So as the 2016 class sits at 25 commits strong, I started to wonder just how our future Red Raiders got their rankings. After some digging I was able to find out just how each service comprises their rankings. Below is a breakdown of each service and how they evaluate players.
In 2010, 24/7 Sports was founded and has since skyrocketed to one of the most recognized recruiting services. 24/7 uses a 1-100 scale and even go up to 110 in special cases. They also hand out star grades to go along with their rankings. A once in a lifetime player is graded 101-110. This would be like a freshmen All-American Heisman-worthy recruit who starts all 4 years on campus. These rankings are very rare because as I mentioned, they're more like once in a lifetime players. Five-star prospects are usually ranked 97-100. These are the highly coveted recruits who usually hold 30+ offers from basically every Power 5 program in the nation. Four-star prospects are usually ranked 90-97. These recruits are still highly talented and most end up on All-American lists and lead teams to national championships. Three-star prospects come in at 80-89. These guys are still great football players and make up most Power 5 rosters. They might not come in and start right away but they do eventually end up playing sooner than later. Two-star prospects are 70-79. These guys make up the majority of all NCAA rosters. They might not be the studs everyone talks about but some do end up thriving and are diamonds in the rough.
Rivals hands out star rankings and also does a number ranking as well. It's a little different than 24/7 and their number systems but I'll explain below. A five-star prospect is still a five-star prospect, he's one of the top players in the nation. Four-star prospects are usually top 250-300 guys, three-star recruits are top 750 level players, and a two-star recruit is usually the type of recruit that makes up the majority of college rosters. Unfortunately, one-star guys are considered not ranked. As I mentioned, Rivals also hands out number grades. 6.1, this is the once in a lifetime elite player. 6.0-5.8, usually in the top 250-300 prospects. 5.7-5.5, these are the three-star guys who are among the top 750 in the nation. 5.4-5.0, these guys make up most college rosters. 4.9, Rivals doesn't really know anything about the recruit except maybe the schools that have offered him.
Unlike 24/7 or Rivals, Scout bases their rankings off of recruits for that particular class. This means their ranking criteria can change each year. So for instance, if one recruiting cycle is jam-packed with talent a guy might be three-star prospect. But if that same guy was in a talent-starved recruiting cycle he could easily be a four-star recruit. Scout's rankings deem the top 50 recruits as five-star recruits and the next 250 prospects are four-star recruits. Out of all the recruiting services, Scout is the most unique in the way they hand out rankings.
I usually don't use ESPN in my recruiting articles because they are usually not up to date. ESPN has a ton of things going on so I can see why recruiting doesn't get much love. I really think they need to split recruiting up into regions so each region can get the same amount of focus. It just seems like there's not enough eyes to watch every recruit. Now back to their system, ESPN uses a 1-100 scale to rank their recruits. 90-100, these are the top guys in each class who are the elite five-star recruits. 80-89, these are the four-star recruits who end up leading their teams in most categories. 70-79, three-star guys who make up most Power 5 rosters. 60-69, these are the two-star prospects who are good players but may not succeed at the next level.