Where various Ravens players ranked on their respective National Signing Days

Lardarius Webb is proof that recruiting rankings don't always matter. - Patrick Smith

Once upon a time, those on the Ravens' roster were high school recruits. Here's where the standouts from the 2013 team ranked when they were college prospects.

Wednesday is National Signing Day, where high school recruits begin signing their National Letters of Intent to colleges across the country.

While a lot of these players can make or break a recruiting class, only a select few will take those talents to the NFL.

If you're a college football nut, visit SB Nation's Signing Day Central to get the latest news on which commitments are rolling in.

At one point in time, the Ravens' stars were looking to pick the best fit for college. Here's where the recruiting experts (Rivals.com, Scout.com) pegged them.

CB Jimmy Smith (Rivals: 3-star, Scout: 3-star)

The future Ravens' first-round draft pick didn't get much love from the recruiting experts. Rivals ranked Smith the 57th best cornerback coming out of high school in 2006. Scout wasn't much more favorable, with Smith checking in at No. 53. Funny enough, the former Colorado standout was ranked behind future teammate Chykie Brown, who checked in as Scout's 21st-rated cornerback in the Class of 2006.

CB Lardarius Webb (Rivals: NR, Scout: NR)

Here's proof that the recruiting experts don't always hit when it comes to long-term expectations. Webb, a member of the Class of 2004, went unranked by both recruiting services. Rivals didn't even include him with the Southern Miss commits on its team page. Webb would go on to transfer to Nicholls State, with the Ravens drafting him in the third round of the 2009 draft.

DT DeAngelo Tyson (Rivals: 4-star, Scout: 5-star)

Before the Ravens snagged Tyson in the seventh round of the 2012 draft, he was a high-profile recruit that committed to Georgia in 2008. He was Scout's third-ranked defensive tackle and checked in fourth in Rivals' position rankings. A defensive coordinator change midway through his college years (with Georgia going from a 4-3 to a 3-4) proved difficult, though he was still able to get drafted. In two seasons with Baltimore, Tyson has been able to crack the rotation.

DT Haloti Ngata (Rivals: 5-star, Scout: 5-star)

The recruiting experts were dead-on with Ngata. Both sites listed him as a five-star and both sites ranked him the top defensive tackle prospect in the nation for the Class of 2002. In addition, Rivals had Ngata as their second-overall player in the class, with Scout ranking him sixth overall. Ngata was a big contributor in college for the Oregon Ducks, and became a first-round selection for the Ravens.

OL Marshal Yanda (Rivals: 3-star, Scout: 2-star)

Yanda was actually a junior college recruit that wasn't noticed out of high school. But by the time he was done at North Iowa Area Community College in 2005, he caught the interest of both Iowa and Iowa State. He ended up committing to the Hawkeyes and had a great end to his college career. The Ravens took Yanda in the third round of the 2007 draft.

OLB Elvis Dumervil (Rivals: 3-star, Scout: 3-star)

Dumervil was a solid recruit out of high school that went on to become the standout of Louisville's Class of 2002. Perhaps a bit overlooked by the recruiting sites, Dumervil was selected by the Broncos in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL draft and has had a successful career thus far.

OLB Courtney Upshaw (Rivals: 4-star, Scout: 4-star)

Upshaw was a highly-ranked recruit by both services and went on to have a great college career at Alabama. Plenty of SEC schools were after him coming out of high school in 2008, indicating how college-ready he was as a prep player. Upshaw was initially projected to be a first-round draft pick but slid to 35th overall in the 2012 NFL draft.

QB Joe Flacco (Rivals: 3-star, Scout: 3-star)

Flacco wasn't considered an elite prospect coming out of high school, with Rivals ranking him its 39th quarterback and Scout ranking him 43rd. Originally committing to Pittsburgh, Flacco transferred out to Delaware midway through his college career. His days at Delaware showed Flacco was among the better quarterbacks in the country as he was then drafted by Baltimore in the first round of the 2008 NFL draft.

QB Tyrod Taylor (Rivals: 5-star, Scout: 5-star)

Four years after Flacco was overlooked by the recruiting experts, Taylor emerged as a clear-cut, can't-miss option at quarterback. Rivals determined he was the third-best quarterback in the Class of 2007 and Scout ranked him fourth. Taylor went on to have a record-setting career at Virginia Tech but has been Flacco's backup since the Ravens drafted him in the sixth round of the 2011 draft.

RB Ray Rice (Rivals: 3-star, Scout: 3-star)

Rice has generally been passed on due to his size, and the recruiting rankings are no different. With both sites ranking him a three-star, at least Rivals listed him as the 19th-best running back in the Class of 2005. Scout listed Rice as the 59th best cornerback when he was a high school senior. Rice went on to have a great college career at Rutgers and became a second-round pick by the Ravens in 2008.

S Matt Elam (Rivals: 5-star, Scout: 5-star)

Elam was a highly sought-after recruit coming out of William T. Dwyer High School in the Class of 2010. Choosing Florida as a five-star prospect by both recruiting sites, Elam had a spectacular three years at Florida. The Ravens then used their first-round pick in 2013 on Elam to help bolster their secondary. Elam became a starter early this past season.

WR Torrey Smith (Rivals: 3-star, Scout: 3-star)

Smith was listed as an above-average prospect by the two recruiting services but that didn't stop him from becoming a tremendous player at the University of Maryland. Smith was taken by the Ravens in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft and burst onto the scene with a three-touchdown game against the Rams as a rookie.

OL Eugene Monroe (Rivals: 5-star, Scout: 5-star)

Monroe was a big-time offensive line recruit, ranking first at his position by both recruiting services in the Class of 2005. Monroe had a great career at Virginia and became a first-round pick by the Jaguars. He's had a decent NFL career and will have a chance to improve on that with the Ravens — if the two parties work out a long-term deal this offseason.

OL Michael Oher (Rivals: 4-star, Scout: 5-star)

Oher rose to fame in college as he was the subject of the book The Blind Side, later turned into a movie. As he was being recruited by colleges across the country, Oher was given four-star status by Rivals and five-star status by Scout. The recruiting rankings panned out as his career at Ole Miss led to a first-round selection by the Ravens. However, his time in Baltimore may be running out this offseason.

TE Dennis Pitta (Rivals: NR, Scout: NR)

Pitta was a grayshirt at BYU in 2003 and didn't become a member of the Cougars football team until 2004. Unnoticed by the recruiting sites, he walked on to BYU and wound up seeing some playing time as a freshman. However, he went on a Mormon mission trip in 2005 and 2006 before rejoining the Cougars in 2007. Finishing his career with three solid years, the Ravens took notice and drafted Pitta in the fourth round of the 2010 draft.

TE Ed Dickson (Rivals: 3-star, Scout: 4-star)

Dickson was a coveted recruit on the west coast that ended up playing college football at Oregon. He chose the Ducks over schools such as Michigan, LSU, Arizona State, Oklahoma and USC. His exceptional college career led to the Ravens selecting him in the third round of the 2010 NFL draft. However, his status with the team is up in the air as he becomes a free agent this offseason.


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