Jimmystats: Shifts in 2018 Recruiting Rankings

Jimmystats: Shifts in 2018 Recruiting Rankings

Submitted by Seth on January 25th, 2018 at 4:12 PM


Things were lookin’ up for McKeon last year. Is that a thing? [Upchurch]

One of the things I’d like to start tracking better in recruiting data are deltas: how much each player’s crootin numbers move over the course of his recruitment. I’ve been updating my spreadsheets a bunch the last few weeks as the sites put out their final rankings, and I fortuitously backed up the data on New Year’s Day so I have a decent snapshot right now of how much the rankings moved from the end of the season to when the services redid their final rankings for this week.

Unfortunately this doesn’t include the two guys who committed last week, since I grabbed their ratings only when those announcements hit. Wanna see?


Player Pos Stars RR Nat Rk Pos Rk ☆/5
Otis Reese OLB ☆☆☆☆ 5.9—>6.0 42—>56 2 4.76
Aidan Hutchinson WDE—>SDE ☆☆☆☆ 5.8—>5.9 NR—>129 17—>8 4.58
Myles Sims CB ☆☆☆☆ 5.9 79—>103 9—>14 4.49
Jaylen Mayfield OT 3—>4 5.6—>5.8 NR 31-->17 4.25
Cameron McGrone OLB ☆☆☆☆ 5.8 238—>195 19—>16 4.14
Joe Milton DUAL ☆☆☆☆ 5.9—>5.8 189—>200 11 4.04
Mustapha Muhammad TE ☆☆☆☆ 5.8 NR 16—>17 4.02
Gemon Green CB ☆☆☆☆ 5.8 NR 37—>39 3.91
Christian Turner RB ☆☆☆ 5.7 NR 18 3.90
Taylor Upshaw SDE ☆☆☆ 5.7 NR 24—>25 3.85
Ben VanSumeren ATH ☆☆☆ 5.7 NR 37—>34 3.81
Vincent Gray CB ☆☆☆ 5.7 NR 56—>60 3.70
Sammy Faustin CB ☆☆☆ 5.7 NR 58—>62 3.69
Ryan Hayes OT ☆☆☆ 5.6 NR 47 3.62
Kevin Doyle PRO ☆☆☆ 5.6 NR 24 3.60
Hassan Haskins RB ☆☆☆ 5.6 NR 41 3.60
Luke Schoonmaker TE ☆☆☆ 5.6 NR 36 3.52
Michael Barrett ATH ☆☆☆ 5.6 NR NR 3.35
Julius Welschof SDE ☆☆☆ 5.5 NR NR 3.00
German Green S ☆☆☆ 5.5 NR NR 3.00
Ronnie Bell WR ☆☆ 5.4 NR NR 2.95

First a few words on what we’re looking at and how to react to things. The “☆/5” is my own conversion of the ratings and position rankings the sites provide so I can judge them all against each other. It’s imperfect.

Don’t pay attention to small changes in rankings, and the further down they start the larger delta you need to discount. That’s an effect of other guys shooting up the rankings and pushing everybody below them down a bit, not a new opinion on our guy. This is normal and happens every year. You’ll note Rivals didn’t make a lot of changes among their three-stars but fiddles with the guys in the top of the rankings a lot, part of a larger tendency to focus on the headline-grabbers.

Rivals, like the other services, starts stingier with their 4- and 5-star ratings to leave room for the inevitable risers. You can prove this yourself: go on the Rivals database and count how many guys in the 2019 class have a 6.1 (five stars) or 6.0 (highest four-stars). It’s 12 and 35—half as many as any year prior. Rest assured that’ll be more like 25-30 in the 6.1 range and 70-80 who get 6.0s by this time next year. That’s how Otis Reese jumped to a 6.0 while slipping 14 spots in the national rankings—what that means is he didn’t move while data on other guys filled in around him.

