- There are 35 former five-star recruits in the 2023 NFL Draft.
- All of the top-three prospects were five-star recruits: Bryce Young, Jalen Carter and Will Anderson Jr. are the top-three prospects on PFF’s big board and were all five-stars in the 2020 class.
- Eleven of PFF’s top-32 prospects were five-star recruits: Over one-third of our first-round prospects were five-star recruits.
Estimated reading time: 19 minutes
The 2023 NFL Draft is a week away, an annual event where the top draft-eligible college football players are taken by NFL franchises.
This isn’t the first time these players have been evaluated for the next level, though, as nearly every single one of these prospects was rated coming out of high school by various recruiting services. The best 32 recruits were given five-star marks, essentially making them college football’s version of first-round picks.
Below is a summary of all 35 former five-star recruits eligible to be picked in the 2023 NFL Draft, listed by how they’re ranked on PFF’s big board.
(Note: On3 Sports’ industry rating is used here, which weighs On3 Sports, 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals into one ranking).
1. QB Bryce Young, Alabama Crimson Tide
Recruiting ranking: No. 2 overall in class of 2020
Young spent his true freshman season as Mac Jones‘ backup during Alabama's national championship run.
He then took over as the Crimson Tide’s starter in 2021 and became the first Alabama quarterback to bring home the Heisman Trophy. That season, his 92.2 grade tied with C.J. Stroud and Kenny Pickett for the highest among all quarterbacks in the country. Young also tied for the most big-time throws in the Power Five that year with 36. This past season, Young’s 91.3 passing grade was tied for the highest among all quarterbacks in the country.
A few examples of Bryce Young being Superman against Texas, which is exactly what Alabama needs him to be this season pic.twitter.com/kESYScRJut
— Max Chadwick (@Chad_Maxwick) September 12, 2022
2. DI Jalen Carter, Georgia Bulldogs
Recruiting ranking: No. 14 overall in class of 2020
Carter started immediately as a true freshman for Georgia, earning a respectable 71.4 grade. He then broke out as a sophomore, as his 90.0 pass-rushing grade and 18.9% pass-rush win rate led all Power Five interior defensive linemen.
Carter followed that up with a similarly dominant junior season, leading all Power Five interior defensive linemen with a 92.3 grade. He finished with the second-best pass-rushing grade (89.1) and the fourth-best run-defense grade (91.2) among that same group.
3. EDGE Will Anderson Jr., Alabama Crimson Tide
Recruiting ranking: No. 17 overall in class of 2020
Like Robinson, Anderson has been one of the most productive players at his position that we’ve seen.
He led the nation in pressures in both his freshman and sophomore seasons before placing “only” fifth this past season. Anderson’s 206 career pressures are the most in the PFF College era. As dominant as he was as a pass-rusher, there’s a case to be made that he was an even better run-defender. Anderson’s 63 career run-defense stops led all Power Five edge defenders since 2020.
Will Anderson Jr.: The Terminator ???? pic.twitter.com/QuV4SvMrBA
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) October 1, 2022
12. WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State Buckeyes
Recruiting ranking: No. 28 overall in class of 2020
As a true freshman, Smith-Njigba was Ohio State’s No. 4 receiver and caught 10 of his 13 targets for 49 yards and a touchdown.
He exploded as a sophomore and was arguably the best receiver in college football in 2021. On a team that featured two top-15 picks in Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, who were both older, JSN actually led all Power Five receivers in grade (91.7), receiving yards (1,595), yards after the catch (790) and receiving yards after contact (390). His 4.01 yards per route run led all FBS receivers as well. As a junior, he only played 60 snaps due to a nagging hamstring injury.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba with the most incredible catch you will EVER see
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 24, 2020
19. OT Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State Buckeyes
Recruiting ranking: No. 10 overall in class of 2020
Johnson played 26 snaps as a backup in his true freshman season, operating mostly at guard. He took over as the starting right guard in 2021 and impressed with a 79.1 grade, sixth among Big Ten guards.
