Ketch: low rated players outperform high rated players in the draft...

Discussion in 'On The Field' started by ProdigalHorn, May 4, 2018.

  1. ProdigalHorn

    ProdigalHorn 10,000+ Posts

    ... but don't blame the ratings!

    "* Of the top 13 players selected in this weekend's Draft that hailed from the Lone Star State, only three were regarded as low four star prospects or higher when coming out of high school - Connor Williams, Ronald Jones and Malik Jefferson.

    * Over the course of the last six NFL Drafts, the state of Texas has performed miserably as a high-end talent producing state when compared to the national averages of rankings. While the five-star prospects perform at expected five-star levels during this time frame, the performance of four-star players produced at the high school levels if far below the national averages across the 50 states (which includes the numbers from Texas).

    * As a whole, the state of Texas continues to produce the second-most players of any of the 50 states, the issue is that too many of the players being produced were complete unknowns as high school prospects.

    Summary: The most overrated recruits in all of recruiting might just be four-star prospects from the state of Texas when it comes to producing high-end talent. So much has been made of UT's inability to develop prospects that a lot of people have lost sight of the fact that it's not just Texas failing to develop these high-end prospects into better versions of themselves after arriving on a college campus.

    It's not as though the likes of Alabama, Ohio State and others are impenetrable, either. The breakdown of four-star and five-star prospects being drafted by NFL teams this past weekend looks like this:

    Texas: 3 - Williams (low-four-star), Jefferson (five-star) and DeShon Elliott (low four-star)
    Oklahoma State: 1 - Marcell Ateman (low-four-star)
    A&M: 1 - Armani Watts (low-four-star)
    USC: 1 - Ronald Jones (high-four-star)

    That's it ... 22 of the 27 prospects that emerged as NFL drafted prospects were almost exclusively on the radars of no major colleges when still in high school. In fact, of the 27 players, only Ronald Jones was a player who Texas offered coming out of high school outside of Williams, Jefferson and Elliott."

    So... at this point aren't we thinking: OK, so if rankings of Texas players are wildly unrelated to actual real-world performance, doesn't that indicate that scouts are doing a garbage job finding and properly ranking the best talent in a massive state with a huge number of players?

    Nope! Apparently it's because Texas players aren't coachable... or something...

    "We could spend years talking about the reasons for this decline in top-end players from Texas developing highly beyond high school because the layers to this are plentiful, but the bigger issue for Tom Herman and the other coaches that recruit the state and depend on this talent to produce deals with what it means vs. why it's happening.

    Flying in the face of how Texas won its national title in 2005, the make-up in the program probably needs to be much more diverse in terms of where the incoming talent comes from because depending on a roster comprised of 80-percent or more high-level prospects from the state of Texas has been a recipe for failure since the turn of the decade. Too many classes in the last 10 years have been almost total duds in terms of high-level prospects evolving into difference makers at the next level.

    Ultimately, the best thing that could happen to Texas in 2019 recruiting is that Tom Herman and his staff are being forced to look outside of the state to find potential impact players because if we're being honest about this state that we all love ...

    A four-star prospect from Texas simply hasn't been as valuable as a producing commodity as four-stars from around the rest of the nation." (pay?)
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  2. Horns11

    Horns11 5,000+ Posts

    I've had similar thoughts about this phenomenon over the past 10-15 years or so... since about our 2006-07 decline from the national championship year.

    It seems to me that the highly rated offensive recruits are all "system" players and not the physical specimens that we seem to overlook based on several intangibles (school size, competition level, 40-speed, etc.). Look at Saquon Barkley... kind of a smaller school district, ran a 4.66 at a Nike camp. He somehow goes to a school not known for its offensive prowess and then gets picked #2 overall. Look at D'Onta Foreman... Texas City had been in decline in their district and he was a "throw in" to get Armanti because of his legit 4.7 speed.

