Barring any late signings, the Virginia Tech 2022 recruiting class is complete with the addition of three prospects on Wednesday. Daequan Wright, Xavier Chaplin and Devin Alves all signed letters of intent for the Hokies, bringing Tech’s total of 2022 signees to 24.
If you recall, I decided before the 2021 football season began that I was going to change our ratings system to a half-star system that would be tiered like this…
And so on. The reasons for doing so was that I believe there are too many 4-star recruits, and probably too many 3-star recruits as well. For the 2022 recruiting class, the No. 35 player in the country by 247Sports is rated as a 4-star prospect, and so is the No. 381 prospect in the country.
The problem with that is that people see four stars next to both players’ names, but in reality the No. 35 player is one spot away from being a 5-star, and the No. 381 player is one spot away from being a 3-star. There’s a huge difference of opinion of each prospect in terms of rankings, but it isn’t reflected in the star rankings, which is what everybody seems to look at first. Therefore, I believe the traditional star ranking system to be a bit antiquated.
To be fair to recruiting services, they also have numerical ratings that range from a 70 to a 110, but most people don’t pay attention to those…the eyes naturally go to the stars. They are easy to see, and easy to digest. I’m not saying my half-star system is better, but it is different, it’s less generic, and I think it gives you a little more to think about.
How I rate each player is determined by a number of factors, though I don’t really weigh any factor more than others…
Star rankings of the various services: I do use the 247 Composite as a baseline, and then adjust based on the other factors.
Offer lists: Within reason. Sometimes offers aren’t real, sometimes they are. I also view some G5 offers (Coastal Carolina, App State, etc.) as better than some P5 offers (Kansas, for example). However, in special cases like Devin Alves, I discount the offer list completely. If I’m firmly convinced that coaching staffs got it wrong on a player (either for better or worse), I don’t pay much attention to the offer list at all.
Projected fit for the Virginia Tech system: This is probably the most unique thing about my ranking system, and it’s not something the national networks would be able to replicate.
Feedback: Sometimes I get feedback from specific people about individual recruits who have more knowledge of those individuals than I. This could affect my ratings on a case-by-case basis.
High school: Recruits from high schools who I know regularly produce good players at the college level could potentially get a bump. For example, Highland Springs in the Richmond area and Trinity Christian in Jacksonville are two such schools.
Film: This is incomplete, though I do emphasize it. As one former Virginia Tech staff member warned me once, recruits don’t put their bad plays on their Hudl highlights. You only get to see the best. You don’t get to see their flaws, unless you have access to their full game film (which I don’t have). So I watch each guy, but I take it with a grain of salt to a certain extent.
Gut feel: Sometimes, even after all that, I have trouble deciding how to rank a prospect, so I just have to go with a gut feeling at the end of the day. For example, I wrestled back and forth on whether to give Daequan Wright a 4-star rating or a 3.5-star rating. I eventually went with 4-stars, and I’ll...
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