Re-Ranking the Class of 2016

Saturday, June 6th, 2020

Bruce Brown 2016

In recent weeks, we’ve gone back to “re-rank” the classes of 2017 and 2018. The exercises have proven to be both popular among our readers and useful internally as it helps to pinpoint commonalities among players that were either over or under-rated.

The vast majority of the time, rankings tend to reflect a prospect’s market value in an effort to illuminate the viewpoint of college coaches. Prospects with wide-ranging high-major recruitment are ahead of prospects with mid-major recruitment and so on.

The fixation on level remains one of the most common mistakes prospects can make during the recruiting process. The vast majority of players want to go to the highest levels possible and yet years later when we re-examine these rankings, the emerging pattern makes it very clear that those who value fit over level, not only end up having the best career but put themselves in position to keep playing after college.

The class of 2016 is a classic example of that. On the surface the group was known for its top four players – Wenyen Gabriel, Omari Spellman, Mustapha Heron, and Bruce Brown. But beyond that, it was littered with prospects who thrived at mid-major levels and in the process out-performed others who went to the high-major levels.

As a result, things look much different when we re-rank that group.

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