Brad Lawing, the South Carolina defensive line coach and former UNC-CH recruiting coordinator, says that recruiting rankings and sites are a scam.
“I can take a three-star and make him a four-star, and I can take a four-star and make him a three- or two-star with the contacts I have. That’s how ridiculous recruiting on the Internet is. I took [Gamecock safety] Chris Culliver from a three- to a five-star in three weeks. All you’ve got to do is talk to the right people,” Lawing said, in an article on GoGamecocks.com. Culliver, you may remember, was heavily recruited by NC State’s previous staff. Scout.com ranked the former Garner (NC) Trojan as a four-star in its archives.
You might remember back in February, when we took recruiting expert Jamie Newberg to task a bit, when I said
[The] experts never seem to get Tom O’Brien: he doesn’t recruit stars, he recruits players that will fit into his system. Matt Ryan was a three-star QB and ranked #44 coming into college. He didn’t graduate that way, and was one of the two best rookie QBs in the NFL last year. Just for example. Dan Koppen, a Pro Bowl center with the New England Patriots was not blessed by the Jamie Newbergs of the world, but he’s good enough to have started three years for Tom O’Brien and good enough after college to be rated as an all-star by his peers. On the other side of the ball, Jeremy Trueblood was another lowly rated recruit that ended up as an All Big-East player by the time O’Brien was done teaching him and is now starting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In Raleigh, Scout.com two-star Russel Wilson certainly seems to be working out under center. Four-star Mike Paulus over at UNC? Not so much. Maybe there is something O’Brien’s ability to recognize good skills when he sees them after all.
Lawing’s comments — and be sure to take them for what they are worth — show that the ever-increasing hype surrounding recruiting is probably only so much hot air. Sure, there are players that it’s pretty easy to project a solid college career for, but then again, there are other fellows that seem to slip under everyone’s radar, get only a little bit of attention and end up not only turning the college world on its ear, but do pretty well on Sundays as well. Philip Rivers is a textbook example of that.