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Thread: Recruiting Rankings

  1. #1

    Recruiting Rankings

    It seems like this year more than ever, there is a big disconnect between recruiting services. For example ESPN has us with 8x 4 stars but scout only has us with two. Maybe this is because with the technology we have today, recruits can display their talents via Internet very easily and it is becoming more and more difficult to give out those coveted 4 and 5 star rankings? Maybe we do put too much emphasis on recruiting rankings because obviously the various experts have drastically different opinions. Maybe we should base each individual recruit on an average rating he got from all services?

    Hopefully ESPN is correct with their rankings of this year's Cal class and Scout is wrong.

    Go Bears!

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Soldierbear View Post
    It seems like this year more than ever, there is a big disconnect between recruiting services. For example ESPN has us with 8x 4 stars but scout only has us with two. Maybe this is because with the technology we have today, recruits can display their talents via Internet very easily and it is becoming more and more difficult to give out those coveted 4 and 5 star rankings? Maybe we do put too much emphasis on recruiting rankings because obviously the various experts have drastically different opinions. Maybe we should base each individual recruit on an average rating he got from all services?

    Hopefully ESPN is correct with their rankings of this year's Cal class and Scout is wrong.

    Go Bears!
    They are all over the place. Plus 2* turn into 4 * and vice versa. Hopefully, we now have some coaches, ( yes, we had a few before ) that will coach up our athletes and we can work as a team. Something sorely missed recently

  3. #3
    Rankings are subjective so their value lies in the ability of those ranking them to evaluate talent. The other issue is the criteria used to rank athletes. Is one guy ranked higher because he has a NFL body at 18 or because he dominated a tough league because he was much more physically mature?

    Look at Thoams Decoud he was a 2 maybe 3 star kid who is an excellent safety at the NFL level. Was he great for Cal? Maybe his last year. Alex Mack was a 2 star recruit who is a pro bowl center. Desean Jackson was a 5 star who has been amazing at times but also also disappears at times. Alualu was a 3 star, Jordan was a 3 star.

    A lot of it comes down to finding kids who are passionate who live eat and breath football. Clay Mathews wasn't highly ranked.

    The people who create the rankings often do so based on watching film or seeing a kid a few times in person. Who knows the kid may have had an undisclosed injury or maybe he was struggling with school for a quarter or maybe his parent/sibiling just passed away there are 1001 reasons why someone doesn't always get ranked as high and often its an inability to recognize someone who won't overwhelm with physical gifts but can overwhelm with heart and mental acuity.

    Go back and looks at the rivals top 100 from 2002. You'll certainly recognize some names but most you'll probably not even remember or never heard of them.

  4. #4
    I don't think you, or anyone, should get bent out of shaped based on recruit rankings. The only thing that matters is being on the extreme ends. We definitely don't want 25 guys who are all 2 stars or unranked by scouting services, but it would be awesome if we had a Top 3 class with all 5 and four stars. It just isn't worth getting worried about.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by RaphaelAglietti View Post
    Rankings are subjective so their value lies in the ability of those ranking them to evaluate talent. The other issue is the criteria used to rank athletes. Is one guy ranked higher because he has a NFL body at 18 or because he dominated a tough league because he was much more physically mature?

    Look at Thoams Decoud he was a 2 maybe 3 star kid who is an excellent safety at the NFL level. Was he great for Cal? Maybe his last year. Alex Mack was a 2 star recruit who is a pro bowl center. Desean Jackson was a 5 star who has been amazing at times but also also disappears at times. Alualu was a 3 star, Jordan was a 3 star.

    A lot of it comes down to finding kids who are passionate who live eat and breath football. Clay Mathews wasn't highly ranked.

    The people who create the rankings often do so based on watching film or seeing a kid a few times in person. Who knows the kid may have had an undisclosed injury or maybe he was struggling with school for a quarter or maybe his parent/sibiling just passed away there are 1001 reasons why someone doesn't always get ranked as high and often its an inability to recognize someone who won't overwhelm with physical gifts but can overwhelm with heart and mental acuity.

