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Perception or Reality?

I'm thinking about how this recruiting class has been received and how much of that depends on seemingly arbitrary decisions made by the recruiting sites.

Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

Many people on this site and others have argued that Georgia Tech’s 2013 recruiting class is the worst since 2008. Most of them point to the lack of four-star players, the loss of several players in the last two weeks before signing day, and/or the low average star ranking of 2.71 (according to Rivals). For reference, Paul Johnson’s 2008 class had an average star ranking of 2.65, while 2007 had an average of 3.30. The 2010 class had an average star ranking of 3.17, but many of the four-star players that really brought up that average haven’t contributed much.

So what’s my point? My point is that using the average star rankings can skew our perception of a recruiting class. Looking at this year’s class, there are two players who are ranked at three stars who could have been justifiably listed at four stars: Shamire Devine and Travis Custis. I’m not going to argue about why those guys finished at three stars, but both were worthy of four. We also had a two star guy (Paul Davis) that some thought should have received a third star. Let’s also keep in mind that we’re also the frontrunner for four-star recruit Corn Elder.

So what what would be be saying if Devine and Custis would have received four stars? What about if Paul Davis would have also received three stars? What about if we get Corn Elder? I’m looking at the exact same class---same players---but with different rankings by the recruiting sites.

Current: 2.71

Current with 4-star Devine and Custis: 2.86

Add to that, 3-star Paul Davis: 2.93

Add to that, 4-star Corn Elder: 3.00

Current with Elder: 2.80

That’s a pretty significant spread for the same class. We’re talking the second worst in the CPJ era to tied for second best (with last year). What would be the perception if the class had an average ranking of 3.00? People are acting like we aren’t fielding a competitive team, and are using this class’s star ranking as "proof" that we’re headed in the wrong direction. My question is, if the same players had been ranked differently by the recruiting sites, would the perception be different?