Super Bowl LII: Who were the top recruits coming out of high school?

Staff Report | Thursday, February 1, 2018

Tom Brady and Nick Foles will garner much of the attention Sunday but they weren't given top billing in recruiting circles.

Video: Rob Gronkowski high school highlights
Patriots tight end expected to return from concussion for Super Bowl LII.

Tom Brady, Zach Ertz, Nick Foles, Rob Gronkowski, Malcolm Jenkins and Devin McCourty will be a few of the big names on the field Sunday for Super Bowl LII when the New England Patriots face the Philadelphia Eagles.

But coming out of high school, that group of stars wasn't necessarily pegged for greatness.

Brady has been in the league so long there weren't any credible projections for his career.

Gronkowski and Ertz were both highly-recruited tight ends but weren't regarded as Top 100 recruits by 247Sports.

Foles, Jenkins and McCourty were all outside the Top 500 recruits in their respective classes.

So who were the can't-miss recruits coming out of high school? Read on for a look at the former blue chippers who will take the field for the biggest game of the year in Minneapolis.
Malcolm Brown, Patriots
High school: Brenham (Texas)
Class of: 2012
247Sports ranking: No. 9
This season: A first round draft pick in 2015, Brown recorded 49 tackles and 2.5 sacks during the regular season.

Tim Jernigan, Eagles
High school: Columbia (Lake City, Fla.)
Class of: 2011
247Sports ranking: No. 11
This season: Recorded 29 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss during the regular season.

Brandon Graham, Eagles
High school: Crockett Tech (Detroit, Mich.)
Class of: 2006
247Sports ranking: No. 16
This season: Led the Eagles in sacks with 9.5 to go along with 47 tackles in the regular season. Longest-tenured member of the Philadelphia defense.

Nigel Bradham, Eagles
High school: Wakulla (Crawfordville, Fla.)
Class of: 2008
247Sports ranking: No. 19
This season: Led the Eagles in tackles (88) in second season with the team after spending the first four seasons of his career with Buffalo.

Ronald Darby, Eagles
High school: Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.)
Class of: 2012
247Sports ranking: No. 25
This season: Tallied 34 tackles and three interceptions. Leads the team in tackles (14) during the postseason.

Isaac Seumalo, Eagles
High school: Corvallis (Ore.)
Class of: 2012
247Sports ranking: No. 28
This season: Third-round pick appeared in 14 games during the regular season with two starts. Has played in both of Philadelphia's postseason games.

Nelson Agholor, Eagles
High school: Berkeley Prep (Tampa, Fla.)
Class of: 2012
247Sports ranking: No. 30
This season: Breakout campaign operating in the slot for the Eagles, hauling in 62 passes for 768 yards and eight touchdowns.

Stephon Gilmore, Patriots
High school: South Pointe (Rock Hill, S.C.)
Class of: 2009
247Sports ranking: No. 34
This season: A star quarterback at South Pointe, Gilmore made the transition to defensive back in college. After five years in Buffalo he joined New England prior to this season, making 50 tackles and picking off two passes during the regular season.

Jaylen Watkins, Eagles
High school: Cape Coral (Fla.)
Class of: 2010
247Sports ranking: No. 39
This season: Played in 12 games, recording 19 tackles. Has appeared in both Philadelphia postseason games.

Ricky Jean-Francois, Patriots
High school: Carol City (Miami, Fla.)
Class of: 2005
247Sports ranking: No. 59
This season: The veteran of this group began the season with Green Bay only to be released and picked up by the Patriots. Appeared in six games during the regular season for New England with one start.