Kirk Cousins: Not there yet, but on his way 

August, 26, 2010

My most underrated player in the Big Ten is a quarterback. He was once a three-star recruit, but even that probably gives you a false impression of just how far off the radar Michigan State Spartans quarterback Kirk Cousins once was.

He said he had zero offers when he played his last high school game for Holland (Mich.) Christian. He'd broken his ankle in his first varsity game during his junior year of high school, and that certainly didn't help his cause. He weighed about 170 pounds back then, and that didn't help much, either. By November of his senior year, Cousins received his first two offers: Western Michigan and Toledo.

To give you a sense of what the QB situation was around Cousins, keep in mind that Michigan had a commitment from rocket-armed Texan Ryan Mallett. Keith Nichol, the most touted local signal-caller, had committed to Michigan State early. The next biggest name in-state quarterback, Steven Threet, was headed to Georgia Tech.

Cousins, though, wasn't going to fret about his options or let the big-ticket business of modern-day Internet recruiting torpedo his psyche. Wherever he ended up, he vowed just to keep working hard, to keep getting better because, "I'm not quite there yet," he'd reassure himself.