All two-star team
Admit it. Some of you are obsessed with stars, and not the ones pictured in
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 Scout.com are just as accurate at predicting success as most big-money coaches. That's why SI.com 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.
Hopefully, Demon Deacons assistant
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Petrus, a former walk-on, played fullback in 2006, blocking for
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
No other Division I-A team wanted Lutrus, but UConn coach
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.
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.
Mickens was headed for Bowling Green before then-Bearcats coach
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.
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.
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.
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.