It's All In The Stars... Or Is It?
Last night I braved a torrential downpour to see some high school football once again around Washington DC. Dion Guy and his 5-2 Woodson Warriors disposed of Anacostia High School rather easily. The game was up-tempo, hard hitting and full of big passing plays. Dionâ€™s good friend and teammate Craig Wilkins was held very much in check as Anacostia did everything they could to avoid the talented duo. Craig is the only safety on the field when Woodson plays defense. Woodsonâ€™s base defense is a 4-4-3. Four down lineman, four linebackers and 3 defensive backs make up the personnel.
As much as Anacostia tried to avoid Dion and Craig, the Anacostia QB made the mistake that put the game away in the fourth quarter. Dion intercepted an errant pass and took it 65 yards to the house. It was a pick six; no one could catch him down the far sideline.
This was the same Dion Guy that is rated as a 2 star recruit. I donâ€™t know star rankings, but he sure looked like a Big Ten OLB on that particular play. The Michigan State bound outside linebacker was elated to see a member of the Spartan Nation at his game. Another media source claims Dion doesnâ€™t have an MSU offer. Once again, I have Dion Guy on record as having a scholarship offer and is firmly committed to Michigan State. There seemed to be a lot of confusion over this whole Dion Guy story two weeks ago. He was on ABC 53. You know the six oâ€™ clock news with his family confirming his commitment. According to a rival media source, he has no offer and he is a two star recruit.
Speaking of stars, there has been an awful lot of talk about the rating system that is used by multiple recruiting sites. I suppose there has to be a way to rank recruits. After all, we are a society of people that has to assign a label and a value to everything.
Interestingly enough, if you are a two star recruit and you are given a scholarship offer from Michigan or Notre Dame, one particular site will raise your stars by two. In other words, just pledging your services to the Wolverines or the Irish makes you instantly a better football player. If you are a two star and get an MSU offer, you might get one more star or you might not. If Dion Guy is a two star, I cannot wait to see a real four star â€˜cause it must be a real display of talent. You know what I meanâ€¦ kinda like Michiganâ€™s defense against App St. Michiganâ€™s defense is chalked full of 4 and 5 star recruits. It is a wonder that anyone even takes the field against mighty Michigan. All those 4 and 5 stars surely spell defeat for any opponent.
We at Spartan Nation have no formal ratings system for recruits. When we put our stamp of approval on a kid, it is based upon his film, the number of scholarship offers he has in hand and the schools that have offered. Simply stated, a kid with offers from OSU, MSU, UF, Purdue, OU, USC and Texas will get our stamp ahead of a kid with offers from Akron, Grand Valley and Temple. We do not assign stars because we are reporters not coaches.
This past week on the MD radio show a caller asked Mark Dantonio this particular question.
CALLER: â€œAbout recruitingâ€¦how often do you look at a 4 star recruit and compare him to a 2 star recruit and like the two star better?â€
MARK DANTONIO: â€œI think that happens all the time. I really donâ€™t put a star on them; we look at film, evaluate a young person and try to make decisions that are in our best interests. The guys who are putting stars on those kids are not coaches. Theyâ€™re talking to coaches and some of those coaches they talk too sayâ€¦ heâ€™s a good guy; heâ€™s a good player etc. Most of those guys have done other jobs throughout their lives and have never coached college football. Theyâ€™ll make the statement that so and so is a 4 star guy and get everybody all hyped up and everything, but the results are ummmâ€¦ we watch the film on every single player we takeâ€¦ and make a decision on those guys that can play for the green and white.â€
So as all of you can read, Mark Dantonio is less than impressed with the star system. Should he? AJ Hawk was a two star recruit. Javon Ringer was a three star recruit. Yeah there were high school running backs that were two stars better. Give me a break. This star system is so flawed. It may be a predictor, but nothing else. I will bet my reputation as a sports journalist (whatever that may be) that Dion Guy goes onto to become a star at Michigan State. The only way Dion Guy is not a great OLB at MSU is if he gets injured or runs into some unforeseen problem. He looks like Ike Reese to me. Hey, anyone know how many stars Ike had behind his name? Can someone tell me if Ike ever had a scholarship offer?