Cane Ridge assistant Mike Tribue has been around high school football in Middle Tennessee for more than three decades.
The former longtime McGavock assistant doesn’t recall seeing many running backs as talented as Ravens senior Devon Starling, though. And the ones that he can are considered among the best ball carriers the city has ever seen.
“Two players I think he reminds me of is (Hillsboro’s) Mose Phillips and (Overton’s) Keith Davis,” Tribue said. “They ran the same way in high school, and another one I would throw in there is (Joe) ‘Frog’ Campbell who played over at Stratford.”
Phillips and Davis went on to play at Tennessee, while Campbell still holds the career rushing record at MTSU.
The 6-foot, 205-pound Starling, who notched his sixth straight 100-yard rushing performance in Friday’s 13-3 Region 5-6A victory over Smyrna, is still trying to prove he can play at that level.
“They look too much at the number of stars a kid has instead of whether or not the kid is a ball player,” Tribue said. “Devon has the best vision of any back I have ever coached, and you can see it in his runs. He’s got pretty good speed, too. He runs a 4.5 (40-yard-dash).
“If I was a college coach and came to see No. 5, I would sign him.”
Fourth-year Ravens coach Eddie Woods is similarly stumped by his star running back’s lack of recruiting interest.