Being a highly touted recruit definitely has its upside. You are treated like royalty, told you are the best thing ever, and are unfairly physically gifted. However, we continue to see unheralded recruits make massive impacts in college and go on to have even bigger impacts in the NFL, while we watch sure-thing prospects fall by the wayside. Being a 5-Star recuit must be nice, but having a chip on your shoulder going into college and feeling unfairly under-rated is something head coaches look for. Head coaches want heart, fight, determination, and the will to never give up. Generally, those qualities align themselves with players who’ve had to prove (not just be told) they were good enough to make it.
Lamichael James was a 3-star recruit on just about every recruiting site, and look what he did for the Ducks during his time in Eugene. The list goes on. Dennis Dixon wasn’t a heralded recruit but went on to almost win a Heisman and lead us to a National Title berth (damn his ACL). Across the country there is no lack of players who are told coming out of high school that they’ll never make it. Plain and simple, you want some of those kids on your team - the kids who fight until the last whistle and play their hearts out to prove to themselves and to the scouts that they got it wrong.
With national signing day having just past us, I thought it appropriate to quote a tweet from an NFL Defensive Player of the Year candidate who reinforces my opinion, “Congrats to all recruits signing today. 5* or No-star, doesn’t matter. It’s all about the work you put in & sacrifices you make” #Former2Star. I couldn’t have said it any better myself. The recruiting system is flawed, but then again, I like surprises and knowing that the best player in a recruiting class can have any number of stars or even no star at all.