One potential pitfall of recruiting websites (as many would say, "fan sites," which is a sign of the issue we’re going to be talking about here) is that sometimes there can become a false sense of expectation with fans by the site’s content providers not contextualizing carefully enough the true potential for success in the short, mid and long term of a signing classes and/or individual recruits.
As a result, recruiting classes classes can be built up for a variety of reasons -- a desire to sell subscriptions or generate interest; evaluations that are not up to par; a misguided philosophy of wanting to boost a program being reported on -- in a way that leads to unrealistic expectations and ultimately hurts the fan base and program being covered.
Our long-developed and experienced perspective is this approach does subscribers a disservice by providing an unlikely-to-be-realized sense of reality, and because of that, is ultimately not advantageous in the big picture to a school and its coaching staff or its fanbase, as it establishes unrealistic expectations and can allow people to be let down or feel misled.
In the evaluation process, which do we indepently in addition to what the Scout.com network does in order to provide as full and complete a perspective as possible, our pledge is to be honest and as accurate as we possibly can to the reality of the situation, so that our readership can get an accurate gauge as to how the players are meeting expectations, and how well the coaches are doing with their job of developing and evaluating porspects, as well as in an effort to have players be viewed realistically.
Is ASU’s coaching staff overachieving or underachieving, or performing to its capability with its talent acquisition and development components? Is it evaluating, recruiting and targeting the right players? These are some of the things you deserve to know as fans and are paying us to answer. We desire to give you the best experience possible, and to do that, we have to be as honest and comprehensive about the way we cover the program as we can be.
The abundance of film that now exists, coupled with our effort to see as many of these kids as possible at various camps, combines sand 7-on-7 events and the like, makes our job a bit easier, but it’s still a monumental task and one we take a lot of pride in.
We want our subscribers to hold us accountable for the accuracy of the analysis that we provide at a cost. This is what you deserve. We are not out to pander to you or create a false paradigm because ultimately you will be let down by the experience, either with us, or as a fan in general, or both. Our mission is for you to get the best experience possible and be as informed as we can manage.
In recent years we created our own system by which to evaluate prospects and provide this information to you transparently so we can be held accountable for our perspective. Here is out we grade players and how we evaluated the 2015 ASU signing class, which we believe to be the best since at least the turn of the century.
10. High level NFL prospect/Likely college All-American
9. NFL prospect/All-Pac-12 level talent/AA potential
8. NFL potential/all-Pac-12 prospect
7. Solid Power Five Conference prospect/Pac-12 starter potential
6. Borderline Power Five Conference prospect/Likely Pac-12 reserve
5. Good Group of Five Conference prospect
4. Borderline Group of Five Conference prospect
3. Solid FCS prospect
2. Borderline FCS prospect
1. Division II prospect
Please keep in mind, we will make mistakes, and most coaches will tell you they’re successful if they hit on 75 percent of their signees, and additionally, many players underachieve or overachieve based on a variety of factors including work ethic, football IQ, determination and health.
Here’s our 2015 grades:
Joseph Wicker: 9.5
Davon Durant: 9.5
Zach Robertson: 9.5
Brady White: 9
Jaason Lewis: 9
Stanley Norman: 8.5
Jay Jay Wilson: 8.5
Jalen Bates: 8.5
Terrell Chatman: 8.5
Tommy Hudson: 8.5
Kareem Orr: 8.5
George Lea: 8.5
Steve Miller: 8.5
Malik Lawal: 8
Mason Walter: 7.5
Cade Cote: 7.5
Raymond Epps: 7.5
Morie Evans: 7
Nick Ralston: 7
Class average: 8.21
2013 class average: 7.4
2014 class average: 7.82