Friday February 15th, 2008

Admit it. Some of you are obsessed with stars, and not the ones pictured in Us Weekly who occasionally forget to wear their underpants. No, your galaxy consists of those precious stars handed out by recruiting services such as All year, you hope and pray your team can land enough four- and five-star recruits to push your team's ranking into the top 10.

The rest of us know those team rankings don't mean anything. This isn't an indictment of the rankings by any means; Rivals and are just as accurate at predicting success as most big-money coaches. That's why has picked our first All Two-Star (And Fewer) Team. It features players who barely made a blip on the recruiting radar but wound up becoming stars.

QB Riley Skinner, Jr., Wake Forest (Rivals: 0 stars)

Hopefully, Demon Deacons assistant Tom Elrod got a bonus for finding a gem in Jacksonville. Skinner, who almost committed to I-AA Samford, got Wake's last scholarship in 2005. In 2006, he led the Deacons to an ACC title. In 2007, he was the nation's most accurate passer, completing 72.4 of his throws.

RB P.J. Hill, Jr., Wisconsin (Rivals: 2 stars)

The Badgers took a chance on a lightly-recruited New York back, and Hill rewarded them by winning the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award as a redshirt freshman in 2006, and he gained 1,212 yards and rushed for 14 touchdowns in 2007.

WR Stephen Williams, Jr., Toledo (Rivals: 2 stars)

This speedster from Missouri City, Texas, with a 36-inch vertical jump, drew little interest coming out of high school. He redshirted in 2005 and caught only five passes in 2006. Last season, he caught 73 balls and averaged 16 yards a catch.

WR Tiquan Underwood, Sr., Rutgers (Rivals: 2 stars)

Underwood moved from quarterback to receiver as a senior at Notre Dame (Lawrenceville, N.J.), but an injury in the third game ended his season. With little evidence that Underwood could play receiver, most schools passed. Whoops. In 2007, Underwood caught 65 passes for 1,100 yards.

WR Brennan Marion, Sr., Tulsa (Rivals: 0 stars)

Marion was a relative unknown at DeAnza College in Cupertino, Calif. He transferred to Tulsa prior to the 2007 season and proceeded to break the NCAA record for average yards per catch (31.9). He caught 39 passes for 1,244 yards.

TE Dennis Pitta, Jr., BYU (Rivals: 0 stars)

Pitta graduated from Moorpark (Calif.) High in 2003. He took a grayshirt (meaning you delay your enrollment until the spring) at BYU and played as a freshman in 2004. He returned from a two-year mission to the Dominican Republic in 2007, then caught 59 passes for 813 yards.

OL Mitch Petrus, Sr., Arkansas (Rivals: 0 stars)

Petrus, a former walk-on, played fullback in 2006, blocking for Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. He did the same thing in 2007, but as an offensive guard. In his first season as a starter on the offensive line, Petrus was named second-team All-SEC by conference coaches.

OL Anthony Collins, Sr., Kansas (Rivals: 2 stars)

Collins came to Lawrence as a defensive tackle, but he blossomed as an offensive tackle. Last season, he was named first-team All-Big 12.

OL Alex Mack, Sr., Cal (Rivals: 2 stars)

Cal got the jump on Northwestern and Utah State by offering a scholarship to Mack for the 2005 class. That decision paid off. Mack was ranked the top junior center in the nation by ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper, but Mack decided to return for his senior season. There is speculation that he might move to tackle.

OL Greg Isdaner, Sr., West Virginia (Rivals: 0 stars)

West Virginia was the only Division I-A school recruiting Isdaner in 2004, but his parents refused to co-sign his Letter of Intent because they wanted him to consider Harvard, Penn and Georgetown. Isdaner held firm, and WVU reoffered the scholarship after a player quit to become a rapper. Good thing. Isdaner was named first-team All-Big East in 2007.

C Jonathan Luigs, Sr., Arkansas (Rivals: 2 stars)

Luigs drew interest from some pretty big schools, but that didn't nudge his star rating north. Bit it didn't matter. The center won the Rimington Trophy last season, then turned down a chance enter the NFL draft to return for his senior season.

