College football prospects are ranked from top to bottom on their star rankings. A top-tier high school football player is considered a five-star prospect, the highest a prep football player can be ranked.
Since 247Sports started ranking recruiting in 1999, only six five-star prospects have landed at either N.C. State or North Carolina.
Each of the Tar Heels’ three five-star players arrived in Chapel Hill during the Butch Davis era. Two of the three Wolfpack five-stars started at N.C. State under former coach Chuck Amato. The other came in under Tom O’Brien.
Did those players make it to the NFL? How did they do in college? Here’s a look at how they did in their post-high school football careers.
Ballou High, Washington, DC, Class of 2007
At UNC: Marvin Austin, a defensive tackle, is the highest ranked player to commit to UNC. He immediately saw action on the field, appearing in all 12 games as a freshman. Started 11 games as a sophomore and was second team All-ACC as a junior. Austin was considered a top pro prospect after his junior season, but elected to return for a senior season. Austin didn’t play as a senior after he was suspended for the season after receiving improper benefits from agents.
After UNC: Despite not playing his final year, Austin was drafted in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft by the New York Giants. He played for four teams in three years and had 22 tackles in 26 career games.
Northside High, Jacksonville, Class of 2009
At UNC: An in-state defensive end, Donte Paige-Moss played in eight games as a freshman and had five tackles. His best year, however, was his sophomore season, when he started in 12 games and finished with 13.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks. In three years he collected 83 tackles.
After UNC: Moss decided to forgo his senior year to enter the 2012 NFL draft. He went undrafted, but joined the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League and then bounced around with various Arena League football teams.
Cummings High, Burlington, Class of 2007
At UNC: Dwight Jones didn’t catch a pass as a freshman and had five receptions as a sophomore. As a junior, however, he caught 62 passes (team-high) for 946 yards and four touchdowns. He was also an honorable mention All-ACC pick. As a senior, he led the ACC in touchdowns (12) and receptions (85) and was a second-team All-ACC pick.
After UNC: Jones went undrafted in 2012 and signed with the Houston Texans as a free agent. He was released by the Texans in June 2013 and signed with the Jets’ practice squad in December 2013 before being released in May 2014. He played briefly for the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League.
Dudley High, Greensboro, Class of 2004
At N.C. State: DeMario Pressley, a defensive tackle, arrived at N.C. State at a time when the Wolfpack was loaded at defensive line. He worked his way into the rotation and was All-ACC in 2007. Pressley left N.C. State with 99 career tackles and 16.5 tackles for loss.
After N.C. State: Pressley was drafted in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. He went on to help the Saints win Super Bowl XLIV in 2010. He played for six teams during his NFL career and finished with 20 tackles.
Ragsdale High, Jamestown, Class of 2005
At N.C. State: Toney Baker scored six touchdowns as a true freshman. He played in 12 games as a sophomore and ran for 688 yards with six touchdowns. He only played in one game as a junior, then sat out the following year due to a knee injury. He returned for a strong 2009 campaign, rushing for 773 yards and six touchdowns.
After N.C. State: Baker was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, but decided to enter the 2010 NFL draft. He went undrafted, but was signed with the Denver Broncos as a free agent. Baker was released by the Broncos and never got an NFL carry.
Athens Drive, Raleigh, Class of 2010
At N.C. State: Rob Crisp arrived at N.C. State as the No. 2 offensive tackle in the country. He started the season opener as a freshman. During his sophomore year, Crisp did not allow a sack in 413 snaps. Injuries sidelined him for most of the 2012 and ‘13 seasons. He received a medical redshirt and started every game as a fifth-year senior at left tackle in 2014.
After N.C. State: Crisp signed with the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in 2015. He signed with the New Orleans Saints practice squad in December 2016.