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NCAA Football 10: The Art of Recruiting Part I

Hellisan of Tradition Football here; today I’d like to present a bit of NCAA 10 recruiting strategy for those involved in a competitive online dynasty. I'm in a league with 12 members known as Tradition 1 - the inaugural league in Tradition Football. When it comes to recruiting I think we have a league of experts. We are a league comprised of 25-45 year old professionals so we’re not exactly expert gamers, but we are expert recruiters. It becomes very challenging to get good players in a scenario like this. In this article I’ll outline some of the things to keep in mind that will help you put up a good class.

1) Make a list of needs. I recommend keeping notepad just for recruiting notes. I’ll list some more reasons later but for here I recommend keeping a list of every position that you need to address to have a good team. In addition to positions of obvious need, look at your star players. Could they possibly leave early after the season? How about 2 years down the line? Sometimes I’ll just write down that I need 1-2 at a position, other times I’ll write something like I need a star player here. For competitive league play you need a team that’s not only stacked at the top but has depth at each position too.

2) Scout well. There are a few of us in our league that pore over the recruits not only at the beginning but several times during the season. Not everybody can or wants to do that, but I do suggest a thorough analysis of the various positions on some level if you’re looking to put together a good class. EA has implemented a system where the 2-star players can occasionally be great and 5-star players can sometimes be crap.

In this year’s game you can look at the letter grade ratings for each player in the entire draft class and have a pretty good idea of how good they are going to be. Unrealistic but hey that’s what we have to work with. I like to start with the home state and pipeline states and look for players that have my team right at the top of the list. Of these players I add the ones that will contribute to my team. This is usually a VERY short list even with Georgia. The bulk of the players in the recruiting pool wouldn’t really help me, I need the best. So usually I’ll have between 3 and 5 players on my board that list UGA as their number one team.

To look at a position quickly I recommend sorting a few times. Start with interest. Find the players that are interested in you and look through them, and add any that are really good. Then sort by overall ranking. Then sort by speed/strength, etc. This is how you find a really great 2-star or 3-star player. They won’t be ranked right at the top but they’ll have awesome physical attributes a lot of times that will give them away. Look at the ratings of these players and trust what you see. The system doesn’t lie… unfortunately. Always keep in mind you want the most talented class not the #1 class – these are often two very different things.

3) Keep a small board. I won’t break down the recruiting advisor in this article, I assume most of you know that this system is in effect even if it’s locked in your dynasty, and that you know how to use it. If you have a 35-player list it becomes very difficult to take advantage of the X2 or the insta-signs because you can’t get to everybody on the list. Another reason for this is that the recruits have “egos” to some extent. If you’re recruiting a great 5-star prospect that you think is a must-have, you do not want to have any additional players at that position on your board. They are aware of who is on there and would rather sign with a team that is only going after them. It’s not impossible, but if it’s close, it can be the deciding factor. Also with the way the classes are generally structured there’s usually a maximum of 1-3 true impact players at a position then a whole slew of guys that are at the next level. You want the impact guys. They separate the great teams from the good teams and you can always add one of the many 2nd tier options if you lose out on the impact guy.

So how big should the board be? This is a matter of preference combined with topic 4 below. There are many who would tell you to keep a board of 5-7 impact players to spend all of your time on. This makes it very hard for people to beat you on a player but at the same time then you sometimes have slim pickins later on. If the people in your league have any brains whatsoever they will catch on to your style and if they see you jump on a player of theirs after you sign one of your guys they will adjust. I’ve tried this strategy before but I usually end up with a huge board anyway. I usually go into week 1 with a large board then immediately starting cutting down after the first week based on who people are going after, who I could legitimately sign, and I settle in with a board at around 15 players, sometimes with a few extra 5-10 minute quick-call recruits that I think can help me.

