was more recruiting interest for quite a few of their players than was let on. However, there's only hard data on this being the case for a couple players. It's not enough to have "Alabama" listed as "Medium Interest" on some podunk recruiting website - there needs to be more. Two points are all that were awarded.
Even so, the offers are nowhere near saving the Patsy Point total for this class overall.
HOLY CROSS - 34