Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt recently told a gathered crowd in Knoxville that he doesn’t pay attention to recruiting rankings and he isn’t about to let the recruiting industry tell him who is or isn’t a good football player.

I completely agree with what Pruitt is saying there — college football coaches absolutely shouldn’t depend on the recruiting industry to evaluate high school talent.

But that doesn’t mean recruiting rankings aren’t important.

We’ve consistently seen over the last couple of decades that programs which land the top rated classes in the nation are the programs who experience the most success.

Sure, there are some instances of low rated players becoming stars. And there are times when five-star recruits fail to live up to the hype.

For the most part, however, recruits perform as they’re expected to perform based on their rating.

That’s a proven fact, based on a stat from the 2018 NFL Draft.

While there might be more former three-star players currently playing in the NFL, that’s simply due to there being more three-star players at the college level. It’s clear that a higher percentage of five-star players make it to the NFL.

For every former three-star recruit like Aaron Rodgers or Luke Kuechly that out performed their rating and made it “big” in the NFL, there are likely 20 others who barely saw any playing time after signing their national letter of intent. And there’s even fewer who made it to the NFL.

So while Pruitt, and other college coaches, might uncover a hidden gem here and there that wasn’t highly rated by the recruiting services, for the most part they better be landing four and five-star recruits.

Otherwise it’s going to be incredibly difficult to compete with programs like Alabama and Georgia.

Just ask former Vols coach Butch Jones.

Featured image via UT Athletics 

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