Better than advertised

It's that time of the year when college football fans hope their team lands that next big-time recruit with several stars beside his name.

Four stars are nice and five are ideal, but they're not the only high school players who turn into starters and key contributors at the next level.

The following players on the offensive side of the ball have shown they may have been deserving of more stars and a higher ranking out of high school.

Stanton Seckinger was originally invited to join the Clemson football team in January of 2012. A two-star wide receiver out of Charleston's Porter-Gaud, Memphis and N.C. State also offered. His initial Clemson offer was a greyshirt, but that changed in early 2011 when he was invited to become an official member of that year's signing class.

After taking a redshirt in 2011, Seckinger was moved from wide receiver to tight end midway through 2012. He finished with four catches for 35 yards and a touchdown that season. A starter in 10 games in 2013, he led all Clemson tight ends with 21 catches for 244 yards and four touchdowns.

Sam Cooper, who was a two-star prospect and the No. 53 tight end in the country in 2010, will compete with Seckinger for the No. 1 tight end spot in 2014. Out of high school, Cooper also had offers from Duke and Michigan State.

Cooper was on track to be the starting tight end in 2013 before tearing his ACL during the spring game. He appeared in 12 games this season and caught six passes for 50 yards and a score as a redshirt junior. Prior to this past season, he had 11 catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns during his career.


Battle picked up four stars during his post-grad season at Fork Union.
Isaiah Battle kind of appeared out of nowhere when he camped at Clemson in the summer of 2010. The lightly recruited Brooklyn native visited Clemson with Del Smith, the head coach of The Blue Ridge School, the small prep school in Virginia where Battle went to school. Before leaving Tigertown, Battle committed to Clemson over offers from New Mexico and East Carolina.

Then, Battle was a three-star prospect and ranked as the No. 101 offensive tackle before picking up four-star billing as a post-grad at Fork Union Military Academy. That final star count was a more accurate representation. Battle, a rising junior, started the final four games of 2013 at right tackle and is likely to take over as the starting left tackle in 2014.

When word got out that Adam Humphries was committing to Clemson, the outsider's assumption was that he was just a throw-in for teammate Charone Peake, a heavily recruited four-star prospect. By the time the 2011 recruiting rankings were finalized, Humphries was a three-star cornerback, the No. 123 ranked player at the position.

Clemson was his only BCS offer.

A do-it-all-type of player at Dorman, Humphries has worn a few different hats at Clemson. Primarily a wide receiver, he's also returned punts and played some cornerback. He caught 41 passes for 483 yards and two touchdowns, and returned 20 punts for 212 yards in 2013. Entering this season, Humphries caught 56 passes for 410 yards and five touchdowns in 27 games.

Don't misconstrue the message. The benefits of four- and five-star talents are clear, but those aren't the only types of high school prospects that end up being good college players.

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