No Sleep Till Football

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Do Recruiting Sites Mean Everything? Anything?

Yesterday was signing day for the college football world and if you are a college football junkie like me, you were probably checking some website all day yesterday seeing who was going where at the last minute. A lot of sports shows discussed just how important these rankings were in regards to awarding a particular player 5 or 4 or 3 stars as a recruit. If you go by the top-32 players according to Scout Inc. in this year’s draft, let’s take a look at how many stars they were awarded. My favorite recruiting website is Rivals so we’ll use that.

1. Ndamukong Suh – 4 Stars (2005), #6 DT
2. Gerald McCoy – 5 Stars (2006), #1 DT
3. Eric Berry – 5 Stars (2007), #1 CB
4. Anthony Davis – 4 Stars (2007), #5 OG
5. Jason Pierre Paul – 4 Stars (2009), #3 DE (Juco)
6. Joe Haden – 4 Stars (2007), #3 ATH
7. Russell Okung – 3 Stars (2006), #33 OT
8. Derrick Morgan – 4 Stars (2007), #10 DE
9. Bryan Bulaga – 4 Stars (2007), #6 OT
10. Dez Bryant – 4 Stars (2007), #9 WR
11. Sam Bradford – 3 Stars (2006), #12 Pro-Style QB
12. Rolando McClain – 4 Stars (2007), #2 ILB
13. C.J. Spiller – 5 Stars (2006), #2 RB
14. Trent Williams – 3 Stars (2007), #28 OG
15. Earl Thomas – 4 Stars (2007), #12 ATH
16. Carlos Dunlap – 5 Stars (2007), #1 DE
17. Mike Iupati – 2 Stars (2005), NR in any category
18. Brandon Graham – 5 Stars (2006), #2 ILB
19. Brian Price – 4 Stars (2007), #5 DT
20. Bruce Campbell – 5 Stars (2007), #3 OT
21. Kareem Jackson – 4 Stars (2007), #3 DB (Prep School)
22. Dan Williams – 3 Stars (2005), #35 DT
23. Taylor Mays – 5 Stars (2006), #2 ATH
24. Sergio Kindle – 5 Stars (2006), #1 ILB
25. Jermaine Greshem – 4 Stars (2006), #1 TE
26. Brandon Spikes – 5 Stars (2006), #2 OLB
27. Kyle Wilson – 2 Stars (2005), NR in any category
28. Jared Odrick – 4 Stars (2006), #3 DT
29. Navorro Bowman – 4 Stars (2006), #12 ILB
30. Jahvid Best – 4 Stars (2007), #13 RB
31. Anthony McCoy – 4 Stars (2006), #10 TE
32. Maurkice Pouncey – 4 Stars (2007), #15 OG

Of the top-32 players according to Scout we get the following breakdown:

5 Stars: 9
4 Stars: 17
3 Stars: 4
2 Stars: 2

Obviously this is just a cross section of the supposed 1st round talent, but you can see that a little over a quarter of the players are 5-star talent. The majority are 4-star players with 19% of the players being of the 2-3 star variety. That doesn’t mean that you should go out and recruit 2-3 star players only, but I think it does mean that some players who are really really good can fall through the cracks. Just take a look at Kyle Wilson & Mike Iupati. I’ve read where some scouts believe they are the best CB & OL players respectively in this draft, yet they were only 2-star players out of high school. Amazing. Jason Pierre Paul is even deceptive a bit. He wasn’t recruited at all hardly out of high school and went the JUCO route. He ended up a 4-star player out of the JC, but could someone have picked up that guy out of high school? Probably.

The Class of 2006 would have been the true seniors in 2009. When we look at 5-star players from that class who are the players we aren’t hearing much about?

Vidal Hazelton
Allen Bradford
Mitch Mustain
Sam Young
Reshad Jones
Robert Rose
Stefon Johnson
A.J. Wallace
Al Woods
C.J. Gable
Brandon Warren
Eddie Jones
Stephen Schilling
James Aldridge
Carl Johnson

That is 15 5-star players out of the class of 2006. There were only 28 of them so 54% you could argue didn’t live up to the 5-star category.

I think we can at least argue that recruiting is obviously looking past what a player is in high school. Forecasting is more important than the recruiting rankings in my opinion. That doesn’t mean you don’t go out and try to get the best available talent. The more 4-5 star players you have the more likely you are to produce high quality players without question, but which one of those 4-5 star players work out is the bigger question and forecasting that player’s future is the talent that is probably the most applicable in this instance.

It’s fantastic to get a top-10 or a top-5 class, but that doesn’t mean you automatically get a championship every season. Or even the best players.


February 4, 2010 - Posted by | Recruiting


  1. Why is Cincy ranked higher that USC in the Polls

    Why? Because USC has all the 5 Stars? Cincy has all the 2 Star players> Answer: Bad coaching decisions at SC and GREAT coaching at Cincy. I think USC will do very well this year. Kiffin will make good business decisions and not base his decision on a father disagreeing with the USC staff. Who made Pete Carroll God. Vidal’s dad wasn’t getting the result from Pete so take the fight public. Pete Carroll is not use to dealing with strong black men but he got one from Mr Hazelton. Pete hires a guy name Joe Mendes for SC. Cornerstone Consulting. Remember this name folks. Ask Mike Garrett if this guy is not on their payroll. Former VP for the Redskins. His job is to help Pete prevent kids from leaving for the draft and push them in the direction of certain agents. They tried this with Mark Sanchez. Didn’t work. Tried it with Ray Mauluga. Didn’t work. Who knows who else kid they tried this with. LOOK people. I hate to bust your bubble but Pete Carroll is no saint. I saw an interview with Mark Sanchez on the NFL network. They asked him what advice does he have for Pete Carroll going to the Seahawks? He replied “Stay in school” Pete laughed when they played the clip for him. It is very easy to play nice guy on TV and in the public eyes. BUT. Do you folks ever wonder what really happens behind closed doors. There was a lot about to come down at USC. I got the inside scoop. Pete got out fast and boy did he run that 40 in a sub 4.3. THIS IS AN EXCLUSIVE. STAY TUNED FOLKS

    Comment by Anonymous | February 4, 2010 | Reply

  2. Don't count Vidal Hazelton out yet. He is the REAL DEAL. He was one of the main reason that the Bearcats was so successful. Brian Kelly awarded him the Scout Team MVP prior to leaving for ND. I believe Vidal was hindered by Steve Sarkisian at USC. It is one thing to have competition but the real question is: Will they allow you to compete. USC is notorious for this. Vidal's dad did not get along with USC and was caught in the middle of a dog fight. Because the can do it with the stable of players they recruit.This kid was by far the best player at USC but wasn't allowed to be the BALLER he is. What Pete Carroll and company tried to do was very petty. I look for Vidal having a great year and the NFL boards drafting him high in 2011. Maybe you should go take in a Cincy practice and see the TRUTH. Vidal is the REAL DEAL. 6' 3″” sub 4.4, Runs crisp and precise routes, VERY Physical and probably the best blocker I've seen in college football. Lane Kiffin was the man that recruited Vidal and he knows his stuff. I think SC is in so much better hands with Lane Kiffin calling the shots. That is why USC lost so much game. USC wasn't playing the best players. Lane Kiffin won't stand for that. He's all about business. Pete Carroll was a happy go lucky dude that won't last 2 years in the NFL if shorter. Nice guy but not NFL material. Go Trojans

    Comment by Anonymous | February 4, 2010 | Reply

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