Ohio State Buckeyes Football: The Top Players Who Were 3-Star Prospects
Jim Tressel has been recruiting at Ohio State since 2001. He has recruited a number of 3-star athletes. Many recruiting rankings rate the success of a recruiting class largely based on the star level of their recruits. Hence, a top recruiting class will be loaded with 4- and 5-star athletes. Jim Tressel has shown that one does not need to depend on star rankings for a recruiting class to be successful. The following are 10 of Jim Tressel's best 3-star recruits.
10. Chimidi Chekwa
This 3-star cornerback came to Ohio State via Florida. He had an interception during his freshman year at USC that was the beginning of a solid four-year OSU career. He will definitely be drafted but did suffer a wrist injury during the Sugar Bowl that may slow him down.
9. Jay Richardson
Jay Richardson was part of the 2002 recruiting class that had other star-studded 3-star players. Richardson often went under the radar due to names like A.J. Hawk, Troy Smith and others that were stars on the team. But anyone who watches OSU football knows that Richardson was a solid D-lineman and was drafted into the NFL.
8. Dane Sanzenbacher
Sanzenbacher was voted the team's offensive MVP this year and came up big in the Sugar Bowl by scoring the first touchdown off a Terrelle Pryor fumble. A 3-star prospect out of Toledo, Sanzenbacher showed proved he had 5-star value to the wide receiving corps.
7. Brian Robiskie
Robiske was a late commit to the 2005 recruiting class. Many thought he was just a throw-in as Ohio State still had extra scholarships. But his career at OSU proved he was a top receiving prospect, and he now plays for the Cleveland Browns.
6. Brian Hartline
Brian Hartline suffered a devastating leg injury during his senior season that may have dropped him down to a 3-star level, but his OSU career clearly surpassed three stars. He was a top OSU receiver and now plays for the Miami Dolphins.
5. Chris Gamble
Chris Gamble did it all at Ohio State. Recruited as a receiver, Gamble would later be switched to cornerback, shutting down Andre Johnson of the Miami Hurricanes in the 2002-03 National Championship game, and acting as the primary punt returner for OSU during that season. He was drafted by the Carolina Panthers and continues to play as a solid cornerback.
4. James Laurinaitis
The son of former professional wrestler Hawk, Laurinaitis came to OSU via Minnesota as a 3-star prospect. He played his freshman year in the Michigan game after Bobby Carpenter suffered an injury. He went on to win awards early on in his career as a top linebacker. He could have left early and likely would have been a top-10 draft pick but stayed in college for his final year. He is now with the St. Louis Rams.
3. Malcolm Jenkins
Coming out of New Jersey, OSU fans were wondering who this kid was. People stopped wondering when he began playing. He shut down the Big Ten's best and decided not to go to the NFL early, but returned to help lead the team his senior year. He has won a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints.
2. Santonio Holmes
This 3-star recruit out of Florida became a star at Ohio State. He later would be a Super Bowl MVP with the Pittsburgh Steelers and also helped the New York Jets to the AFC Championship game.
1. A.J. Hawk
A.J Hawk was part of the 2002 recruiting class that featured prominent recruits like 5-star Mike D'Andrea and 4-star prospects Bobby Carpenter and Stan White Jr. Hawk was under the recruiting radar, but he quickly established himself at OSU, sending Stan White Jr. to fullback while Mike D'Andrea barely played due to injuries. Hawk was drafted in the first round by the Green Bay Packers and will be playing in his first Super Bowl on February 6.