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Saturday, February 14, 2015


MSUSpartan76 responds to THIS POST on MSU recruiting, the "star system", and the future of the MSU football program.

On the high school football recruiting ranking system:

I do not buy in on that star rating trash. The recruiting sites are purely for the entertainment of their paying customers and they say as much.

Just an example. In Scout's rating system (1-20-40-120-200) a 5 start top of the class recruit is worth 300 points. A 3 star is worth 40 points. It is beyond any stretch of credibility to state that any single player is worth the same as 7.5 other players yet that is exactly what their rating system says.

As another example, the number 100 player is a 5 star and the number 101 player is a 4 star. 201 points versus 120 points? Nah. The system is too flawed to be meaningful.

Another fallacy of those ranking systems is this. No will ever convince me that a class of 30 3 star recruits is a better class than 20 3 star recruits.

Those stars represent, as the recruiting websites disclaimers state, the assessment of the recruits likelihood to impact a team immediately. A 5 star is assumed to be able to show up, start, and play at a high level without having much practice and very little time with the playbook. A 4 star less so. For the sake of argument, let us assume that premise is correct. The conundrum comes when a player is recruited by a specific team. If he is red-shirted due to a full roster at that position, then he can not contribute immediately and his 5 stars is worthless.

Furthermore, the variable growth development of teenagers is well known. For boys it runs from age 15 to age 25, more or less. Some kids go through their growth spurt early and others later. It is likely that in many cases the difference between a 2 star and a 5 star is 2-3 years of physical growth. In the MSU system, those late bloomers are being developed. There are too many examples of a 2 star freshman who leaves (after 4 years in the program) for the NFL as a 5 star player to deny the value of experience, conditions, practice, and teamwork.

Who is more likely to do a better job getting the right kids to play for a specific team? Is it the 20-25 "recruiting specialists" at Rivals or ESPN who have to evaluate 15,000 high school players in time to meet publication deadlines and whose primary job is to write articles for the paid subscribers? Or, might it be the 10 coaches plus staff members that evaluate and assess 100-250 players looking for specific skill sets that meet the teams unique needs?


He specifically hits on this statement I presented in the post:
"No more "2-stars", "plan B" guys to fill holes in this class. Soon we will have to talk about the 3-stars going to the NFL from East Lansing. Darn. Consecutive top 5 rankings with recruiting classes between 30-40. What if we have a few years between 10-20? Dantonio does "more with less". Will he do "more with more"? Is it truly "more"? I think he got more plan A guys this year, so I'd say yes, rankings aside."

'76's response:

There is no argument or denial. There are enough examples of going for plan B guys to fill holes that happened in prior years to support that statement. But always with 2 stars? Even if that were true and it is not, Coach Dantonio and his staff have done a superior job of getting the right 2 star recruits.

So, I am not concerned about recruiting class rankings. I am also not concerned about Coach Dantonio and his staff getting the right kids to play ball for them. Retention is high. Off the field issues are low. On the field accomplishments are quite high, too.

Over the past several years we have observed a steady improvement in the recruits. The Spartan recruiting process is winning more of the head-to-head competitions for specific recruits than ever before. More and more often a kid offered by MSU is subsequently pursued by other schools and it's almost as if those pursuits are launched only because the kid has an MSU offer. Word is out. Dantonio and his staff have a superior eye for identifying the talent and "up side" in kids. OSU made an offer to a lowly 3 star recruit only after MSU made an offer.

Expectations, both internal to the program and external, have been elevated. The bar has been raised year by year and now it is as high as it can be set. In the next few years we can expect to see the improvements in recruiting reaching a plateau. I doubt MSU will ever have a No. 1 class for 2 reasons: (1) MSU is not in the SEC and (2) MSU does not offer those kids who feel they have to announce their decisions in front of a TV camera.

The bottom line is this. If MSU continues to have yearly improvements in the quality of their recruiting classes (as defined by the Spartan football program, not Rivals), what can we expect? We can expect the program to continue to strengthen. We can expect to be competitive year after year and winning more and more of those high profile games. We can expect attempts to poach the coaches. We can expect attempts to poach the verbal commits.

Can we expect a national title? Given the program continues to remain stable and the recruiting continues to improve, it becomes more and more likely.

Can we expect respect from the Mainstream Michigan Media Machine (M-4) or those "AA"s from AA? No. But that doesn't matter.

"It isn't over. It will never be over here. It's just starting."
- Coach Mark Dantonio, 2007


Again, I'll simply state that while the star system and ranking has it's flaws and inaccuracies, when analyzed over a large sample size there is something to it - - - to a degree. It's certainly not an exact predictor of an individual, but it's far more accurate than throwing darts while blind-folded. I'll throw this out from the previous post: 
"Another misinterpretation of the Dantonio magic with 2 and 3 star recruits is that it "proves" that the star system is a crap-shoot and has no statistical value. Well, MSU is more of an exception on one side of the curve while Ann Arbor U is an example on the opposite side. The truth is that, even under Dantonio (and in Ann Arbor), 5-stars do receive all-conference honors at a higher ratio than do 4-star recruits. And 4-stars are more likely to achieve the honor than 3-stars and 3's more than 2's (see the annual analysis of past recruiting classes in Spartan Magazine) So, on an individual player view, the stars appear to be a worthless "predictor", but as a group, over time, there is a better chance of scoring big with a four star recruit than a 2-star - yes, even for Dantonio. Basically, having a recruiting class with higher rated recruits improves the team's margin for "error" (injuries, busts, transfers, bad character). To Dantonio's credit, he really seems to have a knack for picking "character guys.
"MSU is winning more "Plan A" recruiting battles, even with elite programs, and that is the big improvement over time during Danotio's career in East Lansing - especially 2015. Coach D has already proven that he does "more with less". Will he do "more with more"? Is it truly "more"? Because of his recent success with more "Plan A" guys this year, so I'd say yes, this is Dantonio's best class and those "stupid" recruiting rankings agree. Of course, it doesn't guarantee a single thing, just ask your local chUMP."

You can follow MSUSpartan76 on M-Live HERE.

From Offensive Line Coach, Mark Staten:

“The stories would be endless if you talked to us about guys where you sit down and finally have a chance to talk to them, or they might come to your camp, and there’s something that turns you off. You guys might see him as a five-star guy, but with character, grades, maybe a little of that attitude, that five-star, in our mind, goes to two (stars) right now. Then those two-star guys in everyone else’s mind who (have) outstanding character, terrific person, comes from a great family, ability to learn, they jump to five-stars in our mind.”

That is the Dantonio effect that
turns the ranking system inside out.

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