What’s the Difference Between a 3, 4 and 5 Star Football Recruit?

Do you know the difference between a 3 star and a 5 star football recruit? Do you know what takes a recruit from 4 to 5 stars? Get in the know before National Signing Day on February 1.

With national signing day right around the corner there’s a lot of talk about stars, why you want more of them and how Alabama is going to recruit all of them. Let’s talk about what they actually mean.

There are 4 major services, Scout, Rivals, 247 and ESPN, that assign star values to recruits. The 247 Composite takes all of these ranks into account and assigns an average. That’s why you’ll see Vols bragging about picking up the nation’s number one recruit Trey Smith when he’s only number one according to the ESPN rankings and his sister who Butch Jones hired as an Executive Assistant at Tennessee. 

Jan 2, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Team Highlight player B.J. Emmons runs the ball in the Under Armour All American Football Game at the Orlando Citrus Bowl. Team Highlight beat Team Armour 27-0. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Each scout and service weighs aspects of review differently. Some focus on in person evaluations while others prefer game tape and still others weigh position grades greater but the rankings all wash out to look about like what is listed below.

Star light Star bright – first star I see tonight.

Jan 2, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Team Highlight player B.J. Emmons runs the ball in the Under Armour All American Football Game at the Orlando Citrus Bowl. Team Highlight beat Team Armour 27-0. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

*****  Elite Prospect. Day one starting potential as a true Freshman. Prospect is considered a ‘mismatch’ in talent, skill or ability to opposing positions. Prospect has demonstrated outstanding ability, technique and knowledge of the game well beyond his peers and will be an immediate impact player in college.

****  Excellent prospect.  Prospect has demonstrated excellent physical ability and technique and knowledge of the game. Prospect has the potential to start as a true freshman and make an impact.

*** Good prospect. Prospect has above average physical ability and demonstrated skill. Prospect will contribute to a program and will probably earn a starting job eventually but still needs some development in at least one aspect of game to be effective at the college level.

** Average prospect.  Prospect has demonstrated average ability, skill and football acumen. Prospect will require development in one or more aspects of game before being able to contribute as a significant level.

* = Unknown Prospect. Not enough information to evaluate.

Oct 15, 2016; Knoxville, TN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Eddie Jackson (4) returns a 79yd punt for a touchdown against the Tennessee Volunteers during the fourth quarter at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

In summary, stars are the best indicator we have of a player’s future potential but 3 star Eddie Jackson is just one of hundreds of players that prove they aren’t always correct.

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