For those that enjoy that sort of thing (and if site traffic numbers mean anything then the answer is a lot of you) the 247Sports final recruiting rankings for the class of 2020 were released today. Washington’s players had a mixed bag as several commits made huge jumps while others had significant drops.
247 is generally considered to be the most accurate of the 3 major recruiting services (including Rivals and ESPN) and is also the home of the 247Sports Composite which incorporates the ratings from all 3 organizations. For West Coast recruits in particular though the 247 non-composite rankings are usually a better indicator since they have by far the largest presence of scouts out West.
In the 247-only rankings Washington finishes with the 13th ranked class in the country and top rated class in the Pac-12. The Huskies wind up with 9 players ranked in their “Top 247” as well as TE Mark Redman who didn’t make the list but who bumped up to receiving a 4th star at #261 overall. UW also had 10 4/5 star players in last year’s 2019 class.
Those playing along at home will note that if Washington had the top-rated class it must mean that the Ducks are at #2. In the 247-only rankings UW finished 13th to Oregon’s 16th while in the composite rankings Oregon held on to their lead at 12th to 15th. Regardless of which one you prefer it’s fair to say that the classes were rated very closely although their composition was much different. Oregon finished with 3 top-40 prospects in the 247-only rankings but 0 players in the Top 247 compared to UW’s 1 and 9.
QB Ethan Garbers was by far Washington’s biggest riser and made one of the biggest jumps of anyone in the country going from 467th in their October rankings update all the way to 157th today. That’s what having one of the most statistically impressive seasons in California state high school history will do for you. WR Rome Odunze made a similar if slightly less dramatic leap from 276th up to 219th overall to solidify his status as a 4* receiver.
Most Huskies near the top of the rankings however saw a slight to moderate drop. Sav’ell Smalls narrowly hangs onto his 5th star in the composite but the 247-only rankings dropped him 40 spots to 58th after his performance during his senior year and in the UA game. Myles Murao took a perplexing drop of 31 spots to 153rd despite positive reviews during his showing at the AA game and Polynesian bowl. Sam Adams was the largest faller during the process going from 113th to 246th after playing his senior year with a shoulder injury.
Here’s a look at how some Husky commits’ recruiting grades changed from a year ago to today after the entirety of their senior season. Some players still didn’t have a composite grade 1 year ago so I used the first grade that was ever entered into the site.
Biggest 247 Sports Composite Risers in past year:
- QB Ethan Garbers- 3* 0.8651 to 4* 0.9477
- OT Samuel Peacock- 3* 0.7798 to 3* 0.8333
- CB Elijah Jackson- 3* 0.8199 to 3*0.8755
- ILB Cooper McDonald- 3* 0.8044 to 3*0.8498
- WR Rome Odunze- 3* 0.8753 to 4* 0.9178
Biggest 247 Sports Composite Droppers in past year:
- LS Jaden Green- 3* 0.8125 to 2* 0.7759
- OC Myles Murao- 4* 0.9773 to 4* 0.9499
- WR Sawyer Racanelli- 4* 0.89 to 3*0.864
- RB Sam Adams- 4* 0.9193 to 4*0.9018
- OG Geirean Hatchett- 4* 0.935 to 4* 0.92
For those cynical or skeptical about how the various ranking processes work I would recommend listening to this podcast from last week and reading this article on which traits are most highly valued at each position. A quick summary.
The rankings are meant to reflect NFL Draft predictions as that is the most consistent way to provide a grading rubric on how they actually performed several years down the road. An individual 5-star player is expected to have both a higher likelihood of getting drafted and a better chance of becoming a 1st round pick than an individual 3-star player. But 3-star players are still expected to become college contributors and by virtue of there being so many more of them they are the lifeblood of all but the most elite of college football programs.
Players at positions that are rarely drafted highly in the NFL will have a harder time achieving 5-star status even if they are expected to be dominant college players. They also pay attention to which measurables coming out of high school are most likely to track with NFL draft success. Meeting minimum benchmarks such as arm length for offensive linemen can differentiate a 5-star player from a 4-star one.
The team rankings are structured such that each successive recruit added to a given class is given lower and lower impact. This prevents a school with a 29 person recruiting class from automatically scoring better than a school with a 20 person class. It also means that adding a lowly ranked long snapper to the end of the class doesn’t help an overall class ranking but it also doesn’t hurt it since average rating is not the primary number used.