Head coaches, in general, mock recruiting rankings. Every coach has their own story of a 2-star recruit that is now making plays in the NFL.
South Florida head coach Skip Holtz dropped an interesting stat during an interview with ESPN’s Brian Bennett.
Holtz said, “They told me a stat that there was one five-star player in the Super Bowl. I would much rather value my assistant coaches' decisions and working with the high school coach and evaluating film, academics and the quality of people than I would just chasing stars on a recruiting board.”
Of course, we’re not sure Rivals or Scout existed when Hines Ward was coming out of high school.
Holtz continued his point, however, by adding, “I think if you want to evaluate a recruiting class, you evaluate them three or four years down the road, when you find out who is even going to make it to that college or university because of the academics and then how they're going to develop and how they'll mature. That's why the NFL isn't predicated on just four- or five-star athletes.”
“I ask the question, who's the big-time guy? And who's making the evaluation on how many stars there are next to a young man's name? I keep using Chris Johnson, who was a two-star athlete out of Orlando who's one of the best players in the NFL today. You look at Nate Allen who was a safety here who went to the NFL and was up for rookie of the year on defense -- he was a two-star athlete when he signed here. When we went back and looked up the people who signed four years ago with Nate Allen, right below his name was a four-star player that I've never even heard of.”
According to Rivals, Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson has offers only from UCONN and Eastern Kentucky before opting to sign with East Carolina.
UPDATE: Thanks to an email from an observer of the site, we have uncovered some hardcore details.
There were three 5-star players based on Scout.com ranking that were on the rosters of Pittsburgh and Green Bay. Rashard Mendenhall, Desmond Bishop, and LaMarr Woodley were all 5-star players. Of the 48 players on the rosters that are young enough to have received a ranking from Scout.com , 15 of those players were highly ranked 4-star players.