4. Pat Elflein
Offensive linemen don’t get as much recognition as they should. That was clearly true of Pat Elflein coming out of high school. The offensive lineman from Pickerington North High School was listed as just a three-star prospect when he signed with the Buckeyes.
Elflein quickly showed people why that was a mistake. He started at right guard in 2014 and 2015, earning First-Team All-Big Ten honors doing so. He moved to center the following season and was a unanimous All-American on his way to winning the Rimington Trophy as the best center in the country.
Going from a three-star recruit that not many of the top programs had on their radar to the best center in the country is quite a rise. Elflein was very solid for a Buckeye offensive line that could really move the line of scrimmage. In that era, the Buckeyes were known for running the ball.
Elflein ended up being a third-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings. He’s had a very successful career since being drafted into the NFL. As far as being underrated, it’s pretty unquestioned that he outplayed his recruiting ranking. Elflein was excellent.
The next player on this list is another receiver that could have been more dominant had he played in a more pass-happy offense.