The other day, Brian posted a nice piece on the recruiting class of 2006. Well done and made some great points:
One of Brian's points there was that the 5 star guys are most likely the best bet (as they should be), but that even from that group there are some misses. That's the nature of recruiting.
We tend to put a lot of stock in recruiting rankings and the like, and that's understandable since it's all we have to go on. But I think that college coaches don't rely on these services nearly as much as we the fans do, because they know something most of us don't... a lot of the guys doing the evaluating are clueless.
Take this Bill Greene character from scout.com. I live in Ohio and have first-hand experience with him. The guy stocks chip machines for a living, never played the game and is a HUGE Ohio State fan. He travels the state of Ohio and kisses kids' asses at HS games and then writes random things on Al Gore's internet. Having heard his rap in person, I basically write off anything he says.
If Bill Belichick writes an article about molding a successful, goal-oriented team, I'm very likely to read it. I have a great mechanic, but if he writes an article on the same topic I probably won't take the time to peruse that one . Now take a guy like TomVH. I don't personally know that Tom has a lot of football background, but any guy who reads the BOATLOADS of info he does and then comes to a consensus as an opinion, is worthy of earning a thoughtful reader's respect. Tom's approach is very different than the "scouts" I've had experience with who sneak around high school games, ask the kid for an autograph or to take a picture with him and then head home to type in a random (usually agenda-driven) thought about a kid, only to be seen as an expert.
My only point is that we all realize you have to be careful about believing what recruiting / scouting sites say about a potential signee, but shouldn't there be some way to find out if the scouts know anything about football and have an opinion that's worth listening to?