June 4, 2014

Five-Star Challenge by the numbers

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There is good reason to track the happenings at this weekend's Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge Presented by Under Armour, and not just because there are a record 18 five-star players competing. Based on the first two years of the event, there is a very good chance you will see these same players in major college stadiums very soon. Of the 158 rising juniors who competed in the first two Rivals100 Five-Star Challenges, 155 signed with Power 5 schools the following February, including all 78 from last year's Chicago event. That is 98 percent over two years, and that number should hold steady this year.

Forty of the players from this year's Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge roster have verbally committed, which is up from last year (24), and down from the first year of the event (48). Alabama has nine commitments, and 22 of the 40 have pledged to SEC schools.

Why so many SEC commitments early on? Part of it is the makeup of this year's roster, which slants heavily toward the South. Georgia (20 players) and Florida (19) are the two states most represented, with California third (12) and Texas fourth (10). California had the most players in both 2012 and 2013 when the events were held in Atlanta and Chicago.

The other part of the equation is simply the fact that the SEC has signed the most Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge participants both years. In 2012, 25 of the 77 signees went to the SEC, with the Pac-12 checking in with 20. In 2013, that number rose to 28 of 78, with the Pac-12 a distant second at 14.

As far as the five-star power, this weekend's Baltimore event will feature 11 on the defensive side of the ball (including six DBs) and seven on offense. In both 2012 and 2013, there were 12 five-stars in attendance at each event.

Here is a look at some of the numbers heading into this weekend's event:

Byron Cowart is one of 18 five-stars set to compete in Baltimore.
2014 2013 2012
Players invited 109 104 100
Five-Star prospects 18 12 12
Players entering their senior year 83 78 80
Players who signed with Power 5 schools n/a 78** 77***
Players who signed with SEC schools n/a 28 24
Committed players entering event 40* 24 48
States represented on roster 24 25 26
Players from Georgia 20 5 2
Players from Florida 19 13 9
Players from California 12 17 20
Players from Texas 10 10 15
Underclassmen 26 26 20
* - Twenty-two players are committed to SEC schools, with nine committed to Alabama.
** - LSU signed seven, Ohio State signed six, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Alabama signed five.
*** - USC signed seven, UCLA signed six and Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan and Texas A&M signed five.

Bill Trocchi is an editor for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.


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