Are football recruiting rankings meaningless?

How could Louisville's recruiting class, with one national Top 100 prospect, five Scout.com four-star prospects and eight three-star signees, rate lower than either West Virginia or Pittsburgh? That's a hard one to figure out. So we asked Scout.com recruiting guru <b>Scott Kennedy</b>, who told us some surprising things.

How could Louisville's recruiting class, with one national Top 100 prospect, five Scout.com four-star prospects and eight three-star signees, rate lower than either West Virginia or Pittsburgh?

Well, that's a hard one to figure out. The Cardinals, whose recruiting class is ranked No. 43 nationally by Scout.com, landed more four-star signees than either the Mountaineers (2) or Panthers (1). And while West Virginia's nine three-star signees topped both the Cardinals and Panthers eight three-star recruits, Louisville boasted a higher average player rating per signee than either of their future Big East rivals.

"I usually use Louisville as an example that football recruiting rankings don't really mean that much," admitted Scout.com national recruiting analyst Scott Kennedy. "What were they – No. 6 this year? That just shows you what a great job Louisville does at developing talent once they get players on campus."

Apparently, Louisville's five junior college additions had a negative effect on U of L's recruiting class ranking.

"JUCO prospects knocked their recruiting ranking down because they don't pan out as often and they have less time to develop than high school kids," explained Kennedy. "So it's holding their ranking back."

Even though Louisville's class rates third in the Big East, Kennedy was impressed that the Cardinals not only were able to compete with some of college football's heavy-hitters on the recruiting this year but also won their fair share of those recruiting battles.

"They went head-to-head with some big programs this year and won some of those recruiting battles," Kennedy said. "Earl Heyman was a pick up."

And while the Cardinals signed 21 players from south of the Mason-Dixon line this year, Kennedy said he expects that ratio to change in the future.

"Most of their players are still coming from the deep south," said Kennedy. "But as they move into the Big East, I can see them recruiting more heavily in the northeast in the future. They started moving in that direction this year with their emphasis on New Jersey."

"Just like Virginia Tech has begun focusing more of their recruiting attention in the south since moving to the ACC, Louisville might re-direct some of their recruiting emphasis to the north once they start playing in the Big East," Kennedy added.

Kennedy also expects junior college transfer Zach Anderson from East Mississippi C.C. to make an immediate impact on the defensive line. "Zach Anderson can be an early contributor and play early," Kennedy said. "He has the physical ability to make the adjustment from the junior college ranks. I like him a lot."

And though there are no super-talented offensive prospects in this recruiting class like Brian Brohm and Michael Bush were the past two years, Kennedy expects a few surprises to emerge.

"There's no star this year – though some will emerge – but Lee Sweeney is a good player," said Kennedy. "He makes good decisions. I don't worry about quarterbacks at Louisville, just like I don't worry about linebackers at Auburn. You know they're going to have excellent quarterbacks no matter who they have."


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