The ranking of college football talent is suspect and flawed. It tells us how good a player is on his own, but not in relationship to the team and others. Nor can it tell how good that recruit will be in the future with equal talent beside him and facing good talent day in and day out.
Ranking recruits is a serious business. Game video is studied, scouts attend actual games, they also visit camps to see how players match against other top rated players. Even after that the evaluation is subjective.
Certainly the rating number or the stars behind a player’s name means something, but we don’t see hearts behind their names. We don’t see anything that determines willingness to work hard and fit into a system.
Stepping up from high school to college can’t be likened to going from junior high to high school, because a player is moving up with the same level of competition. In other words it is likely the kid a player blocks in the 8th grade will likely be the guy he blocks when a senior. I was a center in basketball and faced the same six or seven centers as a senior as I did when in the 7th grade. Your competition moves along with you.
Boise State has to find pieces that fit the puzzle. They don’t get the highly sought after five-star recruits that pieces must fit around them. This is really the beauty of the college game; the best players don’t necessarily win. It’s the team with the pieces that fit. It is finding the players that fit. It’s putting the square peg in the square hole.
By the accounts of many beyond the Bronco family the 2010 team should have been in the BCS championship game. It was made up of pieces; pieces that fit. Some of those pieces went on to the next level. They were not great high school recruits, but came to Boise where they could grow and shine.
When a recruit commits to Boise State and recommits because he wants to follow the coaching staff that indicates a lack of understanding of the program. The program is bigger than the coaches. Boise State had a winning program before those coaches arrived.
The recruits coming this year to Boise are the highest rated ever. Yet the real story is how well will they adapt to their role.
It’s interesting to note Johnny Manziel was a 3 star 78 and Colin Kaepernick 78. This is nothing new to Boise State. That 2007 recruiting class had two number 1 NFL draft picks; Shea McClellin who was not even rated and Doug Martin was rated something like 64.
They came to Boise and played within a system that allowed them to grow.
Good coaching is like being a good chef. Ingredients in the hands of the wrong chef and you have slop; in the hands of the right chef you have a culinary experience. It’s not so much the ingredients as it is how they are used. A good chef can take inferior ingredients and arrange them into a feast fit for a king.
The numbers and stars are looking better, we just hope they are the right ingredients.