He kicked out to left tackle this past season and produced the fifth-highest grade among Power Five tackles (83.0). Johnson’s 11 big-time blocks (PFF’s highest-graded blocks) that season was third in that same group.
Hello Paris Johnson Jr. pic.twitter.com/LoiGrrh41i
— Cory (@realcorykinnan) September 11, 2022
20. OT Darnell Wright, Tennessee Volunteers
Recruiting ranking: No. 6 overall in class of 2019
Wright was Tennessee’s starting right tackle as a true freshman and remained there for his first two seasons. His 45.6 grade in that span was the fifth-worst figure among Power Five tackles.
He then moved to left tackle in 2021 and improved to a 62.7 grade as a junior. Wright then moved back to right tackle for his senior season and really emerged as a pass protector. His 99.1 pass-blocking efficiency score and 1.7% pressure rate allowed were both top-five marks among all tackles in the country.
Darnell Wright vs Will Anderson Jr. pic.twitter.com/yDxz2PvB75
— John Brennan (@jbrens20) March 26, 2023
21. DI Bryan Bresee, Clemson Tigers
Recruiting ranking: No. 1 overall in class of 2020
As the top overall recruit from the 2020 class, Bresee made an immediate impact as a true freshman, leading all ACC interior defensive linemen with an 81.2 pass-rushing grade. His 26 pressures in 2020 were also tied for fourth among all Power Five interior defensive linemen.
He didn’t have much of a chance to build upon that as a sophomore, as he tore his ACL in the fourth game of the 2021 season. Bresee once again excelled as a pass-rusher this past year though, as his 12.4% pressure rate was ninth among Power Five interior defensive linemen.
People who are 6'5", 300 pounds should not be able to move like this.
Bryan Bresee (#11) is in for a massive comeback season. pic.twitter.com/nngBJLwLsV
— Max Chadwick (@Chad_Maxwick) May 9, 2022
22. EDGE Nolan Smith, Georgia Bulldogs
Recruiting ranking: No. 1 overall in class of 2019
As the highest-ranked recruit from 2019, Smith was third in Georgia’s edge defender rotation as a true freshman behind Azeez Ojulari and Malik Herring, playing 287 snaps. He fell to fifth in 2020 as both Ojulari and Herring returned while eventual first-rounder Travon Walker emerged.
Smith finally became a starter in his junior season and broke out with a 90.6 run-defense grade that was third among all edge defenders in the country. He was looking to have a similarly successful senior campaign with an 83.8 grade before tearing his pectoral muscle in the eighth game of the season.
…one of my favorite Nolan Smith snaps. Just blown away with this kid on/off the field. CEO type of prospect, IMO pic.twitter.com/vwhvk1K0oN
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) March 3, 2023
23. EDGE Myles Murphy, Clemson Tigers
Recruiting ranking: No. 8 overall in class of 2020
Murphy was an absolutely dominant run defender in his freshman season, as his 92.5 run-defense grade led all edge defenders in the country in 2020.
He never quite reached that high again, as his run-defense grades dipped to 84.1 as a sophomore before 72.8 this past season. However, he steadily improved as a pass-rusher. His 13 combined sacks/hits in 2022 tied for seventh among ACC edge defenders and he had a career-high 78.5 pass-rushing grade.
Easy power with the long arm from Clemson EDGE Myles Murphy pic.twitter.com/LodVjLaUz8
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) July 12, 2022
26. OT Broderick Jones, Georgia Bulldogs
Recruiting ranking: No. 9 overall in class of 2020
Jones played 25 snaps as a backup right tackle in his freshman season. He was still a backup in 2021, this time primarily as a left tackle. The redshirt freshman saw a starter’s amount of snaps that year (438) and earned an impressive 78.8 grade.
He took over as Stetson Bennett’s full-time blindside protector in 2022 and excelled at doing just that. Jones’ 99.0 pass-block efficiency score and 2% pressure rate allowed were both top-five marks among Power Five tackles this past season. He also didn’t allow a sack on 449 pass-blocking snaps.
