5-star QBs over the last decade: Stars and busts dot the rankings
As we examine the 5-star recruits over the last decade, read about each position:
There are more five-star quarterbacks in the 2015 recruiting class than there had been in five years, per 247sports’ industry composite rankings. With three quarterbacks earning the five-star designation, there are as many in 2015 as there were in 2013 and 2014 combined.
From 2005-2014, there were 23 quarterbacks that earned five-star status, with nine landing in the SEC. As you would imagine, the results are quite mixed. Just two have won the Heisman and four have been first round draft picks, but several others put up huge numbers in college and led their teams to varying levels of success.
2005 – 2 QBs
Mark Sanchez, USC: Sanchez finally got the chance to play in his junior year after sitting behind Matt Leinart and John David Booty. He only started one year at USC, throwing for 3,207 yards, 34 touchdowns and 10 interceptions before being drafted by the Jets as the fifth pick overall in 2009. He led the Jets to two AFC championship games but become more known for his failures there, such as the infamous “Butt Fumble.” Sanchez played for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014, taking over when starting quarterback Nick Foles went down with an injury.
Ryan Perrilloux, LSU: Perriloux lasted just two seasons at LSU, never coming close to his lofty expectations. He threw for just 704 yards, in his career before he was dismissed from the team in 2008, transferring to Jacksonville State. He played professionally in the UFL, a far cry from the NFL potential many saw in high school.
Notable QBs: Colt McCoy, Texas; Chase Daniel, Missouri; Zac Robinson, Oklahoma State; Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan; Tony Pike Cincinnati
2006 – 3 QBs
Matthew Stafford, Georgia: Stafford lived up to his billing, eventually developing into the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NFL draft after his three years at Georgia. Stafford didn’t win any championships with the Bulldogs, but threw for 7,731 yards and 51 touchdowns at UGA. Stafford is still putting up big numbers for the Detroit Lions.
Mitch Mustain, Arkansas: Mustain was the original Gus Malzahn protege, playing under the offensive guru in high school. He started his career at Arkansas before transferring to Southern California. Mustain never played his way onto the field and threw for fewer than 1,000 yards in his career.
Tim Tebow, Florida: Tebow delivered on his promise as a five-star recruit and then some. He was a part of two national championship teams and was the first sophomore to win the Heisman. His accomplishments go far beyond his eye-popping numbers (he threw for 9,285 yards, 88 touchdowns and 16 INTs in four seasons at Florida, while rushing for 2,947 yards and 57 touchdowns), as he was one of the greatest leaders college football has ever seen. While he didn’t pan out in the NFL, the current SEC Network personality already has a statue outside of the Swamp honoring his contributions to the Gators.
Notable QBs: Sam Bradford, Oklahoma; Andy Dalton, TCU; Colin Kaepernick, Nevada; Josh Freeman, Kansas State; Jake Locker, Washington
2007 – 4 QBs
Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame: Clausen was hailed as a savior when he picked Notre Dame, saying his goal was to win multiple championships in South Bend. Instead, Clausen’s teams were just 16-21 before he left early for the NFL draft, where he was a second round selection. He spent 2014 as a backup for the Chicago Bears. Clausen threw for 8,148 yards, 60 touchdowns and 27 INTs in three college seasons.
Ryan Mallett, Michigan: Originally a Michigan commit, Mallett transferred to Arkansas after Rich Rodriguez took over the Michigan program. Paired with Bobby Petrino, Mallett lit up up for the Razorbacks. In just two years, he totaled 7,493 yards, 62 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. Mallett was drafted in the third round of the 2011 NFL draft, backing up Tom Brady in New England for three years. He was dealt to the Houston Texas last offseason and started two games in 2014.
Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech: Taylor was a dual-threat star for the Hokies, giving defenses headaches with his arms and legs. Taylor threw for 7,017 yards, 44 touchdowns and 20 interceptions and rushed for 2,196 yards and 23 touchdowns. The 2010 ACC Player of the Year won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens, where he backs up Joe Flacco.
