13. Dez Bryant
Considering how immediately effective Dez Bryant was in the college ranks, you might assume he was one of the top recruits in the country. However, that was not exactly the case. While he was still a four-star recruit, the Lufkin High School product out of Texas was the No. 48 overall recruit and only the No. 7 wide receiver in the 2007 college recruiting class. Looking back, however, that was a mistake.
In truth, you can see why it was a mistake when you look at Bryant’s high school highlights. While he’s not a burner like some other players who appear on this list and wasn’t just running past everyone, he won in high school in the ways he continued to win in Stillwater and later the NFL, with his size, hands and body control to make “Mossing” defensive backs routine. There weren’t players, even in Texas high school football, who could hang with that.
Oklahoma State utilized Bryant immediately as a freshman as he had 43 catches for 622 yards and six touchdowns as a freshman. He followed that up with an incredible 87-reception, 1,480-yard and 19-touchdown season in 2008 as a sophomore. Unfortunately, an NCAA suspension ended his 2009 season after just three games before he went to the NFL.
A first-round pick by the Dallas Cowboys, Bryant thrived in Dallas for much of his career before an unceremonious split between the player and team. Now trying to come back from an Achilles’ injury suffered in the 2018 season, the big-bodied wideout remains one of the most physically imposing receivers in high school, college and even NFL history.