How to Rank Recruiting Classes

Friend of the blog Billy Sierra is one of the more dedicated recruiting followers. He laid out his ideas for better analyzing a recruiting class on It is basically taking a look at offers, and recalibrating the star system based on the number of offers.

The idea is that a player is good if other teams think he is. It is a solid rule-of-thumb, much like the rule of thirds I mentioned on the podcast. It puts a lot of weight on the recruiting opinions of other schools, but that may not be a terrible idea considering the ubiquity of recruiting highlight videos and amateur talent evaluators. In 2015, there are fewer diamonds in the rough (though it does happen) so if the regional schools don’t think a guy is worth offering he may just not be that good.

It has long been known that the big profile schools with Rival sites lately inflate the star ranking of a player 1 and there are numerous examples of guys that are overlooked that went on to be great. It is extremely hard to look at a 17-year old and predict their future with accuracy. That said, on aggregate you can generally tell the good players from the bad. Here is Billy’s method:

[B]asically guys with no other FBS offers or former walkons are rated as a “C” recruit, 1 other FBS offer is a “C+” recruit, a “B” recruit has 3-5 total FBS offers, a “B+” recruit has 3-5 total FBS offers with one or two being from impressive programs (i.e. Houston, P5s, etc), an “A” recruit has more than 5 FBS offers, and an “A+” recruit has at more than 5 FBS offers and at least 10 total D1 offers.

  1. A player who is 2-star that gets a UT offer suddenly becomes a 3-star, for example.