printer-friendly
talk about it
Inside the Numbers: Ranking the 2006 Recruits
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 2/15/06

Here we are again with TechSideline.com's sixth annual "Inside the Numbers: Ranking the Recruits," in which we mash together recruiting rankings from various recruiting services into one complex ranking system that gives each VT recruit a composite ranking. We first did this in 2001, and as we add more and more recruits to our rankings (we're up to 113 now), it's interesting to see where today's recruits rank when compared to yesterday's recruits. We now have six years of data, and we can see how the 2006 recruits compare to schoolboy superstars like Kevin Jones, DeAngelo Hall, Victor Harris, and even Marcus Vick.

The concept behind ITN:RTR is simple: we take the recruiting rankings from SuperPrep, Rivals.com, and Scout.com and mash them into one formula that assigns each recruit a composite ranking. Other longstanding recruiting analysts (Max Emfinger, Tom Lemming, etc.) are excluded because they don't have a player ranking system that has the required depth or consistency.

The first time we did this was for the 2001 recruiting class, and over the years, we have accumulated data for every class since then. Articles for the 2001 through 2005 classes are linked at the bottom of this article, in case you're interested in looking back.

The top score you can get in this system is a 45, and here are past winners of top recruits:

2001: Kevin Jones, the top recruit in the nation according to Rivals.com and SuperPrep, nailed a near-perfect score of 44.8 out of 45 (PrepStar, whom we used to use as part of the rankings back then, rated KJ the third-best recruit in the country for some reason, ruining his chance at a perfect score.). KJ beat out Bryan Randall (36.1), DeAngelo Hall (26.4), and Fred Lee (26.2).

2002: Marcus Vick took top honors with a score of 39.4, in a year that also featured Jonathan Lewis with a 30.8.

2003: Vince Hall was the man, with a score of 26.5. Tripp Carroll and Xavier Adibi tied for second at 25.4.

2004: Highly sought-after running back George Bell out of North Carolina won the title with a score of 24.7, edging out Kent Hicks (24.3) and Eddie Royal (24.0).

2005: Five-star defensive back Victor "Macho" Harris scored a 34.5, the fourth-highest total ever, beating out second-place Ike Whitaker (26.1) by a wide margin.

These articles rank the recruits before they ever matriculate to VT, based solely on recruiting rankings. We also run a series of "Rating the Recruits" articles which assigns points to players in a recruiting class based on their career accomplishments, after they leave VT. (Click here for an example, rating the 1995 recruiting class.)

We had hoped that this year, following the April 2006 NFL draft, we would be able to throw the 2001 recruiting class into our post-Tech-career formula and compare it to our ratings from 2001's ITN:RTR for that class. All of the Tech players that signed in 2001 have completed their redshirt-senior years, and could therefore be evaluated post-graduation.

But wait!  Danny McGrath, who signed in 2001, didn't enter school until January of 2002, then he redshirted in 2003, meaning that Danny has another year left on his VT career.  We can't do the post-career evaluation of the 2001 class until after Danny has completed his career in 2006. As a matter of fact, we can't do it until after the April 2007 NFL Draft.

Oh, well, I was looking forward to that but will have to wait another year.

Let's get started, but first, our standard ITN:RTR disclaimer.


Standard ITN:RTR Disclaimer

If you're into this stuff, you may think that the formula and methodology that I use stinks. So let me warn you not to take this too seriously. I'm always under time constraints here at TSL, so when I came up with my ranking system, I probably put a grand total of 30 minutes of thought into it, tops. The remaining hours and hours were spent coming up with a spreadsheet full of formulas and entering everyone's rankings into it, and then wrapping this wordy article around it.


The Ranking Methodology

To do our rankings, we compile SuperPrep, Rivals.com, and Scout.com ranking information for each recruit and throw it into some fairly complex formulas. The basic concept, though, is simple: a player can accumulate up to 15 points from each ranking service, for a total of up to 45 points.

Each ranking service is broken up into three parts, from which a recruit can earn 0 to 5 points. So, essentially, a player can earn from 0 to 5 points from nine different sets of numbers.

Here's the breakdown:

SuperPrep: 1 to 5 points for being in SP's Elite 50 ranking of the top 50 players in the country; 1 to 5 points for being ranked a SuperPrep All-American; 1 to 5 points for being ranked in SP's applicable state/regional ranking. If a player is not included in a given category, he receives 0 points for that category. 0 to 15 points total.

