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Not All Recruiting Stars Are Created Equally

As I was writing other content for the site, I learned something about recruiting ratings and the number of players associated with each rating. Many of you all may already know this information. Some commentators I respect (including Geoff Ketchum) have said this before, but I wanted to quantify it for you all. I had a sense of it but not to the magnitude that this data reflects. There are also differences in the COMPOSITE numbers vs. the individual service's (247Sports, Rivals, On3, ESPN) numbers.

I have searched the recent classes to get an idea of how many prospects are in each star class and to differentiate "high" star classes from regular star classes. I think everyone knows there are fewer prospects the higher the star rating.


This is what 247Sports says to describe their star classes:

  • Five-stars (98-110 rating): The top 32 players in the country to mirror the 32 first round picks in the NFL Draft. These are 32 players that we believe are the most likely to be drafted in the first round from each recruiting class. The full list of 32 with five-star ratings typically isn’t complete until the final ranking. Any player with a rating of more than 100 is considered a “franchise player” and one that does not come around in every recruiting class.

  • Four-stars (90-97 rating): These are players that we believe are the most likely to produce college careers that get them drafted. By National Signing Day, this number is typically in the range of 350 prospects, roughly the top 10 percent of prospects in a given class.

  • Three-stars (80-89 rating): This is where the bulk of college football prospects are found and it incorporates a large range of ability levels, all of whom we consider as possible NFL players long term.

  • A high three-star (87-89): is considered a player with significant NFL upside who expect to be an impact college football player.

  • A mid three-star (84-86): is a player that we consider to be a capable starter for a Power Five football team and an impact player at the Group of Five level.        

  • A low three-star (80-83): is a player that we consider to be a potential contributor at a Power Five program but a probable Group of Five starter with impact potential.

  • Two-stars (70-79 rating): These are prospects that we consider to be FBS-level players with very limited NFL potential.


The folks at 247Sports also produce a composite index. When they do the composite there are more four stars (400-470 vs. the 350 stated.)


Here is how I divided the 247Sports composite rankings the last four years.


Stars

I call the very top prospects (above a 247 Sports composite score of 0.9950) a 5.5 star or a high 5-star prospects. As you can see there are about 5-12 of this level of prospects over the past four years.


The 2021-2024 classes had 34-39 composite five-star prospects. This is fairly well known as each service sets their definition of "Five-Star" to somewhat match the NFL Draft first round as described above.


There is a group considered high four-stars. In Rivals these are the 6.0+ rated players. In the consensus rankings these are players ranked 0.9600 plus. In 2021-2024 there were about 75-90 of these players. These would be players considered to possibly be picked in the top 3 rounds of the NFL draft. These high four- and five-star prospects are considered SUPER blue chip prospects.


The 247Sports composite sets 4-stars at 0.8900 rating. In 2021-2024, as stated above, there were 400-470 four-stars and above. It is VASTLY different being a four-star vs. a high four-star prospect. The two ARE NOT the same thing. Four- and five-star prospects are also called blue chip prospects.


I should note, there are about 260 picks in the NFL draft. By definition, about half of the four-star players could even make the NFL draft in a perfect world.


Then there are three-star prospects. Let me ask you this.


Which of these four numbers is more different than the others?

A. 0.9700

B. 0.9000

C. 0.8800

D. 0.8400


Obviously A. Right?


In the 2024 Class this is the prospect with these consensus ratings

A. 0.9700- #63 Demarus Riddick- High 4-star LB, Super Blue chip- signed at Auburn

B. 0.9000- #350 Edwin Spillman- 4-star LB, Blue chip- signed at Tennessee

C. 0.8800- #647 Brandon Rehmann- High 3-star WR- signed at West Virginia

D. 0.8400- #1817 Ronald Moore- 3-star S- signed at Liberty


The difference between the #350 prospect and the #1817 prospect is LESS than the difference between the #63 and the #350 prospect. Try to remember that when your team signs a four-star prospect. Ask what kind of four star.


Not all five stars are created equally.

Not all four stars are created equally.

Not all three stars are created equally.

Not all stars are created equally.


The focus for the Super Blue Blood programs like Texas is the high 4-star and the 5-star prospects. If one thinks there are 20-30 Super Blue Bloods, each should get 2 to 4 in a completely fair world.


Texas got 5- The world is not fair.

  • Colin Simmons

  • Brandon Baker

  • Kobe Black

  • Xavier Filsaime

  • Ryan Wingo


THESE are the players that will be the real difference makers for Texas in the years ahead. As you can see, Not All Recruiting Stars Are Created Equally.


The next article in the series is a look at the Texas Longhorns Draft Class and how they developed per the adjusted rating system. Available right now to premium members. Don't wait. Signup to be a premium member now.




Hook 'Em.


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