Zo Huddle
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FSM Presents: Zo Huddle –  Super Bowl LV Will Feature Key Players Who Were Once Under Recruited – Pt.4

Franchise Sports Media


Part four: The Zo Huddle looks at the Kansas City Chief offensive players who were once under-recruited out of high school, with some eventually not getting placed high on NFL Draft boards. Yet, they have played a key part in KC’s offensive explosion…


Zo Huddle
Photo Credit: USA Today

It’s no secret that Kansas City’s top offensive weapons were former Power-5 talent.

The face of the franchise Patrick Mahomes put up astronomical numbers in the Big 12 as a Texas Tech Red Raider. Before redeeming himself at a NCAA Division II (West Alabama), Tyreek Hill also tasted the Big 12 at Oklahoma State. The Chiefs backfield duo of Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Darrel Williams experienced the SEC at LSU while Sammy Watkins (Clemson) and Mecole Hardman (Georgia) help give The Legion of Zoom P-5 representation.

However, the guys in the trenches and one All-Pro tight end had a different journey. All six were once considered a three or two-star. Only two played at a P-5; one of them having to work his way up the roster as a walk-on. Now, they all have played a pivotal role in one of the league’s most electric offenses after being under-appreciated on the recruiting trail.

Here now is the fourth and final part of this Zo Huddle series, this time examining the Chief offensive starters who were either under-recruited or undrafted but caught the attention of Kansas City…and are now key cornerstones for the 2020-21 AFC champs:


Travis Kelce, Tight end


Zo Huddle
Photo Credit: USA Today

How it started: Two-star prospect by recruiting services with no Power Five offers

Somewhere in the middle: Played at the University of Cincinnati

How it’s going: Six-time Pro Bowl selection, three-time All-Pro, member of the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 2010’s and Super Bowl LIV champion

The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Kelce represents the two-star crew on the Chiefs: Guys who were once listed as two-stars, that is.

Kelce has since helped revolutionize the TE position – using his length, releases, hand control, and physical nature to beat defenders. He’s become one of the harder TE’s to single cover given the said traits.

Of his 139 targets this season, Kelce successfully caught 75.5% of the throws that came his direction. He’s also the owner of the best single-season receiving yards mark by a tight end (1,416).

Not bad for a former high school quarterback who held zero Power-5 offers and fell to the third round.


Eric Fisher, left tackle (questionable for Feb. 7)


Zo Huddle
Photo Credit: Bleacher Report

How it started: Two-star by recruiting services with mostly MAC opportunities

Somewhere in the middle: Central Michigan

How it’s going: Former first overall pick in 2013 who is now a two-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl LIV champion

Chiefs fans will most likely look at the 2013 draft class with fond memories.

That class gave them Kelce and Fisher.

Both helped set the foundation for the Andy Reid era at Arrowhead. Fisher became the blindside protector for Alex Smith and then Mahomes.

Before his knee injury, Fisher was putting together one of his best seasons, surrendering just three sacks through 1,048 snaps (meaning defenders only successfully beat him 0.28% of the time they went against him).

The former MAC All-American from Rochester (Mich.) was less than a two-hour drive from both the University of Michigan and Michigan State but was never offered by both. Nearby CMU took him in. Fisher is also the last left tackle to be taken first overall in the draft.

His playing status for the Super Bowl, however, is in question due to his injury.


Nick Allegretti, left guard


Zo Huddle
Photo Credit: KansasCity.com

How it started: Three-star prospect with just one Power Five scholarship opportunity

Somewhere in the middle: Illinois

How it’s going: Former seventh-round draft choice who has worked his way to starter and won Super Bowl LIV

Allegretti is not your typical Power Five success story.

He was one of the few U.S Army All-American game selections who was listed as a three-star but was lauded for not allowing a sack in his junior and senior seasons at center. The former wrestler also lost just two matches out of 47 contests, placing him third in Illinois’ Class A division.

And his only reported P5 offer was from nearby University of Illinois.

After earning All-Big 10 honors and serving as captain his last two seasons with the Fighting Illini, Allegretti fell in the seventh round of the 2019 Draft, largely because he played on an Illinois offense that struggled and his strongest suit was run blocking. But according to PFF analytics, Allegretti has surrendered just one sack in 693 total snaps this season.


Austin Reiter, center


Zo Huddle
Photo Credit: TheDailyStampede

How it started: Two-star prospect and former defensive tackle

Somewhere in the middle: Played at South Florida

How it’s going: Former seventh-rounder is now the starting center for the Chiefs

The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Reiter is quietly becoming one of the league’s best pass-blocking centers.

Reiter has surrendered just two sacks in his last 33 games. This season according to PFF, he gave up zero sacks in 867 snaps.

And he was once a three-technique defensive tackle who eventually crossed over to offense – and it has given him a personal career boost since.

Unlike Kelce and Fisher, Reiter was a two-star who reportedly had double-digit offers. But still, choose USF which was then coached by Jim Leavitt. He also showed up on the USF campus as a 230-pounder.

But now, he’s looking more and more like a seventh-round steal.


Andrew Wylie, right guard  


Zo Huddle
Photo Credit: football.thedzone.com

How it started: Two-star prospect with only one reported offer

Somewhere in the middle: Eastern Michigan

How it’s going: After going undrafted and playing for three teams in 2017, he’s settled in at KC as the starting right guard

Wylie adds another strong pass blocking presence to the KC front five and brings versatility, having lined up at both right guard and tackle.

In 972 snaps, the 6-foot-6, 309-pound Wylie has allowed just two sacks according to PFF (0.20% of defenders successfully got a sack against him).

From holding just one FBS scholarship offer to going undrafted to getting cut by three different teams…Wylie has been a unique story of perseverance. And, according to the EMU website, he could join John Banaszak and Charlie Batch as the only Eagles to win multiple Super Bowls.


Mike Remmers, right tackle


Zo Huddle
Photo Credit: Draft Kings

How it started: Unranked and unrated by recruiting services

Somewhere in the middle: Oregon State as a preferred walk-on

How it’s going: After going undrafted, has started in 88 of 92 career games played and owns an NFC championship ring with Carolina

Remmers had a decorated prep career out of Jesuit High in Portland (Ore.) – winning two state titles by starring at left tackle and being a track and field standout in the shotput and discus. But at 6-foot-5, 220-pounds, Remmers wasn’t listed as a high-priority recruit by several schools and ended up joining the Beavers as a PWO.

Remmers worked his way to starter in 2008 and then following the season, was rewarded a scholarship. He eventually became a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy in 2011, which honors the best college football player who began his career as a walk-on.

Like Wylie, the now 6-foot-5, 300-pound Remmers felt the brunt of being cut by numerous NFL teams – seven in total. But he has since found a home in KC, allowing zero sacks in 709 total plays.

He will aim to redeem himself from his Super Bowl 50 performance while with the Carolina Panthers. He was responsible for blocking Denver’s Von Miller, who ended up winning the game’s Most Valuable Player honors.


Next up: Our Super Bowl LV coverage continues at FSM with conversations with former players about what to anticipate in the big game.

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Lorenzo J. Reyna – Franchise Sports Media

Twitter: @LJ_Reyna


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