    Go back and looks at the rivals top 100 from 2002. You'll certainly recognize some names but most you'll probably not even remember or never heard of them.
    The "star ratings are meaningless because there exist counterexamples" argument is a logical fallacy. Also saying that most of the rivals top 100 do not excel in college or the pros, whereas a decent portion of the pros is comprised of former 2 and 3 star recruits, ignores the fact that there is a much larger pool of 2 and 3 star recruits to draw from.

    Star ratings indicate a higher probability of success at the next level. They are subjective, yes, but they correlate with actual ability.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by RaphaelAglietti View Post

    A lot of it comes down to finding kids who are passionate who live eat and breath football. Clay Mathews wasn't highly ranked.
    Way more of it comes down to getting big guys who can run fast and hit hard.

  7. #7
    I would think someone would have done some sort of statistical analysis on high school star ranking and college/nfl performance... Would be interesting to see which service is more accurate and if kids that get more exposure (from being at a more well known school) are biased in some way.

  8. #8
    This is non scientific, but after following these rating systems for years and how the kids actually pan out, I feel the rating systems are generally more accurate on skill positions - RB,WR, and DB. That makes sense to me- more of an evaluation of sheer athleticism at those positions. Easier evaluation. ( TCU loves to recruit RB's ( speed) and convert them to other positions - even DL ).

    The ratings are generally not quite as accurate on LB's and DL but still fairly accurate.

    QB is a crap shoot. Some huge misses at this position most every year.

    But the position where the ratings are really not that great is OL. My theory is a 6 foot 6 inch, 300 pound 0T will face how many college caliber DEs in a high school career - one or two if you are lucky. So many times especially at that position how would you really know what you have till they set foot on the practice field ?

    And I would add, something to be said for a kid who just loves contact. At most positions, next to size and speed, the thing that gets my attention is do they love to hit.
    Last edited by slotright20; 12-26-2012 at 06:47 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by slotright20 View Post
    This is non scientific, but after following these rating systems for years and how the kids actually pan out, I feel the rating systems are generally more accurate on skill positions - RB,WR, and DB. That makes sense to me- more of an evaluation of sheer athleticism at those positions. Easier evaluation. ( TCU loves to recruit RB's ( speed) and convert them to other positions - even DL ).

    The ratings are generally not quite as accurate on LB's and DL but still fairly accurate.

    QB is a crap shoot. Some huge misses at this position most every year.

    But the position where the ratings are really not that great is OL. My theory is a 6 foot 6 inch, 300 pound 0T will face how many college caliber DEs in a high school career - one or two if you are lucky. So many times especially at that position how would you really know what you have till they set foot on the practice field ?

    And I would add, something to be said for a kid who just loves contact. At most positions, next to size and speed, the thing that gets my attention is do they love to hit.
    Agreed. Keep bringing good info.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by RaphaelAglietti View Post
    Rankings are subjective so their value lies in the ability of those ranking them to evaluate talent. The other issue is the criteria used to rank athletes. Is one guy ranked higher because he has a NFL body at 18 or because he dominated a tough league because he was much more physically mature?

    Look at Thoams Decoud he was a 2 maybe 3 star kid who is an excellent safety at the NFL level. Was he great for Cal? Maybe his last year. Alex Mack was a 2 star recruit who is a pro bowl center. Desean Jackson was a 5 star who has been amazing at times but also also disappears at times. Alualu was a 3 star, Jordan was a 3 star.

    A lot of it comes down to finding kids who are passionate who live eat and breath football. Clay Mathews wasn't highly ranked.

    The people who create the rankings often do so based on watching film or seeing a kid a few times in person. Who knows the kid may have had an undisclosed injury or maybe he was struggling with school for a quarter or maybe his parent/sibiling just passed away there are 1001 reasons why someone doesn't always get ranked as high and often its an inability to recognize someone who won't overwhelm with physical gifts but can overwhelm with heart and mental acuity.

    Go back and looks at the rivals top 100 from 2002. You'll certainly recognize some names but most you'll probably not even remember or never heard of them.
    A potentially interesting example of this is Dannon Cavil. Same 83 grade (ESPN) as Keenan Allen but I don't see many posts about, IIRC, his incredible TD production as was prevalent when Allen committed.

