National Signing Day History: A Look Back At Current Atlanta Falcons

Josh D. Weiss-US PRESSWIRE

A history of the Atlanta Falcons roster and their star ratings coming out of high school.

Today is National Signing Day, so plenty of top high school prospects will be heading to the colleges of their choices and trying to pave a path to the NFL. Given that, I thought it might be fun to look back at the Atlanta Falcons as high school prospects and see how highly ranked they were.

For this exercise, we're using Rivals.com, one of the most respected scouting services. I went through the entire roster (minus the practice squad) to come up with this list. Their database only went back so far, so anyone listed as N/A is someone I couldn't easily find a star rating for. That includes Steven Jackson, among others.

There are some major surprises on this list. Antone Smith was a five-star prospect, while Matt Ryan was only a three-star recruit back in 2003, which saw Rivals rank him as the 25th best QB prospect in the nation. Just goes to show you how much someone's stock can change over time and how little these rankings have to do with someone's future fortunes, though it's still incredibly entertaining to see. In some cases, like that of Julio Jones, they've got a player pegged from the very beginning.

Please note that most of the dates listed are commitment dates, so their actual start time with the program may be slightly different.

I ordered these by position rather than star, so hopefully it's easily navigable. Discuss in the comments.

First Last Year Stars School
Matt Ryan 2003 3 Boston College
Dominique Davis 2007 2 Boston College
Sean Renfree 2008 3 Duke
Steven Jackson 2001 N/A Oregon State
Jacquizz Rodgers 2007 3 Oregon State
Jason Snelling 2003 3 Virginia
Antone Smith 2005 5 Florida State
Josh Vaughan 2005 2 Richmond
Bradie Ewing 2008 2 Wisconsin
Patrick DiMarco 2007 2 South Carolina
Julio Jones 2008 5 Alabama
Roddy  White 2001 5 UAB
Harry Douglas 2003 3 Louisville
Drew Davis 2006 4 Oregon
Darius Johnson 2008 3 SMU
Kevin Cone 2007 N/A Georgia Tech
Levine Toilolo 2009 4 Stanford
Chase Coffman 2005 3 MIssouri
Andrew Szczerba 2007 3 Penn State
Adam Nissley 2007 2 UCF
Sam Baker 2003 4 USC
Lamar Holmes 2010 4 Southern Mississippi
Mike Johnson 2007 4 Alabama
Terren Jones 2009 2 Alabama State
Justin Blalock 2003 5 Texas
Garrett Reynolds 2005 3 North Carolina
Harland Gunn 2007 3 Miami
Peter Konz 2008 4 Wisconsin
Joe Hawley 2007 3 UNLV
Ryan Schraeder 2011 0 Valdosta State
Osi Umenyiora 1999 N/A Troy
Jon Massaquoi 2009 3 Troy
Kroy Biermann 2004 N/A Montana
Malliciah Goodman 2009 4 Clemson
Stansly Maponga 2009 3 TCU
Cliff Matthews 2007 4 South Carolina
Corey Peters 2006 4 Kentucky
Jon Babineaux 2000 N/A Iowa
Peria Jerry 2007 3 MIssissippi
Travian Robertson 2008 4 South Carolina
Sean Weatherspoon 2006 2 Missouri
Stephen Nicholas 2003 2 South Florida
Joplo Bartu 2008 2 Texas State
Paul Worrilow 2008 0 No commits, walk-on at Delaware
Akeem Dent 2007 4 Georgia
Omar Gaither 2004 4 Tennessee
Desmond Trufant 2010 3 Washington
Asante Samuel 1999 N/A UCF
Robert Alford 2009 0 SE Louisiana
Robert McClain 2007 2 Connecticut
Dominique Franks 2006 4 Oklahoma
William Moore 2004 3 MIssouri (as a WR!)
Thomas DeCoud 2004 2 California
Zeke Motta 2009 4 Notre Dame
Kemal Ishmael 2009 2 UCF
Matt Bryant 1996 N/A Oregon State/Baylor
Matt Bosher 2006 3 Miami
Josh Harris 2008 N/A Auburn

Enjoy this blast from the past, if you would.

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