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
Batten has long-covered prep
football recruiting in addition to his other coverage requirements at
the Observer and has contributed regularly to Bonesville.net.
He primarily authors East Carolina-related recruiting stories and
analyses for the site.
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
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
The Magazine to chew on and get you thinking about this
topic all over again.