Shining stars

Already considered by some the most in-depth, researched and accurate prospect rankings, the first Class of 2010 ESPNU 150 rankings are complete with the added element of a star ratings system.

"The star system is the industry standard and we feel like the system, combined with what we already do, provides a deeper experience," National Recruiting Director for Scouts. Inc Tom Luginbill said. "Our pro personnel numerical grading system is an industry standard in scouting, but we realize the star system is fan friendly and media friendly and we embrace that."

Scouts Inc.'s rankings are done by a team of evaluators, all of whom have coached and/or played football on the collegiate or professional level. With literally thousands of possible grades within the rankings scale (other recruiting services have as many as 13 while some have no grades), this allows the ratings to be extremely detailed and the separation between prospects to be explained in each player's in-depth scouting report.

"You will be able to tell a difference between a lower-end four star and a higher-end four star, because there is a difference," Luginbill said.

Just one example of the detail is within the four-star range, which includes prospects that rate 79.5 and above.
"We lowered that to take care of the player who maybe isn't quite there yet, but that has the upside to eventually be a four-star type of player down the road," Luginbill said.

The inaugural ESPNU150 for the Class of 2010 will feature 12 five-star rated prospects. While this year's class is somewhat down at the truly elite level, you can expect the rankings to feature less five-star and four-star prospects than the others might.

The other 138 prospects in the ESPNU 150 received a four-star rating. There will be four-star prospects outside of the ESPNU 150, but not many.

"If you look around college football, there just aren't that many elite players on a yearly basis," Luginbill said. "For the last four years or so, there are not as many impact players who were ranked as a four-star or five-star as people think, so our numbers will be tapered back and reflect that. The reality is that most college football rosters are made up of three-star prospects."

JC Shurburtt covers recruiting for ESPN.com. He can be reached at jcsespn@aol.com.