Recruiting can be a total crapshoot. Five-star recruits can end up as world beaters or bench warmers. Two-stars and walk-ons can end up in starring roles. No matter how touted a recruit is, their future is not set in stone.

Marlon Brown was one of those five-star recruits when he arrived at Georgia. Now, he’s a receiver for the Baltimore Ravens, living out every prospect’s dream of pulling on an NFL jersey every Sunday in the fall. Cool story, right? A five-star recruit who lived up to his potential and became a pro, what’s the big deal?

The difference between Brown and, say, former teammate and fellow five-star recruit A.J. Green is that Brown never reached stardom at Georgia. He wasn’t a high first round pick like Green. He signed on with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent and had to fight for a roster spot.

How did Brown end up there? His college decision was a big deal, broadcast on ESPN in the days before there were dozens of those announcements on the network’s family of channels on National Signing Day. At 6-foot-5 with athleticism for days, he was going to be the heir apparent to Green with the Bulldogs.

But through his first three years with the Dawgs, Brown’s career stat line looked like a modest total for a season: 28 catches, 382 yards and four touchdowns. He started just five of the 32 games he appeared in, bogged down by a series of nagging injuries.

After coming into his junior year off of a very strong spring and summer, his first time running without Green across the field, Brown was clipped by injuries. First, an ankle sprain. Then, issues with the AC joints in both shoulders. Despite missing just three games, Brown never got rolling.

His senior season seemed to be the perfect time for him to finally make good on his promise as a recruit. After another strong spring and summer, Brown was ready to light then SEC on fire. He overcame a hamstring tweak before the opener to post three 100-yard games and total career highs in catches (27), yards (469) and touchdowns (4).

Then, disaster.

Against Ole Miss, Brown took a shot to his knee. In the midst of his long-awaited breakout season, Brown had torn his ACL. His college career was over.

“It happened. You’ve got to deal with it,” Brown told back in 2013. “If you want to achieve your dreams, you have to work hard for them.”

Brown still prepared for the NFL as well as he could. He went to the scouting combine to interview with teams and appeared at UGA’s pro day that spring. Still, he went undrafted in the 2013 NFL draft. The Ravens came calling right after, and after some flirtation with the Houston Texans Brown signed on with Baltimore and began rehabbing.

Nine months after the injury, he’d worked his way back to the field and made his debut in the preseason, playing well in two appearances to lock up a roster spot. Brown didn’t let up once he made the roster, earning playing time when Super Bowl hero Jacoby Jones went down with an injury. Brown scored in three of his first four regular season games, establishing himself as one of the Ravens’ best playmakers.

In his rookie year, Brown put up totals that nearly matched his four years at Georgia, going for 49 catches, 524 yards and seven touchdowns, earning himself a spot on the team for 2014. While he took a step back statistically as an NFL sophomore, with 24 catches for 255 yards, he’s still viewed as a playmaker for the team and is expected to be on the roster for 2015 as a valued possession receiver.

Brown never became the SEC superstar Georgia fans envisioned when he signed with the school, and he may never become an NFL star either. But with his size, athleticism and work ethic, he looks like he’s carved out a spot for himself in the league.