Now that recruiting's over, here's a postscript on my original question-
The reason I was willing to go after a guy who was "very tight" with a Sim AI is that he had 9 high categories, including at least 6 high-high's. I just didn't see anyone else even close to his upside available to my B- prestige team, esp within 360 miles. I ended up winning the recruit, though it took over $16K of my $31K budget. (34 HV's, 4 scouting trips). By the way, trentonjoe, based on my experience here, your assumption that Sim spends 30% of his budget on his top recruit is probably in the right ballpark / maybe a little low, depending on exactly how much our prestige difference mattered.
The good news is I was still able to fill my other 5 slots with 4 freshman (3 of whom I like) and a soph. The better news is that my big-money recruit took a RS, so he should be really good for me for his last 3 years.
Bottom line: you can nab a "very tight" recruit, if you have a big recruiting advantage (money, slots, prestige), but I would only try it in the very rare case where the guy's just head-and-shoulders above my other options.