How did Rivals rank current Ravens players as high-school prospects back in the day?
By By Matt Vensel
Feb 05, 2014 | 1:08 PM
On Wednesday morning, hundreds of highly touted high school football players across the country dusted off the nearest fax machine to send their signed letters of intent to college football programs, from powerhouses to smaller schools. These commitments bring hope to every program every winter, but the reality is that projecting how high school prospects will pan out can at times be a total crapshoot.
Sure, there are players such as South Carolina star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who is expected to be a top-five draft pick in May's NFL draft, who met the immense hype of being a top prospect. But there are countless examples of standout NFL players who didn't generate much buzz on national signing day.
Take Joe Flacco for example. Flacco was a three-star prospect in 2003, according to Rivals,com. He was their 39th-ranked quarterback, behind a few players you have heard of and plenty more you probably never have. Chris Leak, Dennis Dixon, JaMarcus Russell and even former Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski were all four- or five-star quarterback prospects ranked ahead of Flacco, who committed to Pittsburgh. He and another three-star prospect -- some guy named Aaron Rodgers -- turned out to be the best of the bunch.
Here is a look at how Rivals ranked some other current Ravens players when they were coming out of high school:
Ray Rice: Rice was a three-star recruit and their 19th-ranked running back in 2005, when he committed to Rutgers.