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Recruiting 2014 - The 5-Star Guys From 2006
Former Arkansas QB Mitch Mustain
Former Arkansas QB Mitch Mustain
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 23, 2010


2006 was supposed to be the year when the SEC got the QB stars. Some Tebow guy went to Florida, and Matt Stafford picked Georgia, but Mitch Mustain, who originally chose Arkansas and later left for USC, was supposed to be the best. Rich Cirminiello looks at the Booms and Busts from the 2006 class.


 

Recruiting 2010 - 2006 Lookback

The 2006 Five-Star Recruits


By Richard Cirminiello

- 2010 Recruiting - The 5 Star Prospects of 2006, Part 1
- 2009 Recruiting - The 2005 Booms
- 2009 Recruiting - The 2005 Busts  
 
28. S Jamar Hornsby, Florida – What a mess. Hornsby got multiple chances to get his act together, yet squandered every one of them. In Gainesville, he was booted from the team prior to the 2007 season for credit card fraud. After a stint with East Mississippi Community College, he burned another SEC school, getting charged with felony assault and thrown off Ole Miss by Houston Nutt. A heck of an athlete, he wasted an opportunity to turn those skills into something special.
Worth the Hype? Nope

27. DE Brandon Graham, Michigan – The fact that Graham finished his career on some bad Wolverine teams sort of understated his accomplishment. Too bad because he was one of the Big Ten’s most dominant pass rushers during his stay in Ann Arbor. A starter since the middle of his sophomore year, he was all-conference in 2008 and 2009. With linebacker quickness off the edge, he racked up 30 career sacks and a slew of forced fumbles, spending Saturdays in the opposition’s backfield.
Worth the Hype? Yes

26. DE Peanut Whitehead, Louisville – Whitehead caught a bad break if there ever was one. He’d shown flashes of becoming a quality pass rusher toward the end of his sophomore year, but his career came to a crashing halt in November of 2007. After being injured on a tackle, doctors determined he suffered from congenital cervical spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the column around the spinal cord. Without any warning, his athletic career was tragically over.
Worth the Hype? Nope

25. DT Callahan Bright, Florida State – The most frustrating thing about Bright’s plight is that he was such an exciting talent in high school. However, he never qualified academically or played a down for the Seminoles, bounced around at a lower level, got arrested for marijuana possession, and did a humbling stretch as a trash collector. Today, he’s trying to get his act together at tiny Shaw University in North Carolina.
Worth the Hype? Nope

24. OL Stephen Schilling, Michigan – The talk of Schilling becoming the next Jake Long wound up being greatly exaggerated. Yes, he’s a three-year starter for the Wolverines, but hasn’t blossomed into a star, peaking in 2009 by being named All-Big Ten honorable mention. In fact, he struggled as a right tackle and had to be moved inside to guard, where he’ll spend his final season in Ann Arbor next fall.
Worth the Hype? Sort of

23. WR Jarred Fayson, Florida – Although Fayson has always had the talent and versatility, he felt he wasn’t getting enough touches in Gainesville, prompting a transfer to Illinois. In his first season in Champaign, he started five games, catching 16 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown. He has one more year to put it all together, with the help of new offensive coordinator Paul Petrino. With NFL scouts beginning to watch more closely, don’t be surprised if he delivers.
Worth the Hype? Nope

22. RB Keiland Williams, LSU – In the final game of his debut season, Williams ran for 107 yards and two scores in a Sugar Bowl rout of Notre Dame. It would be the high point of an otherwise mediocre career. Bumped to the second team by Charles Scott in 2008, he rarely had a leading role in the offense and never rushed for more than 478 yards in a season. He broke his ankle last November, yet still possesses the size-speed combo to get plenty of looks between now and April from NFL teams.
Worth the Hype? Not quite

21. QB Tim Tebow, Florida – Tebow will forever be mentioned as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. He was a part of two national championship teams, was the first sophomore to ever with the Heisman, and piled up a bunch of records along the way. The face of the sport for an unheard of three seasons, he wound up accounting for 145 touchdowns and more than 12,000 total yards.
Worth the Hype? Yes

