With the rise of Internet recruiting rankings for all sports over the past decade, you have seen “experts” come out of the woodwork and make a name for themselves. The truth unfortunately is that many never played football and don’t even know all that much about the game. They were just in the right place at the right time.
What that means is the only rankings that a site like Rivals cares about is their own. They could careless what Scout has you ranked at or how highly Tom Lemming thinks of you. These sites are all independent of one another and they honestly don’t care where you are rated by another site.
I recently had a parent email me regarding his son. He was telling me about he was the ranked by recruiting service in the country. The parent felt that this ranking should also help him get attention by Rivals, Scout, and other website that this parent can find and contact. Well….. based on what I’ve or we experienced, it seems that they DO feed off each other. Attention from one, seemed to draw attention from the other. Depending on who writes the post or article, can really change the game for the athlete because everyone is on social media and reads what is going on with everyone else. The key is you have to “play the game” even if you dont believe in the game’s substance. Become a master at the game and that game will work for you.
I, at first, did struggle with some rankings ESPECIALLY after some high profile showcases we went to. I remember in particular, The Opening. I watch my 170lb 10th grade, DE DESTROY 4 & 5 star Olineman all day. One was going to Alabama, another was going to Notre Dame, another was going to Michigan State, etc…… The problem with rankings of players is that no site can honestly say that they think a player is really the <insert ranking here> best player at his position. Do you really think they watch tape of the 57 players in front of him and eventually say that your son is just below #57 and just ahead of #59? They make assumptions because no one has the time or resources to watch all of those videos. Some do watch highlight video SOMETIMES, but it is impossible to watch or rank a player against other players they have never seen.
The same can be said regarding just about any other list or ranking. Do you know what impresses recruiting experts and college coaches? It is scholarship offers. If you really have a scholarship offer from a school like USC, Texas, or Florida, that can help open a lot of doors for you in the football recruiting world. The same can be said about North Carolina, Kentucky, and Kansas for basketball. They add points to schools per Power 5, etc.. The bigger name, ranking, of the school, the better you will be ranked. The algorithms used for ranking an athlete is complex. It is. But lots of factors figure into that ranking such as what i described which i’ll right about at a later time. In general, the bigger name the school, the more points are added to your ranking.
As proven by Miami a few weeks back, college coaches are not going to win games by just recruiting the top tier athletes as ranked by Scout, Rivals, ESPN, and whoever else (although Kentucky basketball will certainly be trying). They need to find players that fit their system, buy in, and work hard.
If you are the #53 offensive center in the country but are 5-foot-8, then do you really think you will have more opportunities than the #65 center that is 6-foot-3? Rankings like these mean so very little outside of giving an athlete a little recognition. These experts may get to see film but they obviously don’t have the ability to see everyone of these players up close. And the best athletes are able to showcase their skills at Nike combines during the off-season that can catch the attention of experts because they are freak athletes.
I used to think college coaches don’t care about where you are ranked by a recruiting service until we walked into 2 specific schools coaches offices and saw the 247sports site up as they were going thru players. Think about it…. how else would they know about kids unless they do what everybody else is doing? In going thru the recruiting process, you need to show that your son is talented, can play in his highlight tape, and do a good job marketing him.