Rivals.com: 1 to 5 points for being in the Rivals 100 ranking of the top 100 players in the country; 1 to 5 points for Rivals.com position ranking; 1 to 5 points for Rivals.com star ranking. 1 to 15 points total (since everyone at least gets one star).

Scout.com: 1 to 5 points for being in Scout's  Top 100 ranking of the top 100 players in the country; 1 to 5 points for Scout.com position ranking; 1 to 5 points for Scout.com star ranking. 1 to 15 points total (since everyone at least gets one star).

That's the quick-and-dirty summary. If you want the mind-numbing details, including mathematical formulas, then check out this link, which goes into each service's ranking systems in more detail, plus gives the philosophy and formulas of TSL's ranking system.


And Without Further Ado…

To summarize:

  • A player can get up to 5 points from 9 different ranking sources (three services, three categories for each service, 0 to 5 points in each category).
  • 45 is the highest possible composite rank. For a recruit to be ranked as a 45, he would have to be the top player in the SuperPrep Elite 50, be the #1 player in the Rivals 100, and be the #1 player in Scout.com's Top 100.
  • The lowest possible composite rank is 2 (every player in the Rivals.com and Scout.com systems gets at least one star). For a recruit to receive a ranking of 2, he would have to be unranked in all services and earn just one star in his Rivals.com and Scout.com rankings.

Now, here are the results for Tech's 20 high school signees for the 2006 recruiting class. Please note that junior college (JUCO) and prep school players are not included, because the recruiting services do not necessarily apply their rankings to prep and JUCO players. Also, players that signed with VT out of high school but then prepped or delayed their entry are included with their high school class, not the class they signed with after prep school.

For the 2006 class, this means that Kenny Lewis, Jr. and Todd Nolen will not be included in these rankings. Lewis first signed with the Hokies in 2003 and is included in the article for that class, while Nolen signed in 2005 and is included in last year's article. He prepped last fall and will enter VT in the fall of 2006.

Drum roll, please -- here are the composite rankings for the 2006 class.

2006 Composite Recruiting Rankings
(out of 45 possible points)
Player SuperPrep
Pts
Rivals
Pts
Scout
Pts
Total
Pts
Adjepong, Jason 8.5 8.6 8.6 25.8
Brown, Aaron 6.2 8.6 8.1 22.8
Gee, Mike 6.8 7.1 7.6 21.6
Graves, John 6.0 7.8 7.5 21.2
Luckett, Zach 3.8 6.0 5.7 15.5
Wright, Matt 3.0 6.3 4.9 14.2
Robertson, Daryl 2.7 6.2 4.7 13.7
Crum, Clark 3.1 5.4 4.3 12.8
Brown, Nekos 3.6 6.4 2.0 12.1
Warren, Beau 2.5 4.4 5.0 11.9
Smith, Andre 3.4 4.7 2.0 10.0
Edwards, Mario 0.0 6.4 3.6 10.0
Ajiboye, Ladi 0.0 7.5 2.0 9.5
Chancellor, Kam 2.3 5.1 2.0 9.4
Carmichael, Rashad 3.1 2.0 2.0 7.1
Radford, Devin 2.0 3.0 2.0 7.0
Sutton, Devven 1.1 2.0 2.0 5.1
Sykes, Jacob 0.0 3.0 2.0 5.0
Hall, Joey 0.0 2.0 2.0 4.0
McNeil, Douglas 0.0 2.0 2.0 4.0
2006 Ave: 12.1


Top Recruit:
Jason Adjepong (25.8 out of 45) beats out Aaron Brown (22.8).

  • SuperPrep ratings: Adjepong did not make SuperPrep's Elite 50 (0 points), but he did make All-American and was ranked as the #15 defensive lineman out of 51 (3.90 points). He was also rated the #4 player out of 32 in the state of New Jersey (4.63 points). Total SuperPrep points: 8.53.

  • Rivals.com ratings: Adjepong did not make the Rivals Top 100 (0 points). He was a 4-star player (4 points) and the #7 strong side defensive end out of 65 (4.63 points). Total Rivals.com points: 8.63.

  • Scout.com ratings: Adjepong didn't make the Scout Top 100 (0 points). He was a 4-star player (4 points) and the #8 defensive end out of 79 (4.65 points). Total Scout points: 8.65

Total points: 8.53 + 8.63 + 8.65 = 25.81, rounded to 25.8.

Bottom Recruit: Joey Hall and Doug McNeil (4 points out of 45). Neither one was ranked by SuperPrep or Rivals or Scout at their position. Rivals and Scout each gave Hall and McNeil two stars, leading to a total score of 4.0.


