One of the most useful things that top high school football players can do is regularly check out NCAA football recruiting rankings. If you are amongst the country’s best players, the 1% that are rated at two stars or above, it is important to see how you rate relative to others who you are competing with for scholarships and spots on teams. Also, these college football recruiting rankings provide insight into which teams are bringing in stronger classes. Those at or near the top of the football recruiting rankings will provide more in-team competition but should also have successful squads in the years to come.
In addition to proving to be very useful to top football recruits, football recruiting rankings are also becoming more and more popular with coaches and fans.
Coaches want to know where their teams place in the NCAA football recruiting rankings to get a feel for what to expect from their opponents over the next few seasons. They also like to know where their own teams are relative to their rivals. Of course, football recruiting rankings are an inexact science, but they do help coaches prepare for coming games and campaigns as far as the big picture goes.
Meanwhile, fans are the ones who ultimately fund the programs, ultimately pay for salaries and expenses such as those related to recruiting in addition to scholarships for players. Without them, all the players would need to take care of college expenses on their own. And these fans often spend a lot of time learning more about their teams and the players who are playing and will play for them. That includes regularly browsing the college football recruiting rankings to better know who will be arriving on campus in the coming months and years and determining how they might fit into their teams.
The first step that football recruiting rankings sites take is awarding star ratings to players. They are rated at either two stars, three stars, four stars or five stars. For unknown reasons, no one-star ratings are revealed. Each of the football recruiting rankings news sites have their own formulas and opinions that are used when disseminating these star rankings, but the general idea behind how they are done is similar for all. With that said, many view that the most useful and informative are the composite rankings that 247 sports put out.
A five-star prospect is deemed to be amongst the top 30 players nationally, ones that are expected to immediately contribute as freshmen regardless of where they sign. That puts them in the top 0.01% of that recruiting class. They are also deemed to have the potential to post some incredible college football stats, be named first team All-American and ultimately be drafted in the first round of the NFL draft after their college careers have ended.
Four-star prospects comprise the rest of the top 300 or so players nationally. They are also expected to provide an immediate impact on their college teams and have potential for All-American status and professional careers, just not quite as likely as is expected to be the case for five-star prospects.
Those who have been rated at three stars by football recruiting rankings websites are generally viewed as expecting to be in the top 10% of incoming college players and are generally thought of being in the nation’s top 800 or so recruits. They are viewed as having the potential to be one of the best players in their region or in their conference. Pro potential is there as well.
Two-star players may not have much of an impact on top college rosters, but by even being on FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) or FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) squads, they have proven themselves to be in the top 1% of high school players. Also, these players do sometimes surprise and become impact players at those schools. They also have more potential to be quality fits for FCS schools as well as the potential to be star players at NCAA Division II or III colleges or at NAIA schools.
Another term to consider is blue chip. It is used to define college football recruits who are highly desired by top teams. Generally, ones that are rated at four or five stars fit this description.
Conversely, a yellow chip is a player who is rated at three stars or below, including those who have not been rated by football recruiting rankings services but have college playing aspirations. This variance is significant as it can range from those looking to make impacts on FCS squads to those struggling to make the roster at a Division III school. They tend to need to do a lot more to stand out during the football recruiting process. However, some of them do end up standing out, earning all-conference honors in top conferences.
A sleeper recruit is similar to a yellow chip and a non-starred recruit. It is someone who is, for example, not in the 2019 college football recruiting rankings but who may end up receiving one of the final scholarships at a top program or otherwise impressing to a level that was not initially expected. You can be sure that some players not in the college football recruiting rankings 2019 will end up as some of the country’s most talked about by the time their college careers come to an end.
As all the football commits and recruits are being rated, they are also being ranked amongst their peers in these NCAA football rankings. Also, those who have committed to a school play roles in how that college is rated relative to its competition. In fact, NCAA football recruiting rankings tend to not only break down how players are ranked as a whole and by position but also how teams are ranked.
As more and more people become interested in NCAA football recruiting rankings, the number of media outlets providing in-depth analyzation of those prospects has been ever-increasing. However, a few do stand out from their competition.
