Better than advertised

It's that time of the year when fans of every college football program in the country hope they land 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 defensive side of the ball have shown they may have been deserving of more stars and a higher ranking out of high school. wasn't the only organization that undervalued what Grady Jarrett could bring to the college game. The three-star prospect was rated as the No. 41 defensive tackle in the class of 2011. After Clemson, his next best offer was Mississippi State. He had no other ACC or SEC offers when he pulled the trigger and committed to the Tigers in June 2010.

After playing just 61 snaps as a freshman, Jarrett logged 512 as a sophomore, recording 49 tackles and 8.5 tackles for loss. For his work, the Rockdale County High School [Ga.] was an All-ACC honorable mention selection by the league's coaches.

Jarrett picked up All-ACC honorable mention honors again from the in 2013 after making 83 tackles and 11 tackles for loss in 539 snaps.

Virginia Tech's Luther Maddy is the only other All-ACC selection slated to return to college in 2014, so Jarrett projects as a first-team pick in the preseason.

After just one season, it's probably safe to say that Korrin Wiggins is in the conversation as an under-valued college prospect. The former three-star was listed as the No. 52 safety in the class of 2013. While the Hillside High School [Durham, N.C.] poduct didn't play safety last season, he did make an impact from the nickel position. In 12 games, Wiggins played 292 snaps. He had 14 tackles and two interceptions.

At Woodland High school, Robert Smith was primarily a quarterback. He entered his junior season with 163 career snaps, 23 tackles and one interception. He played in all 27 games those first seasons and made one start, spending most of the time as the backup to Jonathan Meeks. A three-star prospect in 2011, Smith was the No. 72 ranked safety that year.

Like Jarrett, the folks out weren't the only ones to miss on Smith. In 2013, he played more snaps than any other Clemson defender. Fourth on the team with 77 tackles, Smith also had 2.5 tackles for loss, one sack and an interception.

Josh Watson wasn't a blip on anybody's radar when he was a senior at John Dickinson High School in Wilmington, Del. With no D-1 offers out of high school in 2009, Watson spent a season at Hargrave Military Academy. Then, he blew up to four stars and picked up offers from all over the ACC and SEC.

After appearing in just five games as a redshirt freshman, he's started in 14 games at defensive tackle over the last two seasons. During that period, he has 111 tackles and four sacks.

Deshawn Williams, the next defensive tackle in the feature, was a three-star coming out of Daniel High School in 2011. The No. 84 defensive tackle in the nation for that cycle, Williams has been a regular in the Clemson defensive tackle rotation since his freshman year, and he hasn't missed a game.

He played 508 snaps in his first two seasons, which saw him record 70 tackles and seven tackles for loss. As a junior, Williams started four games. He played 359 snaps and had 37 tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss.

Another under-valued Daniel product, Shaquille Lawson was a three-star when he was a senior in 2012. had him down as the 116th best defensive end in the country. Quite frankly, that was ridiculous. Even during his post-grad season at Hargrave, Lawson was still a three-star. He more than lived up to his billing during year one at Clemson.

Lawson played 337 snaps over 13 games this season, recording 35 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and four sacks. Top Stories