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Recruiting rankings

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by WaylonJennings, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. I think this is a journalism topic - just because it encompasses a niche part of this business, the recruiting sites (Rivals.com, Scout.com) and gurus (Tom Lemming, Allen Wallace, etc.).

    Do you think they're accurate? Biased? A total crapshoot not even worth mentioning - or at least taking seriously?

    I tend to think they're a little more accurate than they used to be in the early days of this stuff being covered, just because there are more sources of information and more people out there doing the evaluating.

    That being said, I have to raise an eyebrow when a Texas Tech or West Virginia, schools that never top those lists, becomes a powerhouse, while elite recruiting schools like Notre Dame or Michigan struggle.
  2. TheMethod

    TheMethod Member

    This has been discussed in great detail. I think the actual recruiting gurus probably do a good job of identifying the most talented high school players and ranking them. The problem is that it's really difficult to project players to the next level. This is true of junior high to high school, high school to college and college to the NFL.

    I think the gurus are as accurate as they can be under the circumstances. The local "reporter" guys who cover the commitments and stuff? Take everything they write with four grains of salt. A lot of them are little more than recruiters themselves.
  3. I wonder it's easier to project guys into a system - the way Mike Leach or Paul Johnson has to do it - than to just project guys as general football players in a fairly standard offensive and/or defensive system.

    Another thing I've wondered is how much grades get taken into account. Let's say there's a kid who can't hope to get into Michigan or USC or Texas, but West Virginia or Boise State can take a chance on him. If same said kid wasn't such an academic risk, would he be piling up offers from the big-time schools and therefore ranked higher?

    In other words, how much of their evaluations are based on what they actually see with their own eyes - and how much is based on which schools the kid has offers lined up from?
  4. TheMethod

    TheMethod Member

    I think if you wanted to look, you could find plenty of evidence that the school to which a player commits does affect his ranking. I can't remember who did the story -- maybe Greg Doyel, maybe not -- but somebody within the last year or so looked at all the McDonald's All-Americans Duke had on its roster and weighed it against the late-season failings and concluded that Duke wasn't actually underachieving so much as it is chronically overrated because of its unreasonably ranked recruiting classes and generally soft nonconference schedule. In essence, we should all see this coming, but since it's Duke, nobody ever does.

    Just a quick look at some of Duke's recent McDonald's guys:

    Eric Boateng
    Josh McRoberts
    Greg Paulus

    DeMarcus Nelson

    Luol Deng

    Sean Dockery
    J.J. Redick
    Shavlik Randolph
    Michael Thompson

    I don't want to spend too much time on this, so I won't go around comparing it to a bunch of other schools, but you can see that several of those guys weren't very good college players.
  5. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    I'm sorry, but I'm taking the advice of Pete Carroll, Mack Brown, Urban Meyer, etc. over the 35-year-old couch potato any day of the week.

    When a kid's coach said he had a school like Texas calling him routinely, and the couch potato writes that the kid projects as a second-string wideout, I'm going to trust Mr. Brown.
  6. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    It's about 1,000X easier in basketball than it is for football.
  7. luckyducky

    luckyducky Guest

    Understandable, zebra, but if the evaluator is comparing these kids to each other, maybe he does fall down the list a bit. It's not like USC or Texas or Michigan (when they were good) have only recruited just the cream of the crop. With so many schools out there, not everyone can get the best quarterback or center in the country.

    There are two different things at play here -- ranking the classes the teams sign by school and ranking the kids as a "top 100" or "top 10" or whatever recruit. The kids' individual rankings are done well before they even verbal to a school, let alone sign an NLI, so those are rarely influenced by where the kids are going. OTOH, the school rankings are going to be different for each outlet, especially when their "top 100" is different, because they factor in how many of their "ranked" kids have signed with each school to decide who has the "best" incoming class.

    And Waylon, at least with basketball rankings, it seems like grades are rarely, if at all, a factor -- if you look at the boys' side, I've seen a couple handfuls of those top kids that end up going to prep schools for a year so they can qualify.

    And Mizzou is, of course, correct. Basketball = cake compared to football rankings.
  8. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    They days of assistant coach Williams finding "Mike" Jordan at some half-baked camp in Eastern or Western Carolina are long, long gone.

    Lord, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall of that gym, and then being there when Williams gives Smith the heads up on what he might have uncovered.
  9. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Most of the top recruits these days are "discovered" before they're done growing. I remember seeing LeBron James at a camp when he was a sophomore in high school and there was no question whatsoever that he would be an instant superstar in the NBA.

    There are plenty of football players in the top 20 of most of these recruiting lists that will never be starters in college.

    List the USA Today top QB of the last 20 years and there are probably 10-12 that never made the NFL and probably 5-6 who were never the regular starter in college.
  10. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    Then there are recruiting sites that tell a player he can get a higher star rating if he plays in a certain All-American game.
  11. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    I would three of the top 20 high school QBs go on to the NFL in a good year.

    I think Rivals will show their old rankings. Trust me, it ain't pretty.
  12. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I meant the top overall QB in a given year.
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