90 SEC players who excelled as three-star prospects


There’s so much emphasis on five- and four-star players, and they get the most hype within any recruiting class. But let’s not forget about several three-star players who have developed into big-time players and contributors.

Related: 2014 All-Signing Class Team

The most notable three-stars in 2013 were Johnny Manziel, Mike Evans, Jordan Matthews, Gabe Jackson, Chris Smith, Dee Ford and EJ Gaines, among others. All seven of these players could be day one NFL Draft picks. It’s amazing what a player can accomplish when he works hard. I love it when this happens.

Here are 90 notable three-star players who made big contributions to their teams in 2013, according to 247Sports’ Composite Player Rankings:

Related: How the Big 4 recruiting services ranked all 14 SEC teams

Alabama Crimson Tide 

  • Deion Belue, CB
  • Christion Jones, WR/KR
  • Kevin Norwood, WR
  • Austin Shepherd, OT
  • Anthony Steen, OG
  • Ed Stinson, DE
  • Vinnie Sunseri, S

Related: Everything you missed about National Signing Day

Arkansas Razorbacks

  • Eric Bennett, S
  • Trey Flowers, DE
  • Bryan Jones, DT
  • Darius Philon, DT
  • Dan Skipper, OL
  • Chris Smith, DE
  • Travis Swanson, C
  • Robert Thomas, DT

Auburn Tigers

  • Cameron Artis-Payne, RB
  • Sammie Coates, WR
  • Chris Davis, CB/KR
  • Nosa Eguae, DE
  • Dee Ford, DE
  • Jake Holland, LB
  • Alex Kozan, OL
  • Ryan White, CB

Florida Gators

  • Trey Burton, ATH
  • Darrin Kitchens, LB
  • Jon Halapio, OL

Georgia Bulldogs

  • David Andrews, C
  • Michael Bennett, WR
  • Chris Conley, WR
  • Kenarious Gates, OT
  • Quayvon Hicks, FB
  • Ramik Wilson, LB

Kentucky Wildcats

  • Javess Blue, WR
  • Mister Cobble, DT
  • Jojo Kemp, RB
  • Donte Rumph, DT
  • Zach West, OL
  • Avery Williamson, LB

LSU Tigers

  • Lamin Barrow, LB
  • Alfred Blue, RB
  • Jalen Collins, CB
  • Terrence Magee, RB
  • Trai Turner, OG

Mississippi State Bulldogs

  • Gabe Jackson, OG
  • Jameon Lewis, WR
  • Benardrick McKinney, LB
  • LaDarius Perkins, RB
  • Dak Prescott, QB
  • Deontae Skinner, LB
  • Nickoe Whitley, S

Missouri Tigers

  • EJ Gaines, CB
  • Markus Golden, OLB/DE
  • Henry Josey, RB
  • Mitch Morse, OL
  • L’Damian Washington, WR
  • Braylon Webb, S
  • Andrew Wilson, LB

Ole Miss Rebels

  • Serderius Bryant, LB
  • Trae Elston, DB
  • Ja-Mes Logan, WR
  • Mike Marry, LB
  • Denzel Nkemdiche, LB
  • Cody Prewitt, S
  • Jeff Scott, RB
  • DT Shackelford, LB
  • Bo Wallace, QB

South Carolina Gamecocks

  • Pharoh Cooper, ATH
  • Sharrod Golightly, Spur
  • Jimmy Legree, CB
  • Skai Moore, LB
  • Connor Shaw, QB

Tennessee Volunteers

  • Zach Fulton, OL
  • Daniel McCullers, DT

Texas A&M Aggies 

  • Darian Claiborne, LB
  • Deshazor Everett, DB
  • Mike Evans, WR
  • Tony Hurd, CB
  • Steven Jenkins, LB
  • Malcome Kennedy, WR
  • Ben Malena, RB
  • Johnny Manziel, QB
  • Julien Obioha, DE
  • Derel Walker, WR

Vanderbilt Commodores

  • Andre Hal, CB
  • Darreon Herring, OLB
  • Andrew Jelks, OL
  • Wesley Johnson, OL
  • Kenny Ladler, S
  • Jordan Matthews, WR
  • Walker May, DE

Photo Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports



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  • and anyone who thinks college players are not still getting better at age 23 needs to look at film of Andrew Wilson right up to the SEC championship game. Even pro players change a lot from age 24 up and so often NFL difference makers are the ones who got lucky and found a team they could develop on.

  • Stars mean nothing. All of these guys have great talent or they wouldn’t be in this position.
    At this point in life it’s how much heart the kid has and how much he is willing to learn. And how well the coach can teach.

    • Your crazy if you think stars don’t mean anything. Don’t tell me you would rather have a team filled with 3 and 2 star recruits or a team like Bama and LSU that is filled with 4 and 5 star recruits. There is a reason why teams like those are at the top of college football every year. I’m not saying that 3 star recruits can’t become great players, but there is a reason why some recruits have 4 and 5 stars. It’s because they are more talented.

      • Not necessarily always the case. You have to look into where some of these guys played high school ball and what kind of talent they went up against. It’s easy for a guy that goes to a small private school to look like a 5 star vs a guy that goes to a huge 6A high school t hat may only look like a three or four star.

        • Unless Ed Orgeron is your recruiting coach, then pay attention to stars.

  • Wolfman… yep! And Mizzou has built a very strong program on 3 star athletes. Not just any 3-star young men…but the kind who are not afraid at working hard to get better, and proving to the football world they were underrated.

  • As far as UGA’s, Bennett and Conley have turned into stars, and Wilson is a stud. Andrews and Gates have been better than average, but not really excellent (although I think that’s more attributable to coaching than ability; See: Theus, John and Dantzler, Watts). The last time I saw Quayvon, he was on the carton of milk I was putting in my morning coffee….

  • I’ve heard that Denzel Nkemdiche was a 0 star, not 3 star