50 Star Players Who Peaked in College Football

Dan Vasta@CI_StatsGuruSenior Writer IIIMarch 22, 2012

50 Star Players Who Peaked in College Football

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    There are so many special players who we see in college football but never seem to pan out in the NFL.

    Whether it is because of their overall ability, the system they are in or perhaps just not being able to handle football as their life, many players hit their peaks in college and then bottom out.

    Most experts rank their busts based on what players accomplished in college or where they were drafted into the NFL.

    In no particular order, here are your 50 college stars who peaked in college and ultimately never made a name for themselves (in a positive way) in the NFL.

David Carr

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    School: Fresno State Bulldogs

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: First Overall Pick, 2002

    Recap: The first selection by the Houston Texans after they became a franchise, David Carr was never given much of a chance to succeed.

    When he was eventually given several seasons to perform, it seemed like he lost all and whatever swagger he had remaining (he took sack after sack).

    Still, his 70 TDs and 23 INTs while at Fresno State made for magical seasons, and his jersey (No. 8) is retired in Bulldogs history (won Unitas and Baugh awards in 2001).

Tshimanga “Tim” Biakabutuka

2 of 50

    School: Michigan Wolverines

    Position: Running Back

    Draft: Eighth Overall, 1996

    Recap: Sometimes, the expectations that are put on your shoulders are impossible to ever live up to, and Tim Biakabutuka struggled miserably in the NFL.

    Expectations were huge heading into his rookie season, mainly because the former Wolverines back has the most rushing yards in the history of the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry game (313).

Andre Ware

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    School: Houston Cougars

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: Seventh Overall, 1990

    Recap: Andre Ware was an elite college quarterback, as he often put the scoreboard into bonkers mode. He won the Heisman and put the Cougars on the national map during the 1989 season.

    Ware was then taken seventh overall by the Detroit Lions, but his career was short in the NFL. He finished with five TDs and eight INTs before he went on to win the Canadian Football League's Grey Cup with the Toronto Argonauts in 1997.

Terry Baker

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    School: Oregon State Beavers

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: First Overall, 1963

    Recap: Terry Baker won the 1962 Heisman, and he remains the only player in the history of the game to win the Heisman and appear in men's basketball's Final Four in the same season (most athletes will never even play both sports).

    The Heisman quarterback played two seasons with the L.A. Rams, totaling zero TDs, four INTs and 154 yards!

Todd Blackledge

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    School: Penn State Nittany Lions

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: Seventh Overall, 1983

    Recap: The Davey O’Brien winner, who led Penn State past Georgia in the 1983 de facto national title game (Sugar), did not have much success in the NFL.

    Todd Blackledge is one hell of a college football broadcaster/analyst, but his NFL career quickly went down the drain after short stints with the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Jason White

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    School: Oklahoma Sooners

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: Undrafted, 2005

    Recap: Jason White never played a down in the NFL, but he was one hell of a quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners.

    He won the Heisman in 2003 and was a consensus All-American to go along with winning Davey O’Brien, Associated Press, Sporting News, Maxwell, Johnny Unitas and NCAA Quarterback awards.

    White led the Sooners to two BCS national title appearances, and it was a shame they could not get a victory against LSU or USC in either contest. Still, that did not take away anything White accomplished in Norman.

    An undrafted free agent with several knee injuries, it would be the Tennessee Titans who signed him as part of their offseason and practice squad teams.

    He never played a down for them and since has become a business owner in Oklahoma.

Archie Griffin

7 of 50

    School: Ohio State Buckeyes

    Position: Running Back

    Draft: 24th Overall, 1976

    Recap: To this day Archie Griffin remains the only college football player to ever win consecutive Heismans.

    Nobody else has ever won the Heisman twice, and nobody may ever accomplish such an impossible task again. Being invited twice is a tough task in itself, but Griffin was a legend with the Buckeyes.

    The former Ohio State running back played seven seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals before heading off to the USFL.

