Photo: Andy Hilton/recruit757
Once again, we’re telling you that you need to pursue offers not stars
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
We’ve said it before and we’ll demonstrate it to you again. Star ratings are simply overrated. They’re deceptive. They’re a tool to get college football fan bases arguing against each other.
Saturdays Down South published an article today that illustrates our point.
Linebacker Quandarrius Robinson was already regarded as a talented linebacker. He held 14 offers including Auburn, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Nebraska, LSU, Memphis, South Carolina, Georgia Tech and so forth. He’s 6-5 and 217 pounds as a class of 2020 recruit.
Ranking him high is a no brainer. He committed to Auburn, but decommitted in January. In February, he was ranked by 247 as the nation’s 246th best player.
When you’re dealing with a player pool that’s admittedly about 10,000 athletes deep, what’s the difference between the 246th best player and the 247th best player? What criteria makes one better than the other? At this level, we’re dealing with the equivalent of a beauty pageant. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
So, 247 has bumped him up this Spring. Robinson commits to Alabama on June 11, and in a re-ranking he is now the No. 30 player in the nation. It’s funny how that happens when a kid commits to one of the top college football programs in the country.
What comes first, the chicken or the egg? Is Robinson suddenly better because he committed to Alabama? Is Alabama a great program because they get all of the best athletes or are the prospects given a top ranking because they get Nick Saban’s stamp of approval?
Rightly, 247 analyst Barton Simmons explained to AL.com that they’ve observed Robinson over the spring and they’re impressed with his upside. Again, I don’t doubt that Quandarrius Robinson is a top notch football player, but in my eyes, it’s easier to use a commitment to Alabama as a qualifier than it is to split hairs between the athletic capabilities of Robinson and most any other athlete in “his league”.
The Takeaway for athletes
For you athletes who are looking to get recruited to play college football, you have to understand that services like 247 and Rivals may know the game, but they are not looking at every athlete to grade them on the minute details of their athleticism, size, skill and college potential. That’s the job of a college football coach. Rivals and 247 have 50 states to cover, thousands of high school football programs to cover, and no where near the manpower or hours to do it thoroughly. No group could be that thorough.
Here’s what prospective college athletes need to know. The opinion of a college football coach is going to matter much more than any publication. You need to get scholarship offers. In fact, it only takes one good offer to get you where you need to go. If 247 or Rivals isn’t paying attention to you, that’s OK. They have a lot of prospects to cover. You’ll get their attention if a bigger college football program makes a scholarship offer. As I illustrated above, the college offer is a qualifier. If you’re offered by a Power Five football program, you’re going to get at least a two-star rating. That Power Five offer puts you in elite territory already.
There are 65 Power Five football programs. They’ll each take roughly 25 scholarship athletes a year. That number will vary of course, and there are more offers going out than commitments made, but we can quickly do the math. There are roughly 1,625 Power Five signings each year. There are somewhere around 24,000 public and private high schools in the USA. Roughly one in every 15 high schools will get an athlete who commits to a Power Five school for football in a given year.
This a statistical way of saying that Power Five commitments are RARE.
Now, back to what a prospective athlete needs to focus on: landing scholarship offers.
Every year I’m asked about getting a star rating. Here’s my answer.
The star rating from 247 or Rivals comes once you’ve gotten scholarship offers, especially offers from Power Five schools. Getting stars isn’t the priority. Getting offers is the priority. You may think you’re a great athlete. Your coaches and friends may think you’re really good. Power Five offers are rare. It’s also almost impossible for a prospect to be highly rated without having a Power Five scholarship offer.
Going to college to play at ANY level should be the first priority. Work hard. Communicate with college coaches. Impress them. I guarantee that once you’ve landed a few college scholarship offers, the importance of getting ranked with be secondary.
– Andy Hilton