College football national letter of intent signing day is just around the corner. It is a day full of hope and excitement as fans learn who will lead their favorite school on he gridiron in the future. Most of the excitement comes because of the star ranking that is attached to each of the signees.

While those star rankings are huge when grading how a team did in recruiting, it doesn’t tell the whole story on how good a player can be. Some guys develop late while others just have the heart and the work ethic to be stars no matter what their high school film says. Some guys who come in with a lot of fan fare don’t pan out while some who were afterthoughts on the big recruiting boards become stars.

This list takes a look at the most prominent players from the Aggies over the last 15 years, to see how they performed compared to their original ranking.

Note: All original star rankings are from Rivals.com.

Leon Jackson III, three-star, quarterback, 2003

Jackson came to the Aggies as one of their biggest recruits in the 2003 class out of Long Beach, CA. He put up solid numbers during his years as the starting quarterback even though Utah State was in the middle of a down period. His most productive season came in 2007 when he completed 65.4 percent of his passes for 1,576 yards and nine touchdowns to go along with 338 yards and six scores on the ground.

For his Utah State career, he threw for 4,221 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Production: Three-star

Jarrett Bush, two-star, defensive back, 2004

Bush spent two seasons with the Aggies after he was a two-star recruit out of American River Junior College. After recording 20 tackles, and an interception as a junior, he had a breakout year in 2005. That year, he totaled 50 tackles, 13 pass break-ups, two interceptions and a sack.

Production: Four-star

Robert Turbin, two-star, running back, 2007

After landing with the Aggies as a two-star recruit out of Fremont, CA, Turbin had three impressive seasons before he was a fourth round pick by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2012 NFL draft. He reached double figures in touchdowns in each of his last three seasons and was a 1000-yard rusher in his last two years. He is most productive season came in 2011 when he was the WAC Offensive Player of the Year after he totaled 1,517 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns.

All told, he carried the ball 565 times for 3,315 yards and 40 touchdowns to go along with 67 catches for 845 yards and 11 more scores.

Production: Five-star

Bobby Wagner, two-star, linebacker, 2008

Wagner proved to be a huge recruit from the moment he stepped on campus even though he was only a two-star coming out of high school. He had four productive seasons, including three years as a First-Team All-WAC selection before he moved on to the NFL. His best season came as a senior in 2011 when he was the WAC Defensive Player of the Year after he registered 147 tackles, including 11.5 tackles for loss, four sacks and two interceptions.

For his Utah State career, he managed 445 tackles, 4.5 sacks and four interceptions.

Production: Five-star

Jake Doughty, no ranking, linebacker, 2008

Doughty came to the Aggies as a walk-on with no star ranking from Juan Diego High School. After two seasons as a contributor, Doughty became an everyday starter and became a star. He was a two-time All-Conference performer, including First-Team All-WAC in 2012 and First-Team All-MWC in ’13. His most productive season came in as a senior in ’13 when he finished with 148 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, two sacks and an interception.

For his Utah State career, he totaled 305 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and two interceptions.

Production: Five-star

Tyler Larsen, two-star, offensive line, 2009

Larsen cane to Logan as a two-star recruit and left as one of the most decorated offensive lineman in school history. He was a four-year starter at center and a three-time first-team all-conference selection, including 2011 and ’12 in the Western Athletic Conference and ’13 in the Mountain West.

Production: Five-star

Kerwynn Williams, two-star, running back, 2009

Williams came to the Aggies as a two-star recruit out of Las Vegas, NV and left as a seventh round pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2013 NFL draft. He had three impressive seasons as a kick returner and backup running back before he finally got the starting job and shined. That year came in 2012 when he lead the WAC in carries (218), yards per carry (6.9) and rushing yards (1,512) while finishing second with 15 rushing touchdowns. His 2,209 yards from scrimmage was good enough for second in the nation.

For his Utah State career, he finished with 382 carries for 2,515 yards and 22 touchdowns to go along with 64 catches for 870 yards and five scores.

Production: four-star

Michael Smith, two-star, running back, 2009

Smith came to the Aggies as a two-star recruit out of Eastern Arizona Junior College and left as a seventh round pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2012 NFL draft. While he was never the main ball carrier for during his time at Utah State, he was a huge piece for a team that tied for second in the WAC standing in 2011. That season, he carried the ball 114 times for 870 yards and nine touchdowns. His 7.6 yards per carry was good enough to lead the conference and was third best in the country.

For his Utah State career, he finished with 184 carries for 1,313 yards and 15 touchdowns to go along with 38 catches for 424 yards and four scores.

Production: Three-star

Nevin Lawson, two-star, defensive back, 2010

Lawson came to the Aggies as a two-star prospect out of Lauderhill, FL and left as a fourth round pick by the Detroit Lions in the 2014 NFL draft. He was a three-year starter, a two-time all-conference performer and a College Sports Madness Third-Team All-American. One of his best years came in 2013 when he when he earned All-American recognition and First-Team All-MWC after he totaled 57 tackles, 13 pass breakups, five tackles for loss and four interceptions.

For his Utah State career, he registered 205 tackles, 36 pass breakups, 9.5 tackles for loss and six interceptions.

Production: Five-star

Brian Suite, two-star, defensive back, 2010

Suite landed in Logan as a two-star prospect from Honolulu, HI and was a very solid contributor during his three years on the field. He was a Phil Steele Third-Team All-MWC performer in each of his last two seasons. One of his best years came as a junior in 2013 when he had 77 tackles, six pass breakups, five interceptions and two fumble recoveries.

