Can this backup/restore scenario work?

I’d like to back up some (73) virtual servers on a CentOS 5 box and restore to a CentOS 7 box… but I want to rsync the (some quite large) home directories, rather than include them in the backup.

Is there a combination of backup and restore options that will do this, including creating passwd and group entries with the original IDs, databases, etc., but not the directories? Should I have the transferred directories in place, or sync them after? Should I include the home directories but exclude *?