Recruits, AAU, Shoe Sponsors & BCS Programs
Cracked Sidewalks contributor dr. blackheart puts numbers to a (anecdotally...) well documented pattern of recruit signings in his latest post, "Autumn Sole-stice". Blackheart's numbers put shoe companies at the nexus between elite AAU programs and BCS college programs that heavily recruit the Top 25 recruits from their ranks. According to Blackheart's numbers, 76% of the Top 25 recruits signed with college teams that shared shoe sponsors with their AAU team. The signing percentage dropped to 50% for recruits ranked #51 - #100 (still pretty strong actually). The pattern, per the post, holds for most of the BCS-level conferences, though other factors (strong coaching reputation, local/regional proximity between the recruit and college program, previous affiliation between a recruiting assistant and an AAU program and a shoe company connection between the recruit's prep school and the college recruiting him) can influence a recruit's final choice.
Blackheart provides a breakdown for nine conferences (all of the BCS conferences plus CUSA, the Horizon & A-10). Worth the time to read.