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 independently 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 prospects, 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 2016 ASU signing class and how it compares in our view to recent classes at the school.
10 -- Elite NFL Prospect
9 -- Very Good NFL Prospect
8. -- NFL Prospect
7 -- Pac-12 prospect
6 -- Good Group of 5 Prospect
5 -- Solid group of 5 Prospect
4.-- Borderline Group of 5 / FCS 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, depth chart, determination, and health.
2016 Arizona State Class Evaluation Grades
Dougladson Subtyl -- 9.5
Dillon Sterling-Cole -- 9
Maurice Chandler -- 8.5
N'Keal Harry -- 8.5
Koron Crump -- 8.5
J'Marcus Rhodes -- 8
Jeremy Smith -- 8
Christian Hill -- 8
Chase Lucas -- 8
Cohl Cabral -- 8
Kyle Williams -- 7.5
Robbie Robinson -- 7.5
Tyson Rising -- 7.5
A.J. McCollum -- 7.5
Jared Bubak -- 7
Tre Turner -- 7
Marshal Nathe -- 6.5
Jack Smith -- 5
Michael Sleep-Dalton -- We don't evaluate punters in this fashion
2016 Class average: 7.75
2013 class average: 7.4
2014 class average: 7.82
2015 class average: 8.21
2016 class average: 7.75
2013 class Scout.com team ranking: 30
2014 class Scout.com team ranking: 17
2015 class Scout.com team ranking: 17
2016 class Scout.com team ranking: 36
(all rankings listed on National Signing Day)
2013 class average stars by Scout.com: 2.92
2014 class average stars by Scout.com: 3.27
2015 class average stars by Scout.com: 3.43
2016 class average stars by Scout.com: 3.26
(updated to reflect anticipated Jack Smith signing)