We're less than 24 hour away from National Signing Day, 2014. With the announcements we're going to see a number of articles from different sites discussing the players, the schools, and how these new signees should impact each team.
Each of these articles are bound to reference a "recruiting site," and use their individual star systems to describe the talent of each player. While there are more than four sites who publish rankings, the top four in the industry are Scout, Rivals, ESPN, and 247 Sports—who also offers a composite ranking which uses rankings from publications they describe as "the major media recruiting services." (Who they use hasn't been published.)
If there is one thing consistent, it's the inconsistency of the ratings. There's no better example than a player Alabama was recruiting this year; Matt Elam.
Elam was ranked by the four (five including the composite) as follows:
- Scout - 3 star
- Rivals - 4 star
- 247 - 5 star
- ESPN - not ranked in their top 300.
- 247 Composite - 4 star.
How do these services arrive at their rankings? Here's a quick look at each service, the pro's and con's of what they offer, and how the come about ranking individual players.