Classes of 2001 through 2005 Prove Star Rankings Don’t Always Matter

On Monday we ran an article that took a look at Virginia Tech’s 2008 NFL
Draftees and how highly-rated they were coming out of high school. Today we’ll
take it a step further and look at Tech’s recruiting classes from 2001-05, and
see how many of them went on to have success at the college level, and later in
the NFL Draft.

The star rankings came from We chose the years 2001-05 because
the Rivals numbers only go back to 2001, and it’s too early to get an accurate
read on many of the players past the class of 2005. We also included James
Anderson and Brandon Frye as 2-star players. Even though Rivals rated them as
1-star players at the time, these days they would be automatically given 2-stars
just for having a Virginia Tech offer.

Success at Virginia Tech Not Dependant on Star Rankings

By my count, Virginia Tech signed 105 players between 2001 and 2005. Some of
those players are still playing for the Hokies, but for the vast majority of
them we already know whether they have contributed, or if they ever will.

One question you see a lot on the message boards is how many players of one
star ranking “make it” in college when compared to other players who
are ranked differently? For example, what percentage of 4-star recruits are
successful in college when compared to 3-star recruits?

I don’t have the answer for how it is at most schools, but I can give you the
data for Virginia Tech from 2001-05. I classified all the recruits as either
“contributors” or “non-contributors”. A few are open for
debate, but I feel like these are pretty accurate numbers. Also, please note
that defensive end Steven Friday is listed as a contributor because he is
expected to be in the 2-deep at defensive end this season and play in the
regular rotation. Ike Whitaker is listed as a non-contributor because he has
never gotten significant action in the past, nor is he projected to this year.
Those situations could change, however.

Tech’s Recruiting Success, 2001-05
Stars Solid
Non-Contributors Total Success


3 0 3 100%


11 10 21 52.4%


29 15 44 65.9%


22 15 37 59.5%


65 40 105 61.9%

Virginia Tech signed three 5-star recruits from 2001-05, and they were all
successful. Kevin Jones, the #1 recruit in the nation in 2001, went on to be an
All-American in 2003 and a first round NFL Draft