Comparison of the 2001-2006 Classes

In a moment, we'll list all 113 recruits, from highest-ranked to lowest-ranked, but first, let's take a look at the average ranking for all five classes that we have reviewed so far:

Recruiting
Class
Ave. Player
Ranking
2006 12.1
2005 14.8
2004 14.7
2003 14.5
2002 14.3
2001 16.3


The average player ranking for the 2006 class is a far cry from the rankings posted in 2002-2005, and even farther below 2001, which was a special year (Kevin Jones, Bryan Randall, DeAngelo Hall, and Fred Lee were all very hyped).

The 12.1 average looks so unbelievable that I looked the numbers over again and again, and they look correct. There was a pervasive feeling that this recruiting class was subpar when compared to recent classes, but when you evaluated the class by star rankings, it didn't look that much worse than previous classes. When you factor in position rankings, though, and the fact that none of the kids in this class made any Top 50 or Top 100 lists, it drags the average down: 12.1, versus 14.3 or higher for all previous classes.

In a minute, we'll show you that the 2006 class doesn't have very many highly-rated players, when compared to the 2001-2005 classes. But first, let's look at average rankings from SuperPrep, Rivals, and Scout for the last three years:

Recruiting
Class
Ave. SP
Ranking
Ave. Rivals
Ranking
Ave. Scout
Ranking
Ave. Overall
Ranking
2006 2.9 5.2 4.0 12.1
2005 3.8 5.9 5.1 14.8
2004 4.4 4.8 5.5 14.7
2003 4.1 5.1 5.3 14.5


(Note that SuperPrep rankings are generally lower, because they don't assign "stars" to players, whereas Rivals and Scout almost always rank VT recruits with at least two stars, leading to immediate points.)

You can see that SuperPrep and Scout didn't think much of this year's recruits, whereas the Rivals rankings are in line with what we've seen in the past.

SuperPrep, for example, didn't rank Ladi Ajiboye and Mario Edwards at all in the state of Georgia (where they ranked 65 players). Rivals, meanwhile, named Ajiboye a 4-star recruit and ranked him #18 in the state of Georgia. Rivals gave Edwards three stars and ranked him #27 in the state.  That's a huge disparity, and it led to SuperPrep scores of zero for those two recruits.

In defense of SuperPrep, the issue that these rankings are based on is their January pre-signing issue, and most of the data for that issue is accumulated by mid-December. Ajiboye's recruiting really heated up right about then. As for Edwards, he was lightly regarded and came on late, as well. SuperPrep does a post-signing day issue in March, and it will be interesting to see if they redo their state rankings and include Ajiboye and Edwards.

Here are some ranking disparities between Rivals and Scout that had a big impact on scoring.

Player Rivals
Stars
Rivals
Pos. Rank
Rivals
Points
Scout
Stars
Scout
Pos. Rank
Scout
Points
Ladi Ajiboye 4 27/70 7.5 2 none 2.0
Nekos Brown 3 19/46 6.4 2 none 2.0
Andre Smith 3 51/60 4.7 2 none 2.0
Kam Chancellor 3 27/36 5.1 2 none 2.0


Those numbers speak for themselves. If Scout had ranked those four players as high as Rivals, then Scout's average player ranking would have risen from 4.0 to 4.8, within breathing distance of Rivals' 5.2.

Now let's take a look at all 113 players from 2001-2006, listed in order from highest-ranked to lowest ranked.

Comparison of the 2001-2006 Recruiting Classes
Rank

Player

Total Pts 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
1

Jones, Kevin

44.8 X

 

 

 

 

 

2

Vick, Marcus

39.4

 

X

 

 

 

 

3

Randall, Bryan

36.1 X

 

 

 

 

 

4

Harris, Victor

34.5

 

 

 

 

X

 

5

Lewis, Jonathan

30.8

 

X

 

 

 

 

6

Hall, Vince

26.5

 

 

X

 

 

 

7

Hall, DeAngelo

26.4 X

 

 

 

 

 

8

Lee, Fred

26.2 X

 

 

 

 

 

9

Whitaker, Ike

26.1

 

 

 

 

X

 

10

Adjepong, Jason

25.8

 

 

 

 

 

X
11

Carroll, Tripp

25.4

 

 

X

 

 

 

12

Adibi, Xavier

25.4

 

 

X

 

 

 

13

Simmons, Deveon

25.1

 

 

 

 

X

 

14

Bell, George

24.7

 

 

 

X

 

 

15

Hicks, Kent

24.3

 

 

 

X

 

 

16

Royal, Eddie

24.0

 

 

 

X

 

 

