Blinded by the stars


In recruiting now, it’s all about the stars. And I’m not talking about the prospects themselves but the things that are attached to their names by the all-knowing recruiting gurus, whose number has grown almost too big to count.

If you’re a recruit with five stars by your name. … man, you can’t miss. You’re going to be a college stud for sure, a future NFLer. (After what we’ve seen at Florida over the past several years, we know this is not always the case, not even close sometimes).

If you’ve got one or two stars next to your name, well, good luck with that, you’re obviously not much of a prospect. (This, of course, is not always true, either. There are a lot of guys playing in the NFL today who had one or two stars coming out of high school).

It’s all about the stars. We’re caught up in the stars. We’re all gazing at the stars, distracted from what really matters

One guy who isn’t is Florida coach Will Muschamp, who says he does not count stars when it comes to recruiting. He and his staff are going to evaluate prospects and sign players who they think can play and fill needs, regardless of  their star power in the recruiting services.

The star system doesn’t really bother me that much. It makes recruiting a little more interesting.

The one thing I can’t stand are the recruiting rankings. These seem to be based solely on stars. The team with the most five-star recruits and the highest star average is the national champion in recruiting. Simple as that.

There is a big hole in the way teams are ranked. A school’s ability to fill its needs (or not) does not seem to be part of the process.

We’ve seen this at Florida. Urban Meyer’s 2010 signing class was ranked No. 2 in the nation. But (as we’re seeing now), the Gators needed to load up on offensive linemen that year and they signed only two — Chaz Green and Ian Silberman. They flopped in a major area of need, but that seemed to be no factor in the rankings.

If I’m doing the rankings, they would be based almost solely on a team’s needs and whether they are filled or not. Signing a bunch of five-star recruits looks great and really wows the gurus, but if they are not at a position of need, what’s the big deal?

Knowing your needs, and filling them, is how recruiting classes should be judged.