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49ers appear somewhat frequently on Rivals.com High School prospect list

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The 49ers are among the league leaders in having Rivals.com Top 100 players on their roster. Is there a reason for this, or is it just a coincidence?

Mike Zarrilli

Every so often I get random tidbits of 49ers-related information sent my way over email. Recently, Jimmy Kempski of Blogging the Beast and Bleeding Green Nation sent along some interesting information about recent 49ers draft picks.

Jimmy has been researching the last five years' worth of drafts to see which teams draft more players who once appeared on the Rivals.com Top 100 high school prospects list. The 49ers are ranked fourth, behind the Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who all drafted 11 over the past five years. The 49ers ranking benefited by four such selections in the 2013 NFL Draft:

Over the previous four years, the 49ers drafted five other such players:

Jimmy had this theories for why teams might have more Rivals.com Top 100 players, including a predilection for big schools. The 49ers have plenty of big school players, but part of that is because so much talent comes out of those big conferences.

After Jimmy emailed me, I got in touch with Mike Sando, who does a good job tracking all sorts of minutiae about the NFC West rosters. The only change would be Joe Hastings from Division II Washburn out, Kassim Osgood from San Diego State (Mountain West) in.

conference count
SEC 15
Big Ten 13
Pac-12 10
ACC 9
Big 12 8
Mtn West 6
WAC 5
Big East 4
C-USA 3
MAC 3
Missouri Valley (I-AA) 2
Mid-American (II) 2
Independent 2
Ohio Valley (I-AA) 2
SIAC (II) 1
GLIAC (II) 1
Mid-South (NAIA) 1
Great Northwest (II) 1
(No College) 1
Southern (I-AA) 1


I keep an eye on college football, but not particularly close. I don't know what to make of the Rivals.com information. Is it just random luck, or do the 49ers look at guys with a pedigree of success dating back to high school?

Any thoughts?