Jimmystats: The 2018 Class in Context, Part II: Defense

Jimmystats: The 2018 Class in Context, Part II: Defense

Submitted by Seth on March 2nd, 2018 at 10:22 AM


Very different types of 3-stars [Eric Upchurch, 2013]

This is take two (take one got deleted) of Part II of my attempt to put the recruiting rankings of this year’s commits in context within the ~500 previous Michigan commits we have Part I: The Offense lives here.

Since the last one I’ve been dealing with a health thing. In fact I’m writing this from the hospital, where they’ve had me holed up since last Friday. Between tests, consultations, vitals, and literally almost 100 needle pokes into my vascular system, I’ve had time to complete a substantial update to my roster database, which now goes all the way back to Gary Moeller’s first year, plus some long overdue tweaks to how I value position and regional rankings.*

I’ve also been playing around with interactive charts on Tableau:


Click to get to the chart since I can’t figure out how to get embedding to work yet. I’m new at these so bear with me as I learn.

* [Methodology for stat nerds: I averaged the 247 composites of each rank for each position, then plotted it on a graph and used the logarithmic formula]




Young Wormley was 70 percent potential, 30 percent hair [Upchurch/Bryan Fuller]

After Michigan loaded up with linemen last year and secured two one of the top DEs for 2019, they could afford to get picky in 2018. They still got one potentially immediate contributor and two excellent choices for sleepers of the class. Aiden Hutchinson got a late ratings bump from the sites which pushed him up from a near-perfect Ryan Van Bergen comp to “not just a four star” range.


The only relatively recent guy Michigan captured in this range was Craig Roh, but if Rivals hadn’t been so contrarian with Wormley I think that would be your closest comp. 247 was the highest on Wormley and came out about the same on Hutchinson’s kid. He’s supposed to be coming in to play defense but if you want to project him at guard, well, here’s the closest comp:


We have to scroll down to the mid 3-stars for Taylor Upshaw and Julius Welschof:


Note that’s not “generic three star” like Greg Brooks/Rondell Biggs, but neither is it “just missed a fourth star” like Carlo Kemp and Jibreel Black. As I said, I love the potential with both of these guys. Upshaw is the son of an NFL player who didn’t start playing football until recently. Welschof is a German athletic freak and mogul skiier who gathered a lot of interest from the big-time schools he camped at. The recruiters were always playing catch-up there too. Rivals didn’t take to Welschof—otherwise the sites placed them in the same range as some other position-switchers or needs-to-gain-weight types with high ceilings to unwrap in a few years.

Defensive end is a position where the talent apparent in high school translates more directly to an NFL career:


(and that’s totally the reason I showed this)

Fortunately for our hopes here the only guy from the three-star bin considered an athlete on the level of Upshaw and Welschof was Shelton Johnson, and his career crumbled for off-field reasons.

[After THE JUMP: used to be better before I had to rewrite all of it]


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.

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[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

Jimmystats: When the Sites Disagree

Jimmystats: When the Sites Disagree

Submitted by Seth on July 7th, 2016 at 3:30 PM

When Ace was scouting Kai-Leon Herbert, the offensive tackle prospect who announced his commitment to Michigan this week, we took note of the big disagreement in his rankings:

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp

4*, #22 OT,
#183 Ovr

4*, #10 OT,
#61 Ovr

4*, 83, #15 OT,
#106 Ovr

3*, 86, #72 OT,
#683 Ovr

4*, #22 OT,
#166 Ovr

Some variation for a project recruit with big upside isn't that weird, but one site having him threatening the top 50 while another has him barely among the top 700 is some serious disparity. BiSB even wondered aloud if big disagreements like that portend anything for a guy. And well, I have a database. Let's see.


I'm going back to my STARs ratings, which are a composite of the four main recruiting sites' scoring systems/stars/rankings normalized to a sliding scale of five stars. I cut out specialists, then used only players for whom we have at least three rankings to go from, and ran a standard deviation.

So What Happens When They Agree?

