Gary Andersen: 'True evaluation of a recruiting class is 3 years from now'
Posted by: Chris Vannini on February 6, 2013
Perhaps no school has had more consistent success while being low on the recruiting rankings than Wisconsin.
From Barry Alvarez to Bret Bielema, the Badgers have had a foundation and identity, and that hasn't really changed for two decades.
That recruiting style isn't planning on changing with new head coach Gary Andersen, who explained as much on The Tim Brando Show.
"We're not a program that's caught up in stars," Andersen said. "We're caught in a program that's going to evaluate young men and if they fit our program and the University of Wisconsin from an education standpoint and from an athletic standpoint. We're taking them whether it's one star or five stars or 20 stars. It doesn't matter.
"If I've got assistant coaches who are looking for stars to recruit people, I think you're putting yourself in a really bad spot down the line. The true evaluation of a recruiting class is three years from now, not on Signing Day by whoever goes through and ranks kids with stars. We don't get caught up in that at all. It's great stuff to talk about, I get all that, but we love the kids in our program, we're excited about them.
"This program has been built on toughness and young men that want to work at a high level and can deal with the toughness from an academic and social standpoint and athletic standpoint to be able to be a part of the University of Wisconsin. We'll never change that. That's what I'm used to. That's what I was used to at Utah or Utah State and recruiting in-state is important to us. It always will be. We'll reach out to the young men that fit us."
Andersen's first class at Wisconsin is currently ranked No. 38 by Rivals, but most of that recruiting was done by Bielema and the previous staff. Andersen was sure to credit them for setting up him to have success with this class.
"First of all, I have a ton of respect for the staff that was here. Bret's staff was awesome to me when I came in here through the press conference and everything," Andersen said. "It was great. I think they'd done a very good job recruiting and identifying talent and giving us an opportunity to walk in there and compete at a very high level with the recruiting class.
"The foundation is set. The key is to tweak it and see exactly how it fits in your scheme as you evaluate the players as a new staff (figuring out where) you're going to fit the pieces of the puzzle and how it moves the program forward. Any time you go through a recruiting class, it's important to understand you're recruiting for next season, which is always the most important season, but you're also setting a foundation for the future."
Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to email@example.com