KANSAS CITY, Mo. — National Signing Day 2021 will usher in the latest class of high school athletes to commit to colleges and universities across the country.
Every year, high school football players spend time receiving recruitment letters, making visits and making decisions that could decide their futures.
Deciding what college to attend can be a difficult decision that can set a player on a path to stardom and hopefully be part of the 1.6% of NCAA players to be drafted to the NFL.
As the Kansas City Chiefs prepare for back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, the players have been through the decision making and rating process leading up to National Signing Day.
Much is made about player star ratings, but at the end of the day, they are just ratings and do not define their ultimate success.
For starters, Patrick Mahomes has a lengthy list of accolades in his fourth year in the NFL, but the 2018 MVP and Super Bowl LIV MVP was a three-star recruit coming out of Whitehouse High School, according to Rivals.com.
Mahomes received three offers; University of Houston, Rice University and Texas Tech where he eventually committed.
His back up, Chad Henne, was a five-star talent in the 2004 class. He committed to Michigan while also receiving offers from Georgia, Miami, Penn State and Tennessee.
Mahomes’ favorite target, Travis Kelce is recognized as one of the top tight ends in the NFL, but as a high school senior, he was a two-star football athlete. He did receive a handful of offers before committing to Cincinnati as part of the 2008 recruiting class.
The wide receiver room in the Chiefs building is full of stars, however. Sammy Watkins (Clemson 2011) and Mecole Hardman (Georgia 2016) were both five-star recruits in their respective recruiting classes. Hardman received 29 offers from all over the country including Alabama, Clemson, Michigan and Miami.
Tyreek Hill (Oklahoma State 2014) and Demarcus Robinson (Florida 2013) were four-star receivers coming out of high school. Hill received offers from Alabama, Oklahoma and Kansas State and nine other schools before committing to Oklahoma State. Due to off-the-field issues, he ended up finishing his collegiate career at West Alabama.
Robinson was also highly recruited by top schools including Miami, Clemson and Georgia.
Kansas State’s own Byron Pringle came out of Tampa as a three-star recruit.
For Chiefs running backs, it is a different story.
Le’Veon Bell rose to stardom in the NFL as a Pittsburgh Steeler, yet scouts only gave the running back two-stars. It was enough to get him an offer from Michigan State where he ended up committing.
Standout rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire committed to LSU as a three-star recruit in the 2017 class. His running mate and LSU compatriot Darrel Williams signed with the Tigers as a four-star running back three years prior.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Chiefs boast some high ranking high schoolers in the secondary and defensive line.
First team All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu entered the collegiate level as a four-star corner and committed to LSU in the class of 2010.
Armani Watts has not seen much playing time with the Chiefs, but signed with Texas A&M as a four-star. Daniel Sorenson (BYU 2008) and Juan Thornhill (Virginia 2015) were ranked as three-star athletes coming out of high school.
Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones continues to add to his list of NFL accolades, which is nothing new for the recruit out of Mississippi. Jones received offers from both Ole Miss and Mississippi as a five-star defensive lineman before committing and signing with the latter.
Alex Okafor signed as a Texas Longhorn also as a five-star recruit. Frank Clark joined Michigan as a three-star.
Harrison Butker (Georgia Tech 2013) and Tommy Townsend (Tennessee 2016) were both three-star kickers in their respective class.
*All ratings from Rivals.com