[Hit THE JUMP to see where everyone moved]

This Week’s Obsession: We Scouted Bad

This Week’s Obsession: We Scouted Bad

Submitted by Seth on June 23rd, 2017 at 10:56 AM

The question:

Most humiliatingly bad recruiting ranking

The resposes:

Brian: Chris Wormley and Trey Burke spring to mind.

Ace: Can first-hand agree on Wormley. I don’t know how anyone could see that guy in person and not think he at least had a good shot at the NFL.

Brian: We've talked about Wormley before. Everyone saw a huge athletic man and ranked appropriately except Josh Helmholdt. He was the #22 player... IN OHIO.

Ace: That dude was built like a house as a senior and it was clear he could add another house.

Seth: Poor Helmholdt. We've probably hung that over his head more than any one ranking by anyone in history.

Brian: He's got a few more in the pipeline if he doesn't drag Mayfield and Hayes into the top 15 in state. But this is a key factor in ridiculous rankings: you miss when everyone else is on point. Sure, nobody saw a draftable CB in Jeremy Clark but I can't blame 'em for that.

Seth: So no Kevin Grady, even though Tom Lemming made him his #7 player in the country.

In. The. Country.

Brian: A key factor, not the. You can fire away on that ranking. By Grady's second year it was clear ranking him as a five star was total nonsense.

Ace: And we were all a little leery of his film when he was a recruit. But nobody flat-out said “De’Veon Smith is better” because of those dang rankings.

Seth: You're thinking of Green.

Ace: Ah crap, same thing.

Brian: A good answer to this question is "any highly touted Michigan tailback."

Seth: A-Train was way up there. #2 overall RB I think.

Brian: A-Train was so far back in the day that it has less impact. Literal mailmen were doing rankings then.

Seth: Well I may just happen to have some of those mailed Prep Football Reports and Prepstars in reach of my desk for some reason.

Brian: Grady was worse than Green because at least Green was a legitimately huge person. I have no idea what anyone was thinking about in re: Grady.


Ranking The Rankers: 2012 Class

Ranking The Rankers: 2012 Class

Submitted by Brian on January 19th, 2017 at 12:52 PM

An annual series that attempts to figure out which of the major recruiting services had the best read on a recruiting class. You get three points for the best, two for second, one for third, with ties adding all those up and splitting it. Note that the higher the rank the more willing I am to make a distinction between takes. #20 is different than #60; #200 is the same as #240.

29753775395_0137dde51a_z (1)

[Bryan Fuller]

No significant differences:

  • Jeremy Clark. The sites missed on Clark (if he plays well in his sixth year and gets drafted) since they didn't think he could play corner. He was a generic three star to all.
  • Allen Gant. Nobody was optimistic here. FWIW, ESPN was the most thunderously pessimistic, ranking him the #150 WR and #72 player in Ohio.
  • Jarrod Wilson. Wilson was a mid-four star to everyone; Scout put him #245 but actually had him lower positionally than anyone else. Wilson performed to his rating.
  • Matt Godin. Godin got one four-star ranking from 24/7; they rated him the #17 SDE and #11 in the state while folks who offered three stars ranked him #8 and #10 in-state and around 30th as a DT, which has twice as many guys as SDE. Those are more or less the same ranking despite the star difference. He was a quintessential 3/4 star tweener and played exactly like it.
  • Ben Braden. Generic three star to the world, and that was about right. Braden was co-Sleeper of the Year along with Chesson. Willie Henry was the best pick; Chesson and Braden were probably #2 and #3 depending on how you feel about Jeremy Clark.
  • Jehu Chesson. Also a generic three star to everyone.
  • Sione Houma. Fullback. ESPN only gave two stars but actually had him higher positionally than anyone else.

Not Applicable: Kaleb Ringer had microfracture surgery as a freshman and never recovered. He transferred to Ferris State. Sites were more or less in agreement on him in any case.

Note: ESPN only ranked out to 150 this year.

