Where did the top players in Super Bowl 2022 rank as high school recruits?

Jon Santucci
Palm Beach Post

With the Bengals and Rams set to kick off in Super Bowl LVI on Sunday, let's take a look back at how the teams' top players were recruited as high school seniors. 

From can't-miss prospects to unrecruited superstars, a broad spectrum of high school football recruits can be found on these teams' rosters.

While Los Angeles quarterback Matthew Stafford (2009 NFL Draft) and Joe Burrow (2020) were both No. 1 overall draft picks, the pair had different high school recruitments.

Stafford was a five-star prospect and the No. 6 overall player in the nation in the Class of 2006. Burrow was a four-star prospect and rated outside the Top 200 in the Class of 2015. 

Check out more recruitment from the top stars in Super Bowl LVI: 

Florida in the Super Bowl:Easy Money! Former Gator Evan McPherson kicks Cincinnati Bengals to the Super Bowl

National signing day:Which FBS football programs did the best job recruiting Florida in the class of 2022?

More on recruiting:5 reasons why top Florida recruits are signing with out-of-state programs

Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon holds the Lamar Hunt trophy as Ja'Marr Chase, left and Tee HIggins, center, watch after they beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL AFC Championship football game, Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022 in Kansas City, Mo.. (AP Photos/Reed Hoffmann)

Vonn Bell

Bell, whose interception in overtime of the AFC Championship game helped send the Bengals to the Super Bowl, was one of the nation's top safeties as a senior at Ridgeland High School (Georgia) in 2013. The five-star recruit was the No. 2 safety and No. 26 overall player on the 247Sports composite. Bell picked Ohio State over Alabama and Tennessee. 

WR Ja'Marr Chase 

The NFL's Rookie of the Year was one of the top wideouts in the nation as a senior at Archbishop Rummel High School (Louisiana). Chase was the No. 15 receiver in the nation and the No. 84 player overall on the 247Sports composite in 2018. Chase visited Auburn, Michigan and TCU, but opted to stay home and sign with LSU.

DE Trey Hendrickson

The first-time Pro Bowl selection helped Apopka win the 2012 state championship as a senior but had little interest from major programs. Hendrickson was ranked the No. 307 recruit in the state and the No. 101 weakside defensive end in the nation on the 247Sports composite in 2013. The two-star recruit signed with FAU over offers from New Mexico and Western Kentucky.

WR Tee Higgins

Higgins, the 33rd pick and seventh receiver taken in the 2020 NFL Draft, was one of the nation's premier recruits in the class of 2017. The Oak Ridge High School (Tennessee) product was the No. 2 wide receiver in the nation and No. 19 player on the 247Sports composite. Higgins had more than 20 offers and picked Clemson over Tennessee. 

RB Joe Mixon

Mixon was the top-ranked all-purpose running back, No. 2 player in California and No. 19 overall player in the nation in the Class of 2014. The five-star recruit from Freedom High School took official visits to Cal, Florida State, Oklahoma, Washington and Wisconsin  before signing with the Sooners. 

QB Joe Burrow

The No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft was one of the top 300 recruits in the nation on the 247Sports composite as a senior at Athens High School (Ohio) in 2015. A four-star recruit and the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback in the nation – Kyler Murray was No. 1 and Sam Darnold was No. 5 – Burrow’s offers included Boston College, Iowa State, Kentucky, Ohio State and West Virginia. He signed with Ohio State before transferring to LSU, where he won the Heisman Trophy and a national championship.

Big man on campus: OT Jonah Williams

Williams was the No. 2 offensive tackle, No. 3 player in California and the No. 17 recruit in the nation on the 247Sports composite while a senior at Folsom High School in 2016. Williams had more than 25 offers and chose to sign with Alabama. 

Wyoming linebacker Logan Wilson (30) in the first half during the Arizona Bowl college football game against Georgia State, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019, in Tucson, AZ. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Road less traveled: LB Logan Wilson 

Wilson was an all-state selection and two-time state champion at Natrona High School (Wyoming), but that didn't boost his recruiting. Wilson was the No. 3,208 overall recruit and No. 377 wide receiver on the 247Sports composite in the class of 2015. Wyoming was the only school to offer Wilson and moved to linebacker, where he became an All-Mountain West Conference selection. 

LA Rams

Los Angeles Rams' Matthew Stafford, left, and Aaron Donald celebrate after the NFC Championship NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. The Rams won 20-17 to advance to the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

WR Odell Beckham Jr.

Beckham, who played quarterback, running back, wide receiver and cornerback at Isidore Neman School (Louisiana), was the No. 20 receiver and No. 135 overall player in the nation in 2011. Beckham opted to stay in-state and signed with LSU over Mississippi State, Nebraska and Ole Miss.

DT Aaron Donald

Donald, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, had just four offers as a senior at Penn Hills High School (Pennsylvania) in 2010. Rivals rated Donald as a three-star recruit, the No. 14 recruit in the state and the No. 37 overall defensive tackle in the nation. Donald signed with hometown Pitt over offers from Rutgers, Akron and Toledo.

LB Von Miller

The Super Bowl 50 MVP and seven-time All-Pro selection was rated a four-star recruit and the No. 15 defensive end in the nation by Rivals as a senior at Desoto High School (Texas) in 2007. Miller picked Texas A&M over Florida, Ole Miss, Oklahoma and Texas Tech. 

CB Jalen Ramsey 

Ramsey was one of the premier recruits in the nation as a senior at Brentwood Academy (Tennessee) in 2013. He was rated the No. 1 player in Tennessee, the No. 2 cornerback (behind Florida signee Vernon Hargreaves Jr.) and the No. 16 overall player in the nation on the 247Sports composite. Ramsey picked Florida State over Florida, Mississippi State, USC and Washington.

OT Andrew Whitworth

Not too much is known about the recruiting of Whitworth, who is the newly minted oldest active player in the NFL. A two-time state champion lineman at West Monroe High School (Louisiana), Whitworth was rated the No. 6 offensive lineman in the nation by CNNSI.com and signed with LSU. 

QB Matthew Stafford

Stafford was rated the No. 1 quarterback and the No. 6 overall player in the nation by Rivals in the Class of 2006 during us senior year at Highland Park High School (Texas). Stafford picked Georgia over offers from Florida State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas and others. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. predicted that Stafford would be the No. 1 overall pick while the quarterback still was in high school. 

Big man on campus: RB Cam Akers

Akers was the No. 1 player in Mississippi, the No. 2 running back in the nation and the No. 3 overall player on the 247Sports composite as a senior at Clinton High School in 2017.  Akers, the No. 60 all-time recruit since 247Sports began in 2010, picked Florida State over Ohio State, Alabama and others. 

East Washington’s Cooper Kupp (10) tries for yardage against Cal Poly during the first half of an NCAA college football game, in San Luis Obispo, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. (Laura Dickinson/The Tribune (of San Luis Obispo) via AP)

Road less traveled: WR Cooper Kupp

The NFL’s receiving triple crown winner was not a major recruit as a senior at Davis High School (Washington). Kupp was a first-team all-state defensive back and received honorable mention as a wide receiver in 2011 but was not even considered a one-star player by any major recruiting service. He picked Eastern Washington over Idaho State.