This wasn't very useful because most of the guys with high agreement were very well scouted (duh) and a few were like the toppomost of the tippytop. There were 12 guys who sparked almost total agreement (ordered by rating):

Player Class Rivals Scout ESPN 247 STDev
Rashan Gary 2016 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 0.00
Jabrill Peppers 2014 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 0.00
Ben Bredeson 2016 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.6 0.00
Justin Boren 2006 4.6 4.6 4.6   0.00
Chris Fox 2013 4.2 4.2 4.2 4.2 0.00
Josh Ross 2017 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 0.00
M. Witherspoon 2008 4.0 4.0 4.0   0.00
Ben Braden 2012 3.6 3.6 3.6 3.6 0.00
Christian Pace 2010 3.6 3.6 3.6   0.00
Teric Jones 2009 3.6 3.6 3.6   0.00
Frank Clark 2011 3.4 3.4 3.4 3.4 0.00
J.T. Floyd 2008 3.2 3.2 3.2   0.00

Teric Jones, Christian Pace, and Chris Fox lost their careers to injury, but after that only Marcus Witherspoon (for off-field reasons) didn't end up a regular starter, pending the careers of Bredeson (who may be the first tackle in this year) and Rashan Gary (who may be the greatest tackle in years).

So What Happens If They Disagree?

Here's the 15 biggest disparities. I've highlighted the biggest outliers.

# Player Class Rivals Scout ESPN 247 STDev
1 John Ferrara 2006 3.4 3.2 1.8   0.90
2 Jason Kates 2006 4.0 2.3 3.2   0.88
3 Austin White 2010 3.6 4.0 3.4 2.0 0.87
4 Kevin Koger 2008 4.2 4.2 3.0   0.69
5 Conelius Jones 2010 3.4 2.8 3.4 2.0 0.67
6 William Campbell 2009 4.8 4.6 3.6   0.64
7 Junior Hemingway 2007 3.6 3.8 4.8   0.64
8 Brandon Smith 2008 4.2 4.4 3.2   0.64
9 Chase Lasater 2017 3.4 2.8 3.2 2.0* 0.62
10 Brandon Moore 2008 4.0 3.2 4.4   0.61
11 Isaiah Bell 2009 3.6 3.2 4.4   0.61
12 Mark Huyge 2007 3.4 2.5 2.3   0.60
13 Rocko Khoury 2008 3.6 3.4 2.5   0.59
14 Boubacar Cissoko 2008 4.6 4.6 3.6   0.58
15 D.J. Williamson 2010 3.2 2.5 3.6   0.56

*247 hasn't ranked Lasater yet

Big winners on there are Koger, Hemingway, and Huyge, though BWC turned out okay once Hoke got his hands on him. FWIW the one guy Scout and Rivals really disagreed on before ESPN entered the ring was Alex Mitchell. Meanwhile I had to go back to the blogspot page to find Brian's take on the huge disparity over Junior Hemingway:

So, yeah... those numbers above disagree fiercely. Hemingway is either in the top 10, 20, 30, or 40 receivers in the country, depending on who you listen to. Rivals went so far as to downgrade him to a three-star after season's end for reasons unknown (read: plain old provincialism on the part of that particular region's rankings guru). Meanwhile, ESPN is freakin' out over here. Scout and Creepy Tom Lemming split the difference.

Ironically he turned out exactly as advertised:

Leaving aside his exact proportions of shirtlessness for the moment, Hemingway is a leaper capable of ridiculous grabs. His overall athleticism has been questioned by those skeptical of his talent, but no one debates his body control, leaping ability, and hands.

The most noticeable thing other than how many of those guys didn't pan out was that ESPN was usually the oddball.

How Do the Sites Compare?

Was ESPN always so odd? They ranked Koger as a DE (Brian did posit at the time that a move to DE was likely, since Michigan had few), while Rivals and Scout had him the #4 or #6 tight end. But it came up enough I had to look at them versus the average to see if that was normal:


(click makes big)

Mathematically (by deviation of squares) they were by far the most likely to disagree with their peers:

ESPN: 39.73
Scout: 31.74
Rivals: 24.09
247: 13.80

If they were highly accurate that would be interesting, but as you see by the outliers, only one of the dudes they seemed super-way-excited about even started (though Metellus has time).