John Brantley, QB, Florida: Brantley flipped his commitment from Texas to Florida, giving Gators fans hope, but he never panned out in Gainesville. After redshirting his freshman year, he eventually took over as starter in 2010 after Tim Tebow graduated. The Gator were just 15-11 in his two seasons at the helm, and he threw 20 touchdowns to 17 interceptions in those two seasons as Florida sputtered along.
Notable QBs: Cam Newton, Florida; Russell Wilson, N.C. State; Kellen Moore, Boise State; Kirk Cousins, Michigan State; Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
2008 – 3 QBs
Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State: The nation’s top quarterback and one of the top players in the country in 2008, Pryor picked Ohio State over several Big Ten rivals and Oregon. The supremely athletic passer mostly delivered on the field, starting all three years for OSU, a span in which the Buckeyes went 33-6. However, his career ended in infamy, as he withdrew from school after a memorabilia-for-tattoos scandal that led to him withdrawing from school and cost Jim Tressel his job. Pryor has bounced around the NFL since being taken by the Oakland Raiders in the 2011 supplemental draft and is now on his third team, the Kansas City Chiefs.
Dayne Crist, Notre Dame: Crist picked Notre Dame shortly after Clausen, but never made it close to stardom for the Irish. After redshirting his first year on campus and then tearing his ACL the following season, Crist had one year as a starter before being benched in favor of Tommy Rees. For his final year of eligibility, Crist joined his former Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis at Kansas, where he was one of the worst quarterbacks in the country for an abysmal Jayhawks team, completing just 47.7 percent of his passes in 10 games.
EJ Manuel, Florida State: Manuel only got sparing playing time behind Christian Ponder his first two years in Tallahassee, but made good on his promise as a five-star. He had 2,666 passing yards and 22 total touchdowns as a junior, then led the Seminoles to the ACC title as a senior in 2012, when he threw for nearly 3,400 yards, 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions with another four touchdowns on the ground. The Buffalo Bills made Manuel a first round pick in 2013.
Notable QBs: Blaine Gabbert, Missouri; Andrew Luck, Stanford; Robert Griffin III, Baylor; Collin Klein, Kansas State; Landry Jones, Oklahoma; Mike Glennon, Virginia Tech; Ryan Nassib, Syracuse
2009 – 4 QBs
Matt Barkley, USC: Barkley was the first true freshman to ever start a season opener for the Trojans, beating out two veterans for the job in 2009 in Pete Carroll’s final season at USC. Under Lane Kiffin, Barkley was just as good, throwing for 39 and 36 touchdowns in his junior and senior years, respectively, and topping 3,200 yards in each season. Barkley may have cost himself a chance at being a top NFL draft pick by returning for his senior year, and now is a backup for the Philadelphia Eagles after being made a third round selection.
Russell Shepard, LSU: Shepard never made it as a quarterback at LSU, instead playing mostly at wide receiver after being the top-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the country. While Shephard had star athleticism, he never found a way to make it translate to the playing field. He had 33 catches as a wide receiver during his sophomore season, but finished his LSU career with just 58 grabs. Shepard went undrafted in 2013 and spent the 2014 season on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster.
Garrett Gilbert, Texas: Gilbert initially signed on at Texas, playing in the BCS championship game as a freshman and starting as a sophomore for a team that went 5-7. Gilbert was benched early in his junior year, after which he completed his degree at Texas and transferred to SMU, where he set a slew of passing records.
Aaron Murray, Georgia: While Georgia never got over the hump in the SEC during his career, Murray finished his career as one of the top quarterbacks in Georgia history. He threw for 13,166 yards, 121 TDs and 41 INTs while completing over 62 percent of his pass and set the SEC records for career passing yardage record. Murray was drafted in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL draft after tearing his ACL in his final year at Georgia.
