Weeden, Carder headline annual All Two-Star (And Fewer) Team
This All-Star team of unheralded recruits would whip a group of blue-chippers
If your team failed to land an elite Signing Day class, read this and take heart
Overlooked prospects like Brandon Weeden, Tank Carder can still become stars
The passage of each National Signing Day brings great joy, and not only because it means I'm due some vacation time. Since 2008, I've had the honor of selecting a team composed entirely of players largely ignored by college coaches and recruiting service starmakers.
None of the players on this list earned more than two stars, but this group would whip a team of four- and five-stars on the field. So if you weren't happy with your team's haul on Signing Day, take heart. If in two or three years some of the players your team landed wind up on the All Two-Star (And Fewer) Team, you'll be quite happy with the class.
Now, it's time for the annual disclaimer -- which seems to get longer every year. This team is made up of guys who will play in college in 2011. I realize defensive end J.J. Watt was a two-star Central Michigan signee who transferred to Wisconsin as a walk-on. Watt was outstanding, which is why he's preparing for the NFL draft now. Also, I understand that Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore was underrated relative to his on-field excellence. But he was a three-star, which makes him a big-shot compared to the players on my team.
QB Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State (zero stars in class of 2002): Old man Weeden almost predates the star system. Rivals.com and Scout.com were in their infancy during Weeden's senior year at Santa Fe High in Edmond, Okla., and it appears no one bothered to rank Weeden because everyone assumed his future would be in professional baseball. Weeden, a right-handed pitcher, was chosen in the second round by the Yankees in 2002, but shoulder injuries derailed his baseball career. In 2007, Weeden walked on at Oklahoma State. In 2010, he threw for 4,277 yards and 34 touchdowns. This was a tough position to pick. Weeden beat out Houston's Case Keenum (two stars), Mississippi State's Chris Relf (two stars) and Penn State's Matt McGloin (a zero-star walk-on). Connecticut's Johnny McEntee, a zero-star walk-on who doesn't even start for his team, also wins a spot as a backup thanks to the sheer awesomeness of this video.
RB Montel Harris, Boston College (two stars in class of 2008): The Jacksonville, Fla., product made a Signing Day switch from Duke in 2008, and the Eagles are grateful. Even though Harris didn't carry the ball in Boston College's final two games of 2010 after injuring cartilage in his left knee, he rushed for 1,243 yards and eight touchdowns. For his career, Harris has rushed for 3,600 yards and 27 touchdowns.
RB Doug Martin, Boise State (two stars in class of 2007): Martin was hoping for scholarship offers from Washington and Cal, but they never came. The Stockton, Calif., native accepted his offer from Boise State, but after two seasons Broncos coaches thought he could help more on defense. An injury to D.J. Harper in 2009 prompted coaches to move Martin back to tailback. Now, Martin is one of the nation's best backs. Last season, he rushed for 1,260 yards and 12 touchdowns.
TE Michael Egnew, Missouri (two stars in class of 2008): When he committed to Missouri in June 2007, Egnew was a 6-foot-4, 200-pound receiver/tight end from Plainview, Texas. "I'm not that good coming out of the three-point stance, but that's one of the reasons I chose Missouri," Egnew told Rivals.com at the time. "I can get out there and get downfield." Can he ever. As a 6-6, 235-pound junior in 2010, Egnew caught 90 passes for 762 yards and five touchdowns and was named a first-team All-American by The Associated Press.
WR James Rodgers, Oregon State (two stars in class of 2007): The Beavers beat out Texas State and Utah State for the Rosenberg, Texas, sleeper who -- along with younger brother Jacquizz -- turned into a star in Corvallis. Quizz is off to the NFL, but James, who missed much of last season after suffering a knee injury at Arizona, returns. Because he never redshirted, James received a medical hardship from the NCAA, granting him one more season as a Beaver.
WR Cody Wilson, Central Michigan (two stars in class of 2009): Wilson blossomed after Dan Enos replaced Butch Jones as Central Michigan's coach and installed a pro-style offense. Wilson caught 83 passes for 1,137 yards with five touchdowns in 2010. The 5-10 Wilson was Central Michigan's first commitment for the class of 2009.
OT Mark Asper, Oregon (two stars in class of 2004): This 6-7, 322-pounder from Ogden, Utah, committed to Oregon in late 2003 but didn't enroll until January 2007 after he completed a two-year Mormon mission in Barcelona. Asper's time in Spain made it almost too easy to earn a degree in Spanish. So he added a sociology degree. As a redshirt junior in 2010, Asper was working on his first master's. Asper gets bonus points for being man enough to admit that he knows the words to every song from every Disney musical cartoon. That's probably not an accident. Asper, 25, and his wife Michelle -- who manage an apartment complex together -- have two young daughters. Asper probably hears Be Our Guest in his nightmares.
OG Patrick Omameh, Michigan (two stars in class of 2008): The lowest ranked member of Michigan's class of 2008 also is one of the most productive members of that group. This engineering major from Columbus, Ohio, signed with Michigan as a 236-pound defensive end. He's now a 300-pound guard entering his second season as a starter.
C Tyler Horn, Miami (two stars in class of 2007): Miami beat out Florida International, Arkansas State and Central Arkansas for Horn, who didn't get a scholarship offer from the Hurricanes until a week before National Signing Day. Between his junior and senior years of high school, Horn -- who weighed 250 pounds as a junior at Memphis (Tenn.) University School -- broke his hand at a camp at Arkansas. That took Horn off the camp circuit and placed him squarely under the radar. Horn spent two years on the scout team. He cracked the rotation as a redshirt sophomore in 2009, and he started all 13 games in 2010.
OG Joel Foreman, Michigan State (two stars in class of 2007): Foreman, from Highland, Mich., had an offer from Cincinnati when Bearcats coach Mark Dantonio took the job at Michigan State. Not long after, Foreman took an official visit to East Lansing and came away with an offer. He now has started 36 games -- including 22 in a row -- at left guard. As a junior, Foreman was an honorable mention Big Ten selection.
OT Jeff Allen, Illinois (two stars in class of 2008): It was Illinois or NC State for this Chicagoan. Allen chose the Illini and has held down one of the tackle spots for most of his time in Champaign. Allen came to Illinois weighing 337 pounds and still managed to start nine games as a freshman. He's now a trim 313 and headed into his fourth season as a starter.
#DearAndy: Unlimited meals, faux Pelini, and the Juicy Lucy
Rich Homie Quan: 'Spartan for life'
Avs rally in 3rd period, beat Wild in overtime
Alexander Steen, Blues beat Blackhawks in triple overtime