AFC Championship: When they were recruits

Patrick Smith

There are plenty of prominent names in the AFC Championship. Some of those players were highly-touted recruits, like Jerod Mayo and Haloti Ngata, and underrated players, like Joe Flacco and Rob Ninkovich.

The AFC Championship between the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots features plenty of high-caliber recruits and under-the-radar gems. Let's take a look back.

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was a three-star, 6'5, 200-pound pro-style quarterback in 2003 who committed to Pitt. He was the 39th best pro-style quarterback prospect, and transferred to Delaware after 2004.

Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith was actually a 6'1, 184-pound dual-threat quarterback back in 2007 when he was recruited by Maryland. The offer from the Terps was the only one reported by Rivals. He was the 28th-best dual-threat quarterback in that class and managed three stars overall.

Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata was a 6'5, 310-pound defensive tackle from Salt Lake City and was considered the second-best recruit in 2002 behind Vince Young. Ngata committed to Oregon and was a five-star recruit, also enjoying offers from BYU, Nebraska, Texas A&M and Washington.

Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo was a 6'2, 214-pound outside linebacker out of Virginia and received offers from schools like N.C. State, Purdue, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Patriots running back Stevan Ridley was a four-star, 6'0, 211-pound athlete from Mississippi. He was the 21st-best athlete in his class, according to Rivals, and ended up committing to LSU.

Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich was a three-star, 6'3, 240-pound strongside defensive end out of Joliet junior college. He had offers from Indiana, Iowa, N.C. State and Toledo before committing to Purdue.

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