HS Rankings Represented in AFC/NFC Championship Game

Submitted by joelrodz on January 23rd, 2011 at 3:07 PM
In light of some of our obsession with high school recruiting rankings, I thought this article was informative. It discusses the hype of rankings and how it matches with current players playing in this week's AFC and NFC Championship games. Learned that AJ Hawk was a 3* LB, Clay Mathews was unranked, and Brian Urlacher was recruited as a WR. I have not searched the site yet, but did anyone here perform a correlation analysis between rankings and NFL draft status (drafted vs not)? That is, take all college players taken by the draft in a given year and match that up with their initial HS ranking (0=not ranked, 2, 3, 4, 5). If what this article posits is accurate, I expect a low correlation between rankings and draft status. The other, and perhaps better approach, is to do a chi-square analysis on expected and observed draft status based on rankings to see if draft status varies by initial HS ranking. I'd be curious. http://eye-on-recruiting.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/26895818/2…



January 23rd, 2011 at 5:16 PM ^

was a freakish athlete who played S, WR, RB for New Mexico.  He had a late growth spurt that enabled him to play LB in the NFL.  He can still run even at 260 lbs.  The only way to neutralize Urlacher is to run at him, but the Bears front 4 is too disruptive for the team to try to run at him.


January 23rd, 2011 at 3:17 PM ^

Brian URLACHER was recruited as a WR and played LB, where Kris Frost is being recruited as a LB but wants to play WR... hopefully Frost is the opposite of Urlacher in a lot of other ways as well.


January 23rd, 2011 at 5:40 PM ^

I can't believe that this argument persists.  The Rankings are reflective of potential.  5 Star players aren't guaranteed to succeed but they tend to have a greater chance than 1, 2, 3, or 4 Stars.  I submit the table below, showing the 5 Star players from the class of 2005, as proof:

QB 1 Mark Sanchez NFL
QB 2 Ryan Perrilloux NFL
OL 3 Eugene Monroe NFL
WR 4 Patrick Turner NFL
CB 5 Demetrice Morley Dismissed from School
WR 6 Fred Rouse Dismissed from School
LB 7 Tray Blackmon CFL
WR 8 Derrick Williams NFL
DT 9 DeMarcus Granger No Professional Career
S 10 Kenny Phillips NFL
RB 11 Antone Smith NFL
CB 12 Justin King NFL
OL 13 Reggie Youngblood No Professional Career
RB 14 Marlon Lucky UFL
OL 15 Alex Boone NFL
RB 16 Jonathan Stewart NFL
CB 17 Jamario O'Neal No Professional Career
LB 18 Rey Maualuga NFL
LB 19 Brian Cushing NFL
TE 20 Tony Moeaki NFL
RB 21 Toney Baker No Professional Career
DT 22 Callahan Bright Never Enrolled
RB 23 Kevin Grady No Professional Career
RB 24 Rashard Mendenhall NFL
OL 25 Dace Richardson No Professional Career
TE 26 Martellus Bennett NFL
S 27 Reggie Smith NFL
TE 28 DajLeon Farr NFL
WR 29 DeSean Jackson NFL
DT 30 Kade Weston NFL
LB 31 Luthur Brown No Professional Career
DE 32 Travis Beckum NFL
DT 33 Jerrell Powe Proj. 3rd Rd. 2011 Draft
DT 34 Roy Miller NFL
RB 35 LaMarcus Coker Dismissed from School
WR 36 Selwyn Lymon Dismissed from School
OL 37 Michael Oher NFL
DT 38 Marques Slocum Dismissed from School
LB 39 Darius Dewberry No Professional Career
DT 40 Melvin Alaeze Never Enrolled
CB 41 Derek Pegues No Professional Career
DE 42 Doug Worthington NFL
RB 43 Jason Gwaltney Dismissed from School
CB 44 Avery Atkins Dismissed from School
DE 45 Averell Spicer NFL
DT 46 Vince Oghobaase NFL
S 47 C.J. Byrd No Professional Career
OL 48 Dan Doering No Professional Career
QB 49 Jonathan Crompton NFL
WR 50 Malcolm Kelly


Facts from the Table:

  • 27 of the 50 players from the list are on NFL rosters (54% success rate).
  • 7 players were dismissed for either academic or disciplinary reasons.
  • 2 never enrolled because of clearinghouse issues.
  • 1 just completed his college career and is expected to be drafted this year.

Interesting facts not on the table include:

  • Former Wolverine Marques Slocum was an undrafted free agent of the Washington Redskins.
  • Avery Atkins committed suicide after being dismissed from Florida.
  • Scout classifies the top 50 players as 5 Stars. Numbers 51 and 52 that season were Darren McFadden and Ndamukong Suh.

In summary, I would rather have higher rated players, because the chances are they will be very good.  However, just because a player is not ranked 5 Stars it doesn't mean he won't be successful.  


January 23rd, 2011 at 3:27 PM ^

Think about how many 3 stars there are vs. 5 stars. It is completely erroneous to take a sample size of 4 NFL teams and show that rankings don't matter bc there are not that many 5 stars playing today.  There are only a couple dozen 5 stars per year and hundreds of 3 stars, so yes there are a lot of 3 stars in the NFL.

Its been done in other posts, articles, etc and i am too lazy to look it up, but in terms of percentage - yes rankings matter a lot. 5 stars are way more likely to make it to and succeed in the NFL than 3 stars.


January 23rd, 2011 at 8:37 PM ^

Thanks. I would of thought that if plenty of 3 stars make it into NFL then you probably wouldnt get a significant correlation in the relationship cause the variance would be too dispersed across the spectrum of 3, 4, and 5 stars. If there is a significant correlation, particularly over time, then the rankings make sense. It's just that the anecdotal responses illustrating successes of 3 stars (Mike Hart, AJ Hawk, etc) make it seem most are diamonds in the rough. Obviously, player development, position change, and other factors impact success of any given player. Was just curious.


January 23rd, 2011 at 3:37 PM ^

My brother had a copy of the 1997 Wolverine preview issue.  The last page had the "top 100" recruits for 1997 (high school seniors).  If anybody has a copy take a look as it's pretty funny - only about 3 of them did anything in college or the pros.

Ya just never know......


January 23rd, 2011 at 3:46 PM ^

My favorite WTF position switch involves Warren Sapp - he was recruited as a tight end and he could potentially end up as a hall of famer at defensive tackle. Good times.