It was also interesting to see which players each site was most panting/skeptical about. I'll highlight if they got it right:


Rivals Scout ESPN 247Sports
Nolan Ulizio (-0.5) Jason Kates (-0.9) John Ferrara (-1) Austin White (-1.3)
Bryan Mone (-0.5) Brandon Moore (-0.7) Kevin Koger (-0.8) Conelius Jones (-0.9)
Jr Hemingway (-0.5) D.J. Williamson (-0.6) Brandon Smith (-0.7) Jake Butt (-0.5)
Chris Wormley (-0.5) Davion Rogers (-0.6) Will Campbell (-0.7) Jourdan Lewis (-0.4)
Patrick Omameh (-0.4) Reuben Jones (-0.5) Rocko Khoury (-0.7) Devin Asiasi (-0.4)

Some of those guys it's too early to tell. But I might be a bit more leery of Rivals skepticism and hoping Reuben Jones proves Scout can be wrong.

Meanwhile in high expectations, here are the guys certain sites thought would outperform the consensus of their peers:


Rivals Scout ESPN 247
Jason Kates (+0.9) Austin White (+0.9) Jr Hemingway (+0.7) Chris Wormley (+0.6)
Mark Huyge (+0.7) P.Omameh (+0.6) Isaiah Bell (+0.7) Nate Johnson (+0.5)
John Ferrara (+0.6) Josh Furman (+0.5) Brandon Moore (+0.5) Dennis Norfleet (+0.4)
Greg Mathews (+0.5) Sam McGuffie (+0.5) Q.Washington (+0.5) Erik Magnuson (+0.4)
Conelius Jones (+0.5) (tie* +0.5) Conelius Jones (+0.5) Mason Cole (+0.4)

* Marrell Evans, Brandon Smith, Tom Strobel, De'Veon Smith, and John Ferrara.

Some of the guys I didn't highlight were fine but only insomuch as they met their recruiting expectations. At least Rivals knew before everyone else that Huyge was unkillable but otherwise woooooof. Meanwhile Scout got burned by some major athletes (Furman and McGuffie at least wound up starting elsewhere), but the only real diamond they pointed out was Omameh; the five-way tie varied from slightly too positive (D.Smith, Ferrara) to vastly overrating (Evans, Strobel, B.Smith).

Of course these are just small sample sizes—useful for gauging extreme outliers but little else. So I used scatter charts to see if there was a major difference in the aggregate, tracking all their recruiting ratings by deviation from the mean and their starts/eligible seasons. The best scouting site would have the most bubbles very high and to the right, and fewest bubbles high and to the left (guys they were skeptical about who got a lot of starts).


A few major outliers got cut out but a picture has emerged. When Scout says a guy is good you should probably pay attention. Rivals has a low batting average but will connect as often as they whiff. ESPN appears to lose track of guys who aren't ranked at the very top, so their outliers may be more cautionary than anything. 247 plays it mostly safe but once in awhile takes a calculated risk that usually pays off.

Or that they're huge Norfleet fans. One understands.

What does that mean for Herbert and the OL this year?


We haven't seen this kind of distribution before, honestly. These rankings could change so much before February however that I wouldn't put much stock in them anyway. The Herbert disagreement doesn't look so bad in the STARs. With nothing else to go on, I'd say keep an eye on 247's rating to see if that jumps after the Opening, and otherwise trust that Scout has him pegged.

Jimmystats: A Crutin Consensus Take 2

Jimmystats: A Crutin Consensus Take 2

Submitted by Seth on February 10th, 2016 at 10:05 AM


So please throw out the old one; I've re-jimmied my historical recruiting spreadsheets to create a new formula for reporting a consensus star rating, kind of like 247's composite rating except it's not just 247 who has one now.

