A: Underreported offers is the biggest problem facing offer-based ranking right now … fortunately, it is a problem that’s getting smaller all the time. The method by which offers are reported currently is haphazard, requiring players, their coaches, or their parents to make recruiting services aware of every offer they have. Aside from pride, there hasn’t been much incentive for recruits to report them. Until offer-based ranking came along, the reported offers haven’t been used for much. RankByOffers has already had a positive impact in this area. Many players, especially in later classes, are now reporting all of their offers so they can get full credit in the offer-based rankings. Dozens of recruits, their parents, and their coaches have contacted RankByOffers about reporting offers.
The ideal situation would be for the NCAA to host a clearing house for offers. Hopefully they’ll realize one day that such a clearing house would solve several of the problems they face. Until then, the increasing influence of offer-based ranking will help to improve the quality of the offer data being reported.
A: Very few confirmed cases exist in which a recruit has claimed offers that he didn’t have. Although colleges can’t confirm or deny whether they’ve made an offer to a particular recruit, lying about having an offer would likely ruin a recruit’s chances of actually receiving an offer from the school. It seems counterintuitive that recruits would be willing to risk the possibility of receiving an offer for such little benefit. It may happen occasionally, but it’s probably not a factor in the overall scheme of offer-based ranking.
A: The short answer is, “yes, but not as much as one would assume.” It is true that colleges are less likely to extend offers to recruits that are already committed to another school. The severity of impact depends upon when in the recruiting process the recruit has committed, and to which school. Elite players receive most of their offers more than a year before their signing day. Very few players have committed by that time. 80% 0f college offers are extended more than six months prior to signing day for all players.
Decommitments are commonplace, and college programs are well aware of this. Most schools will continue to offer committed players … especially prestigious programs. A commitment to a less prestigious school doesn’t act as much of a deterrent to future offers. Unless a commit definitively shuts down his recruitment, other colleges will continue to recruit and offer him. Although a few recruits are penalized severely for committing early, the net effect on the ranking system is negligible.
A: It is true that colleges make offers to recruits which the recruit can’t accept immediately. Sometimes, the recruit is a contingency in the event that a more desirable recruit chooses to commit to a different school. Obviously, a commitable offer is better than an uncommitable offer, so it stands to reason that it should be worth more points in the offer-based ranking system. The problem is that, in most cases, no one but the coaches and the players know which offers are committable.
Even though we can’t account for uncommitable offers in the system, we can say that the net impact to the offer-based rankings is minor. The likelihood that an individual recruit has uncommitable offers is highly correlated with where they are in the offer-based rankings. Elite recruits at the top of the rankings aren’t likely to have uncommitable offers. Conversely, many of the offers held by recruits at the bottom of the rankings are likely to be uncommitable. Because of this high correlation, recruits are equally likely to have uncommitable offers as those recruits with which they are in closest competition … those in the same area of the rankings.
A: It is true that the number of offers a recruit receives is correlated, to some degree, with the position they play. In 2013, analysis was done to determine how offers are related to position. The analysis showed that defensive backs and defensive ends receive about eight percent more offers than the average recruit. Conversely, quarterbacks receive about twenty percent fewer offers, and kickers receive about seventy percent fewer offers. The difference in offers for all other positions was found to be statistically insignificant.
In many cases, the stated position of a recruit is not the position they will end up playing in college. College coaches often re-evaluate players once they enter their program, and assign them a new position. Recruits who play specialist positions, however, like quarterback and kicker, are not usually well suited to play other positions. Recruits who play defensive back and defensive end generally do have characteristics that make them a good fit for positions other than their stated position. Perhaps the variance in offers by position is reflective of this flexibility, or lack thereof.
It would be possible to apply an adjustment to the ratings based upon position. Such and adjustment, however, would detract from the principle that a player’s rating represents a quantified equivalent of their offer set. In addition, the variance in offers may have more to do with the athleticism and physical attributes of the recruit, rather than the position, in which case the adjustment is unwarranted.
A: The short answer is that, even though it is flawed, offer-based ranking has several significant advantages over other existing methods.
The offer-based ranking technique is not perfect. There will never be a perfect method for rating and ranking high school athletes. Evaluating recruits is highly subjective. Each evaluator applies a different set of criteria. RankByOffers at least attempts to objectively quantify ratings based upon the perceptions of the people who are most qualified to predict success at the collegiate level … college coaches.
Following are the major advantages that RankByOffers has over the current standard for rating and ranking high school athletes … those produced by recruiting services:
- More objective, with less opportunity for bias
- Greater number of reviewers
- Greater number of athletes are evaluated
- College coaches are more qualified to evaluate potential for college success
- College coaches have “skin in the game”
- Rankings can be made earlier in the recruiting process