Terry RichardsonTerry Richardson

A universal four star despite his diminutive size, Richardson barely played and eventually transferred to Marshall. This was not the finest day for any of the scouting services but ESPN was the wrongest, placing him #68 in the country. 247 (#142), Scout(#183), and Rivals(#224) were more skeptical by degrees but not far enough apart to make a distinction.

1st(T): 24/7, Scout, Rivals
4th: ESPN

James Ross

Another universal four-star with not much playing time to his name, Ross flashed big talent but ended up watching for most of his career. While this was a miss by everyone, Scout(#83) and 247(#116) were the highest on him, with Rivals (#172) a hair more skeptical. ESPN wins the prize for leaving him at the bottom of their four-star rankings with an 80.

1st: ESPN
2nd: Rivals
3rd(T): Scout, 24/7

Royce Jenkins-Stone

The third in a series of four star guys who didn't pan out; ESPN(#111) and Scout(#113) were higher on RJS by a wide enough margin to ding them relative to Rivals(#184) and 247(#209).

1st(T): Rivals, 24/7
3rd(T): Scout, ESPN

344790Joe Bolden

Played a ton, but never particularly well. Ended up undrafted; Michigan upgraded with new faces after his departure. Should have been a high three star; was instead universally hailed with 247(#58) and Scout(#69) significantly higher on him than Rivals(#111) and ESPN(#142).

1st(T): Rivals, ESPN
3rd(T): 24/7, Scout

Chris Wormley

Finally someone a recruiting service underrated. Wormley was infamously dissed by Josh Helmholdt for his lack of motor; Rivals gave him a generic three star ranking that stands out as the biggest miss of the cycle. He was their #22 player in Ohio... after being the subject of a heated Michigan-OSU recruiting battle. Okay.

Everyone else offered four stars, with 24/7(#72) much higher on him than Scout (#164) and ESPN (unranked four-star). Wormley turned into a stalwart DE/DT who should be off the draft board by the end of day two. 24/7 was thus bang on.

1st: 24/7
2nd(T): Scout, ESPN
4th: Rivals

571Tom Strobel

One of the biggest busts of the class, Strobel was a four-star guy to three services. Despite being radically undersized for DT, Strobel was sent there early in his career, emerging as a redshirt junior after Michigan lost their top two nose tackles. Strobel was overrun and not offered a fifth year.

ESPN was the lone skeptic and they were very skeptical. He was the #29 player in OH and the #61 DE. Scout(#93) missed most badly, with 24/7(#198) and Rivals (unranked four star, albeit in front of Wormley) more or less tied for second.

1st: ESPN
2nd(T): 24/7, Rivals
4th: Scout

Mario Ojemudia

Despite a large split in opinion I think I have to punt here. Ojemudia was in the midst of a breakout season as a senior when he went down with an achilles injury in game five, i.e. the very instant it was too late to redshirt. Also he was one of the most insane burned redshirt of the Hoke era, getting spot time in nine games as a 230 pound DE.

So was he a four star and guy just outside the top 200 (ESPN, Scout) or a generic three star (24/7, Rivals)? Yes. Also no.


Willie Henry

Nobody thought much of Henry when he committed but Scout offered him a reasonably high ranking (#38 DT); the rest of the services (#59 OH, #97 DT, #54 OH) had him in the "if we gave out two stars any more this guy would have two stars" range.

1st: Scout
2nd(T): 24/7, Rivals, ESPN

Ondre PipkinsOndre Pipkins

Pipkins had an ACL injury that hampered his career but was healthy enough to play the year after his injury and three years removed from it at Texas Tech, so his lack of impact was probably more about his ability. Everyone missed here; ESPN (four-star outside the top 150, #16 DT) was significantly more skeptical than the rest. Rivals gave him five stars and ranked him in the top 20; Scout and 24/7 had him just outside the top 50.

