How important are star ratings in college recruiting?

Do Star Ratings matter in high school athletics?

Athletes get caught up in the hype of star ratings by recruiting services ranking them anywhere from 1 through 5 stars. Sure, it will help an athlete get more exposure to get recognized by a website like Rivals or ESPN; however, it doesn’t always translate to success…or failure!

There are plenty of athletes that go to major college programs that are not rated nationally by scouting services. Talent will shine through and college coaches will notice you if you are executing a good marketing plan to get recruited. Scouting services cannot cover every single high school athlete, nor do they have the resources to properly evaluate every single college prospect. Scouting services do a great job, but there are players like Damian Lillard that get overlooked.

Lillard was only a 2-star recruit by Rivals coming out of high school. He has since gone on to be NBA Rookie of the Year and an NBA All-Star in 2014. He’s been vocal on his twitter feed about being overlooked and not letting anyone get in the way of chasing his dreams.

That is the thing that most parents and athletes do not realize. College coaches are the best talent evaluators in their respective sport, that is why they are coaching at a high level. Athletes shouldn’t worry so much about a star next to their name, but more so about what a college coach is going to see on film. Furthermore, college coaches just don’t recruit athletes based on game films; they are looking at grades, sportsmanship, work ethic, community involvement and the list goes on.

RecruitLook Scouts hear this all the time from athletes, “Can you get Rivals to rank me?” College recruiting shouldn’t be focused around earning a star next to your name. Do not get caught up or obsess about a recruiting service evaluating your film. Athletes should spend more time on getting college coaches to notice them, communicating with those college coaches, and making sure their college recruitment is on the right track. It isn’t about your status, but more so about what you are doing to achieve success.

Having a Rivals or 247Sports ranking can help get your name in newspaper clippings or online message boards, but your determination and properly managed recruiting game plan will be the overall factor of getting noticed for a college scholarship. Make sure you are spending more energy and effort at getting better and less time worrying about a star ranking.

Another NBA All-Star that was heavily overlooked is Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Curry wasn’t ranked in his class or even his state. His only high-major offer was from Virginia Tech, who was wanting him to redshirt his freshman year. All the high-major coaches were shying away from him because of his size and weight. That didn’t change Curry’s work ethic, it only motivated him to work even harder. Rivals.com had Curry as a 3-star recruit, now he is one of the best in the NBA.

One of the most exciting Super Bowls in recent memory just finished with the New England Patriots knocking off the Seattle Seahawks. Malcom Butler sealed the victory for the Patriots with his 4th quarter interception with just seconds to go. Butler never played higher than Division 2 football. Other notable Super Bowl 49 stars were Chris Matthews of the Seahawks and Julian Edelman from the Patriots; both players went the JUCO route.

Further proof that star ratings don’t determine your outcome is the average number of “stars” for each Super Bowl 49 team. Of the starting 11 for both offense and defense from both teams, the average high school star rating per player for the Patriots was 2.57 stars, and for the Seahawks was 2.5 stars. Neither team had a single starter with a 5-star rating.

The annual event where high school athletes either shine out or hit the panic button over lack of recruiting interest (or better known as National Signing Day), takes place each year during the first Wednesday in February. National Signing Day has become a crazy event led by media outlets covering the top recruits and collegiate programs. What recruits fail to realize is that National Signing Day is actually the start of a 2-month period for when athletes can sign their letters of intent.

Houston Texans Pro Bowler, J.J. Watt, recently sent a tweet out reminding athletes that star ratings won’t determine where you can go as an athlete. Watt was rated a 2-star recruit by Scout.com and Rivals.com, while ESPN rated him out as a 63 out of 100 on their rating scale. Watt, obviously, didn’t let someone else’s opinion keep him from chasing his dreams.

For more information about getting college scholarship help, contact a RecruitLook Scout.

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