I've done an anecdotal comparative study to analyze the hype. I compare him to a smaller more productive 3 star wide out and then to a more productive 5 star of similar height and weight. In the spirit of fairness, I must admit that I am comparing two players that are now enrolled at FSU to a recruit entering his Senior Season at Tampa Catholic.
In order to quantify the hype, I'm going to use what I have discerned through piecemeal observations on Rivals' boards as to how they ranks players. From what I have been able to gather evaluators take into account the following things*:
1.) Physical Tangibles
a.) Height, Weight, Frame or Body Type
e.) Football IQ
2.) On Field Production:
b.) Level of Competition
c.) System/Scheme Incorporated at the Player's School
3.) All-Star Game/Camp Performances
a.) All Star Games
b.) Rivals Camp Circuit*
c.) Regional Camps
d.) Team Camps
* This scale is weighted from top to bottom.
*One would have to assume that Rivals catches wind of how a player performs at the Opening even though they cannot attend due to sponsorship conflicts.
I.) Nyqwan Murray
At 5'11 Murray has average height for a P5 wide receiver. He was also a bit on the skinny side in HS weighing in around a buck sixty-five. His HUDL page also reports that he runs a 4.55. He isn't blowing anyone away when he steps off the bus, but he has the physical tools to make an impact in college. He certainly did so in HS.
During Murray's junior season he produced 88 catches for 1,523 yards and19 touch downs.http://floridahsfootball.com/2014/07/21/2014-preview-guide-central-florida-preseason-elite-team/
He went on to have a great Senior season putting up 75/1,355/16.
Not a bad career's worth of work at Oak Ridge HS which is an 8A public school. He compiled his stats against the state's largest schools and some of its top competition. He had a few major offers (i.e., South Carolina, Duke, but his overall list was somewhat underwhelming heading into his Senior year. So when FSU offered before the start of his Senior season he committed on the spot and shutdown his recruitment.
His lack of participation at any big time camps or All-Star games hurt him. He was also only 164 pounds in HS. Murray finished with a 5.6 overall rating by Rivals, not even catching a wiff of a fourth star.
From what I have been told, Murray has looked great so far at FSU and may actually avoid a redshirt and get some burn this season. He also wears the #80.
II.) George Campbell
Here we have the quintessential five star wide receiver. Coming out of HS he had ideal height at 6'3" and his 184 pound frame has the capability of adding another 10 pounds of muscle through conditioning. He was one of the fastest players in the state of Florida through out High School. His offer sheet was thicker than a Phil Steele preview. The only hiccup in his HS career occurred on the camp circuit leading into his Senior season. He dropped a few passes and showed some inconsistency which caused him to momentarily lose his 5th star. He worked hard on his concentration after that and earned back his 5 star status after a great senior season and excelling on the camp circuit.
He put up the following numbers at 7A East Lake HS.
Sophomore 2012: 30/766/5
Junior 2013: 31/769/7
Senior 2014: 62/880/12
Campbell's ranking as a Rivals 5 star and #26 overall recruit in the nation makes more sense according to the Rivals rubric above than Murray's 5.6 rating. But does it make more sense than NCM's #5 overall rating in the country at this point?
III.) Nate Craig-Myers
Nate Craig-Myers jumped on the scene as an 8th grader at the Sling and Shoot camp at USF. Since then he has been oft injured but shown flashes that he has the ability to take over games when healthy. He stands 6'2" and carries a solid 205 pounds on that frame. Unfortunately, his frame is usually standing next to a coach on the sideline with the assistance of a kickstand.
Due to his injury history all we have to go on production wise are flashes of brilliance in small sample sizes against 3A competition.
As a freshman in 2012 he posted: 18/297/7 in 12 games.
As a sophomore In 2013 he caught: 19/203/5 and rushed for 16/117/2 in 9 games.
Last year he had one two yard carry before going down for the year with an injury.
So far this cycle he has looked disinterested at various camps. At the Rivals 5 star challenge he was inconsistent at best but did score a few touchdowns late in the 7on7 portion. At the Opening I actually forgot he was there. He made very little noise while other receivers like Freddie Swain, Kyle Davis, and Binjemin Victor blew over, through, and around some of the best defensive players in the country.
This is not exactly a scientific study to say the least. I do however have a prestigious dual Bachelor's in Sociology and Psychology. If I learned anything from my hundred grand worth of fiscally worthless undergrad studies it's that when analyzing data you want to control for fluke occurrences and identify patterns and trends. Trends are easy to spot in NCM's case:
1.) He has not been able to stay on the field.
2.) He doesn't seem to give his best efforts in camp settings.
I spoke with someone who has covered HS recruiting for over 15 years. He told me he cannot remember a HS player with an injury bug to this degree. Regardless of all these negative trends and patterns, Nate somehow sits at the #11 overall spot in the country according to Rivals.
If my analysis is accurate, I expect a decline in Nate Craig Myers' ranking if the current trends continue. The only plausible explanation I can fathom for his #11 overall ranking is that the top weighted category dominated the evaluators' perception. His production in a 3A school is very weak compared to Murray's and Campbell's.
I can see how Murray's ranking as a 3 star was justified once applying the rubric. He has average size on a national scale at the receiver position. He scored very well in regard to the second variable with great production against quality competition. The third variable was not applicable to him. Based on the fact that he was only elite with regard to one variable I believe is ranking can be justified.
Campbell's ranking is also justifiable based on the rubric. He has Elite height and speed. He also has good weight and frame. During his career as an underclassman he was more productive than Myer's. His hands improved over his senior season as he put together a great year number wise. He also shined during the camp circuit that year which earned him back his fifth star.
When I throw Nate Craig-Myers into the rubric and look at his ranking I'm left scratching my head. While he has the Elite size Rivals wants in a five star as well as very good if not great speed, he has shown that he lacks the durability to put any of it to use. His numbers don't blow anyone away either. His camp circuit performances to date have been reminiscent of a trust fund baby's participation in an undergrad group project. So why is he the fifth ranked prospect in all of the home of the free and the land of the brave? Hype. Pure unadulterated hype based on the fact that he is only 17 years old and is built like Terrell Owens.
To be fair to Nate, he still has his entire Senior season and another round of camps to show he is the real deal. I also said that this isn't the most scientific of studies and trying to pin down how human beings will behave in the future is on par with agreeing with your girlfriend and/or wife on where to go for dinner. He will have to show the evaluators he deserves his 5th star in the same fashion that Campbell did during his senior year.
What can be argued with force at present however, is that based on the rubric above, Nate Craig-Myers is one of the most overrated players in the country.