During the JT era and before, we judged recruits and our recruiting classes for the most part by their rating agency stars and evaluations. We assumed that the recruits' size, strength, coordination, etc. were more or less reflected in the number of stars. The higher the average number of stars, the better. And, for most big time teams, that assumption proved true - the higher the average number of stars on your team, the more wins/the better your team would be.
But, in the immortal words of Lee Corso, "Not so fast." There are and have been a perplexing number of teams who have more wins and better teams with players whose average stars are much lower. Boise and the Beavs come to mind among others. These teams are considered to be "system" teams for which the recruits are evaluated for their "fit" in the system, number of stars be damned.
I'm wondering if we will become one of those teams. Sonny certainly appears to have a "system" that differs from the traditional pro-set or even standard spread. Although he has said that he molds the playbook to fit the players' abilities, I suspect that is still within the parameters of his "system."
If this is true, we are likely to have to change our way of judging whether recruiting classes are "successes." Like other "system" teams, we may end up with "2 and 3 star" players who contribute to team success much more than 4 and 5 star players would have.
We have precious few clues as to the accuracy of this, so far. The only statement I have seen is Sonny's observation that we need bigger and stronger OLs. And, looking at the tapes of La Tech, I didn't see any world beaters among them, yet they won (at least within their level of competition and certainly gave A & M all they could handle).
I'm sure we'll all still enjoy discussing the "star" ratings of our recruits, but maybe we should be ready to suspend final judgment until we see on the field performance of the team, even more so than before. And, maybe we will have to develop new criteria to better predict it.