    In this case, perhaps the grade is based more on Cavil's physical attributes?

  11. #11
    One thing I like to do is watch for opportunities to see highly rated running backs go up against even one or two star LB recruits. Or even a team known for its gang tackling or physical play.

    You learn a lot in those settings. Several years ago, saw the highly touted Barry Foster go up against a pretty tough LB named Paul Shabay. Thought they were going to maim one another but I left that game knowing I had seen not one but two fine football players. Foster had some nice years in the NFL. Shabay was injured at TCU and never really played.

    By same token saw highly touted Texas recruit who will go nameless a few years ago go up against a really physical team. They hit him hard, I mean hard , every chance they got. By late third, it is apparent, he has had enough and really isn't up for the fight. Went to Texas, lasted less than two seasons.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by slotright20 View Post
    This is non scientific, but after following these rating systems for years and how the kids actually pan out, I feel the rating systems are generally more accurate on skill positions - RB,WR, and DB. That makes sense to me- more of an evaluation of sheer athleticism at those positions. Easier evaluation. ( TCU loves to recruit RB's ( speed) and convert them to other positions - even DL ).

    The ratings are generally not quite as accurate on LB's and DL but still fairly accurate.

    QB is a crap shoot. Some huge misses at this position most every year.

    But the position where the ratings are really not that great is OL. My theory is a 6 foot 6 inch, 300 pound 0T will face how many college caliber DEs in a high school career - one or two if you are lucky. So many times especially at that position how would you really know what you have till they set foot on the practice field ?

    And I would add, something to be said for a kid who just loves contact. At most positions, next to size and speed, the thing that gets my attention is do they love to hit.
    well put. makes sense to me. does 'crapshoot' potentially include the fact that QB/OL (I would think) would require more coaching, or is the over-generalizing?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by BerkeleyChris View Post
    The "star ratings are meaningless because there exist counterexamples" argument is a logical fallacy. Also saying that most of the rivals top 100 do not excel in college or the pros, whereas a decent portion of the pros is comprised of former 2 and 3 star recruits, ignores the fact that there is a much larger pool of 2 and 3 star recruits to draw from.

    Star ratings indicate a higher probability of success at the next level. They are subjective, yes, but they correlate with actual ability.

    I never said they were meaningless, but rather overemphasized and sometimes kids who have loads of talent can't stop smoking weed, can't keep out of trouble, think they can get by with their natural gifts, etc ... just being talented isn't enough.

  14. #14
    I would be very interested if someone put together a series of scatter diagrams showing HS star ranking vs college performance for different positions.

    My guess is that most positions would show some correlation (better than a random shotgun blast), but that the rankings would be far less accurate than we're led to believe. If they were completely worthless, no one would pay attention to them.

    If we look at the much smaller sample size for Heisman winners vs. their success in the NFL, sure they get it right sometimes, but for every single Barry Sanders-caliber player, there's a half-dozen or more Reggie Bush types.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Etchebeary View Post
    I would be very interested if someone put together a series of scatter diagrams showing HS star ranking vs college performance for different positions.

    My guess is that most positions would show some correlation (better than a random shotgun blast), but that the rankings would be far less accurate than we're led to believe. If they were completely worthless, no one would pay attention to them.

    If we look at the much smaller sample size for Heisman winners vs. their success in the NFL, sure they get it right sometimes, but for every single Barry Sanders-caliber player, there's a half-dozen or more Reggie Bush types.
    It's a combination of many things, but first and foremost it's that football is truly a team sport (unlike baseball which is an individual sport masquerading as a team sport). As such, it's very difficult to discern whether an individual's productivity is due to their teammates' ability, or affinity to a particular coaching system (spread, pro-style, etc.), or whether it's derived from their actual innate ability. The ratings-makers do their best to pare away these effects, but obviously it's an inexact science.

    I like to call it the USC Quarterback Syndrome, with Leinart and Sanchez being the exemplars.

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