Why recruiting ratings matter for Washington football

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 20: Head coach Chris Petersen of the Washington Huskies looks on during the game against the Colorado Buffaloes at Husky Stadium on October 20, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 20: Head coach Chris Petersen of the Washington Huskies looks on during the game against the Colorado Buffaloes at Husky Stadium on October 20, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

Recently, a lot of recruit ratings have come out and stirred up a lot of controversy between Washington football fans on Twitter… so how much do those ratings actually matter?

There’s no way of answering that question, because especially when it comes to the Washington football coaching staff, the ratings do and don’t matter. After some of the latest commits, some Husky fans have been on Twitter and Facebook saying things along the lines of, “A 3-star for Washington is a 5-star anywhere else!” well… yes and no.

I’m not trying to say that Chris Petersen and his staff are doing a bad job, look at what they’ve done with underrecruited guys like Sidney Jones, Kaleb McGary, Drew Sample, Will Dissly, well you see where I’m going with this. They’re going to continue to get guys like that on the recruiting trail, and that’s great, but, why not expect more from them on the recruiting trail? Why should we expect them to settle for that kind of player, when they can have a healthy mix of both?

Before you say it, I understand they aren’t going to get everyone. And also, if Washington identifies you as someone who can play, given their track record, they absolutely can. It’s never disappointing to land a recruit, it’s a life changing experience for that kid, and what they’ve worked their whole life to achieve.

But let’s talk about ratings. Let’s start with the offensive line class this year, which will be the highest rated offensive line class the Huskies have ever signed. After getting two top-100 players in Myles Murao and Roger Rosengarten, Scott Huff has proven he can get the type of players the Huskies need to compete at the national level. We don’t need to talk about how suspicously after making the Final 5 at The Opening, dominating the number one player in the country in 2020, then committing to Washington, Murao somehow slid 20 spots (we’ll do that later). But, even that ties into the next point.

Fans should want the Huskies to be the best at everything, and that includes the recruiting trail and rankings. Murao was the top offensive lineman within UW’s reach, they also locked up the top wide receiver on the west coast in Jalen McMillan. Are they going to get the best player at every position every single season? Absolutely not, but should they at least try? Absolutely. Because as I said above, look at what the coaches did with those lower rated two and three star guys. What do you think Huff can do with Murao now? Or if they can get their hands on Sav’ell Smalls or JT Tuimoloau? Those are already guys with high first-round potential, and add in an elite coaching staff and the sky’s the limit.

Why it matters to kids

These kids are working their entire lives to get to where they are, and sure it’ll put a chip on the kid’s shoulder to see them ranked 100 spots lower in one recruit ranking compared to the other, but with a bias in some of the ratings (see ESPN’s first installment of their Junior 300 to see how much of a joke some ratings are), these kids deserve to be judged fairly. They know where they’re ranked, you see how many stars they have in every kid’s Twitter bio now.

But after watching three players on that ESPN list ranked much lower by them than in the 247 rankings, and having that ESPN list destroy their rank in the composite, I have to say something. First, it is a CRIME that Tuimoloau is ranked 50th by the ESPN “scouts.” I watched JTT play middle linebacker, rush the passer, and dominate as a tight end against some of the top players in the country during 7on7s. He can play multiple positions on the field as well, and dominates them at a level you never see on the high school level.

Then, we can talk about Sam Huard, who is ranked 40th in the country by ESPN. This is just disrespectful, a lot of the throws that kid makes right now are NFL level throws. He might be the best quarterback in the country right now period, not just the best in the 2021 class. This goes for Emeka Egbuka as well, who is D1 ready right now at both wide receiver and cornerback.

The biggest reason these rankings should matter to you as a fan is because they help earn Washington respect. If the Huskies can manage to grab all the in-state talent from the 2021 class, and hit on their top targets out of state, there’s a chance they can end up with the number one recruiting class IN THE COUNTRY. Don’t tell me you don’t care about that. If you want the best for the Washington football team, you should want the best in every aspect, and recruiting is one of those aspects.