The Star Assignment Game

USC now has six football commits for the 2019 class. Only one of these kids is viewed as an elite recruit, and even he only has 4-stars. That would be OT Jason Rodriquez (6-6, 326) from Hesperia Oak Hills, Ca.

The other USC commits are all only ranked as 3-stars by the recruiting services, which is why USC is only slotted in the recruiting rankings at No. 40 by 247Sports and No. 36 by Rivals, behind people like Iowa State, Kentucky, Miami (Ohio), Illinois, Duke and Minnesota, just to name a few of the pretenders.

The Trojan 3-stars: WR Munir McClain (6-4, 210, San Juan Capistrano Serra, Ca), ILB Stanley Taufoou (6-4, 245, Simi Valley Brethren, Ca), CB Trey Davis (6-0, 185, Federal Way, Wash),  QB Kedon Slovis (6-3, 195, Scottsdale Desert Mountain, Ariz) and DE/OL Gino Quinones (6-4, 280, St. Louis Honolulu, Hi).

How many people think most all of these prospects, if not every single one, won’t be moved up to four, or even five-star status by December? Of course they will  —  unless they get hurt, have huge academic issues, or are dropped by USC.

The Trojans aren’t just taking flyers on these guys. They are choosing them because they like them the most talent-wise right now. And if USC discards them, or gets ditched by them later, they will be replaced  —  almost always by better (and higher-rated) prospects. That’s how big-brand name schools work it.

The moral of the story is, recruiting rankings mean nothing this early, unless you are already a top-five class. Then, absent a head coaching change, you can be fairly sure you are headed to the promised land.

But generally speaking, there’s way too much out-and-out guessing and limited comparison work going on now. It’s strictly a numbers game (you can only have so many 4-5 stars) and simple highlight tape can’t give you all your answers — as the Jack Jones situation sadly illustrates.

The kids that get noticed earlier and are heavily promoted or connected, have an otherworldly advantage over the rest, which in many cases, will evaporate like sugar in your coffee as other youngsters are later more closely judged and inspected with a fine tooth comb.

At least that’s the way it should be. A little knowledge always should be dangerous in recruiting evaluation. Otherwise, why bother?