Super Bowl players explain why a college recruit's star ranking doesn't matter

SAN JOSE — Elite recruits can leap from planes and hit their friends with paintball guns as a means of announcing their college commitments. But grand statements and the number of stars attached to recruiting profiles doesn’t necessarily translate into a Super Bowl trip.

Take Carolina Panthers top cornerback Josh Norman for example. He had one offer coming out of high school. From Coastal Carolina.

“Shoot, I wasn’t even a one star. I was a wandering willow, man,” Norman said. “I wanted to go Division I, but it wasn’t in god’s plan for me to go there. If I could say anything (to these recruits) is, if you have a dream, keep driving … Be who you are and be who you want to be. Don’t be something other than that because otherwise you’re gonna fail. And if you look at statistics, you’re gonna fail. Put all your chips in on it, cash in.

“Right now I’m at Super Bowl 50. The biggest one of them all, and I didn’t have one star. So I’m cashing in big time.”

In addition to Norman, some of the biggest names playing this Sunday night were no-names heading into college. Cam Newton, a former four-star, said Tuesday that he’s most concerned about Denver’s fierce pass-rush with defensive end DeMarcus Ware, a no-star with one offer from Troy, and linebacker Von Miller, a three-star with a handful of offers who was considered undersized.

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