Kelly Stouffer

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    School: Colorado State Rams

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: Sixth Overall, 1987

    Recap: Currently an ESPN Plus and Versus analyst, Kelly Stouffer put together an abysmal NFL career. Posting seven TDs and 19 INTs is dreadful, but his injuries and limited production were his final calling.

Jamal Reynolds

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    School: Florida State Seminoles

    Position: Defensive End

    Draft: 10th Overall, 2001

    Recap: There will be a few Seminoles on this list because the expectations were sky-high more times than not.

    A top-10 selection by the Packers in 2001, Jamal Reynolds couldn't put together one season he had at FSU during any point in his NFL career.

Rashaan Salaam

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    School: Colorado Buffaloes

    Position: Running Back

    Draft: 21st Overall, 1995

    Recap: A big, bruising back who could move well enough in Boulder for the Colorado Buffaloes was a unanimous All-American pick in 1994.

    Winning the Heisman Trophy and Jim Brown, Walter Camp and Doak Walker awards showed how special a season Rashaan Salaam had for Colorado. His squad went 11-1, which included a Fiesta Bowl victory over Notre Dame to give it the No. 3 ranking in the final polls.

    The Chicago Bears then selected him 21st overall, but it did not take very long for him to become a complete bust. Salaam had major fumbling issues and started only 21 games (played 33) with 13 touchdowns to show for it.

Alonzo Highsmith

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    School: Miami Hurricanes

    Position: Running Back

    Draft: Third Overall, 1987

    Recap: A star for the U in the 1980s, Alonzo Highsmith was the No. 3 overall selection by the Houston Oilers.

    His 10 total TDs in his six-year career made him one of the bigger busts among running backs in NFL history.

Mike D. Williams

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    School: Texas Longhorns

    Position: Offensive Tackle

    Draft: Fourth Overall, 2002

    Recap: This beefy beast from Texas was expected to become an instant Pro Bowler since he was coming off a consensus All-American career in 2001.

    The Bills, Jaguars and Redskins realized he was a complete bust at both tackle and guard due to his inability to block.

Brian Bosworth

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    School: Oklahoma Sooners

    Position: Linebacker

    Draft: Supplemental Draft (First Round), 1987

    Recap: “Boz” was one hell of a Boomer Sooner linebacker during the mid '80s. A consensus All-American in 1985 and 1986, Bosworth was ultimately kicked off the Sooners' squad after testing positive for steroids.

    He still was one of the most dominant linebackers in college football history but had to enter the NFL supplemental draft.

    After winning the Dick Butkus Award in both ’85 and ’86 (All-Big Eight ’84, ’85, ‘86), he played in just 24 games and registered only four sacks in three seasons with the Seattle Seahawks (1987-1989).

Ken Dorsey

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    School: Miami Hurricanes

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: Round 7, 241st Overall, 2003

    Recap: Ken Dorsey currently serves as a pro scout for the Carolina Panthers, but he was one hell of a winning signal-caller for the Miami Hurricanes.

    The three-time first-team All-Big East QB ended up winning 38 games as the starter and also went to two BCS titles (went 1-1 and was a two-time Heisman finalist). He holds several other records with the 'Canes and was as consistent a college quarterback as we have seen in the BCS era.

    During his short NFL career, Dorsey threw eight TDs and 18 INTs as a career backup (often third-string).

Pat Sullivan

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    School: Auburn Tigers

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: Round 2, 40th Overall, 1972

    Recap: The 1971 Heisman Trophy winner edged out Cornell running back Ed Marinaro, thanks to breaking a ton of records for the Auburn Tigers under legendary coach Shug Jordan.

    Sullivan led Auburn to a 26-7 record in his career, but it was in 1970 that he led the nation in total offense (2,856 yards) and at the same time set the record for most yards per play (8.57).

    He finished with 75 career touchdowns while at Auburn but has been known more for his coaching career (1992-1997, 2007-present) rather than his short NFL career (1972-1977).

Ed Marinaro

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    School: Cornell Big Red

    Position: Running back

    Draft: Round 2, 50th Overall, 1972

    Recap: Yes, the head football coach of the legendary Blue Mountain State Mountain Goats remains one of the most underrated running backs in college football history.