1st: ESPN
2nd(T): 24/7, Scout
4th: Rivals

Erik Magnuson

Everyone except ESPN was in a tight band from #71 to #82 overall; ESPN had him a four-star and the #27 OT in the country. I was ready to punt on this since Magnuson was kind of at the midpoint but both Seth and Ace were strongly in favor of the latter ranking.

1st: ESPN
2nd(T): Scout, 24/7, Rivals

Blake Bars

Rivals was the only service to offer Bars a fourth star; they ranked him the #32 OT. The next most optimistic service, ESPN, had him #54. Bars never played and transferred away.

1st: 24/7, ESPN, Scout
4th: Rivals

Kyle KalisKyle Kalis

Played a bunch; like Bolden never played particularly well. Has some chance of getting drafted late. Should not have been a five star; Scout(#35) and Rivals(#22) gave him one. 24/7 was significantly more skeptical (#61) and ESPN more skeptical yet(#132).

1st: ESPN
2nd: 24/7
3rd(T): Scout, Rivals

AJ Williams

Generic three star tight end rankings from three services. Scout offered him a fourth, ranked him as an OT, and placed him #225 overall. While Williams did have his late Harbaugh surge, the skeptics were correct.

1st: 24/7, Rivals, ESPN
4th: Scout

259059Devin Funchess

Another bad miss by Rivals in the Midwest, as a future second-round pick with obvious eye-popping athleticism got three stars from them. Everyone else offered four, with ESPN the most optimistic. He was just outside their (then) top 150 and the #5 TE.

1st: ESPN
2nd(T): Scout, 24/7
4th: Rivals

Amara Darboh

Another guy with three sites in a tight range, this from #199 to #215. ESPN whiffed badly, ranking Darboh the #82 WR and a three-star. The other sites were bang on.

1st(T): Rivals, Scout, 24/7
4th: ESPN

Dennis Norfleet

Sigh. Norfleet made a terrible decision to sign up for a Brady Hoke/Al Borges joint that had less than zero use for a tiny running back, but it must be stated that he should not have been a four star. ESPN was the lone service to dump Norfleet way down their list (#80 RB, #26 MI); the other three sites had him a solid four star from #163 to #236. And they probably would have been right if Norfleet had gone to Kansas State or something.

1st: ESPN
2nd(T): Scout, Rivals, 24/7

Your 2012 Recruiting Class Rankings Winner is...

ESPN. By a landslide.

  1. ESPN: 30 points
  2. 24/7: 24 points
  3. Rivals: 18 points
  4. Scout: 17.5 points

It sucks for Michigan that they won largely because they thought a bunch of guys were overrated relative to the rest of the services; on the other hand, ESPN says Michigan has a terrific class this year. So we've got that going for us.

24/7 won the 2011 class, which had fewer points up for grabs since so many of those gentlemen were in the generic three-star void. Your two-year totals:

  1. ESPN: 39.5
  2. 24/7: 36.5
  3. Rivals: 25
  4. Scout: 24.5

Ranking The Rankers: 2011 Class

Ranking The Rankers: 2011 Class

Submitted by Brian on January 19th, 2016 at 1:53 PM

I was curious as to how the various recruiting sites made out with their rankings now that all four services have been around long enough. 247 was just starting up in 2011 and had some rankings but not the depth of the other services, which may have helped them since this class was… uh… not good.

No significant differences


Mid-to-low three stars: Russell Bellomy, Thomas Rawls, Tamani Carter, Greg Brown, Tony Posada, Jack Miller, Chris Rock, Keith Heitzman, Frank Clark, Desmond Morgan.

Sites were bang on with most of these. Clark was the biggest miss but he was 210 pounds in high school. You can see why that was a miss. Morgan and Rawls probably should have been ranked in the four-star range if we're going on overall ability, even if Rawls didn't make an impact at Michigan. FWIW, I grabbed Morgan as my sleeper of the year. This was the second-best choice behind Clark.

