CAMPUS TO CANTON - Rival's 5 Star Recruit Rankings Systems Analysis - Part 1

Trevor Lawrence: #1 Overall High School Recruit 2018

Welcome to the FF_Astronauts offseason Campus to Canton series.

@FF_Spotlight uncovers trends about successful players from high school through the NFL. Campus to Canton fantasy leagues draft players coming out of high school and field a college and NFL roster while keeping players year after year through their career

What is a five star recruit? How successful is the ranking for predicting college and NFL success? What other trends are there between high performing high school, college and professional football players? Lastly, there will be a detailed list of every class going back to the origin of the five star recruit with the 2003 high school class. Data will be released incrementally, so stay tuned!

What is a Five Star Recruit?

The five star recruit ranking is the state of the art for evaluating high school football players. Rivals (@Rivals on Twitter) pioneered this back in 2003 and since then 247 Sports Recruiting (@247Recruiting on Twitter) also puts out comprehensive rankings for five star college prospects. The focus for this article is Rivals because they have data going back the furtherest in time.

There are around 30 high school players that are ranked as 5 star recruits each year and this number varies from year to year. Some players never play a down in college, some go on to be first round picks in the NFL. High school players avidly seek to get their game film out to get noticed by college scouts. Some companies also specialize in creating films with analytics dedicated to this topic alone, like Recruiting Analytics (@RAanalytics on Twitter).

According to an article from by Mike Huguenin (@MikeHuguenin on Twitter) from February 3, 2014, at that time there were 29 players per year with 5 star recruit status. Rivals had started the ranking system in 2002 and between 2002 and 2014 there were 262 players that had been ranked as 5 star recruits. 116 of the 262 (44.3%) were drafted into the NFL and 42 of 262 (16%) were drafted in the first round of the NFL draft. For reference, 2500 players are drafted into the FBS each year and only 1% of those players are considered 5 star recruits. Two of those 5 star recruits were drafted number one overall (Matthew Stafford and Cam Newton).

Stay tuned for five star recruit analysis from 2004 to today!



Only covers offensive skill players, QB, RB, WR and TE. ATH stands for athlete

Numbering system lists,

”A” - Rank with respect to yearly class

“B” - Rank with respect to entire class

How data is presented...

#A) B. Player name, Position, School they committed to

NFL draft round, Team that drafted them, Year they were drafted

Additional comments on their career


#1) 2. Reggie Bush, RB, USC

1st Round, 2006, New Orleans

Heisman Trophy winner...

Reggie Bush: #2 Overall High School Recruit 2003


#1) 2. Reggie Bush, RB, USC

1st Round, New Orleans, 2006

Heisman Trophy winner who later returned it due to conflicts over sanctions. NCAA Division I Champion, 2004. Played in NCAA Division 2005 loss vs. Texas