247 football recruiting rankings are perhaps the most consulted thanks to its composite NCAA football rankings. That plays a significant role in why many view it as the comprehensive resource for football recruiting rankings. It should also be noted that 247 sports updates its rankings more frequently than the other college football recruiting rankings services, generally doing so whenever new information becomes available.
Another option is the ESPN football recruiting rankings. These NCAA football rankings are also highly consulted and respected, and they include quite a bit of detail as well. Class rankings are included too.
Rivals football recruiting rankings are taken account by many players, coaches and fans as well. Both it and 247 sports are focused on recruiting news while ESPN covers all aspects of sports.
Also note that Scout football recruiting rankings offer additional NCAA football ranking breakdowns and information on the top incoming players and recruiting classes.
A recent look at four-year football recruiting rankings found that SEC teams dominated over the past few years. For example, Florida football was sixth nationally in these NCAA football rankings, but Florida football was also fourth amongst SEC schools. In fact, six of the top eight colleges nationally are from that league with Alabama topping it. The two non-SEC colleges in these football team rankings were Oklahoma (fourth – Big 12) and Ohio State (fifth – Big Ten).
But it is essential to also keep in mind that football recruiting rankings are an inexact science. Perhaps most importantly, they can be dependent on which schools are offering scholarships to these players and how many of them are. As a result, stars often do not arrive until the offers do despite the player often not having improved relative to their peers in the meantime. Of course, this is a useful metric, especially since these are the people who are very particular about who they offer those scholarships to, but it is not a perfect measurement. For that reason, be patient if you believe that you can contribute to a top team but are not rated or have received any scholarship offers as those often arrive at the same time for that reason.
That is also why it is so important to be proactive during the recruiting process. You need to get the schools to notice you. Generally, unless you already very highly thought of on a national level, you are not going to receive stars until after that occurs.
However, these football recruiting rankings services do very much also take into account game film, how players perform at camps and specific measurables such as their forty and shuttle times and vertical reaches. It is by no means fully dependent on offers. But players on the bubble of being rated or not usually will not unless they have already started to receive scholarship offers. Those who are already thought of as five- and four-star players will not see their value impacted much by offers. Their status will be based much more on other factors as the inexact science part of the equation is applied more so to those on that bubble.
The bottom line is to not take any NCAA football ranking as gospel and the be-all and end-all. They are useful and interesting as they do provide reasonably accurate assessments for how players and teams rank relative to each other, but the bottom line, your focus, is garnering a spot at a school that fits you.
As you navigate the college football recruiting process, do also consider things from the other perspective. For example, most smaller schools will tend to recruit locally. If you are interested in ultimately posting college football stats at a place that is not in the national limelight and is located on the other side of the country, you will need to be proactive for them to even know that you exist. Also consider that these types of universities tend to have much smaller budgets. This applies to things such as visits and other aspects of recruiting.
Regardless of where you are looking to play, in nearly all cases, you need to get the ball moving. For example, create highlight videos and start narrowing down the list of colleges that you are considering. Ensure that you ultimately find the best fit possible for yourself, also considering the academic side of the university and the cultures of the team, the school and the community.
One of the things that many looking to enter or improve their standing in the NCAA football rankings do is take advantage of a service such as NCSA. This organization has a wide network of athletes and coaches and regularly disseminates information about the recruiting process. In fact, its founder, Chris Krause, was a college football player himself. But it was not an easy road as he found the recruiting experience to be excessively confusing before he found his fit at Vanderbilt University. This happened in the 1980s. In 2000, he founded NCSA so that others would not have to experience what he did.
Over the decades that followed, NCSA has received top reviews from several athletes and coaches, averaging a Google Reviews score of 4.9 out of a maximum 5. This is due to those at NCSA having the passion to help both athletes and coaches find the best fits possible. The exposure that the athletes receive from the NCSA community help considerably in this process.
If you would like to take advantage of the NCSA resources that regularly help players earn spots at the colleges of their choice, make sure to start your free profile today.