http://ssbea.mercer.edu/recruiting.htm What does the data show? We were a bit surprised by the results. There were a number of factors that we thought would significantly impact the decision of the high school athlete that didn’t. For example, factors like the school’s graduation rate, the number of Bowl Championship Series (BCS) bowl appearances, the current roster depth at the recruited player’s position, the number of players from a specific college drafted by the NFL, and even the number of national championships won by a particular program don’t systematically influence the decisions of high school athletes. Surprised? So were we. What, then, does matter? As it turns out the following factors DO significantly impact the decision of high school athletes: * Whether the athlete made an “official visit” to a specific college * Whether the school is in a BCS conference * The distance from the high school athlete’s hometown to a specific school * Whether the recruit is in the same state as a specific school * The final AP Ranking of a specific school in the previous year of competition * The number of conference titles a school has recorded in recent years * Whether the school is currently under a “bowl ban” for violating NCAA rules * The current number of scholarship reductions a school faces for violating NCAA rules * The size of the team’s stadium (measured in terms of seating capacity) * Whether the school has an on-campus stadium * The current age of the team’s stadium So, in a nutshell, high school athletes prefer winning programs that are close to home, are in possession of good physical facilities, and are in good graces with the NCAA.