NFC Championship: When they were recruits

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The NFC Championship game will feature plenty of prominent recruiting stories, like the tale of 49ers starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

The NFC Championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons will feature plenty of prominent college players with plenty of interesting recruiting stories. Let's take a look at six of them.

Probably the most famous recruiting story from this game involves the starting 49ers quarterback. The 6'4, 172-pound Colin Kaepernick received only an offer from Nevada before committing to the Wolf Pack. Kaepernick was a three-star pro-style quarterback and was ranked 34th overall by Rivals.

Michael Crabtree was a four-star athlete from Dallas and top-25 recruit from the state of Texas in 2006. The 6'1, 190-pound Crabtree committed to Texas Tech over plenty of welcome suitors like Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Baylor and others.

Aldon Smith also flew under the radar a bit, and was the 27th-best strongside defensive end according to Rivals. The 6'5, 235-pound Smith committed to Missouri over schools like Kansas, Kansas State and Nebraska.

On the Falcons, Matt Ryan was a pro-style quarterback from Philadelphia and was only a three-star recruit. The 6'5, 200-pound Ryan committed to Boston College over Georgia Tech, Iowa and Purdue.

Atlanta also has the highly touted Julio Jones lined out at wide receiver. The five-star, 6'4, 215-pound Jones was the top wide receiver and a top-5 recruit in the 2008 class. Jones committed to Alabama over schools like Florida, Florida State and Oklahoma.

Running back Jacquizz Rodgers flew underneath most radars when he committed to Oregon State, but the 5'6, 180-pound running back has made the most of his opportunities. The three-star Rodgers was the 26th-best all-purpose back in the 2008 class and verballed to the Beavers over Arizona, Baylor, Houston, Illinois, Louisiana Tech and SMU.

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