All Two-Star Team (cont.)
DE Greg Romeus, Sr., Pittsburgh (two stars): Romeus played basketball for most of his life and didn't take up football until his senior year at Coral Glades High in Coral Springs, Fla. The school was playing its first year of varsity football, so it wasn't a destination for college recruiters. Romeus was set to sign with Central Florida, but Pitt made a late push and snagged a raw athlete who would grow into a fearsome pass rusher.
DT Lawon Scott, Sr., Ole Miss (two stars): Scott's height (6-0) kept college coaches away, but the St. Petersburg, Fla., native, who played at 290 pounds as a high school senior, still impressed coaches at Ole Miss and Wake Forest. As a junior in 2009, Scott (now a solid 310) started 13 games for the Rebels and helped linemate Jerrell Powe clog the middle while speedsters Greg Hardy and Kentrell Lockett rushed off the edge.
DT Montori Hughes, So., Tennessee (two stars): Haven't heard of Hughes? You will. Middle Tennessee State was one of the few schools recruiting the Murfreesboro, Tenn., native when Tennessee brought him in on an official visit in January 2008. Hughes signed with the Volunteers, but he failed to qualify academically in time to enroll. After qualifying, he enrolled in January 2009. The 315-pound Hughes spent 2009 backing up potential 2010 first-rounder Dan Williams. Now, Hughes will get his chance to shine.
DE Thomas Keiser, Jr., Stanford (two stars): Keiser, from Pittsburgh, knew exactly what he wanted in a school. He committed to Stanford the summer before his senior season at North Allegheny High. As a redshirt sophomore in 2009, Keiser led the Cardinal with 15 tackles for loss.
LB Mike Mohamed, Sr., Cal (two stars): San Diego State was the only other school to offer Mohamed, but maybe schools should have heeded an assessment by Rivals.com that compared the Brawley, Calif., native to former Golden Bears walk-on Scott Fujita, who now starts for the New Orleans Saints. As a junior in 2009, Mohamed led the Pac-10 with 112 tackles. And when he's not bringing down ballcarriers, Mohamed is learning to make money for others. In 2009, he interned with a personal wealth advisor at UBS Financial Services.
LB Lawrence Wilson, Sr., Connecticut (two stars): The Big East's leading tackler in 2009 attended a high school in Tuscaloosa, Ala., named after Bear Bryant. But Alabama didn't offer a scholarship, so Wilson headed north. In 2010, he and fellow two-star Greg Lloyd Jr. (Clermont, Fla.) will be the Big East's best linebacker tandem.
LB Tank Carder, Jr., TCU (two stars): This one-time BMX world champ was lightly recruited out of Sweeny, Texas, but he was no lightweight last season. Carder's 89 tackles were second-best on a unit that led the nation in total defense. Carder may do more than play defense in 2010. TCU coach Gary Patterson told The New York Times in January that Carder may kick off and kick long field goals for the Horned Frogs.
CB Brandyn Thompson, Sr., Boise State (two stars): Washington State was the only power-conference school to show interest in Thompson, who also considered UNLV, Montana and San Diego State. If you watched the Fiesta Bowl, you know Thompson. He intercepted two Andy Dalton passes, including a pick-six to put the Broncos on the scoreboard.
SS Jordan Kovacs, So., Michigan (zero stars): Kovacs, who followed in his father's footsteps as a Michigan walk-on, was shocked when coaches threw him into the Notre Dame game to replace free safety Mike Williams. After all, Kovacs wasn't heavily recruited. In fact, his best offer out of Clay High in Oregon, Ohio, was a walk-on spot at Toledo. Kovacs played well against the Fighting Irish and made his first start at free safety two weeks later. Williams eventually returned to his spot, but Kovacs came off the bench to make 17 tackles and force a fumble against Michigan State. The following week, coaches slid Kovacs into the starting strong safety spot after they moved Troy Woolfork to cornerback. Kovacs never gave up the job, and he finished the season second on the team in tackles with 75.
FS Blake Gideon, Jr., Texas (two stars): In 2009, Gideon overcame the sting of dropping the game-sealing interception against Texas Tech the previous season by picking off five passes. Gideon, from Leander, Texas, has started every game in his Texas career despite being surrounded by four- and five-star players in his position group.
CB Trevin Wade, Jr., Arizona (two stars): The Wildcats overcame a late push from Cal to land Wade, a Round Rock, Texas, native who received little interest from the programs in his home state. As a sophomore, Wade led Arizona with five interceptions.
K Alex Henery, Sr., Nebraska (zero stars): This former walk-on from Omaha, Neb., hit 18-of-19 field goal attempts inside 50 yards in 2009. For his career, Henery has hit 44-of-46 inside 50 yards. On top of that, Henery is a deadly punter who booted 13 punts of 50-plus yards and pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line 30 times.
P Drew Butler, Jr., Georgia (two stars): Despite his bloodline -- father Kevin was a standout kicker at Georgia and in the NFL -- Butler was only a two-star recruit. The younger Butler was the perfect weapon this past season for a team that struggled at times to move the ball. He led the nation with a 48.8-yard average, tilting field position every time he put toe to leather.
Ret. Da'Norris Searcy, Sr., North Carolina (two stars): This safety from Decatur, Ga., received interest from Florida and Virginia Tech, but even that didn't earn him any more stars. Searcy has proven himself in Chapel Hill. Last season, he ranked fifth in the nation in punt returns (14.9).
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