How many scholarship offers do you think college football teams make to recruits each season? Fifty? Sixty? Bear in mind, each team has 85 scholarships to dole out for the whole roster, and up to 25 per class.
As of May 11, Tennessee has made 332 scholarship offers to football recruits in the 2018 class, according to 247Sports. That's the most among Power Five schools (including Notre Dame). Nine of those offers have been accepted, giving the Vols 323 outstanding offers, second only to Iowa State (326), who ranks second in total offers with 331.
Tennessee is one of nine teams who've made at least 250 offers. Five of those are in the SEC, including four of the top six.
Coaches routinely criticize other programs for making too many offers, often without the intention of accepting every recruit's verbal commitment. Last week, Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz, the son long of longtime Hawkeyes' head coach Kirk Ferentz, blasted Iowa State and Minnesota for their recruiting tactics.
"The guys in Ames and the new guy in Minneapolis seem to have no problem throwing early things out," Ferentz said of second-year Cyclones' head coach Matt Campbell and first-year Gophers' head coach P.J. Fleck. "What I’ve learned, certainly about the guys in Ames, we’ll find out about the guys in Minneapolis, what does an offer really mean?
“I can tell you this much, if the University of Iowa offers you a scholarship and you commit to us, we intend to sign you and we intend to take your commitment. I think you have to look no further than in-state to see there were a lot of offers that went out in the 2018 class very early out of Ames. And I’m not sure all of those guys were able to commit to them if they wanted to, because some of those guys have since gone other places.”
Iowa ranks 56th of 65 Power Five schools and Notre Dame with 98 offers, less than half of Minnesota (210) and one-third of Iowa State (331). The Hawkeyes have 93 outstanding offers, compared to 196 for the Gophers and 326 for the Cyclones. The Power Five average is 175.6 total offers and 169.4 outstanding offers.
The Big 12 and Pac-12 are both the smallest power conferences, and the most stingy.
The Big 12 has three of the 10 teams with fewer than 100 offers, but they have none of the three teams with fewer than 75 offers: Northwestern (68), Washington (61) and Stanford (32). For context on the Cardinal's selective recruiting, Tennessee has more offers out to both receivers (48) and cornerbacks (41) than Stanford has total.
In all, the SEC has nearly double — or more than double — the number of total offers and outstanding offers than the Pac-12 and Big 12. Granted, they do have two more teams than the Pac-12 and four more than the Big 12, but the disparities are staggering.
All but three SEC teams rank in the top 21 for total offers, led by Tennessee, Kentucky and Ole Miss in the top five. Auburn, Arkansas and Texas A&M are the lone outliers; they are the only SEC teams with fewer than 200 total offers.
Here's a full team-by-team breakdown, sorted by total offers:
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