When Internet recruiting services blew up at the start of the 21st century, so did the star-rating system. The standard each big recruiting service abides by is the most stars a recruit can have is five, which is only given to the best of the best.
The recently updated 2015 247Sports composite rankings features 37 5-star prospects. While it's early and the rankings are fluid, there are several 4-star recruits who have a great chance to earn a fifth star.
A big defensive end from Hawaii has a chance to rise if he shows well at some offseason camps, while a quarterback headed to Notre Dame has the tools of a 5-star passer. Plus, a safety is a little better than many people think right now.
At 6'3.5" and 195 pounds, Blake Barnett has impressive physical tools. He shows quick feet and great mobility, which allow him to elude rushers in the pocket and make plays with his legs.
The California native has great arm strength to fire the football downfield, but he's also accurate in the short and intermediate passing game. Barnett is a 4-star prospect right now because he needs to smoothen out and polish his mechanics.
If he shows better in that category during spring and summer camps, it would not be shocking if the Notre Dame commit started his senior season as a 5-star prospect.
A 4-star athlete from Ohio, Eric Glover-Williams has exceptional agility, speed and quickness on the field. The Ohio State pledge is listed as a cornerback, but he can excel at several other positions.
Glover-Williams, who is 5'11" and 165 pounds, is explosive when closing the ball from the secondary, but he can also blow by defenders as a running back or receiver.
He needs to refine his technique at cornerback and get more reps there, but his natural athleticism and acceleration lead one to believe he's worthy of an extra star.
At 6'2" and 181 pounds, along with having solid instincts and awareness, 4-star safety Deionte Thompson resembles a young Ha Ha Clinton-Dix on the field.
What makes that comparison even more interesting is that Thompson is committed to Alabama, where Clinton-Dix played. Thompson is a Texas native who has the ability to sit over a slot receiver in man coverage, while also being able to fill alleys from the third level.
He also possesses above-average ball skills and speed. He deserves to be considered a 5-star prospect.
Canton Kaumatule is listed a defensive end, but the 4-star prospect from Hawaii can also play defensive tackle. He could fit best as a defensive end in a 3-4 scheme, as he is 6'6.5" and 275 pounds.
Kaumatule has good quickness at the snap but even better strength at the point of attack. He's disruptive on the edge, even showing the short-area quickness to chase running backs from the backside.
An extra star awaits Kaumatule if he shows improved technique and hand usage before next February.
Tarvarus McFadden is a 4-star defensive back who has great turn-and-run ability, plus he flashes the hands of a receiver. He's not afraid to stick his nose in the running game and plays with a certain toughness.
He can stick with receivers in both man and zone coverage due to having great short-area quickness. Oh, it should also be noted that the Florida native does all this at 6'3" and 198 pounds.
Why he's not a 5-star prospect already is a bit confusing.
Woody Wommack of Rivals.com (subscription required) had this to say about McFadden on Jan. 19:
At 6-foot-3, big corners like McFadden are a hot commodity on the recruiting trail nowadays.
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.