Much hype and commotion is caused by schools' recruiting classes in this day and age, and the noise is only increasing.
As a Missouri fan last year, the response to the school's first five-star signing was unreal. Fans acted like we had won the National Title, and by spring ball, even the most clueless girl knew who Blaine Gabbert was.
But how big of a deal is the star system? How accurately does it predict superstars?
On the heels of Michael Keck quitting the team on Wednesday, the Missouri football program is consistently proving that Rivals.com ratings mean less and less. Keck was the top signee in the 2007 class for Mizzou and probably the most hyped signing since Chase Patton.
Keck had star written all over him, but injuries and position changes slowed him down. After battling with true freshman Jacquies Smith (a mere three-star prospect from Texas) for a spot on the two-deep, Keck called it quits.
A close look at the high-octane Missouri offense reveals many stars that were barely given a college scholarship out of high school, while the defense, which could send as many as five players to the NFL in 2009, is loaded with kids that nobody wanted.
Daniel is a three-star guy who basically missed out on a fourth star because he chose Missouri over the Texas Longhorns, who offered late. Daniel is one of the few guys that was heralded coming out of high school, but he was definitely not pegged as the star he has become.
Pass Catching Corps
This Tiger wide receiver group is filled with players that nobody had heard of upon their arrival in Columbia. Jared Perry was a three-star guy out of Texas but made an immediate impact as a true freshman. All-American Chase Coffman was a three-star guy as well, and he could be a first-rounder next summer.
The biggest success story is Tommy Saunders. He's a former walk-on who is an invaluable possession guy as a senior. He caught two TDs in the season opener against Illinois.
True freshman Jerrell Jackson looks to continue the trend. He'll probably get significant playing time against SEMO this week, and he will certainly have an impact with the Tigers offense before the season is over.
NFL Potentials on Defense
Stryker Sulak, Sean Weatherspoon, Carl Gettis, and William Moore all have a chance to play at the next level, and EVERY one of them was a two-star prospect out of high school. Gettis and Moore were also both brought in on the offensive side of the ball.
Granted, there are some stars on the Tigers that were heralded coming out of high school. Jeremy Maclin and Derrick Washington were both four-star guys out of Missouri high schools. But for every Maclin there is a Keck, or a Jerrill Humphrey, who doesn't ever even play for the Tigers.