Notable QBs: AJ McCarron, Alabama; Geno Smith, West Virgina; Tajh Boyd, Clemson; Taylor Martinez, Nebraska; Denard Robinson, Michigan; Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
2010 – 0 QBs
No five-star QBs
Notable QBs: Taylor Kelly, Arizona State; James Franklin, Missouri; Tyler Bray, Tennessee; Blake Bell, Oklahoma; Connor Shaw, South Carolina
2011 – 2 QBs
Jeff Driskel, Florida: Driskel’s career at Florida came to a thudding halt in 2014. He flopped as the starter and lost his job to freshman Treon Harris, and after the season he was granted a release from Florida and has transferred to Louisiana Tech. Will Muschamp’s faith in Driskel was a big part of his undoing as Florida’s coach.
Braxton Miller, Ohio State: Miller was a Heisman candidate heading into his senior season after a stellar junior campaign, but a second shoulder injury forced him to miss the year. Now, speculation is flying about whether he’ll stay at Ohio State to compete with J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones in his final year of eligibility or transfer out and play immediately elsewhere, a la Russell Wilson. There are plenty of questions around Miller, from his health to whether he can beat out Barrett and Jones, but there’s no doubt that he made good on his talent.
Notable QBs: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M; Marcus Mariota, Oregon; Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville; Brett Hundley, UCLA: Everett Golson, Notre Dame
2012 – 2 QBs
Jameis Winston, FSU: While the 2014 version of Winston didn’t replicate his success from 2013, when he won the Heisman and led Florida State to a national championship, he still played well enough to be considered a candidate for the top pick in the 2015 NFL draft. Winston finished his Florida State career with just one loss, which came in the Rose Bowl, the final game of his career. Despite an array of off-field issues, Winston will go down as a star player on the field.
Gunner Kiel, Notre Dame: Kiel’s recruitment saga is well documented, as he committed to both Indiana and LSU before settling on Notre Dame. After a year as a backup, Kiel transferred to Cincinnati, where he played in 2014. He put up big numbers, throwing for 3,254 yards, 31 TD and 13 INT. If he can repeat that performance in 2015, he’ll be on his way to living up to his five-star rating, albeit on a smaller stage than anticipated.
Notable QBs: Maty Mauk, Missouri; Chad Voytik, Pittsburgh; Trevor Knight, Oklahoma; Patrick Towles, Kentucky
2013 – 2 QBs
Max Browne, Southern Cal: As a redshirt freshman, Browne backed up Cody Kessler. He played in just six games and only attempted seven passes in his first season as an active member of the roster. With Kessler returning for his senior year, Browne will likely have to wait another year before making an impact.
Christian Hackenberg, Penn State: In 2014, Hackenburg took a step back from his strong freshman year, seeing his completion percentage and yardage total hold steady while his touchdowns and yards per attempt fell and interceptions rose. He will return to a rebuilding Penn State program in its second year under James Franklin in 2015.
Notable QBs: J.T. Barrett, Ohio State; Malik Zaire, Notre Dame; Kenny Hill, Texas A&M; Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee; Jeremy Johnson, Auburn
2014 — 1 QB
Kyle Allen, Texas A&M: Allen took over the starting job at Texas A&M with four games to go in the regular season. While he wasn’t spectacular, Allen showed enough flashes to convince Aggies fans that, at the least, he can be a capable manager for Kevin Sumlin’s offense. Allen has enough arm strength and athleticism to be a top-flight quarterback, but needs to put it all together along with strong decision making.
Notable QBs: Deshaun Watson, Clemson; Brad Kaaya, Miami (Fla.)
Lived up to the Hype
- Matt Barkley, USC
- Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
- EJ Manuel, FSU
- Braxton Miller, Ohio State
- Aaron Murray, Georgia
- Mark Sanchez, USC
- Matt Stafford, Georgia
- Tim Tebow, Florida
- Jameis Winston, FSU
- Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame
- Terrell Pryor, Ohio State
- Tyrod Taylor, Va Tech
- Jeff Driskel, Florida
- John Brantley, Florida
- Russell Shepard, LSU
- Garrett Gilbert, Texas
- Dayne Crist, Notre Dame
- Ryan Perrilloux, LSU
- Mitch Mustain, Arkansas
- Kyle Allen, Texas A&M
- Max Browne, USC
- Christian Hackenberg, Penn State
- Gunner Kiel, Notre Dame