Willie Williams loves the clink
A lot is made of college recruiting these days in both basketball and football. It’s a Multi-million dollar industry between the scout’s who are paid to go watch the players live, the services that analyze tape and rank players, to the shady tactics of bigger schools and the methods in which they attract top talent. In basketball, there are obviously far fewer players overall, and they play year round on the AAU circuit against other top-flight players. It’s easier to track them and see their progression up close and personal. Perhaps that’s why the recruiting ranking system in hoops is often pretty reliable – there’s just simply more opportunities to see the prospects compete. However, football is a bit more complex. With hundreds of thousands of players to scout and analyze, services often rely solely on video to rank certain players. Especially if they play in rural areas where access is hard to come by. Also, unlike the AAU events for basketball, there’s no way to properly gauge overall talent from city-to-city and some kids might look dominant on tape against inferior competition. What you’re left with is often times a roll of the dice. You do your homework and scout these kids as best as you can, but nothing is guaranteed. That’s why people shouldn’t get too hung-up in the whole “star ranking” system when talking about the gridiron.
Check out this article from Yahoo Sports and Rivals in which they detail EVERY 5-star prospect over the last ten years. While many names will sound familiar as they had successful college and pro careers, there’s just as many – if not more – that disappeared into obscurity and never panned out. Take for example our good friend Willie Williams (pictured above) who was a 5-star heralded recruit coming out of high school, but ended up spending more time in the clink that he did on the football field. Willie liked the finer things in life: like eating marijuana and driving without a license. Or perhaps a taste of burglary and armed robbery.
The point is…….you never know. Take these rankings with a grain of salt.