    Blue Mountain State may just be one of the best (at least recently) college football television shows, but Marinaro actually played ball with the best of them while at Cornell.

    In fact, he remains one of the most productive backs in Ivy League and college football history. Can the man get some love?

    Despite getting edged out by Auburn quarterback Pat Sullivan for the 1971 Heisman (1,597 votes to 1,445), Marinaro holds two records that may never be broken (I doubt they will ever be touched).

    Marinaro toted the rock on average 34 times per game in his career (’69-'71), and he holds the record for most carries per game in one season at 39.6 (1971).

    From 1972 to 1977, playing for three teams (Vikings, Jets and Seahawks), he reached two Super Bowls under legendary coach Bud Grant. Marinaro only scored 13 touchdowns throughout his short career.

    However, Marinaro remains vastly underrated, albeit he was deservedly inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1991.

Joey Harrington

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    School: Oregon Ducks

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: Third Overall, 2002

    Recap: Gracing the cover of EA Sports' NCAA Football in 2003, this Oregon Ducks quarterback was the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year in 2001.

    However, he never became a relevant starting signal-caller in the NFL, finishing with 79 TDs and 85 INTs (Lions, Dolphins, Falcons and Saints from 2002 to 2008).

Charles Rogers

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    School: Michigan State Spartans

    Position: Wide Receiver

    Draft: Second Overall, 2003

    Recap: One of the most electrifying receivers in the BCS era, Michigan State witnessed this former star be named first-team All-Big Ten twice and a consensus All-American in 2002.

    Charles Rogers had 25 receiving TDs in two seasons while in East Lansing, but the Spartans receiver is known more what he could not do in the NFL.

    Playing in only 15 games, Rogers totaled just four touchdowns and disappeared after continually failing drug tests.

Peter Warrick

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    School: Florida State Seminoles

    Position: Wide Receiver

    Draft: Fourth Overall, 2000

    Recap: Peter Warrick’s acrobatic catches in the 1999 regular season made him look like Larry Fitzgerald before Fitz was even playing varsity ball.

    Warrick had his fair share of "Tecmo Bowl" Bo Jackson moments, as his 32 touchdown receptions are still the most in FSU history. He set a few other records and was a first-team All-American according to essentially everybody on the face of the earth (’98 and '99 seasons).

    However, his professional career went down the drain quickly in the NFL, as the Bengals and Seahawks saw him haul in just 18 career touchdowns. He is currently a free agent, although he recently has played in the CFL, AFL and UFL.

Troy Williamson

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    School: South Carolina Gamecocks

    Position: Wide Receiver

    Draft: Seventh Overall, 2005

    Recap: Troy Williamson had a solid combine, running a 4.32 40-yard dash, and he was a star in the SEC with South Carolina.

    Yet he struggled miserably in the NFL (four career receiving TDs) and never became a factor.

Blair Thomas

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    School: Penn State Nittany Lions

    Position: Running Back

    Draft: Second Overall, 1990

    Recap: The second overall pick in the 1990 NFL draft, Blair Thomas came within 97 yards of breaking Curt Warner’s rushing record at Penn State.

    Yet despite those devastating numbers, Thomas did not amount to much, as he ended up with only seven career rushing touchdowns.

Trev Alberts

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    School: Nebraska Cornhuskers

    Position: Linebacker

    Draft: Fifth Overall, 1994

    Trev Albert was a terrific linebacker in college for the Huskers, but he never surfaced to anything in the NFL. He started only seven games and played in just 29, registering 69 tackles.

    The 1993 consensus All-American had a short run with the Indianapolis Colts (1994-1996).

Lawrence Phillips

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    School: Nebraska Cornhuskers

    Position: Running Back

    Draft: Sixth Overall, 1996

    Recap: Lawrence Phillips was a stud for Tom Osborne at Nebraska, and though he was suspended for allegedly assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Phillips was able to play in the 1996 national championship victory over Florida. He gashed the Gators for 165 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries, and he vaulted into the NFL a year early.