DT Vance Walker, Sr., Georgia Tech (Rivals: 2 stars)

The Yellow Jackets beat out Georgia Southern, East Carolina and Coastal Carolina in 2005 for Walker, who went on to terrorize ACC offenses. In 2007, Walker had 14 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. He also forced three fumbles.

DT Terrill Byrd, Sr., Cincinnati (Rivals: 2 stars)

It was Cincy or the MAC for Byrd, who turned down Bowling Green, Kent State and Toledo to play in the Big East. Byrd has been named first-team All-Big East for two consecutive seasons.

DE George Selvie, Jr., South Florida (Rivals: 2 stars)

Meet the captain of the All two-star team. Selvie was a lightly recruited offensive lineman from Pensacola, Fla., who turned into the nation's best pass rusher. Selvie was named a consensus first-team All-America after racking up 31.5 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks in 2007.

DE Greg Middleton, Jr., Indiana (Rivals: 2 stars)

Purdue and Ball State also wanted Middleton, but Big Ten powers passed him over. They probably regret that now. Last season, Middleton was a finalist for the Hendricks Award, which honors the nation's best defensive end.

LB Joe Mortensen, Sr., Kansas (Rivals, 2 stars)

Mortensen wanted to play for Nebraska, but never received an offer. In 2007, Mortensen was the leading tackler for the team that beat the Cornhuskers, 76-39, and won the Orange Bowl.

LB Sean Weatherspoon, Jr., Missouri (Rivals, 2 stars)

Iowa State was the next-biggest suitor for Weatherspoon, who also considered TCU, Tulane and Houston. In 2007, Weatherspoon was one of the best players for the Big 12 champion Tigers, and was named second-team All-Big 12.

LB Scott Lutrus, So., UConn (Rivals: 2 stars)

No other Division I-A team wanted Lutrus, but UConn coach Randy Edsall thought he'd found a special player. Edsall was correct. Lutrus finished his freshman season with 107 tackles, including eight tackles for loss, and made several freshman All-America teams.

S Patrick Chung, Sr., Oregon, (Rivals: 2 stars)

It was Oregon, Wyoming or Colorado State for Chung, who graduated high school at 16. The youngster turned out to be so good that entered his name for the draft, but withdrew on Jan. 17 and will return for his senior season.

S Rashad Johnson, Sr., Alabama (Rivals: 0 stars)

Johnson, from Sulligent, Ala., walked on in 2004 and played his way into a scholarship and a starting job. In 2007, he was named first-team All-SEC by the league's coaches.

CB Mike Mickens, Sr., Cincinnati (Rivals, 2 stars)

Mickens was headed for Bowling Green before then-Bearcats coach Mark Dantonio convinced him to come to Cincinnati. In 2007, All-Big East first-teamer intercepted six passes, returning two for touchdowns.

CB Donald Washington, Ohio State (Rivals: 2 stars)

Washington's other options were Indiana, Illinois and Duke, which are all good choices, but none are on Ohio State's level. Washington beat out more highly regarded players to start for a program that has played in the past two national title games.

PK Louie Sakoda, Sr., Utah (Rivals: 2 stars)

OK, this is a bit of cheating. Kickers and punters are easy to pick for a team like this, because kickers rarely get more than two stars. Sakoda gets the nod here because on top of being one of the nation's best field-goal kickers, he's also a weapon as a punter.

P Kevin Huber, Sr., Cincinnati (Rivals: 0 stars)

Huber came to the Bearcats as a walk-on and didn't win a full-time starting job until his junior season. In 2007, he led the nation in punt average (46.9 yards) and pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line 20 times.

KR: A.J. Jefferson, Jr., Fresno State (Rivals: 2 stars)

Jefferson played only basketball as a high school junior, so many football programs didn't know about him. That paid off for the Bulldogs as Jefferson led that nation in kickoff returns last season with 35.8 yards per return.

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