What I mean by "STARs" We are all familiar (I hope) with the idea of a 5-star player and a 4-star player, etc. For a long time on this site we've also been talking about "consensus" 5-stars, versus maybe "4.5-stars" who were maybe 5-stars to half the scouting sites and 4-stars to the other half. Thing is that's not very useful either; a guy whom every site ranked 1 spot below the last 5-star and a guy whom every site ranked just above the first 3-star are both "consensus 4-stars" but should have very different expectations.

Besides the sites really use their own scoring systems, having a certain score equal star ratings just for the sake of comparison. Or even if they don't (Scout) they rank players against each other. That's a lot of data they're trying to tell us about our recruits, but difficult to access. Why can't we have just one number on a simple scale that says all that?

Oh right we do: the 247 composite. Well why can't we have another?

The idea was to take all the different recruiting scoring systems and have them fit a simple star rating system. My previous attempt had some problems, mostly with ESPN not syncing up with the others. So here's the new attempt:

STARs Rivals Scout ESPN 247
★★★★★ 6.1 (Top 10) Top 10 91+ 99+
4.80 6.1 Top 25 88-90 98
4.60 6.0 Top 50 85-87 96-97
4.40 5.9 (t100) Top 100 84 95
4.20 5.9 Top 150 82-83 94
★★★★ 5.8 (t250) Top 250 81-82 92-93
3.80 5.8 UNR 4-star 80 90-91
3.60 5.7 3-star 78-79 88-89
3.40 5.6 " 77 85-87
3.20 5.5 " 73-76 82-84
★★★ 5.4 " 70-72 80-81
2.75 5.3 2-star 67-69 77-79
2.50 5.2 " 64-66 74-76
2.25 5.1 " 62-63 72-73
★★ 5.0 " 60-61 70-71
1.75 4.9 " 59 69

The one potentially confusing thing is "3.80" and not "4.00" is the baseline of a low-ish 4-star. Ditto "2.75" for a low-ish 3-star. I did that because the sites have up to 300 guys who get a 4-star ranking, and also have Top ~250 or 300 lists. Since what we think of as a "4-star" is usually the kind of guy who makes that list, I wanted the numbers to reflect it.

[after the jump: how I did it, and free spreadsheets yay!]

Jimmystats: Comparing Stars of the 2016 Class

Jimmystats: Comparing Stars of the 2016 Class

Submitted by Seth on February 2nd, 2016 at 2:17 PM


Last week I put up an attempt at re-grading all the Michigan players dating back to whenever recruiting information can be divined. Somebody asked if I could show the constituent STAR ratings of Michigan's commits and targets.

Answer is here you go. Michigan's 2016 class so far, organized by STAR rating.

Again, this is a bit more precise ranking system than saying a guy is a 4-star to one site and a 5-star to another—it attempts to standardize the actual ratings so, for example a 5.7 (high 3-star) and a 70 (low 3-star) on ESPN won't look like the same thing. More details at this post.