    The Cornhuskers running back then had even more issues off the gridiron, and it was ultimately a sad finish to such a talented football player.

Art Schlichter

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    School: Ohio State Buckeyes

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: Fourth Overall, 1982

    Recap: This former Buckeyes and Big Ten star quarterback had way too many issues to become a successful quarterback in the NFL.

    His three TDs and 11 INTs were brutal, but so were his gambling, drug and bankruptcy problems (note: originally suspended for one season and then never allowed back in the NFL).

Curtis Enis

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    School: Penn State Nittany Lions

    Position: Running Back

    Draft: Fifth Overall, 1995

    Recap: Another consensus All-American (1997), the Penn State running back turned out to be yet another bust of a selection by the Chicago Bears.

    Enis found pay dirt just six times in his short NFL career.

Ki-Jana Carter

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    School: Penn State Nittany Lions

    Position: Running Back

    Draft: First Overall, 1995

    Recap: Yes, another consensus All-American running back at Penn State went off. Totaling 34 TDs and over 2,800 yards, Carter was considered a can't-miss prospect.

    He was the No. 1 pick in the 1995 NFL draft, but he finished with 21 TDs in his less than stellar decade-long career.

Todd Marinovich

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    School: USC Trojans

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: 24th Overall, 1991

    Recap: Todd Marinovich had a ton of potential while he was the star quarterback for the Trojans, but after he left early for the draft, he never panned out.

    Sadly, thanks to his major drug addictions, Marinovich became a quick bust in the NFL after he was dropped like a bad habit (played one season with LA Raiders).

David Klingler

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    School: Houston Cougars

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: Sixth Overall, 1992

    Recap: Another Cougars quarterback who could not put it together in the NFL.

    A top-10 pick suggests he should have at least been relevant, but he was anything but.

Brad Banks

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    School: Iowa Hawkeyes

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: Undrafted, 2003

    Recap: Brad Banks is arguably the most talented Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback in school history, as he finished second in 2002 Heisman voting behind Carson Palmer.

    He was an athletic freak who could scramble with ease, as he led Iowa to a Top 10 finish and BCS bid.

    Getting edged out by the USC quarterback ended up being the last of Banks, as he became an undrafted free agent who could not make the most of his one opportunity with the Washington Redskins.

    Small in stature (5’11", 205 pounds), Banks has spent time in various leagues, including the CFL and Arena Football League, since 2004.

Ron Dayne

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    School: Wisconsin Badgers

    Position: Running Back

    Draft: 11th Overall, 2000

    Recap: He essentially won every award in the 1999 college football season (Heisman, AP Player of the Year, consensus All-American, Doak Walker, Maxwell, Walter Camp, Chic Harley).

    However, he totaled only 28 rushing TDs and 3,722 rushing yards in the NFL. For a Heisman winner who was selected in the first round, he belongs on this bust list.

Reggie Williams

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    School: Washington Huskies

    Position: Wide Receiver

    Draft: Ninth Overall, 2004

    Recap: A productive star in college, Reggie Williams was anything but in the NFL. He couldn't draw enough separation from defenders, and his route running was questionable as well.

    Hauling in 18 career TDs and 189 receptions was something he matched while he was with the Huskies.

    Despite setting the franchise's single-season record for receiving touchdowns while he was with the Jaguars, things quickly fell apart (he was on the practice squad of the UFL's Sacramento Mountain Lions in 2011).

Vernon Gholston

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    School: Ohio State Buckeyes

    Position: Defensive End

    Draft: Sixth Overall, 2008

    Recap: This beast from Columbus was one of the best specimens we had ever seen during the BCS era. He has never amounted to anything in the NFL (at least thus far), and the hope is that he can get an opportunity somewhere to avoid that awful B-word (bust).

Heath Shuler

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    School: Tennessee Volunteers

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: Third Overall, 1994

    Recap: The quarterback who was a distant second in the Heisman, thanks to Charlie Ward putting up video game numbers, Heath Shuler had a quick and forgettable NFL career.

