Recruit Report: Heisman winner was 3-star recruit

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How accurate are national rankings of high school players?

Well, Johnny Heisman wasn't really Johnny Be Good in high school, according to scouting services.

Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy as a redshirt freshman at Texas A&M. Only two years ago, he was ranked only a three-star prospect by both Rivals.com and Scout.com. A five-star prospect is the highest ranking.

Manziel played at Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas, where he tortured many opponents with his running and passing ability (12,253 career yards). As a senior, he completed 228 of 347 for 3,609 yards and also rushed for 1,674 yards on 170 attempts. He also returned a kickoff 77 yards for a touchdown his senior season and played some at receiver as a sophomore.

But despite his success, he wasn't ranked among the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country and he also wasn't recruited by some big-time programs, such as Texas.

Apparently, one of the knocks on Manziel was his height (listed at 6 feet 1). He originally made a verbal commitment to Oregon during his junior year. But in the summer before his senior year, Texas A&M offered a scholarship, and hesigned with the Aggies, backing out of his Oregon commitment.

Another quarterback, who finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting, wasn't ranked highly in high school, either. Kansas State's Collin Klein, who played at Loveland High School in Colorado, was ranked only a two-star prospect by Scout and a three-star by Rivals.

But Rivals and Scout weren't the only ones who might not have thought that highly of Klein as a quarterback. After a redshirt year, Kansas State played Klein as a receiver.

There are always players who aren't rated highly by scouting services, don't have four or five stars next to their names, but go on to big things after high school. But it should be pointed out the scouting services also are accurate on many other rankings.

For example, Notre Dame linebacker Mani Te'o, who finished second to Manziel in the Heisman voting, was ranked by Scout as the No. 1 linebacker in the country during his senior year at Punahou High in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Rivals ranked Te'o the No. 2 linebacker in the country behind Vontaze Burfict of Corona, Calif. Burfict played at Arizona State, left school a year early, but was not drafted by an NFL team. He made the Cincinnati Bengals as a free agent.

Rogers to WVU

Gateway junior receiver Ricky Rogers recently made a verbal commitment to West Virginia. He also had been offered by Pitt, Rutgers and Toledo.

Rogers, a 6-foot-3, 192-pound junior, committed to the Mountaineers while visiting West Virginia for its game against Kansas. Rogers has played one season at Gateway. He played at Keystone Oaks as a freshman and sophomore.

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Mike White: mwhite@post-gazette.com


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