17

Lewis, Elan

23.7

 

 

 

 

X

 

18

Ellis, Chris

23.7

 

 

X

 

 

 

19

Hamilton, Justin

23.5 X

 

 

 

 

 

20

Brown, Aaron

22.8

 

 

 

 

 

X
Rank

Player

Total Pts 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
21

Glennon, Sean

22.2

 

 

 

X

 

 

22

Gee, Mike

21.6

 

 

 

 

 

X
23

Graves, John

21.2

 

 

 

 

 

X
24

Kinzer, John

21.0

 

 

X

 

 

 

25

Gore, Brandon

20.7

 

X

 

 

 

 

26

Humes, Cedric

20.7 X

 

 

 

 

 

27

Bradley, Curtis

20.4 X

 

 

 

 

 

28

Walton, D.J.

20.0 X

 

 

 

 

 

29

Bowman, Andrew

19.8

 

 

 

X

 

 

30

King, Jeff

19.1 X

 

 

 

 

 

31

Green, Hivera

19.1

 

 

 

 

X

 

32

Welsh, Matt

19.0

 

 

X

 

 

 

33

Tapp, Darryl

18.6

 

X

 

 

 

 

34

Boone, Greg

18.1

 

 

 

 

X

 

35

Howard, Carl

17.5

 

 

 

X

 

 

36

Nolen, Todd

17.4

 

 

 

 

X

 

37

Martin, Cam

16.8

 

 

 

 

X

 

38

Friday, Stephen

16.8

 

 

 

 

X

 

39

Imoh, Mike

16.2

 

X

 

 

 

 

40

Rouse, Aaron

16.2

 

X

 

 

 

 

Rank

Player

Total Pts 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
41

Pannell, Chris

15.7 X

 

 

 

 

 

42

McPherson, Brian

15.6

 

X

 

 

 

 

43

Luckett, Zach

15.5

 

 

 

 

 

X
44

Brown, Duane

14.8

 

 

X

 

 

 

45

Williams, Jimmy (ATH)

14.6

 

X

 

 

 

 

46

Gilchrist, Jeremy

14.6

 

 

 

X

 

 

47

Render, Sergio

14.5

 

 

 

 

X

 

48

Jefferson, Kenneth

14.5

 

 

 

 

X

 

49

North, Antonio

14.5

 

 

 

 

X

 

50

Cheeseman, Jahre

14.2

 

 

 

 

X

 

51

Wright, Matt

14.2

 

 

 

 

 

X
52

Lewis, Kenny

13.8

 

 

X

 

 

 

53

Wade, Cary

13.7

 

X

 

 

 

 

54

Robertson, Daryl

13.7

 

 

 

 

 

X
55

Ore, Branden

13.5

 

 

 

X

 

 

56

Hunt, Will

13.4 X

 

 

 

 

 

57

Wang, Ed

13.3

 

 

 

 

X

 

58

Veney, Lamar

12.9

 

X

 

 

 

 

59

Crum, Clark

12.8

 

 

 

 

 

X
60

Robertson, Kory

12.7

 

 

X

 

 

 

Rank

Player

Total Pts 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
61

Schmitt, Nick

12.6

 

X

 

 

 

 

62

Booker, Barry

12.4

 

 

X

 

 

 

63

Sturdivant, Purnell

12.3

 

 

 

X

 

 

64

Holt, Cory

12.2

 

 

X

 

 

 

65

Porch, Dorian

12.2

 

 

 

 

X

 

66

McGrath, Danny

12.1 X

 

 

 

 

 

67

Brown, Nekos

12.1

 

 

 

 

 

X
68

Warren, Blake

12.0 X

 

 

 

 

 

69

Hilton, Kevin

11.9 X

 

 

 

 

 

70

Warren, Beau

11.9

 

 

 

 

 

X
71

Razzano, Joey

11.5

 

 

X

 

 

 

72

Taylor, Demetrius

10.9

 

 

 

 

X

 

73

Warren, Brett

10.5

 

 

X

 

 

 

74

Brown, Mike

10.3

 

 

X

 

 

 

75

Smith, Andre

10.0

 

 

 

 

 

X
76

Edwards, Mario

10.0

 

 

 

 

 

X
77

Murphy, Jason

9.8 X

 

 

 

 

 

78

Ajiboye, Olufemi

9.5

 

 

 

 

 

X
79

Powell, Carlton

9.5

 

 

X

 

 

 

80

Chancellor, Kam

9.4

 

 

 

 

 

X
Rank

Player

Total Pts 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
81

Anderson, James

9.3 X

 

