Recruiting service rankings can be funny things sometimes. All have their own varying criteria for evaluating players, and oftentimes, there is no precise agreement on individuals. They may agree that a player is “good” or doesn’t have a high ceiling, but when it comes to assigning stars or otherwise quantifying a recruit’s high school play with some coefficient, you never know what you’re going to get.
We’ve said it before here and we’ll say it again: “stars” don’t necessarily mean anything. Luke Kuechly was a three-star recruit, which is a rating one gives to a player who is good but probably not much more than that, and yet, he turned into one of the best BC defensive players of all-time. Boston College has also had four-star players who amounted to little and washed out of the program. At the end of the day, whether a high schooler gets two stars or five, what matters is how they perform on the field, and BC has benefited from diamond-in-the-rough players more than once.
Still, there is a certain prestige that comes with roping in players on the higher end. Recruiting is one of the most important things a football coaching staff does, aside from actually instructing the players once they’re in the program, and it often has far-reaching effects on both the short and long-term state of the team.
It has often been my view that Boston College football, having sharply declined over the last several years, could recover more quickly with a few good classes in a row. New head coach Steve Addazio’s first full recruiting class will sign next year in 2014, and so far, things are looking very good. The Eagles had already gotten commitments from several solid newcomers, but on Monday, they added to the list with Thaddius Smith. Even though it’s only five names deep, Addazio and BC are compiling a respectable class.
Most people would agree on that, but not all, which is where we bring class rankings back into focus. 24/7 Sports moved Boston College up to the #23 class in the country as of right now, while Rivals put BC inside the top thirty at 29th. Then, of course, you get Scout, which is decidedly less impressed with this class: they’ve ranked the Eagles at #56.
Now, does it matter? Yes and no. Whether you put BC’s 2014 class at #23 or #56 or wherever, how they actually perform when they get here will be the most important thing. Yet, putting together a list of new players with lots of stars and high rankings speaks positively of the program and its direction. Perception is often reality, and if the conventional wisdom suggests that BC is on the up-and-up because they’re getting good recruits, then that’s what is. The opposite is also true with less flashy recruiting classes.
Here’s what we therefore perceive: that Steve Addazio and his staff have recruited with a greater intensity than we’ve seen in a long time, and it’s paying dividends, even if those only amount to good things being said about the program.