This is your yearly reminder that in football, the stars are often meaningless when it comes to who makes it to the NFL and then who reaches, and wins, the Super Bowl.
With Super Bowl LV kicking off on Sunday between the Chiefs and the Buccaneers, we went through a list this week of all the players to play in a Super Bowl with ties to Big 12 teams.
But it’s also a good chance to look at how many of the players on Sunday in the Super Bowl were former top recruits. We know the stories of the big names. Patrick Mahomes was a former three-star football prospect who went to Texas Tech. Tom Brady played sparingly at Michigan and was a sixth round pick in the NFL Draft.
This tweet from new Illinois head coach Bret Bielema is a good reminder for all high school prospects that it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish. These recruiting rankings used are from ESPN.com’s recruiting rankings.
The only five-star recruit playing in the Super Bowl this season is Bucs running back Leonard Fournette. The Chiefs have 12 four-star prospects and the Bucs have eight of them. The Chiefs have 10 three-star prospects and the Bucs have 12. The Chiefs have 19 players who were below a three-star rating coming out of high school and the Bucs have 22.
This is not to point out that you can win a College Football Playoff with a bunch of two-star guys. You can’t. Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State generally recruit Top 5 classes every year and we see where it takes them.
This is more for the individual player and recruit who is in high school, or in college, and is thinking about their future. In football, more so than basketball, your hard work, determination and hours put in will determine your success. In basketball, that’s rare for the two-star player to end up as a stud in the NBA. But in football, this story constantly surfaces. It is what makes the sport far less predictable and fun to watch as a fan.
So if you’re reading this and wondering if you can ever reach your goals and dreams, remember most of the guys playing on Sunday night in Super Bowl LV were probably having those same conversations with themselves at one point. And look at them now.