Gol-dang this was a sad recruiting class.

Not Applicable: Antonio Poole redshirted and was struck down by an injury immediately afterwards.

1008_bisp_Hayes[1]Justice Hayes

Hayes was kind of a big deal, cracking the Rivals 100 and landing just outside of the Scout and 247 top 100 lists. ESPN had him as a four star but an unranked one, significantly lower than the other services.

Hayes never got much run at Michigan and was the only back to transfer away from Late Fred Jackson and not blow up. He had 52 carries for 204 yards at Southern Miss last year. He was overrated by everyone, some more than others.

1st: ESPN
2nd (T): Scout, 247
4th: Rivals

Chris Bryant

Bryant was an enormous pile-moving guard out of Chicago who fielded intermittent practice hype but could not lock down a starting spot; he eventually had an injury-forced retirement.

Still, in retrospect there was enough of a scouting difference to include him. Rivals rated him a four-star, the #203 player in the country, and as an offensive tackle. All other sites rated him a three-star guard, with ESPN the most skeptical.

1st: Scout, 247, ESPN
4th: Rivals

15669920069_72ab42f97b_zBrennen Beyer

Everybody liked Beyer enough to rank him as a four star but there was a decided split. Scout placed him in their top 100. Rivals and 247 both had him around 200th nationally; ESPN ranked him significantly below everyone else.

Beyer went on to have a solid career, one in which he was frequently miscast by his coaches whether by inane choice or necessity. He was a starter, but not a particularly notable one. Unranked four-star seems about right.

1st: ESPN
2nd(T): Rivals, 247
4th: Scout

Kellen Jones

Jones didn't make it to his first game as a Wolverine, embarking on a vagabond journey unparalleled in the history of Michigan recruits. He never made an impact at Michigan, Oklahoma, Clemson, or Wisconsin.

Scout gave him a fourth star; Rivals and ESPN middling three-star rankings. A nascent 247 did not rank him at all.

1st: 247
2nd: Rivals, ESPN
4th: Scout

15064895344_674a21d680_zRaymon Taylor

Michigan actually had to flip Taylor from Indiana after Brady Hoke came aboard; he was slotted in at cornerback and became a three-year starter. He was not drafted and never received any sort of all conference recognition and is thus hard to judge. If you knew what Raymon Taylor's career was going to be like, how would you rate him?

I'm guessing low four star, which is exactly what Rivals said. Scout and 247 said mid-to-high three, which is also an acceptable answer. ESPN was incorrectly harsh, labeling him the #95 ATH in the country.

1st: Rivals
2nd(T): Scout, 247
4th: ESPN

Delonte Hollowell

The diminutive Hollowell got some run as a nickel corner but was most famous for tweeting in all caps; he was just too small to have major impact. ESPN ranked him the #15 CB in the class and a four star; everyone else said three but there was reasonable spread. Rivals said #25 CB, Scout #40, and 247 didn't give him a positional rating.

1st: 247
2nd: Scout
3rd: Rivals
4th: ESPN

14976242848_7f97fb30b9_zBlake Countess

I'm punting on Countess. Is he the guy who was All Big Ten as a sophomore playing zone? Or is he the guy who Will Fuller ran away from over and over again? If Michigan had stuck with the coverage Countess ran early in his career he would have seemed like a much better player; alas for his sake, they did not.

He was a four star to everyone with rankings ranging from #133 (Rivals) to outside the top 300 (ESPN), both of which are correct and incorrect.


What have we learned?

Mostly that a post like this isn't interesting when most of the class falls into the generic three-star range. Also that the transitional Hoke/Rodriguez class was incredibly sad.

Points for recruits on which there was sufficient data and difference of opinion to rank:

247: 12.5
ESPN: 9.5
Scout: 7
Rivals: 7

This is an incredibly small sample size and if you draw conclusions from it the statistics gremlins will spank you in your sleep.