All hail the unsung guys: The 12 best 3-star prospects in the SEC this decade

Every year, it’s the same thing: Fans salivate over the four- and five-star prospects their favorite schools sign and do a collective shoulder shrug about the three-star recruits.

One reason is sheer numbers: FBS schools sign about 3,000 football players each season and only about 15 percent are four- and five-star guys, so it’s only natural to get excited about those players. At the same time, with that many three-star guys, it’s an absolute given that a handful each season become key starters — and a few actually become bona-fide stars.

Don’t believe the “stars” part? Well, here’s a look at 12 former three-star recruits who became bona-fide stars in the SEC this decade. And it was tough to cut this list to 12; there were about 35 former three-star prospects that we originally considered. (The player had to sign this decade; if, for instance, a player signed in 2009 and became a star in 2011, he did not meet our criteria.)

Read on, then, for the best three-star prospects in the SEC this decade. The players are listed alphabetically.

KENTRELL BROTHERS, courtesy of Missouri athletics

LB Kentrell Brothers, Missouri

The particulars: 3-star prospect from Guthrie (Okla.) High in 2011 class.
The skinny: Brothers was a tackle machine in his final three seasons with the Tigers. He had 70 tackles as a sophomore in 2013 – and that was just a warmup for his final two seasons. Brothers had 122 tackles in 2014, then a league-leading 152 as a senior in 2015. The 152 stops were the most in a season in the SEC since 2002. He finished his career with 358 tackles, which is eighth in Mizzou history.

RELATED: Recruiting rankings: A look at how each SEC school has done over the past 5 years

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