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Ben Burr-Kirven: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year - Printable Version

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Ben Burr-Kirven: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year - cardcrimson - 12-04-2018

The kid apparently wanted to come to Stanford and had the grades and test scores. Can someone again try and explain why our recruiting team didn't drive the 8 miles to see him play? It's not like we ran out of scholarships . . . .


RE: Ben Burr-Kirven: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year - CowboyIndian - 12-04-2018

(12-04-2018, 10:08 PM)cardcrimson Wrote:  The kid apparently wanted to come to Stanford and had the grades and test scores. Can someone again try and explain why our recruiting team didn't drive the 8 miles to see him play? It's not like we ran out of scholarships . . . .

This has been explained, convincingly, several times. Sorry you missed those.


RE: Ben Burr-Kirven: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year - JPR36 - 12-05-2018

(12-04-2018, 11:24 PM)CowboyIndian Wrote:  
(12-04-2018, 10:08 PM)cardcrimson Wrote:  The kid apparently wanted to come to Stanford and had the grades and test scores. Can someone again try and explain why our recruiting team didn't drive the 8 miles to see him play? It's not like we ran out of scholarships . . . .

This has been explained, convincingly, several times. Sorry you missed those.

Yeah, the short answer is a) he didn't come to Stanford's camp due to an injury and b) Shaw thought he was a bit of a tweener. If you want a longer one scroll through past posts. There was a long discussion of it a fairly short while ago.


RE: Ben Burr-Kirven: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year - McKenwood - 12-05-2018

This has been explained, convincingly, several times. Sorry you missed those.
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Not convincingly. I don't know why it is so hard for posters here to acknowledge a mistake. Stanford coaches had inside information (from SHP coaching staff) on this player and failed to act. Even to my untrained eye, having watched Peninsula football for 40 years, this guy was special.
Same with Ben Humphreys an all ACC LB (2016) who was in this same class and did not get an offer.

Instead Stanford ends up with 79 players on scholarship and no returning lettermen ILBs for 2019, assuming Barton is gone.


RE: Ben Burr-Kirven: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year - cardcrimson - 12-05-2018

(12-04-2018, 11:24 PM)CowboyIndian Wrote:  
(12-04-2018, 10:08 PM)cardcrimson Wrote:  The kid apparently wanted to come to Stanford and had the grades and test scores. Can someone again try and explain why our recruiting team didn't drive the 8 miles to see him play? It's not like we ran out of scholarships . . . .

This has been explained, convincingly, several times. Sorry you missed those.

Participated in those discussions. Count me as one of the many who remain unconvinced by the CYA posturing of some of the cronies here. Using similar criteria, the braintrust should never have offered Bryce Love, as he certainly didn't fit our prototypical running back a la Gerhart and Taylor.


RE: Ben Burr-Kirven: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year - Hulk01 - 12-05-2018

It comes down to a person's definition of a mistake.

If 124 people in a group of 130 trained and experienced people cannot correctly answer a question n their area of considerable training and experience, it's far more reasonable to conclude that the question was unusually difficult than to conclude that those 124 people somehow failed or in some way fell short of even the median requirements for success in that field.

We didn't offer Burr-Kirven because at 6'0, 200 pounds, we felt he was too slow to play safety (he is) and too small ever to play linebacker (he was.).  Ours was an opinion very widely shared.   It was similar to the recruitment, years earlier, of AJ Tarpley, although Tarp was bigger than BBK in high school. 

What made Tarp outstanding were his instincts, and it is very hard to scout for them.  Similar deal with Luke Kuechly, who got more offers but certainly could be used, if a casual fan wished, to indict the coaches of 24 of the best 25 teams in the country.  Coaches, with very few exceptions, didn't want Luke, AJ, or Ben Happens all the time.


RE: Ben Burr-Kirven: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year - CTcard - 12-05-2018

(12-05-2018, 08:06 AM)McKenwood Wrote:  I don't know why it is so hard for posters here to acknowledge a mistake.

I don't think there is any lack of acknowledging it was a mistake. In fact the comments about missing the Stanford camp and that "Shaw thought he was a bit of a tweener" is exactly an explanation of why (somebody thought) Shaw made that mistake.  I think the pushback is that whining over individual recruiting evaluation mistakes is both pointless (they're simply going to happen) and rather annoying to keep reading.

On the other hand, at least to me, systematic things seem to me to be much more worth discussing. While I think I understand why Shaw is conservative with offers, I think he misses the correct balance. The program would benefit from a more aggressive effort to get close to filling the scholarship limit.


RE: Ben Burr-Kirven: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year - Hulk01 - 12-05-2018

Why did no one--no one, including Michigan State--offer Kenny Willekes?

Willekes just was named first team All American (DE), as just a junior.

He is a walk on, at Michigan State.


RE: Ben Burr-Kirven: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year - cardcrimson - 12-05-2018

(12-05-2018, 08:32 AM)Hulk01 Wrote:  It comes down to a person's definition of a mistake.

If 124 people in a group of 130 trained and experienced people cannot correctly answer a question n their area of considerable training and experience, it's far more reasonable to conclude that the question was unusually difficult than to conclude that those 124 people somehow failed or in some way fell short of even the median requirements for success in that field.

We didn't offer Burr-Kirven because at 6'0, 200 pounds, we felt he was too slow to play safety (he is) and too small ever to play linebacker (he was.).  Ours was an opinion very widely shared.   It was similar to the recruitment, years earlier, of AJ Tarpley, although Tarp was bigger than BBK in high school. 

What made Tarp outstanding were his instincts, and it is very hard to scout for them.  Similar deal with Luke Kuechly, who got more offers but certainly could be used, if a casual fan wished, to indict the coaches of 24 of the best 25 teams in the country.  Coaches, with very few exceptions, didn't want Luke, AJ, or Ben  Happens all the time.

It comes down to effort.

The kid was a two time defensive player of the year and had grades good enough to get in. Yet, according to the posters here, our coaches never saw him play, because on paper he was too small or too slow. To your point, it's hard to scout for instincts. Impossible I'd argue if you don't see a kid play.

Even the Mercury News thought the kid was the best defensive player in the area for two years. How hard would it have been for someone to drive 8 miles away to see the kid play. Too hard, apparently, and we lost out on a pretty special kid.


RE: Ben Burr-Kirven: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year - oldalum - 12-05-2018

the retrospectoscope is highly accurate, but it lacks a denominator


RE: Ben Burr-Kirven: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year - jonnyss - 12-05-2018

burr-kirven was exactly the same in high school: dominant - all over the field making tackles. his vision and instincts were off the charts.

it's not size; it's bad evaluation.  we took mustafa branch - who is the same size or smaller - over burr-kirven. jordan perez was the same size coming out of high school. rankings for the 3 were similar.  we thought that branch and perez were better. 

the fixation on seeing him in camp was a big mistake, another example of stubborn rigidity.  he played in atherton, 3 miles from stanford, and the press on him in high school was of immense proportions. he was not a sleeper.

and it's not in retrospect. i am one of a dozen fans who posted at the time that we should offer ben.

p.s. funny quirk on the cardboard site: i type, h u g e; the site shows h u g e as i type and in the preview, but insists on substituting "of immense proportions" when it actually posts.


RE: Ben Burr-Kirven: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year - stupac2 - 12-05-2018

(12-05-2018, 09:03 AM)oldalum Wrote:  the retrospectoscope is highly accurate, but it lacks a denominator

Right. The question isn't "Why didn't we recruit this guy?" but rather "how many guys like him would we have to recruit in order to find him?" The answer is likely to be "lots".

Also, as CT points out, it's really pointless to fixate on specific misses. If you think that not recruiting guys like BBK is a problem, then that's one thing (but no one does, because as Hulk points out there was really no reason to think he'd develop into a great player). But our issues are more along the lines of recruiting too few guys in general. If you think that means taking chances on guys like BBK who might never pan out, well, fine. But this fixation on this one specific kid is kinda baffling.


RE: Ben Burr-Kirven: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year - cardcrimson - 12-05-2018

Tell me why this isn't symptomatic of a systemic issue.

Seriously, is missing a camp because of injury disqualifying? Too small as a 17 year old is automatically disqualifying? Too slow; an 11.22 in the 100 meters is disqualifying?

It's hard to find great high school football players with the academic capabilities to get in to Stanford, right? This kid was a great high school player and had the grades and test scores required. Maybe I just don't understand recruiting, but not even bothering to see a local kid like this seems to point to an issue with our overall process.


RE: Ben Burr-Kirven: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year - OutsiderFan - 12-05-2018

How many Burr-Kirvens has Stanford had?

How many times has Stanford had a lightly recruited player turn into a guy fans of his hometown team that didn't offer, lamented?  Given the walk-on program at Wisconsin, it's a borderline miracle Stanford got Ben Gardner. I'm sure a few Wisky fans wondered how the Badgers could have missed on someone so good right in their backyard, especially when they lost to Stanford in the Rose Bowl with Gardner playing a key role.


RE: Ben Burr-Kirven: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year - donkey687 - 12-05-2018

(12-05-2018, 10:10 AM)cardcrimson Wrote:  Tell me why this isn't symptomatic of a systemic issue.

Seriously, is missing a camp because of injury disqualifying? Too small as a 17 year old is automatically disqualifying? Too slow; an 11.22 in the 100 meters is disqualifying?

It's hard to find great high school football players with the academic capabilities to get in to Stanford, right? This kid was a great high school player and had the grades and test scores required. Maybe I just don't understand recruiting, but not even bothering to see a local kid like this seems to point to an issue with our overall process.
This reminds me of the Jeremy Lin debate.  Let's move on.  Of course, we made a mistake. If Shaw had it over again, he would have offered. Coaches make judgment calls and they don't have crystal balls. We missed this one. It won't haunt us any longer because BBK is no longer in college.  The one that will haunt us for the next three years is the one that got away last year, Dax Hollifield. We thought we were going to get him and really wanted him. The staff's evaluation turned out right. He started 6 games as a true frosh and made 60 tackles. Ricky Miezkan was our consolation prize. Let's hope he develps into a good one. We need him to.


RE: Ben Burr-Kirven: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year - Hulk01 - 12-05-2018

How did this devolve into "We didn't even bother to go see him play"?

Several coaches saw him.  They thought, as virtually every college coach in America thought, that he would not help their team--and these are coaches with losing, non Power Five teams with 85 scholarships to hand out. 

If it is symptomatic of a systemic issue, the system is college football and not Stanford college football.   College football made a mistake.


RE: Ben Burr-Kirven: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year - cardcrimson - 12-05-2018

(12-05-2018, 11:11 AM)Hulk01 Wrote:  How did this devolve into "We didn't even bother to go see him play"?

Several coaches saw him.  They thought, as virtually every college coach in America thought, that he would not help their team--and these are coaches with losing, non Power Five teams with 85 scholarships to hand out. 

If it is symptomatic of a systemic issue, the system is college football and not Stanford college football.   College football made a mistake.
Because that is exactly what one of the insiders here posted in the discussion last month.


RE: Ben Burr-Kirven: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year - Mick - 12-05-2018

(12-05-2018, 10:29 AM)donkey687 Wrote:  
(12-05-2018, 10:10 AM)cardcrimson Wrote:  Tell me why this isn't symptomatic of a systemic issue.

Seriously, is missing a camp because of injury disqualifying? Too small as a 17 year old is automatically disqualifying? Too slow; an 11.22 in the 100 meters is disqualifying?

It's hard to find great high school football players with the academic capabilities to get in to Stanford, right? This kid was a great high school player and had the grades and test scores required. Maybe I just don't understand recruiting, but not even bothering to see a local kid like this seems to point to an issue with our overall process.
This reminds me of the Jeremy Lin debate.  Let's move on.  Of course, we made a mistake. If Shaw had it over again, he would have offered. Coaches make judgment calls and they don't have crystal balls. We missed this one. It won't haunt us any longer because BBK is no longer in college.  The one that will haunt us for the next three years is the one that got away last year, Dax Hollifield. We thought we were going to get him and really wanted him. The staff's evaluation turned out right. He started 6 games as a true frosh and made 60 tackles. Ricky Miezkan was our consolation prize. Let's hope he develps into a good one. We need him to.

Except Jeremy Lin's growth curve was almost vertical.  Lin was terrific in high school, they beat Mater Dei in the state championship game and Lin was first team all-state.  Lin was recruited at Harvard, and Lin played and started against Stanford in the first game of his sophomore year.  harvard lost 111-56 and Lin's line was almost comical; he went 0 for 6, had five turnovers, no rebounds, two assists.  He was not ready to be on that floor.  By his own admission, he had a big jump his sophomore year and a much bigger jump in skills and game knowledge and strength in his junior year.  Even with that, it took three years before he became a mainstay in the NBA.

BBK, on the other hand, had eight offers, from Washington, Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Northwestern, Utah, Fresno State, Eastern Washington, Princeton and Harvard.  The ranking services had him between 25 and 29 in California for ILB.   I think we mis-analyzed him and whiffed.


RE: Ben Burr-Kirven: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year - slide - 12-05-2018

(12-05-2018, 10:10 AM)cardcrimson Wrote:  Maybe I just don't understand recruiting, but not even bothering to see a local kid like this seems to point to an issue with our overall process.

eventually, Lance Anderson (may be joined by other coaches) drove the 3.5 miles to see BBK play, but I believe the ship had sailed by then.  

as per Shaw's public comments, our head coach's preference is to have recruits come to him and let him watch them in an on-campus camp.  given Stanford's reputation, Shaw can somewhat afford to take this approach rather than go out and beat the hustings for recruits (which he does not do often -- certainly not compared to other football coaches at his pay scale).  however, this stance suboptimizes returns - whether a BBK or a NPF or a...  

hopefully, and as was true roughly 2/3rds of the way through this season with the move from run heavy to pass heavy, we will be able to see some green shoots of change.  may be more early offers, may be use Spring official visits, may be use all the allotted official visits, may be more in-homes to non-committed offerees by the head coach, etc.  none are seismic changes, but they are ones that have potential to improve the ultimate yield on recruiting (quality, quantity, 100% utilization of scholarships)


RE: Ben Burr-Kirven: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year - OutsiderFan - 12-05-2018

Coaches who are comfortable, or otherwise not pushing to envelope at all times, will not be beating those who do.

What makes Saban, Meyer, Swinney, Riley, Kelly, Harbaugh, Smart and the other top coaches so good is that they all are relentless about recruiting.  Shaw may never beat them, but he stands no chance unless he puts as much effort into recruiting as they do.  Just because Stanford can sell itself, it doesn't mean extra effort to sell kids on Stanford isn't warranted or that doing so won't help improve recruiting success.