Jones was in part of the same 2011 Ohio State recruiting class as five-star quarterback Braxton Miller. The Buckeyes also picked up four-star quarterback J.T. Barrett in 2013. The odds of Jones ever starting were slim, but when Miller and Barrett were both out with injuries during the 2014 season, the Buckeyes turned to Jones. He earned the Big Ten Championship Game MVP in his first-ever start. Jones went on to lead Ohio State to stunning upsets of No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Oregon to win the College Football Playoff National Championship.
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Case Keenum | 2006 | 2-star QB | Houston
Art Briles, Dana Holgorsen, Kliff Kingsbury and Kevin Sumlin all coached Keenum during their days at Houston. And all are now head coaches at big-time programs thanks in large part to the career Keenum had with the Cougars. He was just a two-star prospect and Houston was the only school to offer him a scholarship. In the Cougars' high-powered offense, Keenum shattered records, becoming the NCAA all-time career leader in passing yards, touchdowns and completions. He is also the FBS all-time leader in total offense with 20,114 yards.
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Jordan Lynch | 2009 | 2-star QB | Northern Illinois
Northern Illinois was the only school to offer Lynch a scholarship, and he turned out to be arguably the greatest player in program history. Lynch didn't become the Huskies' starter until his junior year in 2012. He rushed for more 100-yard games (12) that season than any quarterback in college football history, and led NIU to the 2013 Orange Bowl. Lynch continued to break records on the ground as a senior. In 2013, he rushed for a quarterback single season record of 1,920 and single game record 321 yards. His impressive career earned him a trip to New York City as a Heisman Trophy finalist where he finished third in the voting.
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Tyrann Mathieu | 2010 | 3-star CB | LSU
LSU was the only Power Five conference program to offer Mathieu a scholarship in 2010. He dominated the SEC and earned the nickname 'The Honey Badger' during his breakout season in 2011 with 77 total tackles, five forced fumbles, and two interceptions. Mathieu was named 2011 SEC Defensive Player of the Year and the 2011 SEC Championship Game MVP. He won the Chuck Bednarik Award, and finished fifth in Heisman Trophy voting. Unfortunately, that would be the highlight of the Honey Badger in college. Mathieu was dismissed by LSU prior to the 2012 season. He did find success at the next level as a third round pick by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2013 NFL Draft.
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Justin Blackmon | 2008 | 3-star WR | Oklahoma State
Blackmon had some big shoes to fill at Oklahoma State when Dez Bryant left for the NFL after the 2009 season. Blackmon exceeded expectations with back-to-back Biletnikoff Award-winning seasons. He was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year in 2010 when he caught 111 passes for 1,782 yards and 20 touchdowns. The following season, he helped lead Oklahoma State to its first-ever Big 12 championship and a Fiesta Bowl win as the game's offensive MVP. Blackmon was the fifth overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2012 NFL Draft.
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Collin Klein | 2008 | 2-star QB | Kansas State
Klein wasn't the most athletic quarterback, but he was one of the most fearless leaders in college football. As just a two-star prospect, Kansas State was the only school to offer him a scholarship. After redshirting in 2008 and seeing limited action the next two years, Klein became the starting quarterback in 2011. He became known for his toughness and ability to power the football on the ground. The Wildcats were the nation's surprise team in 2011 and a national title contender the following season. Klein was a Heisman Trophy finalist after leading K-State to the Big 12 Championship with an 11-1 regular-season record in 2012.
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Michael Crabtree | 2006 | 2-star WR | Texas Tech
Crabtree was a quarterback in high school, but many schools recruited him to be a receiver or defensive back. He elected to go to Texas Tech to play in then-coach Mike Leach's Air Raid offense. Crabtree exploded onto the scene as a redshirt freshman in 2007. He caught an NCAA freshman record 134 passes for 1,962 yards and 22 touchdowns. He became the first-ever freshman to win the Biletnikoff Trophy and the first two-time winner of the award. The Red Raiders were a national title contender his sophomore season in 2008 and Crabtree had a signature moment when he caught a 27-yard go-ahead touchdown with one second remaining against No. 1 Texas. He was the 10th overall pick by the 49ers in the 2009 NFL Draft.
Peter G. Aiken
Johnny Manziel | 2011 | 3-star QB | Texas A&M
Manziel was arguably the most exciting player to watch in college football history. Texas A&M was one of the few premier college football programs in the region to offer him a scholarship. Oregon wanted him, but Manziel decided to remain in-state and join the Aggies. Manziel competed with Jameill Showers for the starting job heading into the 2012 season. He was unstoppable with his feet and made jaw-dropping plays with his arm. Manziel became the first-ever freshman to win the Heisman Trophy and was a finalist again his sophomore year.
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Marcus Mariota | 2011 | 3-star QB| Oregon
Mariota and Johnny Manziel were both interested in Oregon in 2011, and the Ducks couldn't have gone wrong either way. Each won the Heisman Trophy at their respective schools, but Mariota led Oregon to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in 2014. He didn't draw much interest from the other college football powerhouses as one of the top high school dual-threat quarterbacks, choosing the Ducks over offers from Memphis and Washington. He broke numerous Pac-12 records during his three-year career at Oregon, passing for 10,796 yards, rushing for 2,237 yards, and accounting for 134 total touchdowns.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY SportsGary A. Vasquez
Mark Ingram | 2008 | 3-star RB | Alabama
Hard to believe that with all the talent and tradition at Alabama, the program never had a Heisman Trophy winner until 2009. And the player who would win it was not from the south or a blue chip prospect. Ingram was just a three-star running back from Michigan. Instead of staying in Big Ten country, Ingram went to Alabama before the Crimson Tide were the dynasty they are today under coach Nick Saban. As a sophomore, he became the youngest player at the time to win the Heisman Trophy after rushing for 1,658 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2009. He capped off the season in the 2010 BCS Championship Game, earning the Offensive MVP award.
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Baker Mayfield | 2013 | QB | Oklahoma
Mayfield was a walk-on at Texas Tech where he earned Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year honors in 2013. After transferring to Oklahoma and sitting out a year, he led Oklahoma to back-to-back Big 12 championships in 2015-16. Mayfield finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2016.