Biggest SEC recruiting busts since 2010
I’m always a little uncomfortable writing about recruiting “busts” because the writers who generally label them busts are the ones who rated them so high to begin with. Not every prospect can handle the life of being labeled a “five-star” recruit and fans have such higher expectations for those prospects than others who get the same exact scholarship.
Still I have a job to do and that means acknowledging the SEC recruiting busts from 2010-2012. I’ve decided on those three seasons because I like to give prospects the chance to pretty much go through a full college career. How silly would I look if I call a guy a bust after three bad seasons and then he becomes a first-team consensus All-SEC? Exactly.
So here we go:
Recruiting busts by school
Eddie Williams, DB (Alabama, 2012): Williams seemed like a “can’t miss” prospect coming out of Panama City, Fla. But the five-star defensive back found himself in a bad situation after taking part in two on-campus robberies in 2013. In August 2015 he pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery and is on probation. His football career is still very much up in the air.
Calvin Barnett, DT (Arkansas, 2010): Four-star defensive tackle out of Tulsa, Okla., never made it to campus. He started out at Navarro Junior College and finished his college at Oklahoma State.
Christian Westerman, OT (Auburn, 2011): Here’s a true story: Anthony Chickillo, former DL for the Miami Hurricanes and current Pittsburgh Steeler, said Westerman was easily the best lineman in the 2011 Under Armour Game. That game featured Cyrus Kouandjio, Reese Dismukes and La’El Collins among others. So based on this recommendation I expected big things from Westerman. But the high four-star offensive guard played two games for Auburn and transferred to Arizona State.
Jeff Driskel, QB (Florida, 2011): Driskel had the dubious honor of being the guy that replaced the guy … Driskel’s size (6-4, 238) and physical running style reminded many Gator fans of Tim Tebow, but he wasn’t consistent and when things went downhill for Driskel in a game they didn’t get better. Driskel had three tumultuous years at Florida before leaving to finish his career at Louisiana Tech. Honorable mention goes to half of Florida’s 2010 recruiting class.
Isaiah Crowell, RB (Georgia, 2011): Crowell is less of a bust and more of a disappointment. The former five-star prospect was named freshman of the year by the AP for his rookie season with Georgia. Then he got arrested and kicked off the team. Crowell played out the rest of his career at Alabama State while Georgia moved other guys like Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb … heard of ‘em?
Brandon Gainer, RB (Kentucky, 2010): After Gainer gained nearly 2,000 yards as a senior at Miami Central High School he became a top target in the southeast. He surprised many with his commitment to Kentucky and surprised even more when he transferred after falling off the two-deep or three-deep for that matter.
Jerrard Randall, QB (LSU, 2011): Athletic prospect was rated as one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation but didn’t see any playing time after two years and transferred to Northeast Community College and eventually Arizona where he played his final two years as a backup.
Dee Arrington, DB, (Mississippi State, 2011): Arrington was one of the top in-state prospects the Bulldogs signed in 2011 but the 6-foot-1, 200-pound safety never panned out and injuries in 2013 and 2014 kept him from reaching his full potential.
Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, (Missouri, 2012): Green-Beckham was arguably the best player in the class of 2012 but he was also one of the biggest knuckleheads. Despite showing great talent on the field his decision making was less than stellar and a domestic violence incident (among other things) led to the end of his tenure at Missouri and his college football career.
Wayne Dorsey, DT, (Ole Miss, 2010): Dorsey was the number one JUCO prospect in the nation and might have turned into something special if injuries didn’t cut his senior campaign short. Had 10 starts in two seasons.
Kelvin Rainey, TE (South Carolina, 2012): Rainey is former high school teammate of Derrick Henry and was thought to be a more interesting college prospect. Oops. The four-star tight end spent a couple of years playing special teams before transferring to Iowa Western Community College.
Corey Miller, DE (Tennessee, 2010): To Miller’s credit he was a contributor on the Volunteers defensive line and moved around a lot when asked. But he was expected to be the next great Tennessee defensive lineman and just never got there. He had 9.5 career sacks but half of them came in one game – his final game against Kentucky.
Matt Davis, QB (Texas A&M, 2012): Tell me if you heard this before? Blue-chip dual-threat quarterback leaves A&M program after a year? Consider Davis a trendsetter.
Patton Robinette, QB, (Vanderbilt, 2012): Robinette, a three-star dual-threat prospect from Maryville, Tenn., always had his quarterback tenure at Vanderbilt interrupted with injuries and rather than continue down that path Robinette gave up football for medical school after starting five games over two seasons.
Did I miss any busts? Please let me know in the comments section.