Love the effort on the backside from Broderick Jones – tough rep for Derick Hall pic.twitter.com/NLcRweuNTW
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) March 9, 2023
27. RB Bijan Robinson, Texas Longhorns
Recruiting ranking: No. 16 overall in class of 2020
Robinson is one of the best running backs we’ve seen since we started charting college football in 2014.
His 39% career forced missed tackle rate is tied with Javonte Williams for the best in the PFF College era. Robinson’s 104 forced missed tackles this past season broke David Montgomery’s record set in 2018. He’s easily the top running back prospect on PFF’s big board and is the rare one worthy of a first-round selection.
Bijan Robinson just embarrassed the entire Oklahoma defense ????
— PFF (@PFF) October 9, 2021
54. LB Drew Sanders, Arkansas Razorbacks
Recruiting ranking: No. 27 overall in class of 2020
Sanders saw 52 snaps in his freshman season as a backup edge defender for Alabama. He was once again a backup edge defender as a sophomore behind Will Anderson Jr. and Dallas Turner. Sanders impressed as a run-defender that year as his 70.5 run-defense grade was a top-10 mark among SEC edge defenders with at least 275 snaps.
He transferred to Arkansas for this past season and transitioned to an off-ball linebacker. That move proved fruitful, as his 79.2 grade ranked second among SEC linebackers. Sanders still showed why he was originally an edge defender as his seven sacks and 30 pressures were top-five figures among all linebackers in the country.
This call on this BIG HIT by Drew Sanders is incredible ???? @RazorbackFB | @Drew_16Sanders pic.twitter.com/Py7cB2ryha
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) September 20, 2022
68. TE Darnell Washington, Georgia Bulldogs
Recruiting ranking: No. 24 overall in class of 2020
As a true freshman, Washington led Georgia’s tight ends with 166 receiving yards on seven catches, averaging an absurd 23.7 yards per reception.
Once Brock Bowers entered the fold in 2021, Washington took a backseat in the Bulldogs’ tight end room, at least as a receiver. However, he was able to use his monstrous 6-foot-7, 265-pound frame to shine in the run game. Washington’s 81.3 run-blocking grade this past season and seven big-time blocks were both top-five marks among all tight ends in the country. He still made an impact as a receiver, as his 454 receiving yards trailed only Bowers among SEC tight ends.
Georgia's Darnell Washington is hurdling defenders at 6'7" 270lb ????@ESPNCFB | @SECNetwork pic.twitter.com/f3OEQ6aErj
— ESPN (@espn) September 4, 2022
73. CB Kelee Ringo, Georgia Bulldogs
Recruiting ranking: No. 4 overall in class of 2020
Ringo missed the entirety of his freshman season after suffering a torn labrum in August 2020. He returned in 2021 and has been one of Georgia’s starting corners in each of the Bulldogs’ national championship seasons. In fact, Ringo had the game-sealing pick-six off of Bryce Young in the 2021 national championship game.
When Kelee Ringo called game ???????? @GeorgiaFootball pic.twitter.com/eFfJIlgFUr
— PFF College (@PFF_College) May 12, 2022
As a redshirt freshman, he only allowed a 20.3% open target rate, the sixth lowest among Power Five corners. Ringo struggled a bit more this season with a 73.3 coverage grade. Still, he has freaky tools for the position at 6-foot-2, 207 pounds while running a 4.36-second 40-yard dash.
78. LB Trenton Simpson, Clemson Tigers
Recruiting ranking: No. 22 overall in class of 2020
Simpson was a backup linebacker in his freshman year and earned a 59.6 grade on 283 snaps. He became a starter as a sophomore and excelled as a blitzer. Simpson’s seven sacks, 30 pressures and 34.5% pressure rate were all top-five marks among all linebackers in the country during the 2021 season.
He was overshadowed this past season by a couple five-star sophomores in Jeremiah Trotter Jr. and Barrett Carter. Simpson ended up with a 68.7 grade in 2022.
