5-star question: Which program has signed the most elite players since 2008?
There are few things in college football that draw the kind of attention as a 5-star recruiting rating.
It means the player is considered a can’t-miss talent. That he’s good enough to make an immediate impact, and implies the prospect is on pace to to be a first-round draft pick for the National Football League.
Everyone wants them. However, many never fulfill their potential.
So this week, BamaCentral will crunch the numbers with a final series prior to the start of training camp. Beginning with Nick Saban’s first full recruiting class at Alabama, 2008, which included wide receiver Julio Jones, we’ll look at every 5-star prospect during those 12 signing classes
Specifically, there have been 386 players designated a consensus 5-star talent as per the 247Sports composite rankings, which takes into account the listings by other top services. It’s an average of 32.2 per year.
We’ll begin with the most obvious chart, overall 5-star signees per school.
Not surprisingly, Alabama had landed the most, 47, 3.9 per year or 12 percent of the total, with no other program above 10 percent during the same time period. Only five schools have signed more than 20, overall.
But obviously, rating talent and potential is a very subjective thing.
For example, consider the top 10 players from the recruiting Class of 2011, topped by Jadeveon Clowney. The standout defensive end was considered a sure thing and he went on to be the first-overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft (Note: He’s the only player during the time frame to be the top overall recruit and the first-overall draft pick).
However, two LSU players, linemen La’el Collins and Anthony Johnson went undrafted. So did Southern California wide receiver George Farmer. Florida State safety Karlos turned into a fifth-round selection.
Notre Dame defensive end Aaron Lynch transferred to South Florida and was a fifth-round pick in 2014. Auburn offensive lineman Christian Westerman transferred to Arizona State and was a fifth-round pick in 2016. Georgia running back Isaiah Crowell went undrafted after transferring to Alabama State.
The two other players in the top 10 went to Alabama and were selected in the 2014 NFL Draft. Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix went in the first round, and tackle Cyrus Kouandjio was a second-round pick.
That’s not to say the Crimson Tide has had that kind of success with everyone (and we’ll get into that moving forward), but here are the team totals:
Most 5-star players (2008-current)
Florida State 30
Southern California 30
Ohio State 25
Texas A&M 12
Notre Dame 9
Ole Miss 9
Penn State 6
Mississippi State 3
South Carolina 3
Michigan State 2
Arizona State 1
North Carolina 1
North Carolina State 1
Oregon State 1
Southern Miss 1
Virginia Tech 1
This is the first story in a database series that will appear this week on BamaCentral. For background information, check out a previous story I did for the website SEC Country.