CFN Archives - 2001 Busts
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... the 2001 Class
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... the 2001 Class
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... the 2001 Class
Remember Armon Dorrough? How about Justin Tomerlin? Wasn't Cecil
"The Diesel' going to truck on up to Syracuse, and finally give the
Orange someone to fear under center?
Each year, countless former
high school stars confirm that the recruitment of teenage athletes
is very much an inexact science. Yet, that won't stop an optimistic
horde of college football fans from saturating themselves with drool
as National Letter of Intent signing day fast approaches.
Injuries, academic struggles and poor scouting are just a few of the
many reasons a kid fails to make the leap from big man in prep
school to big man on campus. For every Larry Fitzgerald, who breaks
records, there's at least one Carlos Campbell, who can't break into
the starting lineup. For every Derrick Johnson, a Derron Johnson.
The next few weeks leading up to the Feb. 2 signing day are a time
of celebration and anticipation. A time to throw out the welcome
mat and familiarize yourself with a new wave of recruits that'll
wear your school's colors for the next few years. However, a quick
review of how some of the crème de la crème of the Class of 2001
have panned out might temper your enthusiasm. Don't be floored if
that cant-miss you're currently fawning over can't cut it at the
next level. Hey, didn't you used to be Kevin Noel?
1. RB Kelly Baraka, Michigan
touted as the next great Wolverine back, but wound up being one of
the school's most publicized and embarrassing recruiting busts. The
prep All-American was arrested twice in 2001 for marijuana
possession, and was dismissed from the team the following spring.
Baraka bounced around the junior-college circuit without ever
playing a down in Ann Arbor.
2. DE Mark Anderson, Stanford
One of the
prized catches of Ty Willingham's first-rate recruiting class never
had a chance to make his mark on the Farm. A spate of knee injuries
essentially ended Anderson's college career before it began, and he
decided to transfer to Montana State to be closer to home. He had
it all—speed, size, strength and smarts—so it was no surprise he
received more than 30 scholarships from major programs.
3. WR Roscoe Crosby, Clemson
gifted athlete, Crosby turned out to be a colossal tease to Tiger
fans. After breaking the school record for receptions and receiving
yards by a true freshman, the two-sport star sat out 2002 with a
serious elbow injury and 2003 for personal reasons. Crosby hoped to
play one more year of college football this fall, but doing so would
nullify his claim to $400,000, which he believes is owed to him by
the Kansas City Royals.
4. CB Dominic Robinson, Florida State
Robinson earned four letters in Tallahassee, but that's chump change
for a player that was widely touted as the top cornerback prospect
in the nation in 2000. He never did make it in the Seminole
secondary, switching to wide receiver early in his career, and
getting reps as a punt returner. Robinson had the occasional moment
at receiver, but never caught more than 17 passes in a season, and
will be remembered as a disappointment.
Larsen was one of the most heavily recruited players to come
out of western Iowa in quite some time, but never lived up to all of
the attention or scholarship offers he received. His injuries have
out numbered his snaps the past four years, fueling Larsen's
decision last month to leave the university with a degree in Health
and Sports Studies and one year of unused eligibility.
6. QB D.J. Shockley, Georgia
change this year. Shockley has a unique one-year window of
opportunity to make noise in Athens and validate those scouts who
projected him as a Top 10 prospect. Now that David Greene has
graduated, the offense is his, a reality that unsettles some Dawg
fans. He never could unseat Greene, and worse, has rarely been
consistent in relief. To get the most out of Shockley, Mark Richt
plans to dust off the playbook he used when he coached Charlie Ward
at Florida State.
7. ATH Quan Cosby, Texas
The ‘Horns had
visions of using the combustible Cosby much the way Miami utilizes
Devin Hester and USC features Reggie Bush. He was nearly that
versatile and explosive. However, the Anaheim Angels offered some quan of their own, canceling The Cosby Show in Austin. He's
recently hinted that after four years toiling in the minor leagues,
he may be ready to return to the gridiron to play for either Texas,
Oklahoma or Baylor.
8. QB Cecil Howard, Syracuse
The man who'd
finally give Syracuse a viable successor to Donovan McNabb never
played a down for the Orangemen. A depressed Howard shocked the
upstate New York community when he bolted after just one year,
transferring to Youngstown State, and later Northeastern, in a
frenetic one-week span.
9. QB Joe Mauer,
Had Mauer not chosen Major League Baseball over
college football, the ‘Noles would have had a viable option for
Chris Rix the past two seasons. He was selected first overall in
2001 by the hometown Minnesota Twins, and made his debut in the bigs
10. QB Adrian McPherson, Florida State
coaches knew Joe Mauer was a risk to give up pitching footballs for
catching baseballs, and McPherson represented a terrific Plan B.
However, one year after arriving on campus, he was exiled for
gambling allegations and his role in a check cashing scam. He was
last seen piling up big numbers for the Indiana Firebirds of the
Arena Football League, and has hired uber-agent Leigh Steinberg to
represent him in April's NFL Draft.
