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2009 Bonesville The Magazine

Friday, August 7, 2009
By Ron Cherubini
 Editor of Bonesville The Magazine


Does the Star System Really
Produce Star Players?

Love them or hate them, ratings groups are
a part of the college football dialogue

By Ron Cherubini
All rights reserved.

Are you a daily Rivals or Scout junky? Do you plunk down a monthly fee to find out any and every little shred of potential recruiting news for East Carolina just a little bit sooner than the rest of the world?

Or do you loathe those services? Refuse to pay a dime for news that is speculative at best and downright exploitation at worst?

Do you hate it, but also check in every day looking to get a free tidbit here or there?

Regardless of the camp in which you fall, the recruit ranking companies are likely here to stay and will continue to have – rightly or wrongly – a measure of influence on the college football landscape.

In this year’s edition of Bonesville The Magazine, Sammy Batten of The Fayetteville Observer offers a glimpse into the process employed by these companies to derive those famous/notorious stars and what their significance and possible impacts might be on a program like East Carolina’s.


Batten has long-covered prep football recruiting in addition to his other coverage requirements at the Observer and has contributed regularly to He primarily authors East Carolina-related recruiting stories and analyses for the site.

In his article for Bonesville The Magazine, Batten gets the word on philosophies, the end goal, and the inner workings of these star-systems promulgators.

Love or hate the star czars, Batten’s piece will give you a taste of what their organizations are all about and why so many fans follow them.

Hear from the higher ups at Rivals and SuperPrep about their philosophies and what they see perceive their own product. It is revealing, whichever side you fall on.

ECU’s program, which has never fared well in recruiting rankings over the years, is built on a needs-versus-hype mentality with many of its recruits being marginally rated by these firms, if rated at all. For instance, defensive end C.J. Wilson, one of the best in all of football, was a 2-star guy. Van Eskridge, another one of the best at his position, was a 2-star recruit. And, wide receiver Jamar Bryant was a 4-star guy – that is until he changed his mind and became a Pirate, then he inexplicably became a 3-star pledge.

One gets the sense that Coach Skip Holtz prefers the old fashion way – to evaluate the talent relative to the program needs. But even then, it is evident that the coach is at least aware of the sites, as he often jokes about his players not having all the stars that others have and that he and his staff “don’t go chasing Internet stars.” His non-star based recruiting has delivered real results with a winning trend that is tangible, not speculative. I suppose recruiting gurus would say that ECU does much more with less than other schools in the same or better “star” situation.

Personally, I have always fallen into the camp that hates the rankings, yet I check in to stoke that distaste. You can pick up more extensively on my feelings about this topic in an article I penned several years ago.

Whatever camp into which you fall, there is plenty in Batten’s piece in Bonesville The Magazine to chew on and get you thinking about this topic all over again.

Send an e-mail to Ron Cherubini.

Dig into Ron Cherubini's archives.

08/07/2009 07:19:10 AM


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