NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - One of the biggest 5-stars in 2014 recruiting came from right here in New Orleans. Leonard Fournette bulldozed his way to LSU, and some recruiting services considered the Purple Knight to be the best player in the country. It's easy to see why Fournette garnered five stars, but others it's not so cut and dry. Shea Dixon of 247 sports breaks down how high schoolers get that coveted star treatment.
"We have a team nationally led by Barton Simmons, Ryan Bartow, Steve Wiltfong, guys who traverse the country," Dixon said. "Looking at these high school games, and events like "The Opening," and a lot of the Nike 7-on-7 stuff that goes on. Everyone from my level, to high school coaches, to even the kids, will feed info to those guys. They get in a war room essentially, just break down the entire board, and go from there and rank everybody."
Getting 5-stars is the goal for high schoolers nationwide, but the group getting top-dog status is small.
"By National Signing Day they're will be 32 5-stars," Dixon said. "That's set up to match the NFL Draft, with the 32 teams. On signing day when you look at the rankings you'll see 32 5-stars, those are the guys we predict that those could be first-round draft picks.That's the kind of talent they have coming out of high school. Then you look at 4-stars, which is such a bigger number. Typically between 300-400 4-stars a year, it fluctuates depending on the class. That would reflect the seven rounds of the NFL Draft."
The star system isn't fair in some recruits eyes, and writers like Dixon hear their disapproval via social media and in-person.
"That happens a good bit, and I don't have all the answers for them," Dixon said. "What I usually do, say a kid out of Edna Karr for instance is saying, 'Hey I'm only a 3-star, will you take another look at me?' I think the biggest thing that has changed things is Hudl, which is basically a YouTube for high school football players. It's free for college coaches to go and look at a kids Hudl. For us as evaluators to go breakdown, there isn't a kid in the country pretty much that doesn't have his high school film on Hudl," said Dixon.
One recruit locally getting a lot of publicity is LSU verbal commitment Myles Brennan. The St. Stanislaus quarterback achieved Elite 11 QB status in California last month. Being named one of the top signal-callers in the country didn't change his star treatment, a 3-star evaluation, but that could change very quickly.
"They named all their new 5-stars, and now they're going through the whole board after 'The Opening' in the Summer and moving guys around," Dixon said. "He told me Myles [Brennan] is going to be a top 247 guy, which is steady 4-star territory. Among the tens of thousands of high school football players out there, if you're ranked in the top 250 you're pretty elite. That's what Myles is in now. Like you said he had Cal and Oklahoma State, and he put up gaudy numbers at St. Stanislaus, but not many big schools had offered him yet. He wasn't really touted by the recruiting services, but when you go out to LA to the "Elite 11 Finals" and do well. Get invited to 'The Opening' and do well again, your name get's put out on the forefront. Everybody goes out and watches your film again. They got the chance to watch him out in LA and Oregon, so he's moving up."
Two players with connections to Louisiana garnered 5-stars in 247 sports top 300. Linebacker Dylan Moses who used to prep at U-High, and now at IMG Academy in Florida and wide receiver Devonta Smith out of Amite.