Not all five-stars live up the hype immediately. Shocking, I know. It sometimes takes players a year, or two, or three to finally grow into the player coaches thought they’d become exiting high school.
That’s the case with several players, especially the players below. None of the five former five-stars have played their best football yet, but they could do so in 2014:
Andre Debose, WR, Florida (SR): The old man of Florida’s team, Andre Debose was granted a sixth year of eligibility after going down with an ACL tear last August. Debose owns a school-record four kick return touchdowns, but he hasn’t lived up to expectations as a receiver yet. He’s caught just 29 passes for 543 yards and four touchdowns in three career seasons. With an offensive system he was actually recruited to play in under Urban Meyer, Debose could be a one-year wonder and maximize his potential this season.
Ray Drew, DE, Georgia (SR): Georgia’s minister of defense is still awaiting his best season, and for the first time during his career, we saw flashes last year. Though it was nowhere near his hyped potential, Drew recorded 43 tackles, eight tackles for loss and six sacks, along with 12 QB hurries. The former Pied Piper of Georgia’s Dream Team recruiting class, Drew should blow into a big leader for Jeremy Pruitt’s defense, and he should have his best season yet.
Jeff Driskel, QB, Florida (rJR): The country’s former top dual-threat quarterback prospect finally has an offensive system that fits his strengths. Under Brent Pease’s offense, Florida tried to make Driskel into an AJ McCarron-type pocket passer, when his best asset all along has been his running ability. New offensive coordinator Kurt Roper will try to maximize his biggest strength. The former 11-game winner has thrown for 2,271 yards, 14 touchdowns and 10 INTs, along with rushing for 469 yards and five touchdowns.
Trovon Reed, CB, Auburn (SR): What a curious and interesting player. Trovon Reed was originally recruited to play in Gus Malzahn’s offense, and he had his best season as a receiver in 2011. 2012 saw Reed struggle in Scot Loeffler’s offense, and 2013 saw him have virtually little impact in Auburn’s explosive offense. So, Gus Malzahn and his staff moved Reed to cornerback this spring, and he played pretty well, though it was quite the learning process. The coaching staff described Reed’s transition as a natural position and called him a good tackler. The Tigers need more impact defensive backs, and Reed is hoping the position change will allow him to reach his five-star potential.
Darius White, WR, Missouri (SR): Talk about a hyped player – when Darius White signed at Texas out of high school, it was a huge deal. He caught just six passes for 71 yards in two seasons for the Horns and transferred to Mizzou before the 2012 season. White caught just seven passes for 76 yards and one touchdown last season with Mizzou. But his opportunity just got a whole lot bigger when Dorial Green-Beckham was dismissed earlier this month. This will be White’s last season, and he hopes to reach his touted potential for the Tigers.
Photo Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports