Recruiting 2012 - 2008 5-Star Recruits, 21-30
Notre Dame TE Kyle Rudolph
Notre Dame TE Kyle Rudolph
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 25, 2012


Did it work out? Did the superstar prospects fulfill their promise? Scout.com prospects 21 to 30.


Recruiting 2012 - 2008 Lookback

The 5-Star Recruits ... 21-30


By Richard Cirminiello 
Follow us ... #ColFootballNews 

The 2008 5-Star Prospects. Were They Worth It?

- 1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50
- 2007 Class | 2006 Class | 2005 Class | 2004 Class

CFN Top Prospects for 2012
- No. 1 to 50 | No. 51 to 100 | No. 101 to 150
- No. 151 to 200No. 201 to 250 | No. 251 to 300
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers
- Tight Ends | Off. Tackles | Guards & Centers 
- Def. Ends | Def. Tackles | Linebackers | Corners | Safeties 
  
The five-star recruit, the ultimate symbol of success any coaching staff, University and fervent fan base. There are talented high school players, and then there are the five-star thoroughbreds, the crème de la crème of available candidates, and the caliber of players that programs and recruiting classes are built upon. However, the luster of landing one of these rare gems can sometimes fade even before the next February’s signing day arrives on campus.

The stark reality each year is that even the highest-rated recruits can be hits-or-misses, an inexact science that’s part intoxicating and part unbelievably frustrating. To illustrate the point, all that’s required is a revisionist’s peek at the 50 blue-chippers from four years ago to see who was a beast and who wound up being a bust. Only a fraction, about one-third, has gone on to consistently perform at the top of their class, which ought to somewhat temper enthusiasm for this February’s Signing Day.

*Historical rankings from 2008 are courtesy of Scout.com
 
30. QB E.J. Manuel, Florida State
Manuel’s upside and physical ability are unmistakable, but his production on the field just hasn’t matched the hype yet. And the clock is ticking. After redshirting in 2008, and caddying for Christian Ponder over the next two seasons, Manuel took the reins of the Seminoles offense this past fall. Yeah, he set the table as the figurehead of an attack that was very young and inexperienced, but he also either didn’t play or didn’t play well against Clemson, Oklahoma, Wake Forest and Florida. Few players in America will have more to prove—or more at stake—than No. 3 does in 2012.
Worth the Hype? Close, but not quite

29. TE Kavario Middleton, Washington
- Middleton never lacked for talent, so he can’t be labeled a bust, but a violation of team rules prior to 2010 halved his Huskies career. He wound up spending the last two years at Montana, serving as an effective pass-catching weapon for QB Jordan Johnson. As a sophomore, his final year in Seattle, he was fourth on the team with 26 receptions for 257 yards and three touchdowns, whetting the appetite of U-Dub fans. If he can stay clean away from the field, a shot at the NFL still might await Middleton.
Worth the Hype? Not quite

28. OL Lucas Nix, Pittsburgh
Nix is one of those rare players who might actually have a better pro career than college career. Oh, he was a solid performer at Pitt, starting at both right tackle and right guard since 2009, but never copped any postseason honors as a Panther. In the senior’s defense, he rarely got much support, anchoring a group that yielded more sacks than any other program in 2011. Still, NFL scouts have been undeterred about his future, pegging him as a high draft choice, and someone who can play for pay for a long time.
Worth the Hype? Sort of

27. DT Omar Hunter, Florida
Will Hunter ever fulfill the expectations that followed him from Buford (Ga.) High School? Probably not, but he still has one more season of eligibility to prove critics wrong, and mentor the younger Gators linemen. The original commit to Notre Dame was hampered by injuries early in his Florida career, which impacted his weight and his effectiveness. While he’s played of football in Gainesville, appearing in 43 games and starting 18, flashes of domination at the point of attack have come at a premium.
Worth the Hype? Not yet

26. WR Aldarius Johnson, Miami
Johnson didn’t perform like a rookie in 2008. Unfortunately, he didn’t show up after that point. He caught 31 passes for 332 yards and three touchdowns in his debut, but just 31 for 433 yards and one score since. While injuries and ineffectiveness hamstrung his sophomore and junior years, his senior season was shut down before it started; Johnson was suspended for all of 2011 for his involvement with former booster Nevin Shapiro. In search of a second chance, he’s hired an agent and shed needless weight in an effort to catch the attention of NFL scouts.
Worth the Hype? Nope

25. DE R.J. Washington, Oklahoma
Washington’s next start will be his first, hardly what was expected after four years from a player who had to sift through a slew of scholarship offers. He’s been no more than a situational pass rusher, though coming off his best season in Norman. The junior had three sacks and a team-best five pass breakups in 2011, lending hope that he might be able to command a bigger role on the outside next fall. The 6-4, 248-pounder harbors the requisite edge speed to help offset the graduation of all-star Frank Alexander in 2012.
Worth the Hype? Not yet

24. RB Richard Samuel, Georgia
While Samuel has emerged as a team leader in Athens, the role of workhorse and feature back have eluded him. Whether it’s been injuries or competition, his career has never left neutral. In 2008, he learned behind Knowshon Moreno. In 2009, he was bumped to the third team by Washaun Ealey and Caleb King. A year ago, while playing linebacker, a torn meniscus necessitated a redshirt year. Last season, when the Dawgs were hungry for healthy backs, Samuel tore ligaments in his ankle. He’ll be back in 2012, looking up at young Isaiah Crowell on the depth chart.
Worth the Hype? Not yet

23. C Mike Brewster, Ohio State
Brewster has been a physical and emotional rock at the pivot in Columbus, and a rare four-year starter for the Buckeyes. The team captain and All-American has been a picture of durability and steadiness at center, starting 49 straight games dating back to the opening month of his rookie year. He’s got the total package at the position, from the headiness and leadership to his drive blocking skills, which is why NFL scouts feel he’ll author a long and prosperous career on Sundays.
Worth the Hype? Yes

22. TE Blake Ayles, USC
This was supposed to be a year of redemption for Ayles, who transferred to Miami, where Al Golden was planning to make greater use of the tight end. The Orange, Calif. product had won the starting job with the ‘Canes, but the second concussion of his career shelved him for all of 2011. In three seasons as a Trojan, he was a career reserve, catching just 14 balls for 182 yards and a touchdown. Ayles will use his medical redshirt season, and return next fall in the hopes closing an otherwise quiet career on a positive note.
Worth the Hype? Not yet

21. TE Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame
The latest in a long line of outstanding tight ends to play in South Bend, Rudolph backed up his lofty ranking from four years ago. He was a tremendous all-around threat, with uncommon quickness for a 6-6, 265-pounder, catching 90 career passes for 1,032 yards and eight touchdowns. Rudolph was well on his to the 2010 Mackey Award before a hamstring injury sidelined him for the season’s final seven games. The second round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft already appears to be a budding star for the Minnesota Vikings.
Worth the Hype? Yes 

The 2008 5-Star Prospects. Were They Worth It?

- 1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50
- 2007 Class | 2006 Class | 2005 Class | 2004 Class

CFN Top Prospects for 2012
- No. 1 to 50 | No. 51 to 100 | No. 101 to 150
- No. 151 to 200No. 201 to 250 | No. 251 to 300
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers
- Tight Ends | Off. Tackles | Guards & Centers 
- Def. Ends | Def. Tackles | Linebackers | Corners | Safeties