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Consensus Michigan rankings released August 10, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in Preps, recruiting.
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Phil Steele’s College Football Preview Magazine is a publication I consider required reading before the football season; no preview magazine can touch the depth and quality of information contained in Steele’s 400+ page book.

Steele covers college recruiting – extensively – but does not scout and evaluate prospects personally. Instead, he subscribes to eight of the nation’s premier recruiting services – Parade, Superprep, Tom Lemming, G&W Recruiting Advisor, JCGridiron, Prepstar, Max Emfinger, and Rivals. He then takes the national rankings of each service – rankings of 1,000 or more players – and finds the consensus ranking for each individual through averages and a simple point system.

This methodology has proven very accurate over the years – as one can find in his annual freshman report, which I subscribe to – in providing accurate rankings of the top newcomers. Steele assigns each player a PS Number based on their position rank and has categories for Very Highly Touted (VHT) and Highly Touted (HT) players. Not suprisingly, the VHTs and HTs go on to dominate the college landscape and are routinely taken in the first rounds of the NFL Draft.

While it would be ideal to have a great system of checks and balances to rank football prospects in Michigan, there are only three recruiting services (Rivals, Scout and Jim Stefani) that publish non-premium individual rankings.

Nevertheless, I decided to take the average position of recruits in the Rivals Top 35, Scout Top 30 and Jim Stefani’s Top 20 for the Class of 2007.

The results are very conclusive as to the talent level breakdown in the class of 2007 and shed some light on a valid top-10, top-20 and so forth. As they say, three independent opinions are better than one, so here is the data:

2007 Michigan High School Football Composite

 
Rank Player Rivals Scout Jim Stefani Average Commitment

1

Boubacar Cissoko

2

1

1

1.3

Michigan

2

Dann O'Neill

3

2

2

2.3

Michigan

3

Jonas Gray

1

3

3

2.3

Nebraska

4

Fred Smith

4

5

4

4.3

Michigan State

5

Mike Martin

7

4

6

5.7

Michigan

6

Nick Perry

5

10

5

6.7

7

Tyler Hoover

6

15

7

9.3

Michigan State

8

Mark Ingram

12

9

11

10.7

9

Charles Burrell

9

14

9

10.7

10

Kenny Demens

8

19

10

12.3

11

Anthony Hollis

14

11

21

15.3

12

Deon'tae Pannell

11

22

14

15.7

Penn State

13

Rocko Khoury

13

21

13

15.7

Michigan

14

Sean Hooey

18

13

20

17.0

Cincinnati

15

Sam Gaymon

15

16

25

18.7

16

Brendon Kay

27

12

15

18.0

Cincinnati

17

Carlin Landingham

30

24

12

22.0

18

Corey Johnson

10

8

9.0

19

Jonathan Dandridge

17

6

11.5

20

Darrin Williams

21

8

14.5

Cincinnati

21

Caulton Ray

19

16

17.5

22

Jason Harvey

20

17

18.5

23

Cortez Smith

17

24

20.5

Indiana

24

Rickie Crosby

20

22

21.0

25

Chris Groth

29

18

23.5

26

Scott Kovanda

27

23

25.0

27

Donald Mathis

7

7.0

28

Ethan Ruhland

16

16.0

29

Ronnie Lark

17

17.0

30

Shelton Gaines

18

18.0

31

Mohamad Moukdad

19

19.0

32

Spencer Krauss

22

22.0

33

Bruce Horner

23

23.0

Cincinnati

34

Zac Heuter

23

23.0

35

Jamie Simpson

24

24.0

36

Lonnie Puge

25

25.0

37

James Wade

25

25.0

38

Bobby Miller

26

26.0

39

Brent Kryder

26

26.0

40

Troy Tidwell

28

28.0

41

Camerron Cheatham

28

28.0

Cincinnati

42

Edgar Pouncy

29

29.0

43

Chris Lum

30

30.0

Analysis: The first group (No. 1-17) includes players that have been ranked by all three services. It returns a unique top three – Boubacar Cissoko, followed by Dann O’Neill and Jonas Gray – but its strength lies in the 5-15 range, where the deviations caused by one ranking are minimized and the return is a true consensus, and theoretically, a stronger ranking from three independent sources.

This middle tier (18-26) has players mentioned by only two services. The top five players on this list could easily elevate into the overall top-10 when rankings are re-released in midseason. Their only penalty was being overlooked by one service. But, the cream still rises to the top, and the upper echelon of this tier helps form a strong consensus top 20.

The final tier (27-43) lists players that have been ranked (in the top 30) by only one service. Scout.com has a premium list of 150 seniors, while Jim Stefani ranks around 500 Michigan players by position, but for purposes of this basic compilation we had to stick to basic rankings.

What conclusions can we draw from this simple average? While ideally there would be five to six rankings to average, the composite did its job for the three, providing a consensous opinion that corrects the extremes in rankings. It’s another way of looking at the class of 2008. The top 20-25 players in the composite are legitimate high to high-mid major recruits. After that falls the sleepers, MAC level players and Division II recruits. It’s easy to see that the class of 2008 isn’t as top-heavy as 2007 (how could it be?) but might be deeper in the middle. The MAC schools, out of state foes like Cincinnati and D-IIs should have a field day recruiting Michigan this year. And Michigan and Michigan State will continue to get their prospects at the top. The Wolverines and Spartans will look for the services of 7-8 of the remaining recruits in the top 21.

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