Ten SEC five-star recruits who didn’t live up to the hype


Being ranked a national top 10 prospect is a dream come true for any high school recruit. It means you’re a five-star prospect, and analysts believe that you’ll be an instant contributor at the college level and an NFL career is a foregone conclusion.

Related: SEC teams hit hardest by NFL Draft

Now, all you have to do is actually do it. Seems easy enough, eh?

Sometimes, it doesn’t work out. Sometimes a career doesn’t pan out and you become more of a role player than a superstar, sometimes a coaching change affects your career … and sometimes you trip yourself up.

Related: Georgia is one of the hottest teams on recruiting trail

Here are 10 SEC players from the past 10 recruiting classes who were ranked in the top 10 in the nation, yet didn’t finish their careers as hoped. Some had flashes of brilliance and then off-the-field troubles derailed their careers. Others’ careers just never had that five-star caliber career even though they kept their noses clean.

Related: Explosive freshmen duos live in the SEC

EDITOR’S NOTE: All references to ratings are to the 247Sports.com composite ranking.

Bryce Brown, RB Tennessee 2009 (2nd) Had one avg. season at Tenn., then transferred to Kansas St.
Gary Brown, DL Florida 2009 (10th) Dropped from team after an arrest for battery
Isaiah Crowell, RB Georgia 2011 (6th) Solid Fr. season at UGA, then arrested and kicked off team.
Michael Dyer, RB Auburn 2010 (8th) Great first 2 yrs at Aub, then off-the-field problems derailed him
Brandon Miller, LB Georgia 2004 (5th) Not a terrible career, just not 5-star stellar—15 career starts
Mitch Mustain, QB Arkansas 2006 (7th) Had a decent true Fr. season, then transferred to USC—fizzled
Ryan Perrilloux, QB LSU 2005 (6th) Huge part of 2007 title run, then kicked off the team
Ronald Powell, LB Florida 2010 (1st) Solid career, but didn’t live up to hype of being nation’s No. 1 prospect
Russell Shepard, ATH LSU 2009 (3rd) Not a total bust, but never quite got rolling during his career
Christian Westerman, OL Auburn 2011 (6th) Two years at Aub. uneventful, transferred out of program



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  • Hey Brian, How bout the 5 stars that weren’t a bust?.

  • Mitch Mustain was not a bust. He lived up to the hype. He went 8-1 in his first 9 starts. Its not his fault idiot nutt had a brain fart, and decided to give the starting job to horrific casey dick because casey “didnt have an opportunity to play for the job in the off season due to injures” WHO THE FREAK CARES COACH WHEN YOU HAVE A KID AS A FREAKING FRESHMEN GOING 8-1 IN HIS FIRST 9 STARTS YOU DONT YANK HIM! Sorry…I could go on, and on about how that clown screwed us, but thats a whole other conversation. Peace.

    • Especially doing that good in the SEC I just dont understand nutts thinking over that. Then there is the thing with the emails, and stuff that lead mustain to have no choice but to transfer. Unfortunately to a school that was stacked with QB talent. Mustain could have been something special for the Hogs. Never forgave Houston nutt for that mess, and never will.

    • Yeah Saints…..I thought long and hard about that one. But ultimately, the guy didn’t live up to the five-star hype during his career. He obviously did nothing wrong off the field, just made a bad decision to transfer.

      • The Mustain situation was one of the biggest mess ups for college football. But he did get into trouble off the field, later being arrested after he transferred to USC for selling Adderall. Fortunately, Gus Malzahn was able to come out of that story on the up-side.

    • PS — the other one that killed me to put in there, but you have to include him, is Russell Shepard. He was one of my 3 or 5 favorite kids in that 2009 class. Just an unbelievably nice kid, very friendly. Never seemed burned out, handled himself professionally … but it just didn’t work out, which you could blame on a lot of variables. Of course, he’s hanging in there with the Tampa Bay Bucs, so good for him there. In fact, a couple of these guys have still made it to the NFL.

    • Mustain is totally a bust. He brought his mommy in to complain to the coaching staff for him, and he still didnt do anything after he went to usc. the only reason he went 8-1 is because he was handing off to darren mcfadden or felix jones every play. nutt may be an idiot, but please dont take up for mustain.

  • Just totally love the 8 win Mustain people. A player contributes about 7 percent of the scoring offense and somehow gets credit for all the work that three NFL players did. Just astounding that he somehow has never been able to overcome Nutt. He’ll be an old man along with his apologists blaming Nutt for,the weeds in his yard.

  • What about auburn linebacker Trey Blackmon?

    • Tray misses it on a technicality, Pyant. We listed national Top 10 prospects (who also obviously were five-star). Tray Blackmon was No. 11 in the 2005 class. Also, I’d be about 50/50 on him–I could see him making it and see him not making it. He had some minor off the field stuff go on, but he also contributed. He doesn’t quite qualify for what we’re doing above, but I’m not sure I would have put him in that list even if he had.

  • Mitch’s parents were the problem as much as Mitch himself. Arky had a fantastic running back, but the evil parents wanted to change the offense to showcase Mitch’s passing skills. The coaches said no, and went with with their strength – the running game. Mitch transferred and was never heard from again.

  • How is Mike Dyer considered a bust? We broke Bo Jackson’s freshman rushing record and won BCS MVP. If he is considered a “bust” then who isn’t. Yes he only played two years, but that shouldn’t qualify him as bust status. By that definition Johnny Manziel is a “bust” since he only played two years.

      • Daniel … I never used the word bust in this story to describe these 10. However, I think Dyer had a lot more ahead of him in his Auburn career, and he tripped himself up. But then again, hey ….basketball does the one and done, right? Dyer was two-and-done? I just don’t get these kids who implode off the field. How hard is life, really, so that you can keep your nose clean for 3 years and make that clean transition to the NFL. If he had done that, he might have been rookie of the year this past season. Instead? Nowhere near it.

  • Not a single bust from Alabama on this list yet Tyler Love should be at the top for All-time “bust” list of 5 star players. Dee Hart was also a huge bust

  • Dyer was not a bust. He helped them win a NC and was MVP of the NCG. If only playing 2 years is considered a bust then a long list of great college players are busts!!! – sidney rice, johnny manziel, larry fitzgerald, michael vick, etc.