Chasing those stars

One of the more valuable services Matt Hinton provides is his annual reminder that, quite simply, “(t)he better your recruiting rankings by the gurus, the better your chances of winning games, against all classes.”

You want an illustration of what that means?  Okay, here’s a handy chart:

No, there are no guarantees in life.  There are plenty of five-star busts.  There are any number of unheralded recruits who turn out to be raging success stories.  But when your typical five-star player has a ten-times better chance of becoming an All-American than does your average three-star recruit (and a one hundred-times better shot than a two-star kid!), then you have to play the odds if you’ve got the opportunity to do so.  It’s simple math.


Filed under Recruiting

17 responses to “Chasing those stars

  1. TennesseeDawg

    Tony Franklin has learned the hard way this week what SEC recruiting is like. He lost 4 star Moody to USCjr and will lose 4 star Dawson to the Dawgs.


  2. JasonC

    Hey, and here’s another timely article to take a glance at:;_ylt=ApPA0ot96nEfPhIqP1fcY.AcvrYF?slug=mh-huguenin_how_top_teams_fared_recruiting_012912

    Now there are a few overachieving stories like Boise St, Okie St, Standford, Baylor, TCU and (surprisingly) Wisconsin. And there are some definite underachievers: FSU, Florida, Notre Dame, Texas and unfortunately us. But I think several of the overachievers are explained by 1-2 superstar talents that are once in a lifetime for a program, see Baylor & Houston. And Moore at Boise St, Luck at Stanford, Blackmon/Wheedon at Okie St. are similar stories where a special guy or two makes a good program and great program. Let’s see what some of those teams do post-superstar.


    • Jim

      i was going to ask how the Dawgs stacked up to the distribution of star rankings and all-americans – to test criticism we hear of highly touted recruits not panning out in athens. Sounds like somebody already did that and we didn’t measure up very well…


  3. charlottedawg

    posts like this always illustrate the one big point about recruiting most ill informed cfb fans don’t get. namely: the more and better players you sign the better your chances (not certainty, chances) of success on the field. Every recruit and class is essentially a statistcal probability and it is the coaches’ responsibility to maximize said probability of success. therefore if your program consistently fails to recruit,develop, and/or deploy talent in the aggregate, it is the fault of the coaches.


    • Typical dumbass Georgia fan – “I’m tired of guys like Stafford and Moreno that weren’t TRUE DAWGS and just used Georgia to get to the NFL. Give me the one and two star guys that love Georgia in their hearts and we’ll be competing for national titles in no time!”


  4. DawgPhan

    Also NEVER sign 2 star players.


    • Scott

      WRONG. We rarely sign any 2 star players, but when we do, they usually pan out. See my post below. We have only signed ten in the past decade, but Tim Jennings, Mikey Henderson, Michael Turner, Kelin Johnson and Drew Butler were 2 star players.


      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Were they really? Or did some dumbass who doesn’t really know sh!t about football but somehow wrangled a job at a rating service label them as 2 star players, probably without ever seeing them himself, based on something he read somewhere? How could anyone with 2 functional eyes and who actually looked at him ever rate Drew Butler as a 2 star punter coming out of HS? That’s my problem with relying on ratings to assess your recruiting class. It is entirely dependent upon the opinions of somebody outside your organization that you do not control and whose opinions may be flat wrong.


  5. Hogbody Spradlin

    Pickin nits, but I don’t think the data support a medium to strong conclusion about winning games. You’d have to show some data about the correlation between recruiting stars and team records. Five star recruits get dispersed throughout the college football universe, and All Americans are too.


    • Hogbody Spradlin

      BTW, there’s another chart in Matt’s post that correlates recruiting class strength and winning percentage.



      But you have to have one occasionally. And if you have several, they make the difference between “good team” and “great team”.
      Cam Newton and Farley at Auburn. Calvin Johnson at Tech.
      These would have been “also ran” programs without these players.
      Oh…H. Walker at Georgia…kind of made a big difference.
      I believe there’s a huge correlation, esp for the team that has none.


  6. Scott

    UGA’s 5 Star recruits since 2002 according to

    Marquis Elmore (2002)
    Kregg Lumpkin (2003)
    Paul Oliver (2004)
    Brandon Miller (2004)
    Reshad Jones (2006)
    Matthew Stafford (2007)
    A.J. Green (2008)
    Richard Samuel (2008)
    Branden Smith (2009)
    Isiah Crowell (2011)
    Ray Drew (2011)

    The jury is still out on Drew and Crowell. But of the rest, I would say only Stafford, Green and Branden Smith met or exceeded expectations. Lumpkin, Jones and Oliver are in the NFL as backups but never did much for UGA. Oliver redshirted his freshman year, then he only started 2 games for UGA before entering the NFL draft after only 2 seasons. Miller was not drafted but was on an NFL practice squad for a season before being cut. I am not sure what happened to Elmore. I recall him being hurt and also being arrested and suspended a couple of times. He never started a single game for UGA and left the program after recording only one solo tackle for his career.


    • CoastToCoast

      I seem to recall Oliver being a solid player for us – especially manned up against Calvin Johnson. But I guess he does lose some points for flunking out.


  7. Scott

    UGA’s 2 Star recruits since 2002 as per

    Tim Jennings (2002)
    Michael Turner (2002)
    Tom Gainous (2003)
    Mikey Henderson (2003)
    Kelin Johnson (2004)
    Drew Butler (2007)
    Bryce Ros (2008)
    Brandon Bogatay (unrated) (2009)
    Lonnie Outlaw (2010)
    Nathan Theus (2011)

    Only ten 2-star recruits in past decade, but wow, UGA did a great job scouting and signing these diamonds in the rough.

    Tim Jennings was a great player and a 2nd round pick in the NFL, where he has spent the past six seasons. Michael Turner was a backup TE and tackle who played as a true freshman and a good bit during Richt’s glory years. Mikey Henderson was an electric player on special teams, who played at CB before converting to WR. He made some clutch catches from Stafford. Kelin Johnson played significant time at safety over several seasons.

    One could argue that the 2 star players are more of a sure thing than any other level.


    • Scott

      My point here is that recruits do get rated incorrectly by the recruiting services. Obviously, Tim Jennings was not a 2 star player, and Georgia’s coaches saw Jennings play, ignored his consensus rating, and became the only school other than South Carolina State to offer Jennings a scholarship. The same with 2 star Mikey Henderson.

      I would hate to think that UGA is adhering to the ratings of the recruiting services and not making its own independent assessments about players. When UGA lands a 2 star player, I am intrigued. It tells me that the Georgia coaches see something that others don’t, and that despite the pressure to have a recruiting class comprised of 4 star players, the kid must be good enough for them to go out on a limb.

      Or maybe the 2 star recruit has a 5 star younger brother named John Theus….