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Badger Bits: Scientific proof that Wisconsin is among the best at developing NFL talent

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Data show that Wisconsin is among the best schools in the nation at developing 2- and 3-star level high school recruits into NFL Draft prospects.
Data show that Wisconsin is among the best schools in the nation at developing 2- and 3-star level high school recruits into NFL Draft prospects.

If you are looking for light reading material, this FanPost at Black Heart Gold Pants isn't it. If you're looking for more fodder to throw at your friends that Wisconsin is truly one of the best programs in the country at turning 2 and 3-star recruits into NFL-ready machines, well you're in luck.

The nitty gritty methodology is all in the link. In a nut shell, this UpUpDownDown fellow figured out what fraction of Rivals recruits at the 2-star, 3-star, 4-star and 5-star levels from 2002-2009 actually develop into NFL Draft prospects, and based on that data came up with a list of which programs were making the most efficient use of their talent.

The evidence adds more fuel to the fire that Iowa and Wisconsin are among the best schools in the country, not just the Big Ten, at getting players ready for the next level. The Hawkeyes have had 28 players drafted over the last eight years, and based on their recruiting efforts should have only had 14.7 (Riley Reiff's baby arms account for the fraction). By this measure, Kirk Ferentz' players have an 89 percent chance above average at being selected in April, making Iowa the best developmental program in the country.

Wisconsin came in at No. 12 with 20 players drafted despite only 15 projected, putting them behind Ohio State (No. 4 overall) and ahead of Penn State (No. 13) within the conference. Caveats re: sample sizes and what not, the data is further testament to just how well the Badgers have done with less recently.

The post has a lot of other fascinating tidbits, including a look at conferences (the B1G is tops) and position groups (Iowa and Wisconsin are Nos. 1 and 2 at developing linemen). The data also confirms that recruits tend to head South when given the opportunity, which makes sense.

Two things to note: 1) This could be construed as evidence of regional bias within the rankings of recruiting services and 2) So does this mean Wisconsin is better at developing 2 and 3-star recruits or simply better at evaluating talent at the high school level?

More links after the jump.

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