Trenton Simpson is the best linebacker in the 2023 NFL Draft. Stays patient, reads his keys, sees screen, and shoots out of a cannon to ensure a third down stop. Freak. pic.twitter.com/bBWnBtN2rn
— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) September 6, 2022
90. OT Wanya Morris, Oklahoma Sooners
Recruiting ranking: No. 20 overall in class of 2019
Tennessee had two true freshmen starting at offensive tackle in 2019 with Morris on the left side and the aforementioned Darnell Wright on the right. Both struggled that season and were two of the three lowest-graded tackles in the Power Five. Morris improved as a sophomore, as his positively-graded run-blocking rate was sixth among SEC tackles.
He then transferred to Oklahoma and spent the 2021 season as a backup tackle. As a senior, Morris was the Sooners’ starting right tackle and had the best year of his career. His 76.6 grade in 2022 was third among Big 12 tackles.
Wanya Morris (#64) CLEARING LANES for Eric Gray! ???????????? pic.twitter.com/mN0tTDyD4h
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) November 12, 2022
92. EDGE K.J. Henry, Clemson Tigers
Recruiting ranking: No. 10 overall in class of 2018
For the first two years of his career, Henry was a backup edge defender for Clemson. He became a starter in 2020 and earned a 62.1 grade. He was third in Clemson’s edge rotation as a redshirt junior before having a career year this past season.
He was a third-team All-American for PFF and was seventh among Power Five edge defenders with 53 pressures. His 78.8 run-defense grade was also a top-10 mark in that same group.
Clemson DE K.J. Henry
– 6-4, 255 RS Senior
– 5-Star in 2018 class
– Never played more than 386 snaps in season
– Career high 84.6 overall grade vs. Georgia Tech
– Pinballs off punches from linemen. Powerful frame pic.twitter.com/Ibh6ZU3mls
— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) September 6, 2022
93. CB Jaylon Jones, Texas A&M Aggies
Recruiting ranking: No. 26 overall in class of 2020
Jones has been one of Texas A&M’s starting outside corners since his true freshman season, earning a respectable 69.0 grade in his first year before dipping to 61.5 as a sophomore.
Jones rebounded in 2022, though, as his 0.37 yards allowed per coverage snap tied for second among Power Five cornerbacks. He’s a bigger player for the position at 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, but only 26% of his snaps were in press coverage this past season. Whichever team drafts him should prioritize using him at the line of scrimmage more often.
.@SK_Athletic's Jaylon Jones with the big pick for 14th ranked A&M to help put away 13th ranked Auburn 20-3@OriginalJaylon pic.twitter.com/2SFIkIz7YY
— Chase Shannon (@chase_shannon) November 6, 2021
107. CB Eli Ricks, Alabama Crimson Tide
Recruiting ranking: No. 18 overall in class of 2020
Much like his former teammate, Derek Stingley Jr., Ricks was one of the best cornerbacks in the country as a true freshman. His 82.9 man-coverage grade in 2020 was second among Power Five cornerbacks.
Also like Stingley, injuries hampered Ricks’ career after that. He dealt with a shoulder injury throughout his sophomore year before opting for season-ending surgery after six games. After transferring to Alabama, he dealt with various injuries and missed four games. Ricks still showed signs of his lockdown ability with the Crimson Tide though. He was among the top-three FBS corners in forced incompletion rate (36.8%), first down/touchdown rate allowed (15.8%) and yards per coverage snap allowed (0.37). His 31.6% completion rate allowed also led all cornerbacks in the country.
LSU CB Eli Ricks (@eliasricks) Highlights
Eli Ricks was named a 3rd Team AP All-American & was the only true Freshman to be listed on any of the All-American teams. Ricks has already shown that he's worth all the hype #GeauxTigers
WATCH ????: https://t.co/2C15J6fZnf pic.twitter.com/ka0lapvv9c
— JustBombsProductions (@JBP_Official) January 15, 2021
108. WR Kayshon Boutte, LSU Tigers
Recruiting ranking: No. 29 overall in class of 2020
As a true freshman, Boutte was LSU’s top receiver. He was a monster after the catch, as his 199 receiving yards after contact trailed only the eventual Heisman Trophy winner in DeVonta Smith among SEC receivers.
