Photo: David McGregor
Parkview's Jordan Reid looks over his National Letter of Intent to Ohio University with his father Kenneth and mother Michelle on Wednesday afternoon.
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National Signing Day is all about the stars. The ones beside high school football players' names that indicate their talent level as judged by internet recruiting services.
From the coveted five-stars down to the two-stars, fans scoured the web Wednesday to see how many highly-rated players chose their college. On signing day, stars equal success.
After signing day, stars no longer matter.
A five-star may turn out to be an NFL first-round pick or may never play a down in college. A two-star in the right situation can do just as well as a five star.
While the recruiting gurus aren't always spot on with their star ratings, college coaches fall in the same category. BCS schools often overlook players who end up as big-time players at a lesser level, and those smaller FBS and FCS coaches relish getting those "steals" on signing day.
With that in mind, I present my list (in no particular order) of Gwinnett's top recruiting "steals," guys who aren't necessarily five-stars but will be stars on the next level.
If your college signed one of these guys, consider it a signing day victory:
--Andrew Everett, Collins Hill
Kudos to Old Dominion for swiping high-level players from the same high school in back-to-back years. The Monarchs signed record-breaking Collins Hill quarterback Taylor Heinicke a year ago, and he had posted unbelievable numbers last fall as a true freshman.
Expect the same at ODU from Everett, a Division I-caliber player who was previously committed to Southern Miss. At 6-foot-5, 205 pounds, the rangy Everett could be a standout at linebacker, or could bulk up at play defensive line.
--Jordan Reid, Parkview
After focusing on basketball for a few seasons, Reid returned to football as a senior and became a star. The Ohio University signee's highlights got better and better throughout the 2011 season, making him a fast-rising star on the recruiting circuit. He has the skills to play D-I football and will do very well at Ohio.
-- Rocky Capobianco, Dacula
While Old Dominion signed last year's GDP offensive player of the year in Heinicke, West Georgia did the honors this year by inking Capobianco.
The Dacula senior was overlooked for his size, but his production on the football field was second to none. He started at quarterback, running back and safety during his high school career, and should be an impact player wherever West Georgia decides to use him.
Recruiters felt the same way about Chad Hall's height a few years back, then the Wesleyan grad became a star at Air Force and now plays in the NFL.
--Lavondre Nelson, GAC
Height was also a recruiting issue with the 5-foot-6 Nelson, who more than makes up for it with speed and strength. His athletic ability could have put him at an FBS program, which means he should be a major Ivy League force at Princeton.
--Rick LeGrant, Buford
Another FBS talent who slipped to a lower level, LeGrant will be a quality linebacker for Charlotte when it begins play in 2013.
--Malachi Jones, Central Gwinnett
Jones lacked the top-end speed to get big-time offers, but he has the height of a FBS wideout. He's also smooth and experienced at the wide receiver position, which makes him a good signee for Appalachian State.
--George Morris, Central Gwinnett
Syracuse, which got a steal last year in Brookwood's Cameron Lynch, may have got another one. Morris is not only a powerful runner, but his experience in wide-open offenses and his pass-catching ability will make him a top-notch college back.
--Jordan Parker, Collins Hill/Anfornee Stewart, Duluth
Middle Tennessee's success over the past few seasons lured a pair of talented Gwinnett offensive players in Parker and Stewart. Both were accomplished in different ways, Parker as a big, strong running back and Stewart as an athletic quarterback, though Stewart's college success may come at a different position.
-- Robert Hill, Buford
Chattanooga got a pretty good lineman in Hill, who finished with a huge senior season for the state runner-up Wolves. Hindered by an ankle injury his junior season, he was one of Gwinnett's best linemen this season.
Will Hammock can be reached via email at email@example.com. His column appears on Thursdays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/willhammock. For Hammock's sports blog, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/willsworld.