2010-2011 College Football Recruits
THE COMPOSITE SYSTEM: THE BEST WAY TO EVALUATE YOUR SCHOOL’S RECRUITING EFFORTS
There is an old axiom among coaches in college football: You can’t win a National Title in Recruiting, but you sure can lose one. Thus, the first Wednesday in February has become an increasingly scrutinized day for college football fans everywhere as no commitment can become binding until that day.
Thus, with the somewhat secretive nature of recruiting and the intrigue surrounding the chase for a recruit’s signature, February 3rd represents the culmination of a year or more of pursuit. Needless to say, fans will be tuning in to find out who their next superstars will be.
Moreover, the success of a coach’s tenure can be defined by their ability to bring in great talent. Some coaches (Illinois’ Ron Zook springs to mind) have rode a strong recruiting reputation into lucrative contracts and illogically long tenures despite a relative lack of success on the gridiron. In many respects, this is the biggest day of the year.
In covering recruiting, there are three major services that are generally considered the prime sources in scouting and reporting the merits of the hundreds of high school stars that will continue their playing days in college. Those services are:
Rivals.com is widely respected for their strong track record and solid national base. While Rivals has an unfortunate predilection towards giving out too many 3 star ratings to players that are committed to BCS teams, many recruitniks give strongest credence to Rivals’ rankings. They also do a good job striking a balance in awarding 5 star ratings (only 26 this year) and also do a great job making sure that almost all committed prospects are evaluated.
Scout.com is another longtime service that might do the best job covering all of the country. Scout does an excellent job of covering the Midwest in particular and generally does a very balanced job. However, Scout sets a quota on 5 star recruits and that can be frustrating at times, giving out exactly fifty 5 star ratings. Despite this drawback, Scout still does a great job making sure that committed prospects are rated and their rankings are given a lot of weight.
ESPN.com is the newest of the big three as it is only in its 5th year of existence. While it is the most precise, awarding both star rankings and exact numeric rankings, ESPN also prides itself on its stinginess in awarding 5 star rankings. However, they must spend a lot of time working on those 5 star choices because ESPN has, by far, the largest number of un-evaluated prospects. ESPN also seems to favor prospects from southern locales and has left a surprising number of Midwestern prospects unranked. While they are still a work in progress, there is no doubt that the Worldwide Leader’s Recruiting Service puts forth a strong effort every year.
With three different services that have disparate strengths and weaknesses, there is certainly a difference of opinion on the vast majority of prospects. In fact, some evaluations are all over the place: Ivan Robinson, a Defensive Tackle committed to Texas A&M, is rated four stars on Rivals, three stars on Scout and two stars on ESPN!
So how do we reconcile these differences? Well, what we have done here at collegesports-fans.com is to take each service’s rating for every individual player and average it out. While that doesn’t reflect each service’s ratings with 100% accuracy (for example, some players are barely rated in the 3 star range while others barely fell short of a 4 star mark), it does allow for a solid overview of each prospect. In the end we subscribe to a four cardinal rules when it comes to recruiting:
1)Above all else, recruiting is an inexact science.
2)The more solid prospects a school accumulates, the more likely they're to find success in upcoming seasons.
3) For every five star recruit that becomes a star, there are two other highly touted players that fail to pan out.
4) There are always diamonds in the rough hiding behind two and three star ratings.
We hope that you keep those four rules in mind as we proudly present to you the most detailed overview of the recruiting picture from across the country leading up to National Signing Day. Find your favorite team below and check out the current list of commitments and remember to come back often as more players pledge their college careers up through national signing day.
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