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In many ways, recruiting is no different than gambling. There are hits and there are misses — both of which are hard to predict. The point is to luck out more than you strike out. With the glimmer of hope washing over every school across the nation with their shiny, new toys, here’s a look at what a few notable Wolf Pack recruits over the past decade and the buzz they created at the time.


Recruited into the 2010 class, the then-185-pound Fajardo entered with little buzz. ESPN gave the dual-threat signal caller a whopping one-star rating — which is actually better than not being rated at all (Fajardo was a three-star player among other websites). Fajardo received a 67 grade (out of 100) and was the 168th ranked quarterback in the country.

“Cody threw for nearly 2,500 yards and ran for 1,200 yards and I believe he is a great fit for the Pistol,” said former Nevada head coach Chris Ault in a press release at the time. “I like everything that he stands for.”

ESPN knocked Fajardo most for his “lack of size and great arm strength … he does not show the power or zip to be a huge factor in the deep passing game.”

While ESPN’s criticisms followed Fajardo throughout his five years at Nevada, those same flaws were masked by the Pistol offense. Fajardo went on to a prolific college football career as he became one of only two players in FBS history (along with Colin Kaepernick) to throw for 9,000 yards and rush for 3,000 yards during his career.


I know what you’re thinking, who is that? Coming out of high school, the Compton, California native was one of the most decorated Wolf Pack recruits of all time. As a part of the 2009 class, ESPN graded Metcalf an 80 — the highest number any Nevada recruit has had since 2006.

A linebacker in high school, the plan was for Metcalf to shift to defensive back. Before picking Nevada, he had offers from big-time programs such as Tennessee, California, Arizona, among others. To this day, Metcalf remains the lone Army All-American to have signed with Nevada.

What happened to the promising Metcalf? He missed grades after his first year and was given the boot from the team. Metcalf is a shining example of a perceived sure-fire star flat lining.


The story has been repeated time after time, but here it is one more time: Nevada was the only school that offered the now-49ers quarterback a scholarship. What makes the tidbit even more interesting is Kaepernick made some noise in recruiting circles, at least on ESPN.

“Kaepernick is a big, prototypical pocket passer with some intriguing skills as both an athlete and quarterback,” his ESPN scouting report reads. “He has an excellent arm and shows he is capable of making all the necessary throws. He has very good size and he has good athletic ability.”

Really, the whole scouting report sounds more like a love letter. The only critique in the report isn’t even about Kaepernick himself, but the win T-offense that shackled him in high school. Moreover, the scouting report proved to be Nostradamus-like, predicting Kaepernick as a diamond in the rough.

“Could be a sleeper in this class and you like his overall physical tools to enable him to progress at the next level with some coaching,” the report concluded.

The rest of the story has become local lore as Kaepernick went on to become arguably the greatest Wolf Pack player of all time and came within yards of winning a Super Bowl championship.

Hasaan Henderson – With a three-star rating and 78 grade, Henderson was the creme de la creme of the 2012 class. The Las Vegas native was the second-rated player in the entire state. Here’s the catch, that was as a quarterback.

His ESPN scouting report compared him to UCLA signal caller Brett Hundley, who is now projected as a day-two NFL Draft prospect. Of course, Henderson has since converted to wide receiver where he caught four touchdowns last year.

Eric Uribe can be reached at and on Twitter @Uribe_Eric.