5 Stars= probability of success

Submitted by modaddy21 on January 18th, 2011 at 1:47 PM

For the stars don't mean anything crowd

With the Class of 2011 almost in the barn, Rivals reviewed the five-stars of the Class of 2010 in their first year on campus, and came away suitably impressed: Of the 26 players granted five-star status in the '10 class, 19 played significantly for their new teams, and seven – Seantrel Henderson (Miami), Keenan Allen (Cal), Robert Woods (USC), Marcus Lattimore (South Carolina), Owamagbe Odighizuwa (UCLA), Michael Dyer (Auburn) and DeMarcus Milliner (Alabama) – were regular starters by at least midseason. Among the seven that didn't make an immediate impact, one sat out the season as a transfer (Florida defensive end Chris Martin, originally a signee at Notre Dame), one was stuck behind a Heisman Trophy finalist (Oregon running back Lache Seastrunk), two left their respective teams (Miami cornerback Latwan Anderson and USC receiver Markeith Ambles) and one was diagnosed with leukemia before the season (Auburn offensive lineman Shonn Coleman).




January 18th, 2011 at 1:55 PM ^

Just because they contributed doesn't mean they were good, most of those 5* players were mediocre this year. How many freshmen on Michigan made significant contributions, 5? Wouldn't say any were good outside of Hagerup.

Sophmore year is when players show their true potential most of the time. 


January 18th, 2011 at 1:54 PM ^

Boubacar Cissoko, Will Campbell, JT Turner - ironic all D players --> thus far not much return.  Waiting to see what big will can do.

Was DG a 5 star?  Maybe on Scout.  I love his potential.

Am I missing anyone?


January 18th, 2011 at 1:54 PM ^

National Title winning teams recruits 4* and 5* players as their core. Michigan is not going to win national titles until we start doing that again.


January 18th, 2011 at 2:00 PM ^

to say that for every 5 star that works out, there's a 5 star that busts.

That's the whole point of recruiting 5 stars; their bust rate is way lower than non top 100 guys.  

Michigan's 5 stars since recruiting got big have been Burgess, Henne, Schilling, Campbell, Grady, Brandon Graham, Woodley, Donovan Warren and Mundy.  (Think that's the whole ball of wax, but I might be missing someone-Cissoko and Gardner weren't 5 stars to Rivals, which is stingier with their 5 stars).

That's a pretty good hit rate, as even Mundy was quite good his senior year, albeit for a different team.  


January 18th, 2011 at 1:56 PM ^

What about 4* and 3* and so on? It's pretty obvious that a player that is one of the highest rated players in the country is going to perform well at the next level. However, it is also not always the case. 2* and 3* guys can also be just as productive as 5* players in their first year of college, it just depends on the work they put in and who is in front of them on the depth chart.

No offense to the OP, but this story doesn't mean much to me.


January 18th, 2011 at 2:09 PM ^

the point is that a 5* has a much higher chance of being awesome than a 3*, which means that a team that gets a million 5*s will be, over time, far more successful than a team that gets a ton of 3* recruits.  

This story should mean a lot to you, because it means that the recruiting services  generally do a pretty good job in identifying future talent, which means that star rankings need to be taken pretty seriously, because they're a good predictor of future success. 


January 18th, 2011 at 2:37 PM ^

While I will somewhat agree with you, you need to take the rankings with a grain of salt. Look at how many players are 3* coming out of high school and become All-Americans and how many 5* players turn into just another college football player. I agree that it is nice having 5* players because they are presumably more ready to contribute and play at the college level. However, it all comes down to coaching, IMO.

For instance, Will Campbell. Many have said that he is a bust and will become nothing. But what happens if Hoke comes in and taps into BWC potential? Not saying RR was a bad coach, I was a supporter from day 1, but Hoke may be able to get BWC to be what many thought he would be.

Rankings are a nice measurement of how ready a player is for the college level, however just because a player was a 5* ranked player doesn't mean he is going to be an All-American. You must realize that the rankings are all speculation, whether right or wrong.


January 18th, 2011 at 3:29 PM ^

A decent number of 3 star guys become All Americans because there are like 6.43 million 3 star guys each year.  The success rate of 3 star recruits is actually quite low, as one would expect if the ranking systems had meaning. 

And yes, 5 star guys do bust, but the success rate is probably north of 50%, and it's a lot higher than that if you exclude guys who busted out for off the field issues.   Again, you're getting a probability here, and the 5 star probability is loads higher than the 3 star one.  It's -- well I wouldn't say rare, but at least not the norm that the recruiting sites identify a guy as an awesome, 5 star football player and he turns out to be bad at playing football.  

And I disagree really, really, really strongly that it's all about coaching.  I don't think Pete Carroll is a particularly great coach.  But he's such an awesome recruiter that none of that seemed to matter.  I''d rather take a guy who is a terrible coach but an awesome recruiter than vice versa. 