11. QB Brent Rawls,
A sobering example of the ten-cent head sabotaging the
million-dollar arm. Physically, Rawls was a prototypical drop-back
passer, but upstairs, he lacked maturity and good sense. In Norman,
he struggled in the classroom, became a regular in Bob Stoops'
doghouse, and ultimately transferred to Louisiana Tech in 2003.
With a second chance in Ruston, he never qualified academically, and
opted to sign a deal last November with the Bossier-Shreveport
Battle Wings of the Arena Football League.
12. WR Angelo Chattams, Ohio State
by some as the next coming of Joey Galloway, Chattams became better
known for getting charged with the theft of a set of golf clubs in
2002. After catching just two balls as a Buckeye, an upper spine
injury ended his football career a year later.
13. QB Kyle Matter, Stanford
Filling in for
Chris Lewis as a freshman, Matter showed flashes of the potential
that made him a Prep All-American and one of the top-rated passers
of his class. It was all downhill after 2002, however. He slid to
No. 3 on the depth chart the following season, and didn't throw a
single pass this past year. With underclassmen still ahead of him
at the position, Matter is destined to finish his Cardinal career as
a high-profile holder on field goals and extra points.
14. CB Gerard Ross,
Over the past four years, Ross has been unable to
recapture the form that made him one of the highest-ranked defensive
backs coming out of high school. He's been a liability in pass
coverage, and has routinely been surpassed on the depth chart by
younger teammates. Ross, who has been an asset on special teams,
has one more year of eligibility left with the ‘Noles.
15. DE Marquis Elmore, Georgia
academic issues and a slow-to-heal back set Elmore back his first
two years in Athens. In 2001, he attended Hargrave Military Academy
to work on his grades, and the following year, surgery for a
herniated disc forced him to be redshirted. The past two seasons
have been largely spent on the sidelines, watching his teammates
make plays. The coaches still believe Elmore can be an effective
pass-rusher, and he has two years left to prove them right.
16. DE Redgie Arden, Ohio State – Since
arriving in Columbus, Arden has made all of his headlines away from
the ‘Shoe getting arrested twice for drunk driving, had his nose
broken outside a West Virginia bar and sat out the entire 2004
season with an injury. Arden has played linebacker and tight end,
but will be at defensive end when he tries to salvage his career
17. DL Jared Helming, Nebraska
One of the
gems of Frank Solich's fourth recruiting class has never developed
into the kind of lineman Husker fans envisioned when he was named
the Missouri Player of the Year. Helming sat out 2002 with a torn
ACL in his left knee, and has bounced between the offensive and
defensive lines, never establishing a foothold on either unit. His
next start in 2005 will be the first of his Nebraska
18. WR Jerome Janet, Kansas State
All-American with track star speed sprinted out of Manhattan just
days into his first summer camp. Janet returned home to Tulsa to
play for the Golden Hurricane, but lasted just one pedestrian season
before getting booted for academic and conduct issues.
19. CB Derron Johnson, Memphis
out a bunch of much bigger schools to get Johnson's signature, but
it never paid off for the program. The corner with the huge frame
and great speed was moved to wide receiver as a freshman,
academically ineligible as a sophomore and no longer affiliated with
the Tigers before even completing his junior season.
20. C Zachary Giles, Notre Dame
All-American and player of the year in Massachusetts has yet to
work his way to the top of the depth chart in four seasons in South
Bend. Save for a start at Michigan State in 2003, Giles' primarily
role has been to add depth to the Irish offensive line.
21. RB Ty Eriks, Washington
Eriks' career in
Seattle has not been a complete washout, but it certainly hasn't
approached expectations when he was one of the best big backs in the
nation in 2000. He's bounced around the depth chart, playing
tailback, fullback, safety and linebacker before finally finding a
home at defensive end. Eriks had nine tackles last year, and has
one more season to become an impact pass-rusher on the Dawg D.
22. ATH Carlos Campbell, Notre Dame
had the gamebreaking speed that the Irish so dearly covet these
days, but that never translated into stardom in South Bend. For
four seasons, he languished as a little-used backup, two at wide
receiver and two at cornerback. Campbell's biggest contributions
came as a gunner on the punt team, site of the only touchdown of his
23. OL Ron Lunford, Florida State
behemoth guard is still blessed with potential, but has yet to come
close to the level that made him one of the most sought after
linemen in the country four years ago. Lunford's limited starts
have been the result of other's injuries, and he's struggled to keep
his weight under control. He'll be counted on to step in 2005, and
have a salary run type season.
24. RB J.R. Lemon, Stanford
While it's still a little
strong to label J.R., well, a lemon, his perfect blend of size and
speed hasn't exactly led to the kind of production many expected
when he was one of the most heralded backs in America. Whether it's
been injuries or poor line play, Lemon has struggled to locate
consistency, and has never rushed for more than 500 yards in a
season. He has one year in Walt Harris' offense to show NFL scouts
he's worthy of a draft choice.
If not for some bad luck, Croyle would have no business in
this discussion. When healthy, he's shown glimpses of the form that
made him the most coveted prep quarterback in the country. Problem
is, he's missed 11 games the last two years due to shoulder and knee
injuries, and had nearly as many career interceptions as touchdowns
before this year's three-game season. How Croyle's college career
is ultimately judged will depend heavily on how he performs in