Inspired by SI.com's recent article on "two-star" players that are making noise in college football, we'll take a look at BYU's history with two-star or fewer athletes.
The article gave the nod to Riley Nelson and Cody Hoffman as two of the best two-star players heading into 2012. These are some other Cougar greats over the last 10 years who were two stars or fewer and ended up being better than their star-rating led on.
Hall led BYU to a 32-7 record, becoming BYU's winningest quarterback of all time. Hall transferred from Arizona State and racked up three consecutive 3,500-yard seasons, finishing his career with more completions (903), passing yards (11,365) and touchdowns (94) than any other Cougar signal caller not named Ty Detmer.
Pitta wasn't even given a star-rating and walked on at BYU. The once lanky receiver bulked up and transformed himself into arguably one of the best pass-catching tight ends in NCAA history. Growing into a 6-foot-5, 247-pound consensus All-American, Pitta left BYU as the career leader in receptions (221) and third in receiving yards (2,901). He holds the NCAA record for most yards gained by a tight end.
The other half of what might be thought of as the best tight-end tandem in BYU history and one of the best in the NCAA is George. While his numbers weren't as prolific as Pitta, the near-identical 6-foot-5, 251-pound George was every bit as capable and will long be remembered for catching the game-winning touchdown in overtime against Utah in 2009.
Though often injury riddled, Pendleton was one of BYU's most ferocious defenders in recent memory. Originally coming in as a hard hitting safety, Pendleton grew into a fearsome outside linebacker and at 6-foot-3 and 238 pounds had a rare combination of size and speed. He burst onto the scene in BYU's 14-13 win over No. 3 Oklahoma in 2009 and had his best season as a sophomore.
In just three years, Unga became BYU's career leader in rushing yards with 3,455 on 696 attempts. As a freshman, Unga tallied 1,227 yards, a freshman record. Unga had three-straight 1,000 yard seasons and is one of only nine players to rush for at least 1,000 yards and have 1,000 yards receiving for a career.
Jorgensen played four-straight years for BYU and started all 52 games of his career, tied for a school record, helping the Cougars to a 43-9 record over that span. He set the Mountain West Conference record for career sacks and is second in school history.
Currently an NFL player, Kehl was one of the most athletic Cougars to date. Kehl made plays all over the field for BYU and was an all-conference player in 2006 and 2007. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the New York Giants.
Brown is currently BYU's career leader in all-purpose yards (4,996) and was the first Cougar to put together back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons on the ground. Brown became the school's career leader in rushing yards before Unga broke the record a few years later.
A first-team All-American by The Sporting News, ESPN, College Football News, CBSSportline and SI.com, Harline came from Ricks College and in two years caught 121 passes for 1,742 yards and 17 touchdowns. He is 20th on BYU's career receiving yards list and has a place in Cougar history for catching the game-winning touchdown from his knees to beat Utah in 2006.
*ratings based off of both Rivals.com and Scout.com