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More Info on High School Football Rankings

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High school football rankings are generally comprised of the top high school football teams in either the country or an in individual state. National high school football rankings can also consist of the top high school football recruits on a national or state level or by position. High school football national rankings, state rankings and position rankings can consider expert opinions or be done via a mathematical formula. Rankings of the best high school football teams are generally updated once a week during the season while position rankings of the best high school football recruits tend to occur less often.

These school ratings of the best high school football teams and top high school football players are useful to a variety of people. Fans want to know where their favorite teams and players are relative to their rivals and others. Coaches and players like to know these things to get a clearer idea of who they’re competing with. For players, this is both who they’re competing with that coming week and the rest of the season as well as who they’re competing with during the college football recruiting process.

Here are some of the major sources for high school football rankings of teams:

Note that each state divides up its high school football teams into classifications such as 6A, 5A, etc., and several of the high school football rankings are focused on a specific classification. However, some statewide ones consider every classification in making one poll while national high school football rankings consider every school. Rankings of the best players also tend to consider all classifications.

Additionally, local news outlets will sometimes have high school football rankings of the top teams within their metropolitan regions. This is because those are the teams that their readers or viewership audiences are going to be most apt to care about as compared to those elsewhere.

High school football rankings by State

High school football rankings within a state are of particular interest to many since those are who they play on a weekly basis and who ultimately stand between them and a state championship. Some of these statewide football rankings are of particular interest to many as several of the nation’s top teams and players are from there. Here are some of the most prestigious school ratings courtesy of Max Prep football:

College football recruiting rankings

Also, a form of college football recruiting rankings is directly related to high school football recruiting. This type considers how the recruiting year is going for college teams as they relate to three-, four- and five-star recruits. These school ratings can be especially useful for those who are involved with high school football recruiting from the player side. They often use them to see how schools that they’re considering are doing in recruiting. As a result, they can better see how they might fit into a class and at an institution.

MaxPreps’ high school football national rankings metrics

One thing that causes the Max Prep football rankings to stand out is that its national high school football rankings don’t take into account any opinions whatsoever. In other words, assessors, coaches, members of the media and fans have no say in these high school football national rankings. Also, the sizes of the schools and how these teams had performed in previous seasons do not play roles.

What is taken into account in the Max Prep football rankings are the vast numbers of game results in its system. Simply put, these national high school football rankings are based on a team’s record, its strength of schedule and its margins of victories and losses. Wins over the best high schools in America will provide more of a boost than a win over a struggling opponent. Conversely, a loss to one of the top high schools in the US will not hurt nearly as much as a defeat at the hands of a team with a losing record. Also, playoff results are provided with more value.

However, it should be pointed out that these HS football rankings are not infallible. With the sheer number of teams involved in high school football rankings, incorrect or incomplete information is sometimes included. However, MaxPreps does everything within its power to keep these results as complete and accurate as possible and, in turn, do the same for its high school football national rankings.

MaxPreps also does not consider any opinions for its rankings of individual players. It combines the core high school football stats that players have put up with that player’s team’s strength of schedule to account for the quality of opposition that was faced all year. The only additional factor is that a player needs to have at least a 10th of whoever stat total is leading the high school football national rankings in that category in order to be included on these lists.

National high school football rankings: Other ratings metrics

However, the national high school rankings for players that are analyzed by other media outlets such as 247Sports, ESPN, Rivals and Scout do take into account opinions in addition to players’ high school football stats.

Game film is one of the most important factors that go into high school football recruiting rankings. Of course, seeing a player perform in person is preferred, but that’s just not possible in the vast majority of cases. This is especially true with so many games being played on the same night every week. However, game film can be viewed at any time. Regardless, seeing how a player is performing when everything is on the line is most important. In other words, game action is always going to be more valued by assessors than how players do in camps and combines.

With that said, how a player does at a camp or combine is still important. Assessors also know that the quality of opposition is, in most cases, higher in those types of situations than they are in the average high school game.

Of those four ranking services, 247Sports is the only one that places any value on scholarship offers, giving that aspect 10% of its final rankings. The reason why this is judged to not be as important a factor as the others is because schools will offer scholarships to different types of players depending on their needs and for other reasons. For example, Alabama may offer a scholarship to a lower-rated recruit simply because this person fills a specific need so well. Another reason for this lack of emphasis on scholarship offers is because there’s been so many times when reported offers turned out to not be true.

National high school rankings: Star ratings

Most people, even those who aren’t all that invested in high school football recruiting rankings, have heard of star ratings and know that a five-star recruit is the best of the best. But what do those terms mean exactly? First, it’s important to note that recruits will receive either five, four, three, two or zero stars. It’s unknown why one-star recruits are not included in football recruiting ratings.

Generally, five-star prospects will only number 30 or so in any given year. These are the players who are expected to contribute to their college teams as freshman and have tremendous pro potential. Four-star athletes will generally be amongst the top 300 players in a class and also have a lot of potential, both as a solid contributor in college and as an NFL player. Three-star players will tend to be in the top 900 players in a class and have the same types of potential but with less impact. Two-star players are predicted to be able to contribute for a couple years at a solid college program.

Most have also heard of the term, “blue chip.” This refers to those who amongst the better college players. They don’t have to be five-star recruits, but, in most cases, they will not be starving for scholarship offers. The lesser-known term of “yellow chip” essentially refers to everybody else, all the way from contributors for FBS and FCS squads down to those playing roles on teams in D2 and D3 football.

Types of commitments

Those who have risen to or near the top of the USA Today high school football rankings or ESPN high school football ratings will receive a number of scholarship offers. This will almost always lead to a commitment. The one that is binding is a written commitment that accompanies the completion of a National Letter of Intent. Once this is done, in most cases, the player cannot go somewhere else, and no other schools can recruit this person.

Some other types of commitments are verbal and silent. Neither of those are binding and are normally done before a National Letter of Intent can be signed. They are similar with each other with the exception being that silent commitments are kept out of the media and are not publicly known. 

What is a sleeper recruit?

A sleeper recruit, which is also known as a project, is someone who has the potential to surprise by overperforming as compared to their recruiting ratings. This may be due to not as much information being available about this player or the player needing to play in a position in high school that is not as suited to the player’s long-term potential. Or perhaps this is a quality running back in a passing-oriented offense. Maybe this player has been injured a lot in high school. Simply put, these are players who have potential but enough unknowns and question marks to make many wary.

Football recruiting

Of course, it’s great to be playing for one of the best high schools in USA and be rated highly by ESPN high school football and other rankings websites, but the only thing that matters in the end are scholarship offers. NCSA College Recruiting is one resource that helps players navigate things like the recruiting guidelines, which camps and combines to attend and how to create and disseminate highlight videos. The goal for those at NCSA and the athletes that they work with is finding the best overall fits athletically, academically and otherwise.

NCSA has been doing this for football players and all types of soon-to-be college athletes since it was founded in 2000 by Chris Krause. He was a football player in the 1980s who ended up at Vanderbilt University, but it was not an easy journey. He struggled with not fully understanding the recruiting process and with engaging in it with coaches who were so much more experienced in it than he was. As a result, he founded NCSA to help educate future high school players so that they’d have a much firmer grasp of the process and how they could find their best fit.

Over the years, many of the 35,000 coaches in the NCSA system and the 150,000 athletes who have reported committing to a college sports team since its founding have been pleased with what NCSA offered them. In fact, NCSA’s received an average rating of near-perfect 4.9 stars on Google Reviews. If you’d like to join this community, fill out your free profile today.