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Two star or not two star, that is the question

The star rating system has been the focus of debate for some time. So let's debate it some more, shall we?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In a world dominated by opinions and rankings, it can be tough to filter through the charts for the information you REALLY want. What I’m talking about, specifically pertaining to Boise State football, is the star rating system that scouting sites use to rank players. But what are they ranking them on? Success and ability as an individual player at the high school level? The amount of success they anticipate them having at the college level? Their athletic ability compared to their peers? Let’s discuss this and how it pertains to Boise State.

When perusing recruiting sites, a lot of people tend to evaluate the value of a player based on their star rating. Most of these sites, if not all, operate on a 5-star system with 5 being the highest rating and 2 being the lowest. I have not personally seen a 1-star recruit. If they are not "good enough" to merit a two star, they are not ranked. As I understand it, the rating system is more or less derived from the team the player plays on and how that team fared on a national level as well as how that player played for their team. So a player that played extremely well for a highly rated national high school team, like Allen out of Texas, Bishop Gorman out of Nevada, or De La Salle out of California, could merit a 5-star rating. Now this isn’t the only determining factor. Obviously these teams won’t have ALL 5-star players. In reality it will have maybe one or two, if any, 5-star players, and a smattering of 4-star players. These players are generally thought to be prime Power 5 school players. 3 and 2-star players are generally thought to be more suited to player for a non-Power 5 or FCS school. But how can you predict how a player will play in the future? You can’t, and Boise State has been the perfect star rating killer.

Boise State has built it’s reputation on destroying Power 5 schools with non-Power 5 talent, as it were. Take for example Doug Martin. If you do not know who this is, please leave. No really, I’ll wait. Ok now that the riff raff is gone, back to Dougie. Doug was rated as a 2-star recruit out of Stockton, CA with offers from Boise State and Cal Poly, according to  He camped at Cal and UW, but never received an offer. He came into BSU at 5’11 193lbs. Honestly not too far off from where he ended. I believe he was 5’11 212lbs when he left, then got up to 225-ish at TB. He is currently listed at 5’9 223, so he must have shrunk. I heard that happens to people. For those that may not be aware, he was the 31st selection in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. No one could have foreseen a 2-star recruit becoming one of the most prolific running backs in Boise State history and being selected in the first round of the draft. Was his star rating incorrect? Many would say absolutely. But it is all about context. Are you giving him a rating based on what he ended up being? Or what he was out of high school? You decide.

Another great example is hometown hero Shea McClellin. Listed as a 2-star recruit out of Marsing, ID by, Shea had one offer. If I have to tell you who that offer is, no churros for you. Listed at 6’3 228lbs, he was a solid specimen and perfect for the STUD position. After wreaking havoc for 4+ years on the Blue, Shea went to the Bears with the 19th pick in the 2012 Draft. I can’t even locate highlights for Shea, so if you have some of these, please post in the comments.

For those keeping count, that is two first-rounders in the 2012 Draft from Boise State, both rated as 2-star athletes out of high school. This is not to say that the rating system is flawed, but it certainly doesn’t tell the entire story. Star ratings MUST be taken with a grain of salt is they are not a guarantee of production or athletic quality. They are merely an arbitrary measurement of perceived talent based on how they performed in high school and how valuable the scouting sites felt they were to their team. So maybe they aren’t TOTALLY arbitrary, but I digress. They should not be viewed as a determining factor of how well we player will do at the college level. Doug and Shea are perfect examples of that. It also goes to show how great our coaches have been here at Boise State. Regardless of the athletic prowess of some athletes, all of them need coaching, whether that be physically, mentally, or emotionally. The only exception to this rule is obviously Kellen as he was perfect in every way. And if you say otherwise, well, you’re wrong.

What are your thoughts on the star rating system? Do you think it serves it’s purpose? What is that purpose? How accurate is it? What is it evaluating? Post your thoughts and comments below. Go Broncos!