When all is said and done I usually end up with a breakdown like this:

a) Players that require a drawn-out fight against other human teams. Maximum of 5 but usually 2-3. The very best players in the class and my biggest needs. Willing to spend at least 1.5 hours per week.

b) Very good players that could be gotten with around 30-50 minute calls. Usually 5-7 players.

c) 5-10 minute quick call players. Again, good players, sometimes low-ranked players that the competition isn’t high for.

If you don’t keep your board pared down like this it’s very hard to be competitive on the “must have” players.


Member Comments
# 1 mossduncan @ 02/28/10 06:53 AM
hey i want in on your dynasty..cause iam serious about it but i cant find anyone else that will keep up with it
 
# 2 Joshua1207 @ 02/28/10 11:46 PM
Doesn't really help much, sorry. Should give some tips on how to get players that you're in battles with other users. I usually send 2.5 hours on people I'm in with competitions in (usually REALLY good players) but somehow they still get more interested in the other user. I would like to know why?
 
# 3 RynoAid @ 03/01/10 08:52 AM
this is just part 1 Josh, there are still 2 more installments with a ton more information to come.
 
# 4 jagsfan82 @ 03/01/10 11:58 AM
do you guys use this for offline as well?
 
# 5 jsquigg @ 03/01/10 12:20 PM
Man, this info is timely! I can't wait to open NCAA Football 10 when it comes out and put these tips to use...
 
# 6 jello1717 @ 03/01/10 12:42 PM
Heh. The interwebs sure do have a lot of haters!
 
# 7 RynoAid @ 03/01/10 12:46 PM
at Tradition Football we play the game all year... from launch to launch, so if your diehard like us, you got about 5 more seasons to utilize this info in an online dynasty... but if your just waiting for '11... yea, this ain't gonna help you much.
 
# 8 MrDhWhat @ 03/01/10 02:53 PM
Interesting...
 
# 9 Crimsontide27 @ 03/01/10 03:59 PM
I mean this in all seriousness because I am curious about this aspect of the game.

Its been shown numerous times, time and time again, that the majority of ratings do not matter in the least bit.

An Ovr 65 OL can hold off a Over 99 DL over 99% of the time. It doesnt matter who you have on your offensive line. Same goes for pretty much every other position that doesnt rely on speed as its main attribute. You can recruit LBs and CBs that have an awareness of 99, but they will still leave every slant and hook pattern open.

Pretty much you only need to look at a QBs accuracy if you want a passer, RB you look for speed, and WR you look for speed. The rest of the offense and defense can have 100 ratings across the board minus the speed and they are ineffective.

What is the main purpose in recruiting, if nothing but speed matters?

Imo, its nothing more than a placebo effect taking place and people trying to put together soemthing that is there...when it really isnt.

I am interested in your take on this subject, as its clear you have spent alot of time putting this together.
 
# 10 Joshua1207 @ 03/02/10 01:20 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RynoAid
this is just part 1 Josh, there are still 2 more installments with a ton more information to come.
Oh okay, sweet
 
# 11 Hellisan @ 03/02/10 05:31 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJAfan6
I read your list and most of the things you said made sense and are basically what ive been doing for the last 2 or 3 versions of NCAA. However this "If you don’t keep your board pared down like this it’s very hard to be competitive on the “must have” players."
isnt really true at all, i usually keep my board around 20-25 maybe more and i do pretty good in OD's, but again you guys are the
"experts"
Experts is a pretty hefty statement maybe I'm over-rating us... lol. If you can have a board of 20-25 players but still put in the time to land the great ones then yeah I'm sure that it will be fine. But for the few players in my league that have a lot of players on their board and like to spread their time around... They're really not landing anybody that useful. Just my observation. One of the very next points that I make (I just gave Ryno the entire article wasn't anticipating a staged release) is to know the "market" in your league. If you can spread the time out and still land impact players then by all means. Just don't try that in my league