20. CB Deon Beasley, Texas – Although Beasley played a ton of football in Austin, he was rarely a key component of the last few Longhorn defenses. In fact, he only started a dozen games in four years, including just one as a senior. While it’s a luxury to have a veteran of so many games on the second team, this five-star recruit ended up having a two-star career at Texas.
Worth the Hype? Not quite

19. S Taylor Mays, USC – A modern-day Ronnie Lott in Los Angeles, Mays was a nightmare for opposing receivers crossing his path. A freakish athlete, with the size of a linebacker and the speed of a cornerback, he doled out more punishment than a grade school nun over the past four seasons. A three-time All-American and four-year starter for the Trojans, he’s poised to be selected in the opening round of April’s NFL Draft.
Worth the Hype? Yes

18. LB Micah Johnson, Kentucky – An All-SEC performer the last two seasons, Johnson was the Wildcats’ leading tackler and best overall defensive player. A big, quick, and instinctive middle linebacker, he has a bright future in the NFL. Hotly pursued by the likes of Georgia and Notre Dame coming out of high school, he became one of the driving forces of a Kentucky team that perennially exceeded preseason forecasts.
Worth the Hype? Yes

17. DE Ricky Sapp, Clemson – Although his production with the Tigers didn’t always match his enormous physical ability, Sapp was still one of the nation’s scariest ends off the edge. Basically a really fast outside linebacker at 6-4 and 240 pounds, he had his best season as a senior, making 55 tackles, 14 stops for loss, and five sacks. If he tests well in the next month, he could end up being a first or second round selection in April’s draft.
Worth the Hype? Yes

16. DT Al Woods, LSU – Although he didn’t become a full-timer until his senior year, there’s a feeling that Woods’ best football may still be ahead of him. He got in the best shape of his life prior to 2009, and it showed. He was quicker and had far more stamina, making 33 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and a sack. If he stays motivated, it wouldn’t surprise anyone around Baton Rouge if he’s still cashing an NFL paycheck five or six years from now.
Worth the Hype? Not quite

15. OT Sam Young, Notre Dame – Yes, Young played a ton of football for the Irish, starting all four of his seasons in South Bend. That’s impressive, but is that alone enough for one of the two or three most decorated offensive linemen of 2006? Probably not. He was durable and reliable, but rarely dominant, often getting exposed by faster ends coming off the edge. It’ll be interesting to see how he holds up in the NFL, where everyone is quick out of the blocks.
Worth the Hype? Not quite

14. TE Konrad Reuland, Notre Dame – After a little over a season in South Bend, Reuland decided to transfer back home to California. Now a member of Stanford, along with younger brother Warren, he has one more year of eligibility to make a statement. He sure looks the part at 6-6 and 260 pounds, but has yet to match the measurables with production, catching six passes for 142 yards in his debut with the Cardinal.
Worth the Hype? Nope

13. WR Percy Harvin, Florida – Has there ever been a more electrifying player than Harvin in Gator history? Wes Chandler, maybe? Harvin was a unique weapon for Urban Meyer, rushing and receiving for more than 1,800 yards in his three-year career. As a runner, he averaged almost 10 yards a carry, regularly burning defenses on inside handoffs. He’s kept the momentum going with the Minnesota Vikings, earning NFL Rookie of the Year honors for 2009.
Worth the Hype? Yes

12. RB Stafon Johnson, USC – Johnson is a very talented all-around runner, but the glut of blue-chip backs kept him from ever owning the spotlight. In three seasons, he never earned more than 138 carries, missing most of 2009 after a barbell mishap crushed his throat. Instead of seeking a medical redshirt in 2010, he’s opting for a shot at the NFL, a miracle considering how badly he was injured back in September.
Worth the Hype? Not quite

11. QB Matt Stafford, Georgia – Geez, how do you size up the career of Stafford in Athens? It’s a lot tougher than it looks on face value. He was selected No. 1 overall last year by the Detroit Lions, so he obviously has the physical gifts. However, no one is going to build any monuments to him between the hedges. He threw a modest 51 career touchdown passes to 33 picks and never led the Dawgs to an SEC title. He’s a five-star talent, but his amateur legacy required another season of work.
Worth the Hype? Yes

10. CB Jai Eugene, LSU – After four seasons in Baton Rouge, Eugene was still just the third cornerback in the Tiger secondary rotation. He started nine games as a sophomore, but fell behind Patrick Peterson and Chris Hawkins in the pecking order. Hawkins has exhausted his eligibility, meaning Eugene should be slated for an expanded role and an opportunity to turn the heads of pro scouts.
Worth the Hype? Not quite

