Schools battle over top recruits as signing day looms
January 28, 2011
College football recruiting intensified when the NCAA placed restrictions on the amount of scholarships a school could give. The traditional powerhouses of college football were no longer guaranteed all of the top recruits and the game became more competitive. An expansion in T.V. coverage also contributed to the obsession over recruiting. Kids don’t have to play for Texas, Nebraska, Miami, USC, or Notre Dame to get on T.V. and get noticed by scouts. Schools across the country battle for the biggest, fastest, smartest, and most talented student-athletes to come to their school. With NSD coming up on February 2nd, the nation’s top prospects will announce where they will take their services and make it official.
College football enthusiasts track recruits on Rivals.com, Scout.com, and ESPN.com. Of the top ten recruits for 2011, four remain uncommitted and six are only waiting to make it official on signing day. USC has claimed two of these top players, wide receiver George Farmer and athlete De’Anthony Thomas. In-state powerhouse Florida State has the commitment of defensive back Karlos Williams from Davenport, Florida. All of these players are “5 star” recruits. Scouting systems rank players on a system of 1-5 stars. 5 star players are said to be college-ready. 4 star players need a year to red shirt and are also predicted to be the future kings of the college game. 3 star players are considered to be role players and 2 stars are the “projects” who have the athletic ability but need top coaching to be able to make an impact. Some people criticize the star system. Sophomore Danny Havican says, “I’m a FSU fan and so I always watch the recruiting and see who we can get. The stars and the team rankings are fun to watch but I think player development is a lot more important.” Danny’s point is backed up by low ratings of current NFL superstars Ed Reed and Santana Moss. Reed was a 2 star recruit and one of his only offers was to Miami, and he is one of the best safeties to ever play the game. Moss flew under the radar because of the wishbone offense that his high school team ran, and he only had a few receptions each year.
Some 5 star prospects can be duds. 5 star QB Kyle Wright from Danville, California was supposed to be Miami’s next great signal caller. He had offers from over 100 schools and was rated the number 1 overall prospect in the country. He never panned out and was eventually replaced by the more modest Kirby Freeman from Texas, a 3 star recruit. So watch your team’s prospects and look at the team rankings on NSD, but keep in mind that the star count of prospects will not necessarily reflect your team’s future.