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingFelix
Great stuff.
Thanks man I hope the King is primed for an awesome season.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua1207
Doesn't really help much, sorry. Should give some tips on how to get players that you're in battles with other users. I usually send 2.5 hours on people I'm in with competitions in (usually REALLY good players) but somehow they still get more interested in the other user. I would like to know why?
yeah there are gonna be some more installments but if you get a few minutes, PM me and tell me how you typically approach recruiting each player... Like what do you do the initial week; how do you schedule your visits... etc. I think there's good info coming but you guys can be the judge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsquigg
Man, this info is timely! I can't wait to open NCAA Football 10 when it comes out and put these tips to use...
LOL I feel ya. Believe me there are some of us still into the game and we came up with the idea of partnering for some strategy articles somewhat recently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jello1717
Heh. The interwebs sure do have a lot of haters!
lawl yep

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crimsontide27
I mean this in all seriousness because I am curious about this aspect of the game.

Its been shown numerous times, time and time again, that the majority of ratings do not matter in the least bit.

An Ovr 65 OL can hold off a Over 99 DL over 99% of the time. It doesnt matter who you have on your offensive line. Same goes for pretty much every other position that doesnt rely on speed as its main attribute. You can recruit LBs and CBs that have an awareness of 99, but they will still leave every slant and hook pattern open.

Pretty much you only need to look at a QBs accuracy if you want a passer, RB you look for speed, and WR you look for speed. The rest of the offense and defense can have 100 ratings across the board minus the speed and they are ineffective.

What is the main purpose in recruiting, if nothing but speed matters?

Imo, its nothing more than a placebo effect taking place and people trying to put together soemthing that is there...when it really isnt.

I am interested in your take on this subject, as its clear you have spent alot of time putting this together.

There's a pretty good thread HERE that talks about some ratings in the game and which ones are more important, I especially thought the posts by Wisey were useful (starting at the end of the 2nd page).

Basically my feeling on it is that speed isn't the only thing that matters but at the same time I do look for speed at most positions with my team. I don't want a running back with A speed and horrible everything else.

I do see a difference with a good line compared to a bad one, mostly with sacks. (have I bought into the placebo effect I don't know...) For instance I've played 10 games in this current season and given up 14 sacks all year, there are seasons where I've given up 40 before.

The toughest defenses in my league aren't necessarily the fastest, they're the ones that are the best put together all around with a combination of speed, strength in the right places, Size in the right spots, just good all around players WITH speed rather than JUST speed...

We all see different things though.
 
# 12 jello1717 @ 03/02/10 11:53 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crimsontide27
I mean this in all seriousness because I am curious about this aspect of the game.

Its been shown numerous times, time and time again, that the majority of ratings do not matter in the least bit.

An Ovr 65 OL can hold off a Over 99 DL over 99% of the time. It doesnt matter who you have on your offensive line. Same goes for pretty much every other position that doesnt rely on speed as its main attribute. You can recruit LBs and CBs that have an awareness of 99, but they will still leave every slant and hook pattern open.

Pretty much you only need to look at a QBs accuracy if you want a passer, RB you look for speed, and WR you look for speed. The rest of the offense and defense can have 100 ratings across the board minus the speed and they are ineffective.

What is the main purpose in recruiting, if nothing but speed matters?

Imo, its nothing more than a placebo effect taking place and people trying to put together soemthing that is there...when it really isnt.

I am interested in your take on this subject, as its clear you have spent alot of time putting this together.
I've found that speed is certainly not the only thing that matters. For me, this has been most evident @ HB. To this date, Ryan Houston of UNC (87 speed) has been the most dominating back I've had in any of my OD. His ability to break tackles, run over defenders, and always fall forward made him invaluable. No back has ever been able to single handedly control a game like him. Likewise, of my top 5 receivers I've ever had in any ODs, 2 of them had 88 and 87 speed. They were invaluable to me across the middle.

But to answer you question, even if the only thing that you care about is speed, recruiting is still important. If I know how to recruit well, it'll allow me to sign the power backs and possession receivers that I think will make a difference. If you know how to recruit well, it'll allow you to sign speed at every position.
 

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