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Recruiting 2014 - 2009 5-Star Recruits
Tennessee/Kansas State RB Bryce Brown
Tennessee/Kansas State RB Bryce Brown
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 25, 2013


Did it work out? Did the superstar prospects fulfill their promise?

Recruiting 2013 - 2009 Lookback

The 5-Star Recruits ... Top Ten


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
- 2008 Class | 2007 Class | 2006 Class | 2005 Class | 2004 Class

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 2009 are courtesy of Scout.com
  
10. S Craig Loston, LSU
As long as Loston can remain healthy, he’ll be just fine. The talent is unquestionable. However, he struggled to remain on the field during his first few seasons in Baton Rouge. The junior started all but the Idaho game at strong safety in 2012, responding with a spot on the AP All-SEC Second Team. The prototypical LSU defensive back, he has the size to punish opponents, yet will ball hawk like a cornerback. Loston is just getting started in his evolution, a process that’ll continue in earnest next fall in his final season to impress pro scouts.
Worth the Hype? Sort of ... potentially

9. DT Gary Brown, Florida
Few 2009 recruits typified the uncertainty and volatility of recruiting more than Brown, who lasted just a season in Gainesville, and was dismissed following a February 2010 arrested on battery charges. By all accounts, he had the explosiveness and intensity to contribute right away for Urban Meyer, but no one factored in his off-field character and lack of discipline. Brown returned to the field again in 2011, but with far less attention as a member of the East Mississippi Community College Lions.
Worth the Hype? Nope

8. DE Donte Paige-Moss, North Carolina
Paige-Moss is a classic case of unfilled potential, a gifted all-around athlete who was unable to put it all together. The 6-3, 270-pounder left Chapel Hill after three seasons, having authored precious few memorable moments for the Tar Heels. He had a poor attitude, and the lack of drive and fundamentals, which were trumped by raw talent in high school, got exposed in the ACC. Paige-Moss went undrafted by the NFL last spring, and played briefly with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.
Worth the Hype? Nope

7. LB Jelani Jenkins, Florida
While Jenkins has certainly been a very productive member of the Gators D, has he been a five-star, top 10-type recruit? He has not, with no stops on the All-SEC Team and a season of eligibility still remaining. Despite missing the Sugar Bowl with an injury, he’s started 29 career games, making 182 tackles, 16.5 stops for loss, six sacks and three picks. Jenkins is a tremendous cover linebacker, with uncommon speed and range, but injuries in 2012 led to his quietest year in Gainesville. His future remains bright, provided he can stay healthy in 2013 and beyond.
Worth the Hype? Not yet

6. LB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
Te’o’s four years in South Bend were spent joining the pantheon of great players that have walked through this program. He’s been the face and the inspiration for the resurgence of Notre Dame football, earning some All-American recognition in three of his four seasons as a starter in the middle. He peaked this past season, after putting off the 2012 NFL Draft, finishing second in the Heisman race, while winning more postseason awards in a season than any other player in college football history. At some point in his Irish career, Te’o stopped being just an elite linebacker, and, before his little fiasco, crossed over to become a modern iconic figure of the sport.
Worth the Hype? Yes

5. OT Xavier Nixon, Florida
Nixon cracked the starting lineup as a rookie in 2009, a rarity at Florida, and never lost his grip at left tackle. He’s had his ups-and-downs, like the rest of the Gators O-line, but has started 33 career games, and is getting plenty of attention from NFL scouts now that he’s exhausted his eligibility. Nixon has considerable potential and ideal size, but his college ceiling was stunted by persistent injuries. Considering where he was rated coming out of high school, no All-SEC selections in four years qualifies as a mild disappointment for the 6-6, 314-pounder.
Worth the Hype? Sort of

4. WR Russell Shepard, LSU
One of the most coveted dual-threat quarterbacks in the country was just never able to find his rhythm in Baton Rouge. He never attempted a pass for the Tigers, and failed to impress as a wide receiver, despite possessing the requisite athletic ability and speed. In four years, Shepard caught 58 passes for 570 yards and five touchdowns, getting passed on the depth chart by younger teammates this past year. NFL teams are now inquiring about his ability to play defensive back, another twist for a former five-star gem who authored a two-star career.
Worth the Hype? Nope

3. DT Jacobbi McDaniel, Florida State
Injuries. Kryptonite for so many young blue-chippers. McDaniel has been one of them, suffering a spate of dings that have greatly limited his ability to develop. Just this past year, he redshirted to rehab a nagging ankle injury that was never getting better. The hope around Tallahassee is that he’ll return at full strength in 2013, recapturing the flashes he showed as a young gap-buster in 2009 and 2010. When McDaniel is healthy, he’s an exciting interior lineman, with the quickness and attitude to wreak havoc in opposing backfields.
Worth the Hype? Not yet

2. QB Matt Barkley, USC
While Barkley never won a Heisman or a Pac-12 championship, like some of his predecessors, he’ll still go down as one of the best to ever play the position at Troy. He set all kinds of school and conference passing records as a four-year starter, finishing with 12,327 yards and 116 touchdowns through the air. Beyond the numbers, Barkley stepped forward as an important leader for USC as the program navigated its way through the rough waters of NCAA punishment. He’s expected to be one of the first quarterbacks selected in this spring’s NFL Draft.
Worth the Hype? Yes

1. RB Bryce Brown, Tennessee
A curious recruit if there ever was one. Brown, whose blend of power and speed intoxicated for college coaches nationally, spent one year in Knoxville before transferring to Kansas State. He carried the ball three times in Manhattan before realizing he wanted to declare for the 2012 NFL Draft. The seventh round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles showed signs of the high school mega-star after LeSean McCoy went down, rushing for 347 combined yards in back-to-back games late in the year. Undeniably raw, the folks in Philly hope Brown needed college experience the way Kobe Bryant and LeBron James did.
Worth the Hype? Tennessee (Nope), Kansas State (Nope), Philadelphia Eagles (Maybe)

The 2008 5-Star Prospects. Were They Worth It?
- 1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50
- 2008 Class | 2007 Class | 2006 Class | 2005 Class | 2004 Class