    At the QB position, a bunch of the top QBs taken over the past few seasons (Patterson, Barnett, Waller) are overrated if they're dual threat guys, and underrated if they're pocket passers (Fromm). It's not sexy if they're single-tool specimens. I think we're kind of at a disadvantage with our QB situation (Shane vs. Sam) in that both are Texas system QBs, led their big high schools to some big wins, but don't rock the boat in terms of athleticism, decision making, etc. We need to be evaluating things other than big playoff wins and comebacks.

    The bottom line is that recruiters suck at finding the next Jerry Rice or the next Jerome Bettis... it's kind of on the recruits themselves to use work ethic and improvement off the field in order to impress, regardless of what college they end up at.

    On the defensive side of the ball, I actually think Texas is doing about as well as the rest of the country because college defensive schemes are so different than what the kids experience in HS. It's up to the quick learners and film room hounds that actually succeed, and unless you specifically can gain 2nd hand knowledge of these efforts from HS coaches, you're kind of just stuck evaluating physicality.
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  3. ViperHorn

    ViperHorn 5,000+ Posts

    Totally agree with this paragraph. One would think that with the spread offenses that are run in Texas that all LB's and DB's would come out of HS ready for the college game. However, despite what some believe, film study in HS is superficial at best and usually, a waste of time due to other pressures in HS and at home. HS coaches are limited in number which leads to few individuals or position minutes. Finally, there is a reason most HS coaches do not progress to the next level.
    All of this leads to HS LB's and DB's basically reading and reacting which is fine in HS because of the lack of overall speed in HS. However, everything changes in college - only special players can rely on reading and reacting to excel on the college level. Malik Jefferson is a perfect example - great on running plays where he naturally could read and react. However, even after three years he still cannot pass defend because he fails to anticipate the play or even recognize the play. This takes extreme hours in the film room and help from the coaching staff.
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  4. El Sapo

    El Sapo Bevo's BFF

    Ratings are for the fans and talking heads IMHO and will always be subjective and unreliable. I feel like I've seen it a thousand times: 3 star recruit becomes 4 star recruit because of what school(s) recruit / sign them. Seems to me the good coaches will be drawn not to a player's rating but to their ability to fit or grow into a specific system.

    Also this, lots of this, throughout their college careers.
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    Last edited: May 5, 2018
  5. SabreHorn

    SabreHorn 5,000+ Posts


    One year there was a large OL in West Houston. He was a good kid and a good student, but the worst starting lineman on his HS team - last off the ball, no quickness, limited upper body strength, yet 6'5"/295. He was unrated, either numerically or with stars. No offers.

    Suddenly, Nebraska appeared at his school and offered. He vaulted to a 3-4 star, and #37 in Texas with only one offer.

    I had known the since he was 10. I had Bill Michael set me up a lunch in Houston with Nebraska's OL coach, so I could ask "why". Reply - "I can't coach size. We'll keep him for five, use him for two."
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  6. Vol Horn 4 Life

    Vol Horn 4 Life 5,000+ Posts

    I recall hearing a theory a few months ago about this. Because Texas is a high school football mecca, most of the highest rated players get better high level training opportunities than anyone else in the country so many of those players who are highly rated have already maximized their potential. That leaves a plethora of players who come from places or income levels that dont have the same opportunity for development or exposure but have more undeveloped potential. Thus when they get to college they blossom with the right programs even though they werent a highly regarded recruit.

    Not sure I 100% buy that, but seeing what I've seen it makes sense to some extent why you see teams like Tech or TCU who have 3 star players become all stars. Just look at the money many school districts dump into football, stadiums, weight rooms, training, etc. Its insane. It's one of the most glaring examples of the haves and have nots you can see.
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  7. Horns11

    Horns11 5,000+ Posts

    It's the old adage: if you have two kids who both run a 4.4 40, take the more raw of the two so that you can coach him up to do the other things. Texas is full of "non-raw" players who have been in systems since 7th grade.

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