Recruiting is 100% and everything.
Not all kids can get in to Duke or want to attend Clemson.

Finding one who could grow into a player is the quest.
Important colleges like Texas, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Alabama, USC and OHS pick first.

The big change came when schools were limited to 85 scholarships.
The big colleges still get the creme, but many great players are forced to go other places.

A good example is Clemson this year who had just a few scholoraships to offer as most fom last year returned. The 2018 class was ranked low due to numbers and actually may be the best class ever at Clemson.

Often "many star" guys fail and zero star guys succeed. In reality it is the opposite. The team with the best players wins most times.
Coaches are a huge deal. Still, they need players.

Recruiting is the real deal.