During signing day, and in the lead-up to it, you're going to hear plenty about star ratings and rankings. That's fine, and I use them myself as a reference point. But you need to remember that it's only that: A reference point, and the experts who make them will be among the first to say it's not a science.
As an example, we have been counting down Georgia's top 10 recruits of the past decade (since the 2003 class), ranked in order of performance as a Bulldog, and detailing how they rated and ranked at the time. We're almost at the end of our list:
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And now we bring you No. 2 - who actually wasn't a Georgia recruit at first:
OLB JARVIS JONES
2009 signing class
High School: Carver
Star rating: A consensus four-star rating.
Rankings: No. 49 overall in both the 247composite rankings, No. 72 nationally in the Rivals rankings.
Recruiting accolades: Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, USA Today all-USA second team.
Georgia career:Jones picked Southern California out of high school, and spent his first season there. But after the sanctions came down, and amid concerns he wouldn't be cleared by USC trainers because of a neck injury, Jones came home. There are no rankings that include transfers, but given that he only played sparingly in his one year at USC, he probably wouldn't have risen too high in the rankings if he were included in the 2010 signing class. After sitting out his first season at Georgia, per NCAA transfer rules, Jones had an immediate impact: He was a consensus first-team All-American in each season at Georgia, and finished ninth in the Heisman Trophy voting after the 2012 season. Jones also broke David Pollack's single-season sack record. You could make a good case for Jones being at the top of this list, and I gave that a lot of thought. But Jones got edged out because his career, though spectacular, only lasted two seasons.
And for the sake of comparison, we also reviewed the recruiting rankings of the past 10 years, and came up with the top 10-ranked players who signed with Georgia, according to how they were ranked at the time.
No. 10: Alec Ogletree, rated No. 19 in the nation overall in the 2010 signing class, according to the 247composite.
No. 9: Richard Samuel, rated No. 18 in the nation overall in the 2008 signing class.
No. 8: John Theus, rated No. 16 in the nation overall in the 2012 signing class, and No. 23 in Rivals.
No. 7: Kregg Lumpkin, rated No. 15 in the nation overall in the 2003 signing class, and No. 19 in Rivals.
No. 6: Keith Marshall, rated No. 12 in the nation overall in the 2012 signing class, and No. 48 overall in Rivals.
No. 5: Paul Oliver, rated No. 12 in the nation overall in the 2003 signing class, and No. 9 overall in Rivals.
No. 4: A.J. Green, rated No. 7 in the nation overall in the 2008 signing class, and No. 9 overall in Rivals.
No. 3: Isaiah Crowell, rated 6 in the nation overall in the 2011 signing class, and No. 23 overall in Rivals.
And No. 2 was ...:
2004 signing class.
No. 6 overall in 247composite rankings, and No. 7 overall in Rivals.