Two-star recruits who made an impact in the SEC in 2012


Two-stars in the SEC often get overlooked out of high school, so coaches are often able to find a diamond in the rough. JJ Watt and Mike Wallace, among others, were two-stars coming out of high school who developed into players no one thought they could or would be.

And two-star players made an impact in the SEC in 2012, too, other than kicking and punting. All rankings are according to


  • Cody Mandell, P
  • Jeremy Shelley, K


  • Dylan Breeding, P
  • Chris Gragg, TE
  • Javontee Herndon, WR
  • Zach Hocker, K
  • Kiero Small, LB/FB


  • Darren Bates, LB


  • Caleb Sturgis, K


  • Collin Barber, P/K


  • Mister Cobble, DT
  • Jonathan George, RB
  • Martavius Neloms, DB
  • Collins Ukwu, DL


  • Drew Alleman, K

Mississippi State

  • Devon Bell, K
  • Corey Broomfield, DB
  • Dillon Day, C
  • Darius Slay, CB
  • Baker Swedenburg, P


  • Andrew Baggett, K (not ranked)
  • Justin Britt, OL
  • L’Damian Washington, WR

Ole Miss

  • EJ Epperson, DE
  • Denzel Nkemdiche, LB (Not ranked)
  • Bryson Rose, K

South Carolina

  • Justice Cunningham, TE
  • Patrick Fish, P
  • Dylan Thompson, QB


  • Dontavius Sapp, LB

Texas A&M

  • Spencer Nealy, DE


  • Archibald Barnes, LB
  • Chase Garnham, LB
  • Rob Lohr, DT
  • Javon Marshall, DB
  • Walker May, DE
  • Colt Nichter, DT
  • Carey Spear, K

Photo Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports



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  • I know this only refers to 2012, but Gary Pinkel has a strong history of finding 2-star guys who are diamonds in the rough. Sean Weatherspoon was a 2-star guy who was drafted in the 1st round and now leads the Falcons defense. Michael Egnew was one of the most productive TEs in college football and now “plays for” (watches from the bench) the Miami Dolphins. Danario Alexander was a 2-star guy who went undrafted due to a knee injury before the draft, but now that he’s healthy he has become the most productive WR on the San Diego Chargers’ roster. Ryan Madison (Brad’s older brother) was a 3-year starter at offensive guard on the best Mizzou teams in recent memory — including the 2007 squad that was two quarters from the BCS Championship game. I’d obviously prefer he signed more 4 & 5 star guys, but his record with the few 2-star guys he brings in is strong.

    • Great stuff here and thanks for the comments. Missouri and Texas A&M have found ways to win with two-star recruits by developing them. Now, with the SEC brand, I would speculate that less will sign because both schools have more to sell more blue chip recruits.

      • it helps in this article, as well as the 5 star bust article, if you say how many kids each school signed as 2-star, and 5-star. one team might sign 10 five star kids, and only 1 two start kid…but you start to understand the % each team is dealing with. If a school signs 20 two star guys, it makes more sense that they might have more 2 star guys who make an impact

        • Interesting comments. I should have included the total number of five stars signed by one school. I wasn’t intentionally trying to see if Rivals’ projections were right or wrong, but I was more or less just pointing out which recruits were busts. I will definitely look into this into the future. Good thoughts.

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