15 Star Athletes Who Had to Walk On to Their College Teams

These pro athletes are stars now, but they had to work their way to the top.

Antonio Brown

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Antonio Brown

One of the best wide receivers in NFL history was a college walk-on. 

Antonio Brown was a two-time all-state selection at Miami Norland High School (Miami, Florida), yet many college recruiters saw him as undersized and without a natural position. 

To say he was under-the-radar would be an understatement—Brown was a zero-star recruit. He eventually enrolled at North Carolina Tech Prep, where he had a stellar season as the team's quarterback. 

Shortly thereafter, he walked on at Central Michigan University as a wide receiver. It only took the Chippewa coaching staff a few weeks of watching Brown in practice to realize he was special, and they quickly extended him a scholarship.

Brown actually played a season on the same offense as J.J. Watt before Watt decided to transfer to Wisconsin. Watt remembers Brown blowing everybody away in his very first session with the team.

"Antonio—without warming up or anything—blew by literally everybody on the field," Watt told ThePostGame. "Just from that moment, I knew he was going to be a pretty good one."

Brown would blossom into a two-time first-team All-American at CMU.

He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, and he's since become the most dominant receiver in the NFL. He's been named a first-team All-Pro in the last four consecutive seasons.

"If you do not sign to go to the college you (aspire) to go to today do not get discouraged. Be encouraged about all opportunities," Brown tweeted out on National Signing Day in 2015. He's now a four-time first-team All-Pro selection.

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