Boutte only played six games in his sophomore season due to an ankle injury that required multiple surgeries. He still led LSU in receiving with 503 yards on 37 catches. Boutte entered his junior season as a projected top-10 pick but didn’t particularly impress with a 64.8 grade. Despite playing five more games than his 2021 season, he only had 35 more receiving yards as he was LSU’s No. 2 receiver.
He initially announced that he’d return to Baton Rouge for his senior season but changed his mind and entered the draft less than a month later.
Kayshon Boutte’s up to 308 REC yards and 3 TDs as LSU is in a shootout with Ole Miss. ???? ???? ????
(????: @SECNetwork) pic.twitter.com/Mvuc8psnvA
— theScore (@theScore) December 20, 2020
110. DI Zacch Pickens, South Carolina Gamecocks
Recruiting ranking: No. 17 overall in class of 2019
Pickens was a backup as a freshman before becoming a starter in 2020. That year, his five tackles for loss/no gain were tied for fourth among SEC interior defensive linemen.
Pickens tied for third in that same group the following season with five sacks. As a senior, his 75.0 pass-rushing grade was sixth in the SEC for interior defensive linemen.
Zacch Pickens' length and hand use are traits he utilizes effectively to rush the passer pic.twitter.com/4lz7uKjP8a
— Billy M (@BillyM_91) March 30, 2023
111. DI Gervon Dexter Sr., Florida Gators
Recruiting ranking: No. 7 overall in class of 2020
Dexter saw a healthy 254 snaps as a backup during his true freshman season before taking over as a starter in 2021.
He had arguably his best season as a sophomore. That year, his 12 combined sacks/hits were third among SEC interior defensive linemen while his 13.5% pass-rush win rate and 10.6% pressure rate were fifth. While he slightly improved as a run-defender in his junior year, his pass-rushing grade fell over 20 points to a 55.2 mark.
Watch how quickly DT Gervon Dexter recovers and gets back into the play. pic.twitter.com/xLPdilbCXS
— Cover 1 (@Cover1) March 22, 2023
124. EDGE Zach Harrison, Ohio State Buckeyes
Recruiting ranking: No. 7 overall in class of 2019
Harrison was one of Ohio State’s starting edge defenders as a true freshman opposite of Chase Young. His 73.4 run-defense grade that year led all true freshmen edge defenders in the Power Five. Harrison ranked third in the Buckeyes’ edge rotation as a sophomore but dominated on those snaps, as his 88.8 grade was seventh among FBS edge defenders with at least 200 snaps.
He once again became a starter in 2021 and was sixth among Big Ten edge defenders with an 85.9 pass-rushing grade. This past season, his 86.1 overall grade was sixth for Power Five edges.
Textbook rip move by Zach Harrison pic.twitter.com/kOx7y3yNut
— Jordan Elliott (@splash_cousin) March 30, 2023
135. RB Zach Evans, Ole Miss Rebels
Recruiting ranking: No. 13 overall in class of 2020
Evans had the most eventful recruiting journey of every player on this list. After silently signing with Georgia in the early signing period, he asked to be released from his letter of intent just 10 days later. Four months after that, he eventually ended up at TCU.
As a true freshman, Evans was one of the backup running backs. He still impressed, averaging the fifth-most yards per carry among FBS running backs with at least 50 attempts (7.7). Evans led all backs in the country the following year, averaging 7.0 yards per attempt (min. 90 carries).
He spent his final season at Ole Miss but was once again the No. 2 running back, this time to freshman sensation Quinshon Judkins. Evans still ran for 930 yards and picked up a first down or touchdown on 36.8% of his attempts, the fifth-most among Power Five backs.
Zach Evans sifting through the defense with ease. He doesn’t even break stride as he cuts into open space. pic.twitter.com/0k2KfiVuxn
— Full-Time Dame ???? (@DP_NFL) September 3, 2022
147. LB Noah Sewell, Oregon Ducks
Recruiting ranking: No. 20 overall in class of 2020
The younger brother of Penei Sewell, Noah started for Oregon as a true freshman. His 0.31 yards allowed per coverage snap was tied for the best among Pac-12 linebackers that season.
