Today, rating systems such as Scout, Rivals, 247, and ESPN have taken over the recruiting process; however, it was not until 2002 did such ranking systems first become available. Many question the accuracy of such systems, rightfully so. Most 4 and 5 star athletes tend to excel at the college and perhaps professional level, but you can always find a handful of under-ranked players who exceed expectations. Aaron Rogers, Patrick Willis, Joe Flacco — all rated 3 stars coming out of high school. Chris Johnson, Matt Forte — 2 stars. A sports consultanting group came up with the following probabilities of a prospect with a particular star rating being named all-conference at some point in his career.
- 5-stars 33.8%
- 4-stars 20.0%
- 3-stars 11.6%
- 2-stars 7.2%
All of this made me curious as to how past PSU players have fared given their Rivals rating. So I went back and did some searching — found all the committed players for each recruiting class, their rating, and then set out to find how they did at PSU and beyond. We start with the recruiting class of 2002. By no means is this an entire list of all players for the class of 2002. Rather, this is the Rivals commitment list, which supposedly reflects the top scholarship athletes joining the team. Are the ratings indicative of success? Let’s find out.
Recruiting Class of 2002
|Jason Alford||4||Played 4 years in NFL; now plays in CFL|
|4||Neck injury at PSU ended career|
|Levi Brown||4||NFL; Currently for Arizona Cardinals|
|Tamba Hali||4||NFL; Currently for Kansas City Chiefs|
|4||Transferred (due to family illness)|
|Calvin Lowry||4||Current NFL free agent|
|Brandon Snow||4||Former NFL free agent|
|3||Kicked off team (assault charges)|
|Donnie Johnson||3||Former NFL free agent|
|Ed Johnson||3||NFL; Currently for Carolina Panters|
|Tim Shaw||3||NFL; Currently for Tennessee Titans|
|Jeremy Kapinos||2||NFL; Currently for Pittsburgh Steelers|
The 2002 class currently has 5 players in the NFL (avg Rivals rating of 3.2).
Best in Class
Tamba Hali (LB) – 2012 Pro-Bowl selection
Over-performers (played above rating)
Under-performers (played below rating)