Comparing the big four FB recruit lists

It can be confusing to compare all of the various recruiting lists produced by the four major national services.

It can be confusing to compare the lists produced by the four major national services.

Each of the nation’s four major college football recruiting web sites is currently ranking a different player as the best prospect in California. We went through the Scout 300, ESPN 300, Rivals 250 and the top 300 according to 247 Sports and compare them. Which one likes Northern California the best? Which ones are willing to go out on a limb and pick a player none of the other three ranks as high? Which is the best player each web site missed?

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While we don’t pretend at Cal-Hi Sports to be a recruiting-based web site, at least one of us on staff has been going to games throughout the state for more than 35 years and it’s very interesting each year to go through all of the national web site football recruiting lists and compare them from a California point of view.

The recognized leaders in the business are those from Scout.com, ESPN (our previous employer), Rivals.com and 247 Sports.com (owned by CBS). Despite having no hard feelings with ESPN, we’re still partial to Scout.com because we’ve known one of the main analysts for Scout.com and one of the nation’s best – Greg Biggins – for many years.

In compiling our own preseason player rankings, we look through those four main lists, plus our own all-state files from last season, scan our coaches’ questionnaires and then recall what was seen in a lot of the games themselves.

From a California perspective, here’s a look at each of the big four:

Devin Asiasi has been rising on all of the national recruiting lists since the final games of last season. Photo: Mark Tennis.

Devin Asiasi has been rising on all of the national recruiting lists since the final games of last season. Photo: Mark Tennis.


SCOUT 300
•No. 1 ranked California player is linebacker Caleb Kelly from Clovis West of Fresno. He is No. 7 by ESPN, No. 2 by Rivals and No. 2 by 247.
•There are 38 from California in the top 300 with 25 of those from Southern California and 13 from Northern California (counting CIF Central Section as north).
•There are no California players in the top 300 that were not included among any of the other three lists evaluated.
•Biggest miss among California players: DB Treyjohn Butler (Etiwanda).

ESPN 300
•No. 1 ranked California player is tight end Devin Asiasi from De La Salle of Concord. He is No. 19 by Scout, No. 22 by Rivals and No. 8 by 247.
•There are 33 from California in the top 300 with 24 of those from Southern California and nine from Northern California.
•For choosing players that weren’t included in any of the other three lists, ESPN stands out. It will just remain to be seen whether those picks will end up looking good or looking silly. QB Matt Fink of Glendora (ESPN’s sixth highest ranked player in the state) is not on the Scout 300, Rivals 250 or 247 Sports top 300. Three others standing alone are DE/QB Armani Rogers of Los Angeles Hamilton, offensive lineman Cohl Cabral from Los Osos of Rancho Cucamonga and WR Demetric Felton from Great Oak of Temecula.
•Biggest miss among California players: WR Javon McKinley (Centennial. Corona). Yes, really, we had to double-check. ESPN does not have Javon in its top 300.

RIVALS 250
•No. 1 ranked California player is quarterback-linebacker Mique Juarez from North of Torrance. He is No. 3 by Scout, No. 5 by ESPN and No. 3 by 247.
•There are 38 from California in the top 250 with 27 of those from Southern California and 11 from Northern California.
•The only player in the Rivals 250 who does not appear in the Scout 300, ESPN 300 or 247 Sports top 300 is offensive lineman Alex Abingbulu from Narbonne of Harbor City.
•Biggest miss among California players: DB Jordan Parker (Pittsburg).

247 SPORTS
•No. 1 ranked California player is defensive end Oluwole Betiku from Serra of Gardena. He is No. 2 by Scout, No. 3 by ESPN and No. 9 by Rivals.
•There are 38 from California in the top 300 with 27 of those from Southern California and 11 from Northern California.
•There are no California players in the top 300 that were not included among any of the other three lists evaluated.
•Biggest miss among California players: WR Dylan Crawford (Santa Margarita, Rancho SM).
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Finally, were there any players that none of those four groups chose on any of their top national lists that we would have chosen?

Based on some of the players from our state that we’ve seen several times who were included on at least one of those top lists, we believe the foursome of QB Devon Modster (Tesoro, Las Flores); RB Antoine Custer (De La Salle, Concord); WR/DB Zion Echols (Charter Oak, Covina) & OL Sione Tupou (Grant, Sacramento) all look like they’re stronger prospects and probably should have been chosen.

One good thing about all of the recruiting networks, though, is that they’re constantly changing their rankings. One great outing by one player in front of the right analyst is sometimes all it can take.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports


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4 Comments

  1. Mike
    Posted August 11, 2015 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    No Javon McKinley, Antoine Custer or Jordan Parker isinexcusable.

  2. sb
    Posted August 17, 2015 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Mater Dei’s Curtis Robinson was missing from ESPN 300. He’s consistently rated #3 LB in CA among all others. He should have been Cal Hi list too.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted August 17, 2015 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      He’s high in our player rankings as well. Only list he hasn’t made for us is first team all-state and there’s an entire season to come.

  3. Damon
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    A kid way under the radar and probably the 2nd best running back (to Najee Harris) in the Eastbay is Tamarick Pierce. Kid has it all as a RB – speed, power, vision, patience, and quick feet. His tape is unbelievable….

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