Michigan State Football: 5 players who will be chosen in 2016 NFL Draft

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Oct 12, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans offensive tackle Jack Conklin (74) celebrates the win after a game at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Jack Conklin is the third of three Cs — Cook and Calhoun are the others — that I have getting drafted in the first round. Much like Calhoun, Jack Conklin has had a long road to stardom, even being under the radar as a recruit, only being looked at by a handful of schools.

Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press, wrote of a great story that embodies how tough it was for Conklin to gain any traction from college coaches in recruiting.

Rexrode writes,

"Somewhere in their fruitless attempts to get a serious look from a major college coach, Darren and Jack Conklin heard Zook, then coach at Illinois, was a big water-skier. Jack was up to 6-feet-5 and about 280 pounds by then, the summer before his senior season, yet still able to slalom — stay up on one ski — with ease. So they shot a video and sent it along. A little fun with a personal touch, and a chance to show off the size and athleticism no one else seemed to notice."

Apparently Zook didn’t notice, nor did Michigan or any other school that he wanted to attend at the time — which was basically anyone willing to give him a shot.

So he enrolled at Michigan State as a walk-on in the fall of 2012 and earned a scholarship the following January. During his redshirt freshman season, he played in 13 games as the left tackle as the team’s starter. His sophomore season was even better as he hadn’t allowed a sack in 20 career games, ultimately surrendering just 2.5 in his career.

This is just a great story of a kid who tried so hard to get a chance and when he did, he ran with it. He’s been called a first-round talent by Me Kiper Jr. and still has a chance to play one more year and move up the boards even more if he stays for his junior season.

Next: 4. DeAnthony Arnett, WR