9. S Myron Rolle, Florida State – The epitome of a student athlete, Rolle immediately cracked the Seminole starting lineup as a freshman, graduated in under three years, and spent 2009 studying at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. The future surgeon still has dreams of a future in the NFL as well, and will be participating in the Senior Bowl before concluding his studies in England.
Worth the Hype? Yes

8. DE Sergio Kindle, Texas – It took a couple of years and some nagging injuries, but once Kindle got cranking, he became a force for the Longhorn D as a linebacker and a defensive end. A back-to-back All-Big 12 selection and an All-American this past season, he was especially effective at creating havoc in the backfield. Over the past two seasons alone, he gobbled up 28 tackles for loss, 16 sacks, and a slew of hurries.
Worth the Hype? Yes

7. DE Eddie Jones, Texas – The jury remains out on Jones, who’s been unable to elevate beyond the second team and special teams since arriving in Austin with so much attention. He is coming off his best season, which included 19 tackles and 3.5 sacks, and a starting assignment might finally be within reach in 2010. He has good speed and athleticism, but a lack of consistency has allowed him to be passed by younger players.
Worth the Hype? Nope

6. DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma – The second coming of Tommie Harris in Norman, McCoy was one of the nation’s premier linemen over the last three seasons. The Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2007, he went on to be an All-American over the last couple of seasons. A prototypical two-gap tackle, he’s off to the NFL with a year of eligibility left. Smart move, too, because he’ll be one of the first few selections off the board in April.
Worth the Hype? Yes

5. OT Andre Smith, Alabama – Wasting no time validating those five stars, Smith started 13 games as a true freshman, becoming just the fourth Tide rookie to ever do so. He kept getting better with each passing season, earning All-SEC honors in 2007 and 2008, and an All-American nod in his last year. An early entry in the 2009 NFL Draft, he was taken No. 6 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals, who hope he’ll be a fixture at tackle for the next decade.
Worth the Hype? Yes

4. TE Nate Byham, Pittsburgh – Was Byham one of the four best players of this class? Of course not. Did he have a solid career at Pitt? Absolutely. A starter for the last three years, he finished with 47 catches for 612 yards and three touchdowns, getting named All-Big East in 2008. He did, however, see his production get sliced in half as a senior by the emergence of Dorin Dickerson, who’s considered by some to be the better NFL prospect.
Worth the Hype? Sort of

3. WR Vidal Hazelton, USC – Hazelton played parts of three different seasons with the Trojans, performing with a lot of promise. He got a cup of coffee as a freshman, but really started to blossom in 2007, catching a team-high 50 passes and four touchdowns. However, the momentum was short-lived. He got off the field sparingly as a junior and was buried on the depth chart, prompting a transfer to Cincinnati. After sitting out 2009, the Bearcats will have access to him this fall.
Worth the Hype? Not quite

2. RB Chris Wells, Ohio State – One of the nation’s premier backs in 2007 and 2008, Wells was a two-time All-Big Ten selection. As a sophomore, he had one of the greatest seasons ever for a Buckeye back, rushing for 1,609 yards and 15 touchdowns, including 222 yards and a pair of scores versus Michigan. Following an injury-plagued, 1000-yard junior year, he left for the NFL and was selected toward the end of the first round by the Arizona Cardinals. In his debut, he went for a team-high 793 yards and seven scores on 176 carries.
- Worth the Hype? Yes

1. QB Mitch Mustain , Arkansas – Mustain’s saga might go down as one of the weirdest falls from grace in NCAA history. A local hero and can’t-miss recruit, he whet the appetite of Razorback fans by starting eight games and winning all of them as a true freshman. However, a soap opera ensued within the coaching staff, compelling the quarterback to transfer to USC. It was a miscalculation. After sitting out 2007, he couldn’t beat out Mark Sanchez or Aaron Corp two years ago and is now buried behind Matt Barkley. In the three years since making a splash in Fayetteville, he’s attempted just 16 passes.
Worth the Hype? Nope

- 2010 Recruiting - The 5 Star Prospects of 2006, Part 1