IMO 75% of the ranked Top players playing on the Top D1 programs are legit and 25% are a function of making lists through politics, High School attended, coaches doing favors for players and other coaches, club team name only, legacy name, etc.
I would guess that the same ratio applies to these players having excellent college careers versus so-so careers (75% great/25% so-so). So many kids on these lists quickly find out that everybody on a Top 20 team can play, are athletic and they can't hide behind anything or get phony PR. As freshmen, they come in highly anticipated and ranked because of these lists only to find out at practice and in games that they are average.
Most ongoing successful college coaches in Top 20 recruit off of intuition, experience, need and team philosophy, not just lists. This is why they have sustained success and Top D1 ranking, if they recruited off of the Top player beauty pageants exclusively they will fail. I have seen this through many many years of observation.
What "lists" are you referring to? Who are you referring to when you say "ranked top players"?
IMHO and I have been following pretty closely since the HS graduating Class of 2014 the "Inside Lacrosse Young Gun Senior Top 30 Ranking (Now Top 50) and the Under Armour Senior All-Americans are legit lists.
"So many kids on these lists quickly find out that everybody on a Top 20 team can play, are athletic and they can't hide behind anything or get phony PR. As freshmen, they come in highly anticipated and ranked because of these lists only to find out at practice and in games that they are average."
First of all, there are not "so many kids on the list", they originally ranked only 30 players. You state that "so many" find out that they are "average". Do you really think that a player named to the IL Top 30 List is "Average"? C'mon man... The player might be "Average" at Maryland, Carolina or BC but that same player would most likely be a standout at Marist, Cornell or BU.
As for the statement:
"Most ongoing successful college coaches in Top 20 recruit off of intuition, experience, need and team philosophy, not just lists."
I do not believe that any of the most successful coaches recruit off of lists. However, I do believe that for the most part, people who know what they are looking at will identify many of the same players as being the "top talent".
I am not sure about your 75 / 25 assumption or how you define "great" or "so so" but IMHO you are trying to say that 25% of the players listed are only on the list due to something other than talent. In addition, you think that 25% are "average" players. I guess that you are implying that many players who are not recognized on the "Top Player Rankings" and who play for programs not traditionally in the Top 20 are actually better than the players that are listed on "the lists" and are playing for the Top Programs.
I believe the reality to be far different from your opinion.
Looking at the HS graduating class of 2015 it looks like more than 90% (27 or 28) of the "IL Top 30 Young Gun Seniors" had very good college careers. For the most part, the "ranked" players went to the "Traditional Top 20" programs and they do very well.
The reality is that there are not a lot of "non ranked" players who go to "non traditional top 20" programs that are better than a lot of players at the top programs. For example.... There are not many players at New Hampshire that are stronger than the players at Northwestern. Just the way it is...