Forgive me Wiz but I hijacked part of your post..........................

…on another thread. I wanted to respond without hijacking the original post into a new direction. Your comments were:

Star gazers will swear that because the cheeto-fingered guys who sit at their computers and look at highlight films have “correctly judged” the long-term football potential of a 16-17 year old in some remote town they’ve never even been to, collecting 4 and 5 stars (according to Rivals, Scout, ESPN or whoever) is a “very good” indicator of talent and winning in the upcoming years. On the other side, you have folks who observe that many players who sign with traditional “power” teams (Notre Dame, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Southern Cal, Ohio State, Michigan, Texas, etc.) seem to get that extra star that kids who sign with the “others” (Arkansas, Mizzou, Baylor, Iowa State, Virginia, Wake Forest, SMU, etc. DON’T get. (Note that I intentionally omitted Alabama from the “have” list, as they are the one school who probably legitimately signs 20-25 of the top 100 players in every class, at this time).

IMO, the truth lies somewhere in between. Undoubtedly, a team DOES need to recruit talented players, in multiple classes, to win big. The question is, what is a good indicator (in advance of them actually playing) of a recruit actually being a future difference maker? I’m talking about metrics that we can see and confidently rank the future play of recruits by, as “stars” purport to do.

I don’t think that are really any good ones - that’s my opinion. In the face of no really good alternative, the “Star services” are better than nothing, but that’s about as far as I’d go with it.

This is an interesting topic to me and I wanted to jump in with some thoughts.

I agree that very few “star assigning gurus” actually see every prospect nor, if they did, are they qualified to judge the star potential of each in the exact order of quality. 1.- they can’t see them all and 2.-two they wouldn’t know what to do with the “seeing” if they did. So, many of them just go by who is recruiting them and who isn’t and give more stars to the ones the historically successful guys are after. Gurus can and many do go to combines to see some of the elite guys compete against each other so there they have a basis to rank those guys but that is the tip of the iceberg of potential recruits.

Who is recruiting them IS a good indicator of who might be the top guys. If our recruits have committable offers from the teams we want to be like and we get them to play for us instead of our competition, I get excited regardless of their number of stars, but they will have stars because the gurus get excited by that too. The “urban legend” in the recruiting world is that “you don’t need no stars - just do a better job of finding those diamonds in the rough that all those stupid coaches for the top programs overlook and you can beat the pants off them.” Except for an occasional upset, please name the program that actually does that and wins consistently. (UCF and Boise State are about the only ones that come to mind. So, it is possible but just not easy to do.) Having a top 10-15 recruiting class is no guarantee of greatness but I strongly believe that it indicates your odds of being great are a lot better than they were when you only had top 40 classes. Let’s do that for several years and see if our results don’t improve on the field. Looks to me like that might be a lot more likely with this kind of recruiting than with how we have recruited in the past. JMVVVVHO

No “pardon” necessary, Hogmodo. I do appreciate you bringing it to another thread, as neither of us wanted to hijack the one I made those comments in (and only in response to someone else, who brought it up first).

I will add a third point to the ones you made in the first paragraph, and that’s that even if they “star makers” DO see a kid play, the variability of competition a, say, 4A kid in Georgia and a 5A prospect in Kentucky may be playing could be huge. Just pulled those two out of thin air, but you get the point. Unless the evaluator has a LOT of quality evaluation time - and I’m talking about having seen kids of different levels against drastically different competition, and then coaching them or at least observing them as they progress during their college eligibility - across hundreds of kids - can they do a decent job of deciding who to offer and realy push for, and who not to pursue.

Sure, there are obvious choices - a few - that seem destined for greatness. Cheeto-fingers will know it, I’ll know it, you’ll know it. Problem is, so does EVERYONE, including the Alabama’s, Ohio States, USC’s, Texas’s, LSU’s, etc. And there really are relatively few “can’t miss” types out there.

Now, I may see some kid dominate a 3A playoff game here in Texas and be convinced that he’s the next (take your pick) Earl Campbell, JJ Watts or Anthony Lucas. But what the heck do I know when it comes to really making such an evaluation? Answer - none. Same answer as for 98% of everybody else; problem is that most of them don’t know it.

As I said, I don’t think there really is ANY good “public” information about kids, beyond the obvious top 30 or 40 “can’t miss” guys (and, as we all know, there will be some disappointments even among that elite group). As I also said, the star system - in aggregate (in other words, applied to the entire class) - is the best we have. BUT IT IS FAR FROM ABSOLUTE. That’s one of the things about it that really gets me. It’s easy to see that Bama gets the top class, and maybe the top 5 or 8. But I really laugh hard when some tries to say “getting (or losing) that guy means that old State U is now 22nd instead of 18th”. I do get that losing a recruit may push the class down in the perception of the masses, but that doesn’t mean that the two classes suddenly rated higher are qualitatively any better than State U. Heck - the player in question may well be a bust, which means there is NO change at all in the class; in fact, if he is replaced by another lower ranked kid who actually sticks around and makes any kind of contribution, then they’re better off that Johnny 4 star never made it to campus!

And that’s tied into my second, and biggest problem with the star system. Across 20-25 players, the odds are that more of the higher rated kids - USUALLY - will pan out and be contributors than lower ranked kids. That’s true even as weak as I think the star system is (in comparison with the true potential of the kids, which I believe the star system does a poor job of identifying).

But at the individual level, the hit/miss ration is VERY poor. I loath it when we either get a commit from a 2-3 star, OR lose a commit from a 4-5 star, and several people immediately panic. How many times have you seen some clueless guy make a post (in the very thread someone made to WELCOME the next commit!) about how unexcited or even disappointed they are in the commitment. That is SO foolish. At that moment, no one knows if the kid in question will be a 2-3 star that plays like a 4 star, or a highly recruited kid that can’t play (we’ve had our share of those lately).

I remember oh so well when 4 star QB Zeke Pike was considering us 7 years ago. I made the “mistake” of saying, before he committed, that if he’s good enough for Petrino and McGee, and he comes - fine, I’ll be happy to get him. But if he doesn’t (and he didn’t), it wouldn’t really bother me because I was confident (and I was, back then) that Petrino’s offensive guru reputation meant he’d always sign a good QB - whoever it ended up being.

Well, you’d have thought I was an Ole Miss fan the way I got treated by some (not all) here. Didn’t I know we NEEDED Pike? Didn’t I know that he was Petrino’s top QB choice in the country? Blah, blah, blah.

And If you remember that name, he’s one of those poor souls that gets in trouble early and often, and never does squat in college. Got kicked out of Auburn during the summer before his freshman season for drinking, was then kicked out of his next destination, etc. Yet, on the day he “spurned” us, many were ready to slit their wrists!

It’s just crazy stupid to get so worked up, either way, on a commitment.