Where Are They Now?

This is a special time of year for the college football fan. Most of us are enjoying watching our teams in their bowl games, and all of us seem to enjoy the recruiting season as much, or even moreso. I’m a huge fan of recruiting myself, but I also take it with a grain of salt. I pull as hard as the next guy for that 5-star or 4-star recruit, but I also realize that a high rating is no more a sure thing of future success, than a low rating is a gamble.

I remember when recruiting first became almost as watched as the football season. I bought the inaugural “Forrest Davis Football Recruiting Guide” back in the ’80s. I remember the “can’t miss” backfield that Alabama signed, consisting of Billy Ray and Pierre Goode, neither of which had much impact at Alabama. I remember “can’t miss” Auburn signee RB Demontray Carter, who after a lackluster two years at Auburn, finished his career at Troy.

I remember Forrest Davis having RB Siran Stacy as a 2-star recruit, in his “best of the rest” section. He’s the only player I can remember being featured in a recruiting magazine, without being at least a 3-star player. Another player I remember is Aundray Bruce. He wasn’t featured in any of the recruiting guides, and Auburn was the only major college that offered him a football scholarship. Siran Stacy had a successful career at Alabama, and was drafted in the second round of the NFL draft, while Aundray Bruce was the top pick in the 1988 NFL draft.

Let me throw one more name at you, that of Tyrone Prothro. He was rated a 3-star player by Rivals, and was only rated as the #22 player in the state of Alabama in his senior year. I saw Tyrone Prothro as a senior in high school, when they played my son’s high school team in the playoffs. Even with his low rating, I knew Alabama had signed a winner.

My point is, we all love to see our schools sign the four and five star players, and feel a little disappointed at the lower rated players, but it’s all a crap shoot. The highest rated players may never play a down, while the player you’re disappointed in signing may be a future All-American. Here are the SEC signed players from the 2007 Rivals top 100, all of whom would have been seniors or redshirt juniors this season. See how many you recognize, and how many you don’t. Feel free to comment, on players listed, or players you think were not in the top 100 but have proved they could have been.

Eric Berry

Eric Berry

#3 – DB Eric Berry – signed by Tennessee
#4 – QB Ryan Mallet – Originally signed by Michigan (Arkansas)
#5 – DE Carlos Dunlap – signed by Florida
#9 – DT Torrey Davis – signed by Florida
#12 – OL James Wilson – signed by Florida
#13 – WR Terrance Toliver – signed by LSU
#14 – ATH Chad Jones – signed by LSU
#18 – LB Chris Donald – signed by Tennessee
#19 – WR Chris Culliver – signed by South Carolina
#20 – DE Ben Martin – signed by Tennessee
#28 – QB Cameron Newton – Originally signed by Florida (Auburn)
#30 – RB Enrique Davis – signed by Auburn
#32 – DE Cliff Matthews – signed by South Carolina
#35 – LB Rolando McClain – signed by Alabama
#37 – DB Jerimy Finch – signed by Florida
#38 – TE Aron White – signed by Georgia
#41 – WR DeAngelo Benton – signed by LSU
#43 – DB Major Wright – signed by Florida
#47 – QB John Brantley – signed by Florida
#49 – WR Deonte Thompson – signed by Florida
#53 – DE Chris Strong – signed by Mississippi
#56 – DT Kerry Murphy – signed by Alabama
#57 – RB Lennon Creer – signed by Tennessee
#58 – DE Sidell Corley – signed by LSU
#59 – ATH Joe Haden – signed by Florida
#61 – OL Lee Ziemba – signed by Auburn
#63 – DB Stefoin Francois – signed by LSU
#66 – TE Aaron Hernandez – signed by Florida
#67 – DT Joseph Barksdale – signed by LSU
#81 – RB Caleb King – signed by Georgia
#86 – DB Michael McNeil – signed by Auburn
#87 – ATH Gerald Jones – signed by Tennessee
#89 – RB Chris Rainey – signed by Florida
#90 – QB Stephen Garcia – signed by South Carolina
#93 – DT Drake Nevis – signed by LSU
#96 – DE Travian Robertson – signed by South Carolina
#99 – OL Quintin Richardson – signed by South Carolina
#100 – WR Brandon Gibson – signed by Alabama

These are a few AP All-SEC players from 2010, who were 2007 recruits that didn’t make the top 100: OL Derek Sherrod, Mississippi St., OL Ryan Pugh, Auburn, TE D.J. Williams, Arkansas, Nick Fairley, Auburn, LB Kelvin Sheppard, LSU, and S Ahmad Black, Florida.

Anyone remember these players?

2006 #10 – QB Mitch Mustain – signed by Arkansas
2006 #49 – WR Tim Hawthorne – signed by Auburn
2006 #87 – RB Terry Grant – signed by Alabama
2006 #98 – Earl Alexander – signed by Alabama
2005 #16 – QB – Ryan Perrilloux – signed by LSU

Where are they now?