January 18th, 2011 at 5:26 PM ^

I think the best analogy for recruiting rankings would be blackjack.  Sure, sometimes you'll get dealt a 16 and end up winning, or you'll get dealt an 11 and end up losing.  But no one in their right mind would say it doesn't matter if you have a 16 or an 11.  In the long run, a guy that gets dealt all 11s is going to do better than a guy getting dealt all 16s.


January 18th, 2011 at 2:30 PM ^

Everytime a decent amount of posters say star rankings do not matter.  I beg to differ, I think they are a good indication of talent and team impact.  Not an end all be all, but a good indication.  This story just enforces that.  FWIW I am not saying 3* suck or anything like that, and I understand UM has had some good ones.  But the reality is that the consistently good teams recruit and develop more 4/5* talent than lower ranked players.  Just saying.


January 18th, 2011 at 2:22 PM ^

The point people are making when disputing star ratings is that one recruit isn't worth making hasty coaching decisions. Of course they have the potential to be good, it doesn't mean they're equal to the rest of the program.

Tha Stunna

January 18th, 2011 at 2:23 PM ^

Well, there's a correlation between immediate playing time and landing 5 star recruits, so the article may not mean as much as it seems.  However, there was a very good article a few years back that demonstrated that 5-stars were ~1.8x more likely to become all-conference players than 4 stars, and 4 stars were similarly better than 3 stars.

Yes, immediate playing time is one of many factors that draws recruits, but there's still a correlation there.


January 18th, 2011 at 3:28 PM ^

Has anyone ever done a study on the probability of 3 stars who play at traditional powers entering the NFL compared with those who don't?

It seems to me like if a 3 star kid plays at a major university, his chance of professional success would increase, therefore a higher percentage of three star kids who play at / are offered by major schools (Michigan, Alabama, Florida, etc...) would play in the NFL and/or be successful in college.  This is a way for me to rationalize not panicking when I think we might be getting to many 3 stars...

Am I crazy or does this make sense?

Brewers Yost

January 18th, 2011 at 5:43 PM ^

The alternative hypothesis is that a 3 star who goes to a smaller school (MAC, sun belt, etc) has an easier time showcasing their skills for the NFL scouts because they are the upper tier athletes in those conferences.


Personally, if I were a 3 star Michigan would be my first choice. However, if they did not offer I would most likely go to a non-AQ school that would give me the best chance of playing and in my mind making it to the NFL.


January 18th, 2011 at 4:23 PM ^



Odds of Becoming All-America By Star Level (Rivals Rank)
  Number % of Total Odds vs. Rest of Level
Total All-Americans 232 100 1 in 59
Five-Star 19 8.2 1 in 9
Four-Star 53 22.8 1 in 27
Three-Star 81 34.9 1 in 50
Two-Star or Lower 79 34.1 1 in 102

Five-star prospects were about three times as likely to earn an all-America vote than four-star prospects, five-and-a-half times as likely as a three-star prospect, eleven times as likely as a one, two or zero-star prospect. If the setting was 'random; – if the rankings were worthless – every level would show roughly the same 1 in 59 odds of producing an all-American. Three, four and five-star prospects all fared better than that, the top two much better than that. Zero, one and two-stars were not close. If you pay attention to the distribution of the star rankings, the results are nothing like a bell curve. They look like this:

Which is basically what Peter (and the recruiting services) predicted. I.e., common sense. Boring, I know.

But if one of the measures of the "sole purpose" of the guru rankings is their ability to "show a much greater percentage of 5-star recruits making the All-America team than 0-stars," then those rankings succeeded wildly. For predictive purposes, they are generally what they say they are.


January 18th, 2011 at 5:09 PM ^

I think its amazing how rivals, scouts and espn rank the top high school players. The fact is that many players have neer even seen each other yet they can clearly distunguisg between 100 QB whos better and what each one has to work on. Ifg u go get the list of 5 star recriuts from 07, 06, 05, 04... u can see how many of them actually made the NFL and had great college careers. They have done a pretty good job when it comes to recruiting rankings.


January 20th, 2011 at 8:35 PM ^

I would like to see those numbers, I've gone back before and saw a good Share of Players I've recognized but just as many I've never heard of, and I watch a lot of college football, most so back in the day but still a lot.

Edit: Went back to Rivals and took a quick look and apparently if your a 5* you have a 1 in 4.5 chance of playing in the NFL

Steve in PA

January 20th, 2011 at 8:59 PM ^

The guy on Rivals Radio, Bill King, explained their ranking system today and it isn't what most think. 

5 Stars is reserved for a kid who will probably be playing on Sundays

4 Stars is for a kid who will be an All-Conference player

3 Stars is for a kid who will be a D1 starter

2 Stars is for a kid who will play, but probably not start at D1.

Didn't explain 1 star that I remember

I thought it explained a lot in terms of what they are looking at.  Seems more tilted to NFL body/speed/ability than contribution in NCAA.