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February 3, 2011
National Signing Day was Wednesday, and fans' visions were filled by how their favorite team's coaches would be tinkering will all that incoming talent.
Fans of teams who signed five-star prospects probably were salivating the most, considering that the signature play of the most recent season came from a five-star prospect in the Class of 2010.
Oregon players thought they had tackled Auburn running back Michael Dyer in the final series of the BCS championship game, but Dyer's knee never hit the ground. Dyer got himself back up and ran for a 37-yard gain that set up Wes Byrum's winning 19-yard field goal.
But if you need more evidence about the uncertainty in ranking recruits, take a look at the five-star prospects from the Class of 2009.
Two of the top six recruits -- USC quarterback Matt Barkley and Alabama running back Trent Richardson -- already are star performers. The top 20 also featured Arizona State's Vontaze Burfict and Notre Dame's Manti Te'o, who have emerged as two of the nation's most productive linebackers.
But the No. 1 prospect in the 2009 class already has transferred and the No. 4 recruit won't begin his Division I career until this fall. That underscores how there are no sure things in recruiting.
Here is a look back at all the five-star prospects in the past five recruiting classes. (Click on their names to see them when they were recruits).