Analyze the Analyst: Rating Football Recruits...
So who did we sign? How many 5- Star prospects did we get? What are our recruits ranked nationally? Those are the question we as as fans of our favorite school. We ask these questions from our bars tools during the long off season that is in between the conclusion of the national championship, and kick off in September. If our school was lucky enough to land those highly touted recruits, we raise our beer in cheers to the season that is to come. If you are a student, alumni, or simply a fan, you may have raised a glass in anticipation to the signing of these top recruits. begining their college football careers this season.
All of these recruits are rated as 5-Star Prospects by Scout.com, the numerical rankings nationally were published by Athlon Sports magazine, in their preseason preview:
USC - The Trojans recruit Running Back, Joe McNight, comes to Southern California as the #2 rated recruit in the nation.
Florida - The Gators landed the 16th rated recruit in the nation, in Defensive Tackle, Torrey Davis.
Ohio State - The Buckeyes signed the 25th ranked player nationally when they signed Eugene Clifford, Safety.
Illinois - Ron Zook is brining the 26th best player, Martez Wilson, Defensive End, to Champagne this season.
Florida- the defending national champs also signed the 40th rated player overall, when they signed Line Backer, Lorenzo Edwards.
So this means these guys are going to be All Americans, right? To land a four star recruit is a big deal, but a 5-Star guy, well he’s a slam dunk right? And numbers wise, signing a guy off the top 100 list is the measure of a great recruit, so the Top-40, well that has to be the cream of the crop doesnt it?
Don’t get all teary eyed in your beer just yet, and tell your buddy to stop singing we are the champions on his bar stool next to you. Here is a list of the players, in 2002, ranked at the same spots as these highly touted prep players, as Scout.com 5-Star Players, and numerically by Athlon Sports.
2002 - Prep All America, 5-Stars that were:
Prep Ranking #2 Overall
Ryan Moore, WR - University of Miami, Hurricanes.
Ryan Moore was rated by many analysts as the #2 recruit overall in the entire nation, behind only Vince Young. While Vince Young filled the #1 ranking better than anyone else in the class possibly could have, Moore did anything but live up to expectations. He caught 16 balls a year for his final three seasons, and was suspended by the University for the first 8 games of his senior campaign. He was not drafted in the 2007 draft.
Prep Ranking #16 Overall
Brandon Jeffries, OL - University of Tennessee
Brandon Jeffries spent two years as a Volunteer, but never played in one game. He was never eligible there, transfered to NC State, but could not become eligible there as well. He played for a season at a community college in North Carolina, and finished up his career starting 11 games for the Division II Newbury college Indians, at right guard. He is currently out of football.
Prep Ranking #25 Overall
Dishon Platt, WR - Florida State University
Platt did not play one down in college football anywhere. He failed to gain admission to FSU, transferred to South Florida, but failed to gain eligibility there, and dropped out of school
Prep Ranking #28 Overall
Marquis Johnson, WR - University of Texas
Johnson failed to qualify academically at Texas, and then spent a year at a community college in Kansas. Transferred to Texas Tech with three yeas left, and played only two there. He played in one game in 2004, and in ‘05 caught 13 balls for 74 yards, and 1 TD.
Prep Ranking #40 Overall
Justin Zwick, QB - Ohio State University
Zwick chose to stay home, and attend OSU, where the Buckeye faithful had him pegged to be the second coming of Johnny Unitas. He didn’t quit live up to the hype. He was beaten out by a player recruited as an ‘athlete’ named Troy Smith, who went on to win the Heisman. He was a career back-up at QB.
Don't Believe The Hype, Anything Can Happen
There is not one guy who actually sees all of the high school players play, and ranks him based on what he sees. These rankings are driven by hype, and don’t get too excited about them. Also, out of the 2002 Athlon top 40 recruits list, only two players went on to become 1st round NFL Draft Picks, the aforementioned Young, and Oregon’s Haloti Ngata, ranked 12th as a prepster.
So throw those recruiting lists out this Saturday, come to the bar with your teams colors on, and expect anything. Some guy from Cleveland named Smith, who no one was talking about, could dethrone that next best thing, and one day win the Heisman. Thats why we they play the games.