 

 

 

 

82

Virgil, Stephan

9.2

 

 

 

 

X

 

83

Minor, Roland

9.0

 

 

X

 

 

 

84

Rutherford, Antoine

8.9

 

X

 

 

 

 

85

Clifton, Chris

8.9 X

 

 

 

 

 

86

Norris, Robert

8.5

 

 

 

 

X

 

87

Marshman, Nick

8.1

 

 

X

 

 

 

88

Miller, Theodore

8.1

 

 

 

X

 

 

89

Carmichael, Rashad

7.1

 

 

 

 

 

X
90

Burnett, Chris

7.1

 

X

 

 

 

 

91

Radford, Devin

7.0

 

 

 

 

 

X
92

Holland, Brandon

6.9

 

 

 

X

 

 

93

Green, Michael

6.8

 

 

 

X

 

 

94

Burchette, Noland

6.8

 

X

 

 

 

 

95

Clowney, David

6.4

 

 

X

 

 

 

96

Shuman, Ryan

6.1

 

 

 

X

 

 

97

Sutton, Devven

5.1

 

 

 

 

 

X
98

Wheeler, Sam

5.0

 

 

 

X

 

 

99

Sykes, Jacob

5.0

 

 

 

 

 

X
100

Fleck, Andrew

4.6 X

 

 

 

 

 

Rank

Player

Total Pts 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
101

Bowden, Brent

4.0

 

 

 

 

X

 

102

Davis, Eric

4.0

 

 

 

 

X

 

103

Graham, Richard

4.0

 

 

 

 

X

 

104

Thompson, Cordarrow

4.0

 

 

 

 

X

 

105

Parker, DJ

4.0

 

 

X

 

 

 

106

Sandidge, Tim

4.0 X

 

 

 

 

 

107

Hall, Joey

4.0

 

 

 

 

 

X
108

McNeil, Douglas

4.0

 

 

 

 

 

X
109

Hill, Brenden

3.4

 

X

 

 

 

 

110

Hodges, Demetrius

3.0

 

X

 

 

 

 

111

Butler, Reggie

2.0 X

 

 

 

 

 

112

Parker, Robert

2.0

 

X

 

 

 

 

113

Frye, Brandon

1.0 X

 

 

 

 

 

Six-Year Average: 14.5


Although the 2006 class comprises over 1/6th of the players in the table, the 2006 class only places two in the top 20; four in the top 40; and five in the top 50. This is why this class is ranked so low relative to the others -- it doesn't have very many highly-rated players, but it does have the usual smattering of unsung, two-star type recruits.

Contrast this with the 2005 class, who placed four players in the bottom 13, but made up for it by placing 13 players in the top 50.

To put this in perspective, we always use the following table.

Number of Players from Each Recruiting Class
in Each Range of the Recruiting Rankings
(see table above)
Ranking Range 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
1-20 5 2 4 3 4 2
21-40 4 4 2 3 5 2
41-60 2 4 3 2 5 4
61-80 4 1 6 1 2 6
81-100 3 3 3 5 2 4
101-113 3 3 1 0 4 2


When you look at this table, you can see how lightly-represented the 2006 class is in the top 40 recruits. Every class has at least six players in the top 40, while the 2006 class only has four. In the next range (41-80), the 2006 class has more recruits (10) than any other class. In the bottom range (81-113), the 2006 class has as many players in that range (six) as any other class.


The Data

The spreadsheet I used for analysis is available for download at the following location (Microsoft Excel 2003 compatible):

http://www.techsideline.com/tslpass/2006/recruitingrankings2006.xls

To load the spreadsheet in your browser, left-click the link. To save it to hard disk, right-click the link and select "Save Target As…"

Warning: it is nearly incomprehensible, so download it and read it at your own risk. Hopefully, it contains no significant errors.

There is also a more in-depth explanation of recruiting service rankings and the TSL composite ranking system here:

Recruiting Rankings Explained -- TSL Pass, Feb. 14, 2003


Related Links

Inside the Numbers: Ranking the 2004 and 2005 Recruits -- TSL Pass, Feb. 22, 2005

Inside the Numbers: Ranking the 2003 Recruits -- TSL Pass, Feb. 14, 2003

Inside the Numbers: Ranking the [2002[ Recruits -- TSL Extra #16, Feb. 15, 2002

Inside the Numbers: Ranking the [2001] Recruits -- TSL Extra #4, Feb. 16, 2001


TSL Pass Home

TSL Home



var mep1="&site=techsideline.com§ion=football&pageName=TSLPassArticle383";