For his Utah State career, he recorded 226 tackles, 21 pass breakups, eight interceptions and two tackles for loss.

Production: Three-star

 

Zach Vigil, no ranking, linebacker, 2010

Vigil landed in Logan as a walk-on out of Clearfield High School and left as a Second-Team All-American. He was one of the most dominating linebackers in school history. He earned Second-Team All-conference in 2012 and ’13, and First-Team All-MWC as a senior. His best year came in 2014 when he was the MWC Defensive Player of the Year after he recorded 156 tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss, nine sacks and an interception.

For his Utah State career, he finished with 389 tackles, a school record 43.5 tackles for loss, 16.5 sacks and two interceptions.

Production: Five-star

Joey DeMartino, no ranking, running back, 2010

DeMartino came to Utah State out of Grossmont Community College with no star ranking. After two seasons as a part-time contributor, he had a breakout season as a senior in 2013 when he was the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl MVP and a Phil Steele Third-Team All-MWC performer. That season, he led the Aggies with 221 carries for 1,221 yards and 13 touchdowns to go along with 13 catches for 125 yards an another score.

For his Utah State career, he totaled 1,378 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground with 139 yards and a touchdown in the receiving game.

Production: Three-star

Maurice Alexander, two-star, safety, 2011

Alexander came to the Aggies as a two-star recruit out of Arizona Western College and left as a fourth round pick by the Saint Louis Rams in the 2013 NFL draft. He started 21 games over two seasons with his best year coming as a senior. That year, he was honorable mention All-WAC after he finished fourth on the team with 80 tackles, including nine tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

For his Utah State career, he managed 125 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.

Production: Three-star

Kyler Fackrell, no ranking, linebacker, 2011

Fackrell came to Logan without any star ranking out of Mesa, AZ and left as one of the best defensive players in school history even though he missed a year with an injury. He was a three-time all-conference honoree, including First-Team All-WAC in 2012 and First-Team All-MWC in 2015. One of his most productive seasons came as a senior when he totaled 82 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and four sacks to earn Phil Steele Fourth-Team All-American.

For his Utah State career, he had 253 tackles, 36 tackles for loss, 12 sacks and five fumble recoveries.

Production: Five-star

Chuckie Keeton, two-star, quarterback, 2011

while his Aggie career was slowed by injuries, he was one of the best signal callers in school history. He came to Logan as a two-star recruit out of Houston, TX and started for parts of five seasons. His best season came as a sophomore in 2012 when was First-Team All-WAC he completed 67.6 percent of his passes for 3,373 yards and 27 touchdowns while carrying the ball 129 times for 619 yards and eight scores.

For his Utah State career, he completed 62.9 percent of his throws for 7,388 yards and 62 touchdown. He added 1,415 yards and 16 touchdowns in the running game.

Production: Four-star

Nick Vigil, two-star, running back, 2012

Vigil came to the Aggies as a two-star recruit out of Fremont High School and became an impact player on both sides of the ball. He has been a two-time First-Team All-MWC selection at linebacker and has also scored four touchdowns as a running back. One of his best years came in 2014 when he finished with 138 tackles, including 18 tackles for loss, nine sacks, five forced fumbles and an interception.

For his Utah State career, he totaled 339 tackles, 40 tackles for loss, 17.5 sacks and six forced fumbles.

Production: Five-star

JoJo Natson, two-star, wide receiver,  2012

Natson came to Logan as a two-star recruit out of Lauderdale Lakes, FL. He spent three years on the field with the Aggies and was an elite punt returner and a solid wide receiver. His best season came in 2014 when he caught 51 passes for 504 yards and two touchdowns while carrying the ball 50 times for 498 yards and three more scores. He was also named First-Team All-MWC as a punt returner.

For his Utah State career, he had 127 receptions for 1,031 yards and five touchdowns to go along with 611 rushing yards and six scores. He also totaled 643 punt return yards and three touchdowns.

Production: Four-star

Darrell Garretson, three-star, quarterback, 2013

Garretson landed with the Aggies as a three-star recruit out of Chandler, AZ and spent parts of two seasons under center before he decided to transfer to Oregon State. He was very productive while in Logan when he was healthy. His most impressive season came in 2014 when he completed 67.4 percent of his passes for 1,140 yards and eight touchdowns.

For his Utah State career, he completed 63.1 percent of his throws for 2,586 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Production: Three-star

Kent Myers, two-star, quarterback, 2014

Myers came to the Aggies as a two-star recruit out of Sachse, TX. Although he hasn’t started either of his seasons in Logan as the starting signal caller, he has seen plenty of action on the field thanks to injuries. He had a very productive season in 2015 when he completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 1,593 yards and 16 touchdowns with just three interceptions. His 151.6 passing efficiency rating was good enough to lead the Mountain West Conference.

Production: Three-star

Hunter Sharp, two-star, wide receiver, 2014

Sharp arrived at Utah State as a two-star recruit out of Antelope Valley Community College and became an instant impact receiver, leading the team in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in 2014 and ’15 and earning all-conference recognition both years. His most impressive season came as a senior when he caught 71 passes for a team-leading 839 yards and nine touchdowns even though he missed the first two games of the season.

For his Utah State career, he caught 137 passes for 1,778 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Production: Four-star

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