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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.” This page will update in January after the conclusion of each season.

I figure that 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 these sites, so having this information should be beneficial. I use this to improve on what I am doing and to see if it’s even worth doing my own (ie. self-scouting). These evaluations take a lot of time and if my time can be spent elsewhere, I want to know.

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 = -7, 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 entering their 3rd season in the fall of 2018, I decided to go ahead and rate the players based on this system. Obviously, they’ve only been at Clemson for two seasons and have yet to reach their peak production, but I thought this was a good way to show everyone how this works.

Here are the current overall scores from the 2016 recruiting class and what the scoreboard will look like.

The 2016 class has yet to meet the peak performance standards that the all the websites expected. That is normal for 2nd year players. As the players continue to develop, these scores are going to go up.

Below the scoreboard, I will 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 don’t think anybody’s going to be singing our praises over at Rivals and Tigernet after this.

I understand that somebody might say, “Well that’s not fair. You’re judging recruiting services on something they haven’t declared.” I think the day they started doing rankings they should have quantified them so that fans know exactly how they translate to college football potential and performance. They haven’t done that as of yet and they’ve had 17 years in some cases. As soon as the sites put a more detailed explanation out there, I will update this system to reflect that. If anyone sees that happen, please let me know.