Name Pos Hgt. Wgt. State STARs Rivals Scout Espn 247
Ben Bredeson OT 6'4 280 WI 4.38 4.50 4.50 4.00 4.50
Brandon Peters QB 6'4 195 IN 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.00 4.50
Kareem Walker RB 6'0 208 NJ 4.19 4.00 4.75 4.00 4.00
David Long CB 6'0 170 CA 4.19 4.25 4.25 4.00 4.25
Michael Onwenu OG 6'3 367 MI 4.13 4.25 4.00 4.00 4.25
Dylan Crawford WR 6'1 175 CA 4.06 4.25 4.00 4.00 4.00
Ahmir Mitchell FS 6'3 203 NJ 4.06 4.25 4.00 4.00 4.00
Devin Bush MLB 5'11 224 FL 3.88 4.00 3.75 4.00 3.75
Brad Hawkins SS 6'2 195 NJ 3.81 3.75 4.00 4.00 3.50
Carlo Kemp SDE 6'3 250 CO 3.75 4.00 3.75 3.50 3.75
Ron Johnson WDE 6'3 221 NJ 3.75 3.75 3.25 4.00 4.00
Chris Evans RB 5'11 181 IN 3.63 3.50 4.00 3.00 4.00
Eddie McDoom SL 6'1 170 FL 3.63 3.50 3.25 4.00 3.75
Nick Eubanks TE 6'6 208 FL 3.63 3.75 3.00 3.75 4.00
Elysee Mbem-Bosse MLB 6'2 228 GA 3.50 3.75 3.25 3.50 3.50
Khaleke Hudson Nk 5'11 204 PA 3.44 3.25 3.50 3.00 4.00
Stephen Spanellis OG 6'5 330 MD 3.19 3.50 3.00 3.00 3.25
Joshua Uche WDE 6'1 217 FL 3.19 3.50 3.00 3.00 3.25
Josh Metellus SS 6'0 187 FL 3.19 3.25 2.75 3.50 3.25
Kingston Davis FB 6'0 242 AL 3.13 3.50 2.75 3.00 3.25
Sean McKeon TE 6'4 230 MA 3.13 3.25 3.00 3.00 3.25
Mike Dwumfour NT 6'2 282 NJ 3.13 3.00 3.00 3.25 3.25
Devin Gil WLB 6'0 204 FL 3.06 3.00 3.00 3.25 3.00
Dytarious Johnson MLB 5'11 215 AL 3.00 3.00 3.00 2.75 3.25

And here's the guys on the board, plus Nate Johnson since he still technically has a signing day announcement:

Name Pos Hgt. Wgt. State STARs Rivals Scout Espn 247*
Rashan Gary DL 6'5 290 NJ 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00
Devin Asiasi TE 6'5 253 CA 4.31 4.75 4.50 4.00 4.00
Boss Tagaloa NT 6'3 303 CA 4.13 4.25 4.25 4.00 4.00
LaVert Hill CB 5'11 173 MI 4.00 4.00 4.25 3.50 4.25
Connor Murphy SDE 6'7 255 AZ 3.81 4.00 4.00 3.25 4.00
Vic Viramontes QB 6'0 214 CA 3.56 3.50 3.50 3.25 4.00
Isaiah Simmons FS 6'3 212 KS 3.56 3.50 3.25 3.50 4.00
Nate Johnson SL 5'11 174 TN 3.31 3.25 3.25 2.75 4.00
Alaric Jackson OT 6'7 285 MI 3.25 3.00 3.25 3.00 3.75
Quinn Nordin K 6'2 200 MI 3.19 3.00 3.75 3.00 3.00

I highlighted a handful that appeared to disagree with the consensus. Since a lot of those were ESPN I'm taking another look at how I weighted ESPN.

Anything odd other than ESPN rankings? Let's go over the disagreements that were >.5 off the consensus.

Kareem Walker on Scout: Thanks helpful reader. Walker was a 5-star for a long time but his camp outings showed some of the finding a hole problems that plagued past Michigan 5-star running backs. He didn't take a tumble, but most sites dropped him from the low 5-star and #1 back to something closer to where De'Veon Smith wound up. Scout dropped him to the 3rd RB but let him keep his 5th star.

Khaleke Hudson on 247: Did you watch his highlight film? I think this is a classic example of a late-riser. If Penn State was telling him not to commit last summer then I can see why sites had him a low 3-star. Once you're out of the Top 300 or 250 or whatever that site is ranking, I think there's less chance for movement. There's a lot of players to rank and forget. Rivals had him a middling 3-star until their final rankings last week.

Kingston Davis on Scout: They're ranking him as a running back, placing him 95th among them. The rest of the sites appear to have ranked him as a fullback.

Devin Asiasi: At first glance it looks like Rivals is the outlier, but I think that's a fault of my ESPN problem. Really the outlier is 247 as you can see on their own composite score:
Everyone else thinks he's a Top 50-ish and the 3rd or 4th TE in the country. 247 has him behind both of the OSU commits and the rare NJ player Michigan didn't get.

Quinn Nordin to Scout: Scout is the only site that doesn't keep kicker recruits artificially in the low-3's because they're kickers. I guess because #collegekickers.