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Recruiting Services Evaluation

If you read here regularly, you know how much I love defining the meaning of words and analyst accountability. The two go hand in hand. On this page, I define and hold accountable the commonly used system of, “Star Ratings.”

Since I’m going to measure myself against the recruiting services anyway, I might as well post it for everybody. A lot of Tiger fans frequent recruiting sites and other sites that use their information, so having this should be beneficial.

Here’s how this works. First I had to define exactly what a star rating even means. Using explanations about recruiting service methodology on their site, I divided the star ratings (except 5-Stars) into 3 grades: Low, Solid, and High. Then each of those grades was defined by expectations of peak production.

Star Ratings and Expected Peak Production
  • 5-Stars (1st Team AA, 1st-2nd Round NFL Pick), Hi 4-Stars (2nd-3rd Team AA, 2nd-4th Round Pick), 4-Stars (AA Candidate, 3rd-7th Round Pick), Lo 4-Stars (All Conference, 6th Round Pick-FA Signing), Hi 3-Stars (2nd Team All Conference, FA-CFL-Arena), 3-Stars (2 Year Starter @ EP, 3 Year Starter at P5, 3rd Team All Conference, FA-CFL-Arena), Lo 3-Stars (1 Year Starter EP, 2 Year Starter P5), Hi 2-Stars (Part Time or Fill-in Starter EP, 1 Year Starter P5), 2-Stars (2+ Year STs, Career Backup EP, Part Time Starter P5), Lo 2-Stars (STs/Organizational Depth.

Next, I came up with a simple point system to grade the evaluation.

  • Spot on = 3 points, 1 Grade Off = 2 points, 2 Grades Off = 1,  3 Grades Off = 0,  4 Grades Off = -1, 5 Grades Off = -2 points, 6 grades off = -3, etc.

Players that have a career ending injury, transfer before participating in 3 seasons, or receive an ineligibility ruling other than grades or discipline = 0 points. Basically, this just means that players must play at least 3 seasons at Clemson to qualify for a rating.

2016 is the first class I evaluated here on CPaws. With the 2016 class finishing their 3rd season, I decided to go ahead and rate the players, albeit way early, based on this system. I don’t think anybody’s going to be singing our praises over at the Recruiting Services and Tigernet after this, but I’m fine with them proving they are better evaluators than me if that’s what this eventually shows.

My one issue with the rankings is that they have not clearly defined how each star rating relates to success on the college level. They claim to quantify a player’s potential, but that it is up to the kid to put in the work and develop himself. That sounds ok until you hear rumblings that a player’s star rating has been raised for committing to a staff known for developing players, for appearances at camps, and for giving information they can print for their readers.

So we’re going to do a little quality control here for them and for me. So, that’s why I’m doing this for Tiger fans. Here is the current overall tally from the 2016 recruiting class and what the scoreboard will look like moving forward.

Obviously, the players in the 2016 class still have a lot of football left to play as upperclassmen. As the players continue to develop, their performance level improves, their opportunities increase, they start games, they win awards, they get drafted, and their “Actual Rank” listed below will go up.

I have a list of all the players that have spent at least 3 years in the Tiger program and all of their rankings. This will allow you to see the hits and misses in evaluation. Of course, I can’t resist putting in one of my quotes beside the ratings and admit that this is 100% designed to try to shamelessly make myself look good. I mean, how else do we get readership?

I understand that somebody might say, “Well that’s not fair. You’re still judging recruiting services on something they haven’t declared.” I think the first day they started doing rankings they should have quantified them so that fans knew exactly how they translated to college football potential and performance. They haven’t done that and they’ve had 15+ years. As soon as the sites put a more detailed explanation out there, I will update this system to reflect that. Why would they though?  As long as people eat it up, who cares? If anyone does see that happen for them, please let me know asap.