FINALLY! This is something I've been wanting to do for a while and am pleased to present to you.
With so much attention focused on the new staff's recruiting pedigree, we wanted to take a step back and re-evaluate how we were handling recruiting news. The problem we have always run into in the past is that the news gets too cumbersome to handle in an efficient manner. Especially at this time of the year, there are a handful of commits and about a bajillion prospects (who are all keeping about 37 schools in their top 5). There's just no good way of handling that much information without bogging down the entire process.
Until now, that is. A huge, hearty h/t goes out to our Florida State brethren Tomahawk Nation (may they crush the Gators on the recruiting trail but lose to us...) and their incarnation of a recruiting board. Having seen that, we knew immediately that they had struck upon something with serious potential, so we stole it for our very own. (Thanks, TN!)
Without further adieu: Rocky Top Talk's Tennessee Volunteers 2010 Recruiting Big Board!
View Rocky Top Talk's Tennessee Volunteers Recruiting Big Board 2010 in a larger map
And if you wish, you may view this board with Google Earth!
Now, for a few words on how we're going to handle this thing.
The quick legend:
All athlete pinpoints mark their high schools. (No creepy house stalking for you!) Seriously now, it gives a nice perspective on where the coaches are going for players.
- Tennessee Commits are marked by Orange "C" Pinpoints. Clicking on the pinpoint will give a brief description and a link to the Rivals bio.
- Tennessee Prospects are marked by Blue "P" Pinpoints. These are similar to the commit pinpoints except that the descriptions are from Scout because their prospect listing is easier to navigate. Note: not all prospects are listed. More on this below.
- NFL teams have listings of Vols on their rosters. The new staff is interested in the NFL pipeline, and so are we. This just might the easiest place to find NFL Volunteer listings on the web.
- The Pro Football Hall of Fame pinpoint lists Vols in the HOF.
- The Power T pinpoint is for Neyland Stadium. Go ahead and click open the description. :-D
I will take the point on maintaining the board and plan on using it for recruiting updates from time to time. But like most of the things we do here, I hope it becomes a source of conversation and not just a static news ticker. Here's where I could use some help:
- Updates on Recruiting Prospects. This will probably be the most dynamic part of the board. The prospects listed are a 'starter' list designed to get the ball rolling. Who's missing? Who shouldn't be there? What information would be helpful? I'll periodically update it and re-post. (And yes, Jesse Scroggins is on the board.)
- Prospects From Tennessee. I want to place an emphasis on prospects from the home state of Tennessee. Right now, I have all of the Tennessee players marked that I know have been offered by UT. I also plan on adding more that will likely get offers, though I'll do that slowly to avoid overcluttering things. But pay attention to Tennessee high school football; if you hear of a player that should be on the board and isn't, let me know.
- Big Board Features. There are a lot of ideas we had that didn't make it to the Big Board, partly to avoid clutter and partly because we didn't think some would be useful. But we fully expect this thing to evolve as we get feedback. What kinds of things do you see that you like? What's unnecessary? What's missing?
- Videos. One of the beauties of Google Maps is the ability to embed videos into the descriptions. If you clicked on the Power T, you saw this already. I need to know if the videos show up well. I had a script issue in my first attempts and I want to make sure they don't cause problems.
We don't plan on using this for all recruiting news, but we hope this becomes the nerve center for RTT coverage of football recruiting. This may be one of the most exciting recruiting seasons we've had in a long time and we hope to capture is on this new gizmo and see the map slowly turn Big Orange across the country.