HOW MANY STARS? Get out the white Escalade and sign that kid, because Rivals says he's awesome. No, I haven't seen tape on him. But STARS STARS STARS!!! Sign 'em, boys!
"I used to go in the coaches' offices, and sometimes they would literally have Rivals.com up on their screen," said Matt Shodell, who covers UM and its recruiting for CaneSport.com. "I won't name the coaches, but they would be writing names down on pieces of paper. I don't know how much film they were looking at."
Holy jumping hellsocks. The malaise of the Coker era may be somewhat more clearly outlined now with this, since though we used to joke about [NAME REDACTED] doing this at Florida, we had no idea someone would be ballsy-stupid enough to do what you do in video games: hunt for stars and start pressing the 'A' button until something happened. This clearly unearths the problem with Larry Coker: he was playing the game on Heisman level, and needed to adjust the difficulty. His kingodom for a thorough understanding of the options menu.
Also worth questioning is the general inaccuracy of recruiting rankings as a whole: if Miami really did just point and click based on star ratings, their track record of success swallowing Rivals.com's ratings whole is not a great one. Coker's teams went 19-19 following their loss to Ohio State in the 2002 National Title game, and ended up with declining draft numbers, an inability to compete consistently in the ACC, and the eventual firing of Coker in 2006.
It needs to be said that a lot more goes into a team than recruiting. Contrary to what an NFL scout will tell you, putting a college team on the field takes more than an ability to hypnotize athletically gifted teenagers into coming to your campus. (Thus proving again that NFL scouts are wrong about everything forever.) Coker's staff could have struggled to develop that talent, particularly on offense, where Miami seemed unwilling to protect a quarterback at all for the better part of four years (see: Kyle Wright, who was hit 22 times in the 2004 Miami/Florida State game alone.)
The iffy results from just taking Rivals' advice alone, though, shows how important team fit actually is to putting a player in the right spot. Maybe Tennessee wasn't insane to tell Tajh Boyd to go elsewhere, though we doubt it, because we're pretty sure Lane Kiffin's just making this shit up as he goes got it all going according to plan, we mean. Yes. All according to plan.