CBS Sports: A look at Recruiting Rankings

Submitted by Indonacious on February 5th, 2013 at 11:22 AM

In a pretty neat article by Matt Hinton, he concludes that "The evidence is overwhelming: Despite some obvious, anecdotal exceptions, on the whole recruiting rankings clearly are useful for creating a realistic baseline for expectations."…

This obviously bodes well for michigan, given how we have been recruiting off late. Also, I realize that this topic is frequently discussed, but I thought the information was provided very nicely and in a somewhat novel format so I figure I'd share.



February 5th, 2013 at 11:27 AM ^

I guess I've always seen recruiting like poker. Sure occasionally a 7-10 hand (3* recruit) will beat pocket aces (5* recruit), but if you consistently get the latter, you're setting yourself up to be pretty successful over the long haul.


February 5th, 2013 at 11:36 AM ^

BraveWolverine views recruiting just I like do. I see the star ratings as probabilities. A team made up of 5 stars will beat a team made up of 3 stars 9/10 times, maybe more. 

This is why I get excited for our past recruiting classes. We have pulled in two top recruiting classes back to back (tomorrow will confirm). Recruiting is a part of what makes a solid team, the rest is coaching and intangibles. 

We are in a good spot and I'll get excited over 4 and 5 star prospects every time, and I'll root for the 3 star and under guys as underdogs every time. 

Good article and I like how they say its a useful predictor for success if looked at as a whole and not to disect the data and look at individual cases too much. For example, "oh we signed one 5 star amazing WR we are going to BCS this year!" kind of thing.


February 5th, 2013 at 12:20 PM ^

Not according to my retired HS football coach father in law.  No matter how much I tell him that while recruiting is a crap shoot, if you have loaded dice then your chances of winning are much higher (case study; Alabama)  than just playing the regular odds.

Hoke and Co. have done a great job of getting quality depth to the team rather than having a heavy top end and no talent on the 2 deep. 

oriental andrew

February 5th, 2013 at 11:43 AM ^

I read the article without checking the author's name and thought, "man, this guy is totally stealing Matt Hinton's stuff!"  Turns out it IS Matt Hinton... 

And oh, Matt, you gotta get your greater than and less than symbols right! 



February 5th, 2013 at 11:48 AM ^

Interesting, I think it is impossible to debate that getting higher rated recruits leads to more success on the field. 

One things that was interesting was the ranking of the schools.  The B10 is really falling behind in recruiting vs. other conferences.


'Big Six' Conference Teams by Recruiting Class*
 FIVE-STAR (≤ 10,000 points): USC, Florida, Texas, Florida StateLSUOhio State,Georgia, Oklahoma, Auburn, Notre Dame, Michigan.
 FOUR-STAR (6,000–9,999 points): Miami, ClemsonTennesseeUCLAOregon, South Carolina, Texas A&M, StanfordNorth CarolinaCalifornia, Ole Miss, NebraskaVirginiaTech.
 THREE-STAR (4,000–5,999 points): WashingtonArkansasOklahoma StatePenn StateMichigan StateTexas TechMissouriArizona State, MarylandMississippi State,West VirginiaRutgersPittsburghUtah, Virginia, Colorado, Arizona, TCU, NC State, Illinois.
 TWO-STAR (2,000–3,999 points): MinnesotaIowa, Kansas, Louisville, Wisconsin,South FloridaBoston CollegeBaylorGeorgia TechOregon StateKansas State,Kentucky, BYU, VanderbiltPurdue.
 ONE-STAR (≥ 1,999 points): Cincinnati, Washington StateDukeNorthwestern,SyracuseIndianaWake ForestIowa State, Connecticut, Temple.


We have 2 teams as 1 stars, 4 as 2 stars, 5 3 stars, 1 4 star, 2 5 star.  As a conference overall we are definitely falling behind in recruiting to SEC/B12 and even Pac10.


February 5th, 2013 at 5:52 PM ^

It's worth mentioning that despite being a 1-star in the rankings from 2008-2012 Northwestern had the second best record in the conference last year.  Also, despite being a 2-star Wisconsin has won the conference three years in a row.  I know sanctions play a role in that, but still.  And, despite being only one of the two teams ranked as a 5-star (UM & OSU) UM was not one of the top two teams in the conference during that span.  Now, maybe all three of those cases were outliers I don't know, but it's worth mentioning.


February 5th, 2013 at 11:57 AM ^

Very exciting to think about our level of recruiting right now, but some people are being overly optimistic about the time it will take for the 12 and 13 classes to have an impact. Sure, Derrick Green will probably contribute early, along with a few others, but the quality of your team is made up mostly of  juniors and seniors i.e. your classes from 3, 4 and 5 years ago. When you look at it from that angle, it will still be a few seasons before our roster is actually comprised of the top-end talent we have become accustomed to bringing in the last two classes.

If you look at our 2010 class, it's pretty weak. It had six 4-stars, of which the highest rated two aren't even with the team (Christian, Dorsey). Now we got Ryan and Gardner as stars, but for a class signed four years ago, it's short on stars and even meaningful contributors.

So I love following this stuff, it's a lot of fun, and there is more than a good chance that the 12 and 13 classes will allow Michigan to pull away, along with OSU, from the rest of the big ten. I'm just saying, don't expect to happen any time soon.

Buzz Your Girlfriend

February 5th, 2013 at 12:39 PM ^

This way of thinking, and I agree with you, has another side to it. Because our recruiting classes under RR were a combination of mediocre + attrition, our players from two and three recruting classes ago have seen the field much earleir than other powerhouses, or even mediocre stable programs (MSU). This helps them grow beyond their years, at the detriment of the seasons they were true or redshirt freshman on the field.

We have a lot of young kids on our team this year, but a lot of them are already battle-tested.

Arizona Blue

February 5th, 2013 at 11:57 AM ^

Its obvious that recruiting rankings matter in one fashion or another.... At the very least, having a highly rated class is positive mojo for the team and will attract future recruits or uncommitted players to the class. If you dont think that recruits look at Rivals, Scout and 247 sir, are out of your mind.


February 5th, 2013 at 12:13 PM ^

Another thing that article underscores is the importance of the number of recruits per class.  (read: oversigning, but we'll ignore that elephant in the room and yes I see what I did there)

If one in every six five-stars becomes an All-American, there is certainly a palpable difference in getting 20 guys vs. 18 - there's more chances to find a diamond in the rough.  That's one of the big strengths of this Michigan recrutiing class - the mere fact that we have 27 guys.  I'd have to imagine that this won't happen often; I gotta imagine that the size of this class is very much attributable to the massive attrition we had during the dark era.  Even still, the consistent star power should stay the same as long as Hoke and Mattison are at the reins.


February 5th, 2013 at 12:25 PM ^

The All-America status doesn't differentiate signee talent vs development, but the other takeaway is the critical importance on finding the right 3* and 4* guys who will mature into elite status.

Too early to say, but Hoke & co seem like strong talent evaluators. Will Da'Mario or Channing or Hurst or anyone develop into a top tier player? IMO Hurst has NFL potential.


February 5th, 2013 at 5:31 PM ^

With the idea that rankings and stars do matter which is better, a team with more 4-stars or a team with more 5-stars and less total 4 & 5-stars?  So, is it better to have more quality guys or have a few of the top guys?  This sort of seems like the difference between UM and OSU's classes.  UM has more guys in the top 300, but OSU has more in the top 100.  Is it better to have volume or be top heavy?  It probably depends on depth, needs, etc. but I'd still be curous some thoughts anyways.