As a sophomore, his 30.6% pass-rush win rate led all linebackers in the country. Sewell wasn’t quite as dominant of a blitzer in his junior year but improved his coverage grade by over 13 points to a 72.6 mark.
Noah Sewell is a freak at LB. Runs down the back and forces a fumble. pic.twitter.com/0XouagZ1Sq
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) September 9, 2021
191. LB Owen Pappoe, Auburn Tigers
Recruiting ranking: No. 14 overall in class of 2019
Pappoe started for Auburn as a true freshman and earned a 58.5 grade over his first two seasons. An ankle injury limited him to only five games as a junior.
He had his best year yet as a senior, ranking third among SEC linebackers with 0.43 yards allowed per coverage snap.
Owen Pappoe knows how to use the hit stick. pic.twitter.com/dULYeNVU5Z
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) September 17, 2022
201. WR Rakim Jarrett, Maryland Terrapins
Recruiting ranking: No. 30 overall in class of 2020
Despite having the fifth-most snaps among Maryland receivers as a true freshman, Jarrett still led the Terrapins with 177 yards after the catch.
He became Maryland’s top receiver as a sophomore and was fourth in the Big Ten with 430 yards after the catch. Jarrett had a pretty disappointing junior year as he was the Terps’ second-leading receiver and his 64.6 grade was nearly 10 points lower than what he posted in 2021.
Watching some Rakim Jarrett on this fine afternoon and I did not expect to see him steal a DB's soul so quickly. The torque to finish ???? pic.twitter.com/v1J4sdjFZY
— John Owning (@JohnOwning) March 7, 2023
221. EDGE Brenton Cox Jr., Florida Gators
Recruiting ranking: No. 16 overall in class of 2018
Cox originally attended Georgia and earned an impressive 74.1 grade as a true freshman, playing 277 snaps as the Bulldogs’ No. 3 edge defender. He was dismissed from the team the following August and transferred to Florida. He sat out all of the 2019 season before becoming a starter as a redshirt sophomore.
That year, his 47 pressures were third among Power Five edge defenders. In 2021, Cox’s 13 tackles for loss/no-gain were third among SEC edges. He played in eight games this year before being dismissed from the team for what head coach Billy Napier described as “an accumulation of issues”.
249. WR Justin Shorter, Florida Gators
Recruiting ranking: No. 7 overall in class of 2018
Shorter was the top receiver recruit in the 2018 class and disappointed in his two years at Penn State, with just 15 catches for 157 yards and no touchdowns in that span.
He transferred to Florida in 2020 for his redshirt sophomore season and was the Gators’ No. 4 receiver that year. Shorter became the No. 2 receiver in 2021 and caught 41 of his 63 targets for 550 yards and three touchdowns. He was once again Florida’s No. 2 receiver this past season and caught 29 of his 51 targets for 577 yards and a couple of scores.
This is a beautiful 51-yard dime from Anthony Richardson to Justin Shorter! Sheesh! pic.twitter.com/CWoQ7gX5JU
— Full-Time Dame ???? (@DP_NFL) October 15, 2022
274. WR Jadon Haselwood, Arkansas Razorbacks
Recruiting ranking: No. 3 overall in class of 2019
Haselwood was Oklahoma’s No. 5 wide receiver as a true freshman and caught 19 of his 27 targets for 272 yards and a touchdown. He then tore his ACL that April while training and played only three games in 2021.
In 2021, Haselwood was the No. 3 receiver for the Sooners and led Oklahoma with six receiving touchdowns. He transferred to Arkansas for his senior year and was second on the team with 704 receiving yards while his 17 forced missed tackles on receptions were tied for ninth among Power Five wide receivers.
We don’t suggest trying to tackle @jadon_haselwood ???? pic.twitter.com/VLMX6dpuIf
— Arkansas Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) September 12, 2022
288. DI Taron Vincent, Ohio State Buckeyes
Recruiting ranking: No. 23 overall in class of 2018
Vincent played 100 snaps as a backup interior defensive lineman in his freshman year and missed the entire 2019 season with a shoulder injury. He was once again a backup as a redshirt sophomore before becoming a starter in 2021.
