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Fascinating read from a scout that has worked in the NFL for 30 years.
"The people who do the grading seem to think they are experts but they are far from it. Over the years I have gotten to know a number of recruiting coordinators at different colleges and they all tell me the same thing. These ratings are useless. They told me that the main influence in a grade is who is recruiting the player. For example, they may put a preliminary 3 star grade on a player but then find out that he is being recruited by say an Alabama, LSU and Georgia. Their thinking is if he is being recruited by these school he must be better than a 3 star...so he gets a bump to 4 stars....it's a joke. None of these so called experts could last a year as an NFL scout. I have read many of their "reports" and they tell me nothing. I'm not sure they even know what to look for when evaluating a player."
Taking a look at the prep careers of the 2012 draft class.
And let me first say that I have nothing against JC, Gerry and some of the others who work here for I like them and have followed them around from site to site
But nothing drives me crazier than seeing these fans who swear it takes some kind of special talent to evaluate a football player and many who " do it for a living " aren't a JC Shurbutt or Gerry Hamilton
They are total nerds like Michael Langston who haven't a god damn clue
This post was edited by NoVaNoles 14 months ago
fsufsu said... I've got about 10 great stories on Lane but all you need to know is he will never be a loser, that's for sure.
whatever, dude probably works for the Jaguars
I'll preface this by saying I really do enjoy reading what the 247 guys write and I do enjoy this site greatly... But recruiting coverage was a business started by journalists, not scouts. People shouldn't be surprised by this.
And after watching ESPN today, I know more about recruiting than most of the so called recruiting experts that work for ESPN
Greg does raise an interesting question are the recruiting experts on these sites capable of evaluating talent for a CFB program?
Do they assess the talent based on offers they are receiving? Or do they evaluate talent their selves? If so what is their methodology? On what basis do they give 1 2 3 4 and 5 stars?
Not going to expound on my full and thorough opinion of this, but I think in some ways this speaks to the development of these kids, among other things. There is a reason why kids need to be out of HS for 3 years before they get to the NFL. Lot of opportunity for kids to not reach their potential.
ESPN just hires former SEC coaches. That seems the best way to evaluate talent.
I get what the article is trying to say, but The exact same argument can be used on the NFL scouts with all the undrafted free agents and low draft pics that pan out... I think the ratings here are pretty good, I don't get to worried about the specifics, whether he's the 5th best prospect at his position or the 9th, it's really just nitpicking, if he's in that ballpark you know your getting a good prospect.
I just read the quote and it's typical insecurity from guys that have forgotten more about the game than Gerry or I will ever know, but who likely evaluate talent with the same success rate.
There may have been a time in this business where offers were paramount and a guiding force in the rankings. That was like 2003-ish, though. Before there was film at the click of a button, good data and overloads of information on high school prospects. Before there were travel budgets and hundreds of people working in the business, etc.
Heck, offers still matter to many college coaches. Sometimes they won't look at a kid until another school has offered.
Also, if this statement were true, explain guys like James Clark and Johnathan Ford in this year's class. Northwestern was good enough to find Clark, we ranked him in the Top247 after Gerry found him, multiple programs jumped in. Vanderbilt was good enough to find Ford, Gerry watched his tape, we ranked him in the Top247 and multiple schools jumped in.
Our Top247 would not have had Matt Alviti and Lamar Robbins in it if offers were the driving force.
Then there's the 2014 Top247. Most of those guys had zero offers when we ranked them, most have expanded their lists quite a bit since that point.
I am old school about this. I may have an opinion on a prospect that is different from a coach, but while I may disagree I'm not dumb enough to think I am absolutely correct. Nobody is.
The nature of the sport makes it brutal to project, especially now that 7on7 events and camps/combines are everywhere. The key to success in this sport most often lies between the ears and in the chest of a player as they go up a level. Collisions are harder, speed of the game is faster, technique becomes more important- some guys don't have the mental capacity or the heart to embrace the game when it gets a lot tougher.
And that is IMPOSSIBLE to project accurately with any sort of consistency.
Gerry heads up our rankings team and is one of the most proven evaluators in the business. He makes great calls and those two guys I mentioned- Clark and Bell- he made those. But he will tell you without a shadow of a doubt he misses and does so quite a bit, but everybody who tries to evaluate football talent does.
Again I get where this guy is coming from, but he has no factual information about our process and I'd be willing to bet given the same pool of players and resources at his disposal, he would not hit a higher percentage.
E-mail: jc@247Sports.com/Twitter: @jcshurburtt/Instagram jcshurburtt
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