With the Monday release of the CBSSports.com Preseason All-American Team, we’ve received a look at a group of players that now have some serious expectations to live up to. But most of the players listed below have already matched some pretty lofty expectations already.
The preseason list consists of players that 247Sports and the entire recruiting industry thought very highly of as high school prospects. We take a look back at the recruiting profile of each 1st team honoree.
QB - Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
247Sports ranking: Four-star (91 rating), No. 9 DQB
247Composite ranking: Three-star (.8740 rating), No. 13 DQB
Once an Oregon commit, Johnny Manziel’s recruitment has been highly publicized due to him being passed over as a quarterback prospect by numerous schools, including the state’s flagship program of Texas. At 247Sports, he did earn the coveted four-star rating but he was undervalued by most of the recruiting industry.
RB - Lache Seastrunk, Baylor
247Sports: Four-star (93), No. 4 APB
247Composite: Five-star (.9834), No. 2 APB
Seastrunk was one of the most highly-touted players in the nation in the class of 2010 and was a consensus five-star and a contender as the No. 1 player in the nation following his sophomore and junior seasons. After slipping in most rankings as a senior due to a sub-par season and the fear that he wasn’t an inside runner, Seastrunk ended up at Oregon where he looked destined to bust. But a change in locales to Baylor has helped him realize what was always a unique talent. The industry made a good call on the Temple, Texas native.
RB - T.J. Yeldon, Alabama
247Sports: Five-star (99), No. 2 RB
247Composite: Five-star (.9866), No. 2 RB
A one-time Auburn commit, Yeldon had an incredibly productive career at Daphne High School in Alabama, capped off by a monster senior season of 2,000-plus yards and 31 touchdowns. Though always highly thought of, Yeldon didn’t fully earn his due as a five-star until he dominated the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Good call by the industry.
WR - Marqise Lee, USC
247Sports: Four-star (96), No. 6 ATH
247Composite: four-star (.9734), No. 4 ATH
Ironically, Lee’s high school teammate George Farmer overshadowed him in the rankings process and most sites actually ranked Lee as an athlete or a safety rather than a wide receiver. Though he was slightly undervalued by most, Lee was still a consensus Top50 player nationally and a near five-star. The recruiting industry hit on that one.
WR - Amari Cooper, Alabama
247Sports: Four-star (96), No. 6 WR
247Composite: Four-star (.9768), No. 6 WR
Few players saw their profile rise as steadily as Amari Cooper throughout the recruiting process. Once a three-star prospect that looked bound for a USF, UCF type of recruitment, Cooper steadily saw his profile rise with every camp or 7on7 setting and then had a huge senior year. By the time he played in the Under Armour All-American Game, Cooper had removed any doubt that he was big time and even as a Top50 consensus prospect, the industry likely had him too low.
WR - Sammy Watkins, Clemson
247Sports: Five-star (99), No. 1 WR
247Composite: Five-star (.9900), No. 3 WR
Watkins didn’t have a lot of easily accessible film but whenever he would compete at a camp or 7on7 event, he would leave spectators amazed. 247Sports ranked him as the top wide receiver in the nation for the 2011 recruiting class and everyone had him as a five-star except for one service.
TE - Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
247Sports: Four-star (95 rating), No. 5 TE
247Composite: Four-star (.9747), No. 3 TE
The only question that anyone had about Austin Seferian-Jenkins as a high school prospect didn’t center around his talent but more around his size. Would he grow out of tight and into an elite OT? Ultimately it didn’t matter as everyone in the industry had the 6-7 prospect as a four-star and only one site ranked him outside of the Top100.
OL - Taylor Lewan, Michigan
247Composite: Four-star (.9212), No. 11 OT
A prospect that came out in the pre-247Sports era, we had no rating on Lewan but the recruiting industry established a composite ranking for Lewan as the No. 11 offensive tackle in the country. For a position that is difficult to project, that is a solid effort by the industry.
OL - Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
247Sports: four-star (96), No. 5 OT
247Composite: four-star (.9795), No. 5 OT
Part of a program-changing offensive line class for Texas A&M in the 2010 recruiting cycle, Matthews had the pedigree and the clear ability to be special on the next level and he was ranked across the board as such. With a strong senior year, Matthews could join Luke Joeckel as the 2nd first round pick in that offensive line class. Of the major services, only one had him outside the Top50 nationally.
OL - David Yankey, Stanford
247Composite: Three-star (.8600), No. 35 OT
The first true miss among this group of All-Americans, Yankey was not rated by 247Sports and failed to land anything more than a three-star rating from any of the other recruiting evaluators. Listed at 6-5, 275 pounds as a high schooler, there isn’t much excuse for Yankey’s mis-eval due to an offer list that consisted of several big name programs including Florida, Clemson, Georgia and Tennessee.
OL - Cyril Richardson, Baylor
247Composite: Three-star (.8431), No. 55 OT
Part of a steady stream of strong evaluations by Baylor on the offensive line, Cyril Richardson certainly had the size at all of 6-foot-5, 305 pounds but his recruitment never took off and ended early with a summer commitment to Baylor. Big miss by the industry on Richardson.
OL - Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma
247Composite: Three-star (.8620), No. 30 OG
A pre-247 prospect out of the class of 2009, Ikard is the classic case of tight end turned lineman. At 6-3, 245 pounds out of high school, Ikard was rated as a solid tight end prospect and among the top 20 in the country at that position. He has since packed on weight moved inside and has become a major NFL prospect. The recruiting industry missed on Ikard but would have been hard pressed to predict his position change.