That year, he earned a 61.4 grade. This past season, Vincent earned a 62.1 grade.
Taron Vincent (fire hydrant) pic.twitter.com/HzGeTRBp3g
— FlexinTexan (@flexintexans) March 27, 2023
NR. S B.J. Foster, Sam Houston State Bearkats
Recruiting ranking: No. 17 overall in class of 2018
Foster originally attended Texas and was a backup safety for three seasons. Still, he saw a healthy 1,526 snaps over those three years. Foster became a starter in 2021 and only allowed a 58.5 passer rating when targeted, fourth among Big 12 safeties. He struggled in the run game, though, as his 42.8 run-defense grade was the fourth-lowest mark in that same group.
He transferred to Sam Houston State and had the third-most snaps among Bearkats’ safeties that season. That year, Foster earned a 67.1 grade.
BJ Foster bringing the BOOM #hookem #longhorns #TEXASvsUSC pic.twitter.com/QaeHFBwr7e
— JonP⍟ (@jpineda1215) September 16, 2018
NR. LB Palaie Gaoteote IV, Ohio State Buckeyes
Recruiting ranking: No. 18 overall in class of 2018
Gaoteote originally went to USC and played 760 snaps over his first two seasons. However, he only saw 227 snaps over the following three years due to injuries. In particular, he only played 129 snaps in his two seasons at Ohio State. In 2019, his only year as a full-time starter, Gaoteote’s 74.3 run-defense grade was third among Pac-12 linebackers.
USC LB Palaie Gaoteote IV
Surprisingly a good athlete for a 250-pound backer. He reads the pulling guard & tracks the ball carrier for the run fit.
He meets the RB in the lane & delivers a physical blow. Interested to watch more of his tape. Intriguing LB prospect. pic.twitter.com/uJqCdQe5uk
— Full-Time Dame ???? (@DP_NFL) December 26, 2020
NR. QB Hunter Johnson, Clemson Tigers
Recruiting ranking: No. 23 overall in class of 2017
Johnson was the No. 2 quarterback in the 2017 class and was Clemson’s third-string quarterback as a true freshman. With 2018’s top overall recruit Trevor Lawrence coming in, Johnson saw the writing on the wall and transferred to Northwestern. He sat out all of the 2018 season due to transfer rules at the time.
He was originally the starter for the Wildcats in 2019 but lost the job after four games, earning a 49.2 grade on the year. Johnson played only three snaps the following season and was the third-string quarterback in 2021. Johnson returned to Clemson this past season and was the first player head coach Dabo Swinney ever brought in the transfer portal. He was the Tigers’ third-string quarterback in 2022 and played just 16 snaps.
Hunter Johnson’s last touchdown at Clemson was a 78-yarder to Tee Higgins in 2017. pic.twitter.com/ME5laxC3nP
— Austin Pendergist (@apthirteen) January 17, 2022
NR. RB Khalan Laborn, Marshall Thundering Herd
Recruiting ranking: No. 25 overall in class of 2017
Laborn originally went to Florida State and redshirted his freshman year. He only played in two games in 2018 before suffering a season-ending dislocated kneecap. Laborn received his first career carries as a redshirt sophomore and ran 63 times for 297 yards and four touchdowns as the Seminoles’ No. 2 running back behind Cam Akers. That summer, he was dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules.
He sat out the following two seasons and earned his bachelor’s degree before transferring to Marshall for this past season. Laborn was dominant in his sixth season, ranking top-10 nationally in rushing yards (1,535), yards after contact (865) and rushing touchdowns (16). His 85 combined rushing first downs and touchdowns were the fifth-most in the country.
Marshall RB Khalan Laborn deserves more NFL draft recognition. He was top 10 in rushing yards and rushing TD's this past season. While having 9 100 yard games and a 163 yard performance vs Notre Dame. pic.twitter.com/thxkQbOyUf
— The Sportsdudeheinz Show (@SdudeHeinzShow) April 8, 2023