Is 2014 the most athletically-gifted class to graduate from this state in recent years? Or ever?
It's tough to find real perspective when it comes to recruiting, seeing as how real data has only been kept since about 2002 at the earliest. Even then, not many commitments and signings were reported at that time, and even fewer were reporting from sports like lacrosse, volleyball and even baseball.
So while the data from the 2014 class absolutely blows away anything that we've been able to dig up, we can't say how it stacks up to, say, the class of 1995. Still, it's astounding where this year's crop of seniors will head.
Consider the following, according to our 2014 recruiting database:
- A total of 905 athletes have signed to play their sport(s) in college.
- Of those, 343 will head to Division I programs.
- Baseball features an astounding 45 Division I players in this class. I was able to find data as far back as 2006. The next-highest output of D-I guys from Colorado came in 2008, when the state had 28. This year's 45 Division I seniors, by the way, came from more than 20 different schools.
- Boys basketball has 12 Division I guys this go-round. That, too, is the most since data was kept, going back to 2002.
- Likewise, girls basketball has 18 Division I players. Again, it is a high-water mark, though I only found reliable data back to 2010.
- Football will send 31 players to D-I FBS schools, which is the most since 2008 (33). Another 16 will head to D-I FCS programs.
- Other sports, like boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse and volleyball were right at or above their average Division I outputs over recent years.
In every instance, these sports are reporting the most college signings across all levels. Now, that is undoubtedly because we're getting more kids to report their college commitments and signings than ever before. (Additionally, our lists only include athletes who are arriving on campus as scholarship athletes. There are dozens of other walkons headed to colleges.)
Even so, the data backs up that the 2014 class will be one to remember.
- Already, the 2015 class is reporting 65 college commitments. Of those, 59 are Division I pledges.
- Valor Christian offensive lineman Isaiah Holland, a senior, had committed to Army to play football, but was recently denied admission "due to a medical issue," according to 9News. Instead, he has signed with Colorado. "I love this state and I love that I get to be one of the cool Colorado kids that gets to go," Holland told 9News.
- Another late college switch: Chaparral baseball's Keenan Eaton tweeted that he will head to Wichita State instead of Vanderbilt. This season, the Shockers featured five Colorado products.
- Arapahoe selected assistant Brad Jansen as its next boys basketball coach. He takes over for Dan Snyder, who was massively successful for the Warriors before stepping away from coaching this offseason. Snyder briefly accepted the job at Grandview before changing his mind. Grandview has since hired Michael Rogers, formerly of George Washington.
- Grand Junction hired Isaac Madison as its boys basketball coach, the school announced on Tuesday. Madison was an assistant for the Tigers for the past 11 years. "We look forward to the leadership that he will bring to our men’s basketball program, and the contributions that he will make to the Tiger coaching staff," athletic director Ned Pollert wrote in an email.
- Arapahoe's Tate Schroeder, who won the 5A girls tennis No. 1 singles title, appeared in Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd on May 26.
- How epic was last week's 2A baseball semifinal battle between Rye and Sedgwick County? The two pitchers accounted for a combined 32 strikeouts. Rye's Trenton Hughes had 17, Sedgwick County's Chase Dunker finished with 15. Sedwick County won 4-1 in eight innings, but then lost to Resurrection Christian in the title game.
- Reagan Todd's two-out, walkoff grand slam to beat Mountain Vista in the 5A baseball tournament last weekend is one of the craziest finishes to a game I've seen at any level.
- The MLB Draft, set for June 5-7, should be interesting for locals. Thomas Jefferson graduate Kyle Freeland, now pitching at Evansville, is expected to be a top-10 pick, and others like Regis Jesuit's David Peterson and ThunderRidge's Brody Westmoreland figure to be selected early. Peterson drew a crowd of scouts while pitching last weekend.
- Dr. James Andrews -- who has performed countless Tommy John surgeries -- and a colleague are releasing an app which seeks to lower the risk of arm injury to youth baseball players. It will be called Throw Like a Pro, and will suggest guidelines on how to manage pitching -- such as number of rest days and maximum number of pitches -- based on a player's age.
- Former Chaparral offensive lineman Shane Callahan will transfer from Auburn to one of the in-state schools, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. The paper cited a desire to play closer to home. Callahan will be a redshirt sophomore.
- Cherry Creek is building a swimming pool. Here's a pic from AD Jason Wilkins on Twitter.