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Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl 2024 with only one 5-star recruit

Super Bowl LVIII featured a surprisingly low number of top football recruits
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With two 3-star high school quarterbacks starting in the 2024 Super Bowl, the debate over high school football recruiting rankings has only intensified. And it begs the question: Is a 5-star ranking indicative of future success?

Brock Purdy and Patrick Mahomes are the latest examples of why recruiting rankings don't tell the whole story.

Purdy, the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, was a 3-star recruit out of Perry High School in Gilbert, Arizona. He drew little interest from Power 5 college football programs until late in his senior season when he carved up Chandler in the 2017 Arizona 6A state championship game. Purdy threw for 332 yards and 5 touchdowns and rushed for 131 yards and a TD in a 49-42 loss. 

Purdy was the 50th ranked quarterback in the class of 2018. It was a stacked class, with Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields at the top. And Purdy arguably wasn't the most overlooked prospect. The 66th-ranked QB in the class was Michael Penix Jr. out of Tampa Bay Tech High School in Florida.

Purdy signed with Iowa State, played four seasons in the Big 12 and was drafted with the last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. The rest is history.

Mahomes, who has won two Super Bowls as quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs, was a 3-star recruit out of Whitehouse High School in East Texas. He was a three-sport athlete in high school and was ranked the 47th best quarterback in the class of 2014. The only quarterbacks ranked ahead of him that started in the NFL this season are Deshaun Watson (7th) and Mason Rudolph (27th). The top-ranked QB in the class, Kyle Allen from Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, was the backup QB for the Buffalo Bills this season.

When examining the starting lineups of both Super Bowl LVIII teams, they are filled with lightly recruited players. In fact, there are only three 5-star players in the starting lineups on Sunday, and they're all defensive linemen.

The 49ers have two of the 5-star recruits: Defensive ends Chase Young (DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Maryland) and Nick Bosa (Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida). 

The Chiefs lone 5-star recruit is defensive tackle Chris Jones (Houston High School in  Mississippi).

Of the 49ers and Chiefs starters, 28 were ranked as 3-star recruits or lower in high school. Here's the complete breakdown: