Some of UGA’s top football players got into a fun debate about recruiting rankings on Twitter on Tuesday.
It all started when UGA running back Brian Herrien tweeted out that he “made it to Georgia with 0 stars, after I signed (with) Georgia they put me on rivals and gave me 3 stars …. stars & camps don’t matter.” DawgNation’s Connor Riley examined Herrien’s comments in this article.
Next up was Eric Stokes, UGA’s rising star at cornerback who was lowly ranked out of high school because (1) he was viewed (early on) more as a track star than prospective college football recruit. His high school coach gave former UGA defensive coordinator Mel Tucker rave reviews for seeing things differently. Here’s Stokes tweet:
Finally, UGA offensive lineman Isaiah Wilson (a 5-star out of high school) spoke up, offering this view:
Here’s my take: Recruiting rankings have always been an inexact science. The talent evaluators miss on kids, but also find some hidden talents along the way. I remember former Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, who detested rankings, once told me basically that his wife could pick out a 5-star by the eyeball test, and it was “the rest of kids (4-stars and lower)” that were the challenge to evaluate because there wasn’t much difference.
Meanwhile, fans (as much as some would not like to admit) love recruiting rankings because it’s a measurable way to compete against fans rival schools outside of football season: “Hey, our class is ranked higher than yours!” Recruiting rankings are so popular that they sustain a rare business model for sports websites that work very well.
What about the players? Guys like Herrien and Stokes surely secretly love them, because they get to “put a chip on their shoulder” for being disrespected or ignored. It’s a huge motivational factor.
And the college coaches? They claim to ignore them in general, but I’ve heard stories of some privately campaigning for their signees to rated higher. Why is that? Back to square one — because the fans love them and pay close to attention to them.
Ah, the circle of life in recruiting rankings. One other thing to mention: It never fails during Super Bowl, how a major media outlet will write about how Rivals, 247sports, Scout, etc., whiffed on the rankings on so many players participating in the NFL’s biggest game. However, those same articles often forget to mention how many lowly drafted or undrafted players develop into bonafide NFL stars on those same Super Bowl rosters.
Bottom line: Recruiting rankings and NFL scouting are both impossible to get anywhere close to perfect.
Thoughts? Please post below.