cmhawks99, you mentioned wondering how a kid can go to a JUCO and change 1 or 2 stars. It doesn't seem that surprising that a little competition against a known level of talent can reveal a lot. I bet at places like USC, Alabama, Texas, etc. it only takes a few weeks of practice to figure out who the 4 and 5 star guys are that maybe should have been rated a star or 2 lower.
At Iowa and ISU I think you have a good idea after a year or two which of the 2 and 3 star guys can really play and were probably rated too low.
I heard an interview about this time last year with Gary Barnett, former Northwestern and Colorado head coach, and a pretty darned good recruiter. Barnett said that in every recruting class there are only a handful of "can't miss" recruits, and the rest of the guys out there who are being recruited by BCS conference schools are pretty much the same. I couldn't agree more.
Basically, there are four factors that seem to go into how many stars a kid gets. First, and obviously foremost, is who is recruiting him. There are many, many classic examples, but one I'll menton is a linebacker from the state of Ohio who a year ago had made a commitment to Carl Pelini, when he was defensive coordinator at Ohio University. When he showed up on the recruiting services websites as an Ohio commitment, he was a 2-Star. When Carl moved to Nebraska with his brother, he made contact with the recruit and kid started to show some interest in going to Lincoln. When Bob Stoops found out the kid was looking seriously at Nebraska, he made a pitch at him and ultimately, Ohio State noticed the kid was starting to get a lot of action so they went after him. Ultimately, the kid committed to Ohio State and showed up on their commit list as a 4-star. The kid hadn't played a single game, yet from a 2-star to a 4-star simply because of who he was being recruited by.
A second factor seems to be the reputation of the high school/area where the kid played his high school ball. A 6-4 receiver from Out of the Woods, Idaho who runs a 4.4 would, no doubt, get a much lower star rating that would the same guy living in Tallahassee, Florida. Why? Because he has any better chance of being successfull as a D-1 player? No. Simply because of the reputation of the area he played his high school ball in.
Another thing that seems to play a role is whose summer camps did the recruit attend. If he attended a summer camp at Slippery Rock, nobody really cares. But if he attended a summer camp at the University of Florida, he must be good.
Last, but not least, is a series of athletic and agility tests they are put through.
Unfortunately, very little emphasis is placed on how the kid has done academically, whether or not he has shown to be a team guy, how he responds under pressure, etc. And even worse, little to no emphasis is placed on how well he will fit into the system of the school that is offering him a scholorship.
If stars meant anything, Dan McCarney would have been a dismal failure. He recruited mainly 2 and 3-star prospects and his classes rarely, if ever, cracked the top-50 in the country. Yet, somehow he figured out a way to win with those type of guys. Why? Because they fit what he was trying to do, and in most cases, they had more heart than the 4 and 5-star guys they were competing against.
Recruit to your needs, make sure the recruits fit your system, and then help them improve year over year. That's the key to recruiting. Pure and simple. Forget about Rivals, Scout, et al. To them, recruiting is simply about selling subscriptions and making money.
Fantastic post, one of the best I have seen on the subject....To the Danny Mac thought you could Iowa, Wisco, Va Tech, West Va, Boise, Utah and in fact any number of "lessor" recruiting programs that have been consistent winners. Several of those programs have then sent MANY of those guys on to the NFL showing they weren't just "system" guys.
Great follow up,
Mangino is another good example. His 12-1 Orange Bowl Championship team was built with mostly 2-star players (3 2-starts went on to the NFL from that team). It's much harder to judge a high school football player then a basketball player. They don't play against each other all summer like they do in basketball and maturing is so important in football. It's an advantage for the non-name football schools like KU and ISU. If experts could evaluate talent better it would mean the powerhouse football schools would even have better talent. KU, ISU and all the other teams that aren't considered traditional football powers best bet is to find a coach that can evaluate talent better then the so-called experts.
That last paragraph was a million dollar paragraph. It has been my position all along. A coach who can consistently evaluate talent (proven by it’s further success at the highest level “NFL”) is worth his weight in Gold.
Also if these elite recruiting schools were really signing the best classes’ every year they wouldn't ever have 7-5 seasons let alone sub .500 ones. Yet it happens year after year to every one of them at some point. Some for extended periods of time.
Great post and too me says a great deal about the fickleness of the rankings. Many of those places nationwide (Iowa included) from year to year are poorly ranked in my opinion. In fact for the ISU fan who doesn’t know "Money" Reynolds is from Virginia and got a late sniff from Va Tech I "think". Virginia produces some terrific athletes.
On a side note I wish more of the threads went like this. Sharing of obscure facts and educated opinions in a friendly and well meaning manner. All too often one fan base assumes the other is posturing, which leads to flaming which leads to the other fan bases setting up camp in defense.
Good thoughts Rick,
Not sure if this has been touched on yet...(I havn't read all the posts) but coaching at the Highschool level is spotty at best, the Math or Science teacher just might be the guy calling the plays...When comparing a 3 and a 5 star athlete, the 3 may actually be the better overall athlete then the 5, its just that the 5 may have recieved better coaching, spent $ on private camps, etc. In which case the 5 has more sound fundelmentals and ready to make an immediate impact. A raw 3 needs coaching to make that same impact...or even greater. This is why I pay no attention to the "star" grading scale. Its completly bias to athletes that have had more national exposure and superior coaching.
Side note... I have a buddie that is in the minor league system. He was telling me that when scouts are looking at a group of guys that are all around the same ability level the fundelmentally sound ones are usually the first to be cut. Its because they have peaked. They want them as raw as possible.