In the recruiting world, landing a five-star player is enough to draw a loud cheer from any fanbase. The best of the best, five-star players typically project as eventual first-round picks and the kinds of players who can come in and have an immediate impact on a program.
Even for those programs who are used to hauling five-star players, it’s an event. The last three freshman-driven teams to win national titles? 2003 Syracuse, 2012 Kentucky and 2015 Duke. Syracuse was led by Carmelo Anthony, a five-star talent. And both Kentucky and Duke had both a first-team consensus All-American who was a freshman (Anthony Davis, Jahlil Okafor) and had starting lineups comprised of three freshmen, all of whom were five-star players.
But not all five-stars are created equal. In some cases, teams thinking they were bringing in immediate impact players are still waiting, and may have to wait for another season to see it. Still others saw their recruiting coups struggle through injuries or inconsistency (or both). Two five-star players in this class never suited up in college, instead electing to head overseas to play professionally in their pre-draft years. And still others gave teams exactly what they were seeking: A playmaker capable of carrying the load early in their careers.
The 2019 class is considered a down one by typical standards, and particularly when compared to a significantly more loaded 2020 crop. It produced just one player to pick up a vote for an All-American team, and there wasn’t a Zion Williamson-type to emerge from the bunch. But that’s not say things were all bad. The 2019 class had some real stars in it, at least at the college level, while a few others appear destined for stardom as their collegiate careers continue on.
So how did each of the five-star players from the class of 2019 fare?