Breaking Down the Recruiting History of Virginia, Michigan State, Texas Tech and Auburn

There won’t be a single former top-30 recruit playing in the Final Four in Minneapolis on Saturday.

Michigan State junior guard Joshua Langford was ranked No. 19 in the 2016 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, making him the highest-rated prospect on the roster of one of this year’s Final Four participants, but he hasn’t played since December due to a season-ending ankle injury.

Langford’s teammate and classmate Cassius Winston was ranked No. 31 in 2016, as was Texas Tech’s Brandone Francis in the 2014 recruiting class, which makes them the highest-rated prospects who are playing in the Final Four.

We analyzed the recruiting history of Virginia, Michigan State, Texas Tech and Auburn to see where their recent recruiting classes ranked nationally, how many former top-100 recruits are on their rosters, how many scholarship offers each school offered on an annual basis and what percent of those offers were accepted.


Here’s the breakdown of the recruiting rankings for each of the teams in the Final Four, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Auburn and Michigan State each had three top-25 recruiting classes in the last four years.

School 2015 2016 2017 2018 Average Rank
Auburn 16 12 22 N/A 16.7
Michigan State 25 3 49 17 23.5
Virginia 62 7 98 63 57.5
Texas Tech 74 135 39 33 70.3

 

Here’s a breakdown of how many scholarship offers each team that made the Final Four reportedly offered in the last four recruiting cycles, according to data from 247Sports.

School 2015 Offers 2015 Commits 2016 Offers 2016 Commits 2017 Offers 2017 Commits 2018 Offers 2018 Commits Total Offers Commit Rate
Michigan State 17 3 11 4 18 2 10 5 56 25.0%
Texas Tech 26 4 41 2 52 7 32 4 151 11.2%
Virginia 16 2 25 4 17 2 47 3 105 10.4%
Auburn 38 5 28 4 34 3 34 0 134 8.9%

Note: The numbers above don’t take into account redshirt seniors who were part of the 2014 recruiting class, transfers or walk-ons who were awarded a scholarship. Also, Texas Tech Coach Chris Beard is in his third year with the school so Texas Tech’s 2015 scholarship numbers are from former Texas Tech Coach Tubby Smith.

Of the teams competing in this year’s Final Four, Michigan State offered a significantly lower number of scholarships in the last four years, so it’s not a coincidence that the Spartans also had a much higher commitment rate.

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Here are the 19 players who were rated as top-100 recruits that are on one of the four teams that made the Final Four, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Player School Position Recruiting Ranking Recruiting Class
Joshua Langford* Michigan State G No. 19 2016
Brandone Francis Texas Tech G No. 31 2014
Cassius Winston Michigan State G No. 31 2016
Mamadi Diakite Virginia F No. 32 2015
Austin Wiley Auburn C No. 35 2016
Kyle Guy Virginia G No. 37 2016
Nick Ward Michigan State F No. 42 2016
Ty Jerome Virginia G No. 44 2016
Chuma Okeke* Auburn F No. 47 2017
Khavon Moore** Texas Tech F No. 54 2018
Jay Huff Virginia F No. 57 2016
Horace Spencer Auburn F No. 65 2015
Marcus Bingham Jr. Michigan State F No. 66 2018
Danjel Purifoy Auburn F No. 67 2015
Matthew McQuaid Michigan State G No. 71 2015
Jared Harper Auburn G No. 90 2016
De’Andre Hunter Virginia G No. 91 2016
Foster Loyer Michigan State G No. 96 2018
Davide Moretti Texas Tech G No. 98 2017

*Injured  **Seeking a medical hardship waiver for this season

According to the 247Sports database, there were 58 players in the last four recruiting classes who received scholarship offers from multiple schools that made the Final Four this season.

Five of them ultimately committed to Michigan State, Texas Tech or Auburn. Those players are listed in bold font below.

Here’s a look at those players, which were coveted at some point by some combination of Virginia, Michigan State, Texas Tech and Auburn, broken down by recruiting class.

You’ll notice that Virginia and Auburn offered many of the same players in last year’s recruiting class, while Texas Tech and Auburn overlapped on many of their 2017 offers.

There were only two players who received scholarship offers from three teams that are in the Final Four this season: former five-star prospects Jonathan Isaac (No. 8 in 2016) and Kobi Simmons (No. 26 in 2016).

2018 Recruiting Class

Player Committed To Virginia Offer? Michigan State Offer? Texas Tech Offer? Auburn Offer?
Darius Garland Vanderbilt X X
Luguentz Dort Arizona State X X
Will Richardson Oregon X X
A.J. Reeves Providence X X
Cam Reddish Duke X X
Nassir Little North Carolina X X
Khavon Moore Texas Tech X X
Greg Floyd Long Beach State X X
Zion Williamson Duke X X
Joey Hauser Marquette X X
Bol Bol Oregon X X
David McCormack Kansas X X
D.J. Burns Tennessee X X

2017 Recruiting Class

Player Committed To Virginia Offer? Michigan State Offer? Texas Tech Offer? Auburn Offer?
Trae Young Oklahoma X X
Collin Sexton Alabama X X
Alex Barcello Arizona X X
Gary Trent Jr. Duke X X
Elias Harden Xavier X X
John Petty Alabama X X
Jase Febres Texas X X
Brian Bowen Louisville X X
Kevin Knox Kentucky X X
Rayshaun Hammonds Georgia X X
Jericho Sims Texas X X
Lance Thomas Louisville X X
Garrison Brooks North Carolina X X
Ike Obiagu Florida State X X
Kevin Samuel TCU X X
Howard Washington Syracuse X X
Jamal Johnson Memphis X X

2016 Recruiting Class

Player Committed To Virginia Offer? Michigan State Offer? Texas Tech Offer? Auburn Offer?
Payton Pritchard Oregon X X
T.J. Gibbs Notre Dame X X
Joshua Langford Michigan State X X
Jonathan Isaac Florida State X X X
V.J. King Louisville X X
Braxton Key Alabama X X
Nick Ward Michigan State X X
Austin Wiley Auburn X X
Sedee Keita South Carolina X X
Yoeli Childs BYU X X
Tony Bradley North Carolina X X
Kobi Simmons Arizona X X X
Bruce Brown Miami (FL) X X
Jaylen Barford Arkansas X X
Curtis Jones Indiana X X
Andrew Jones Texas X X

2015 Recruiting Class

Player Committed To Virginia Offer? Michigan State Offer? Texas Tech Offer? Auburn Offer?
Jalen Brunson Villanova X X
Lamonte Turner Tennessee X X
Jalen Coleman-Lands Illinois X X
Jarvis Johnson Minnesota X X
Jamal Murray Kentucky X X
Wendell Mitchell Baylor X X
Malik Beasley Florida State X X
Eric Davis Texas X X
Danjel Purifoy Auburn X X
Kaiser Gates Xavier X X
Henry Ellenson Marquette X X
Noah Dickerson Washington X X

 

MORE: How This Year’s Final Four Stacks Up Historically