News With Commentary by TSL Staff
Tuesday, December 5, 2000
TechSideline.com Launches Recruiting Database
TechSideline.com is pleased to announce the introduction of its football recruiting database. In a moment, I'll give you a link to the new database, so you can take a look, but first, a few words about the creation of the database, who will maintain it, and its mission.
The rollout of the TSL recruiting database follows months of planning and work by message board poster "Hokie Matt" and the guru of the TSL recruiting message board, Carlton Dudding, also known as CLDVT.
Matt is the programmer for the TSL recruiting database. The database is written in PHP, and Matt has put in many hours creating it and responding to numerous irritating requests from yours truly to tweak and tune the database. We still have many updates, both large and small, to make to the database, but we were anxious to roll it out and have the TSL visitors start using it and providing some feedback.
Carlton is responsible for "populating" the database, which is a fancy way of saying that he entered the players who are currently stored in the database. I put in some of them myself, but only about 8 or 9, and Carlton took care of the rest.
As those of you who visit the TSL recruiting message board know, Carlton is a true recruiting nut who combs the Internet and various recruiting publications to keep other posters on the TSL board up-to-date on what's going on with Hokie football recruiting. He is a natural fit to maintain TSL's recruiting database. I will help him out in updating and maintaining the database, but make no mistake, Carlton (as they say) has forgotten more about Hokie football recruiting than I'll ever know.
Now, some comments on the new recruiting database -- please take time to read these, because it's very important that you understand what our mission is with regards to football recruiting coverage, and how we're going to conduct ourselves:
Nearly all of TSL's recruiting info will be combed from other sources. Publications such as Rivals.com, PrepStar, and SuperPrep have full-time staffs that spend all day, every day, following football recruiting, and they do a great job of it. Here at TSL, neither I nor Carlton have the luxury of doing so. Therefore, we picture ourselves more as gatherers of information that can be found elsewhere, as opposed to cutting-edge news-breakers.
In short, we will use the TSL recruiting database to pull together all the Hokie football recruiting news we can find from other sources, so those of you who follow recruiting won't have to spend hours and hours going from one place to another. Occasionally, we may break our own story here at TSL, but it's not something we'll make a habit of, and we don't see it as our mission.
Naturally, this means that we'll have to be very careful to credit sources of the information that we present, and we will make every effort not only to do so, but to provide links to the original material if possible. The last thing we want to do is rip off other recruiting experts' work and present it as our own.
Again, our primary mission is compile news and updates found elsewhere into one handy reference for Hokie fans, not to become the next Allen Wallace (SuperPrep) or Bobby Burton (Rivals100.com).
For starters, the database has about 40 players in it. Recently, I received in the mail an update from PrepStar that listed prospects for Virginia Tech. The list was three pages long and included nearly 70 players, all of whom were either considering VT, had received offers from VT, or are VT verbal commitments.
For the time being, our database is much smaller than that. Again, we're not full-time recruiting gurus, so we're going to start out with a slightly more limited set of players and see how it goes. It's possible that some players considering VT will slip under our radar, especially as the recruiting season winds down and some players who aren't on Tech's "A-list" might wind up getting late offers and signing with the Hokies.
Be sure to check out the new "Recruiting Updates" page. Matt has also created a fancy new feature that replaces the old TSL "Recruiting Flash" page with a database-generated page.
As we bring you news updates on recruits, Carlton and I will enter them into our database, and the latest updates will always appear at the top of the TSL Football Recruiting Home Page (linked below). The first part of the most recent recruiting update will be shown, along with the notation "...more," and if you click on the "more" link, you'll be taken to the fancy new "Recruiting Updates" page. From there, you can step backwards in time through all recruiting updates and view them ten at a time. Very cool.
Please be patient as we get this thing off the ground. Many of you will no doubt be excited to see the introduction of the database, and will immediately go take a look. And for all I know, several dozen (or hundred) users simultaneously on the database may bring it instantly to its knees, crashing it immediately.
We have tested the database among a small group of regular posters and Hokie recruiting nuts, but there's no telling what will happen when large numbers of people hit it at the same time. So if we have technical difficulties, please be patient while we work our way through them.
One of the limitations we face is that our programmer, Hokie Matt, has a job in the "real world," plus a family to spend time with and take care of, so he will not necessarily be present to instantly fix any problems that we encounter.
Am I repeating myself? I think I am. Please be patient.
Send us your comments and suggestions! We have received many comments from our beta testers, some of which have been implemented, and some of which haven't.
For example, one request is to see more rankings info for recruits -- SuperPrep ranking, Rivals.com ranking, etc. We have also received requests to add a list of schools that recruits are considering. We currently don't do that in a form where it's easily visible and sortable.
Those are both good suggestion, and we'll probably try to implement them in one form or another, but I can't promise you when.
What would you like to see? Take a look at the database -- the link is below -- and send comments to me by emailing [email protected]. I'll consider all the comments that you have, and I'll compile the good ones into a master update list for Matt.
Here's the link to TSL's Football Recruiting Home page -- there are a couple of prominent links to the new TSL Football Recruiting Database on that page (look for "Recruit Database/Prospect Search"). Now, off you go -- enjoy!