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Colleges take NFL Combine-type measurements of recruits, too

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Welcome to The Crootletter (sign up to get this in your inbox every morning!). I'm Bud Elliott, SB Nation's National Recruiting Analyst, and in this space I'll be sharing news, rumors and musings on the world of college football recruiting.

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I enjoyed this piece from SB Nation NFL Editor Danny Kelly on the importance of hand size when evaluating quarterbacks for the NFL Draft. Colleges care about it a lot as well. As I wrote a few weeks ago:

It's all about projecting and seeing what the player can be. College programs take a ton of measurements when a player gets into camp -- hand side, hip width, neck size, shoulder width, shoe size, reach, etc., and compare it to years of data they have on what a starter often measures in high school. And they eyeball the parents and any siblings or relatives if possible, too.

Hand size is important for all positions because it potentially suggests how much a player may continue to grow. But for positions that handle the football it may be more important, like in bad weather. It just makes sense that being able to cover a larger portion of the ball with a hand equates to more control.

What people might not realize is that big schools have years and years of data collected on prospects and they know what elite prospects usually measure in as 16- or 17-year-olds. They will make exceptions, of course, but I've seen an elite school turn down a top prospect because his hips were too narrow, suggesting he could add only 20 pounds, not the 40 the school felt he needed to be elite.


Black Shoe Diaries broke down Penn State's wildly successful junior day.

Alabama hired Mike Locksley, an amazing recruiter who used to be Maryland's offensive coordinator to be an analyst. An analyst! That staff is insane. Locksley has awesome connections in the DMV area and though he cannot go on the road to recruit, an analyst can help with on-campus recruiting. You can bet Alabama will be getting some visits from even more D.C.-area players.


If you're a recent signup or missed a day, that's OK. I link my previous Crootletters in this section.

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Steven Godfrey and I discussed the mechanics and timing of negative recruiting.

I wrote 3,000 words on the top performers from Nike's The Opening Regional in Orlando. Here's offense and defense.

I wrote about how roster balance in recruiting can help with player development at other positions.

Which states kept top talent home the most? Plus, observations about in-state recruiting across the Southeast.