    He is not the worst performer on this list, but finishing with 15 TDs and 33 INTs in three seasons is not exactly productive.

    Since 2007, Shuler has been a U.S. Representative for North Carolina’s 11th congressional district. 

Chris Weinke

34 of 50

    School: Florida State Seminoles

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: Round 4, 106th Overall, 2001

    Recap: Chris Weinke was a savvy, veteran, aged quarterback for the Florida State Seminoles. Winning the 2000 Heisman Trophy to go along with the Johnny Unitas and Davey O’Brien awards allowed his No. 16 jersey to be retired at Florida State.

    Before he became a superstar for the 'Noles, he played minor league baseball in the Toronto Blue Jays farm system. He then went on to lead FSU to three straight BCS title appearances, as his 1999 and 2000 regular seasons were flawless.

    Weinke and the passing attack led the country in passing offense (384 YPG) and were third in scoring offense (42.4 PPG). After being selected in the fourth round by the Carolina Panthers, he finished his career as a backup with just 15 TDs and 26 INTs.

Charlie Ward

35 of 50

    School: Florida State Seminoles

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: 26th Overall, 1994 (NBA)

    Recap: Wait, how is he even on this list?

    Why not should be the serious question, because Charlie Ward was one of the more dominant Heisman Trophy quarterbacks we saw. Many still to this day say he was one of the all-time greats prior to the BCS era.

    His Seminoles offense was known as the “fast-break offense” because of how quickly it went down the field and scored in its spread attack.

    Ward was never even drafted in the NFL because he pursued basketball in the NBA with the New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets.

    His career wasn’t garbage by any means in the NBA during his decade in the pros, but people forget he too was drafted in MLB. People also forget how dominant he was in college football. The guy was simply unstoppable.

    Ward was a superstar athlete who enjoyed playing sports, and despite never playing in NFL, he peaked at an alarming rate during the Seminoles' unbreakable record and run of 14 straight seasons of finishing in the final Top Four (AP or Coaches from 1988 to 2001).

Rick Mirer

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    School: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: Second Overall, 1993

    Recap: This Golden Domer had his issues in the NFL, and after playing for five teams (seven if you count practice squads), he ended up with only 50 TDs (and 76 INTs) in a backup role.

    For being the second pick in the draft, we could say he is a legit bust and then some.

Bruce Pickens

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    School: Nebraska Cornhuskers

    Position: Cornerback

    Draft: Third Overall, 1991

    Recap: The Falcons had a boatload of busts because, quite frankly, that is what they were known for. During his time with Atlanta, Bruce Pickens ended up with just two interceptions.

    Pickens has to rank on your all-time list for busts because he never really did anything.

    However, Pickens did at least travel a bit, as he bounced around from Atlanta to Green Bay to Kansas City and eventually to Oakland.

Steve Emtman

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    School: Washington Huskies

    Position: Defensive End

    Draft: First Overall, 1992

    Recap: A consensus All-American in 1991, Emtman went through three teams in the NFL. The Colts saw his production falter first before the Dolphins and Redskins were eventually disappointed as well.

Tony Mandarich

39 of 50

    School: Michigan State Spartans

    Position: Offensive Tackle

    Draft: Second Overall, 1989

    Recap: Considered by many as one of the biggest NFL busts in the history of the game, Tony Mandarich was once regarded as one of the biggest freaks for an offensive lineman.

    It wasn’t only starting just 47 games in his quick NFL career that made him a bust; he was also selected No. 2 overall ahead of NFL legends such as Deion Sanders, Barry Sanders and Derrick Thomas.

    Gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1989, the magazine labeled him “the best offensive line prospect ever.”

    Of course, it didn’t take long for people to follow that up by stating he was arguably the most overrated and biggest bust of any lineman to get drafted as highly as he did.

Courtney Brown

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    School: Penn State

    Position: Defensive End

    Draft: First Overall, 2000

    Recap: The Cleveland Browns were hoping that this freak would wreak havoc in the NFL, but in reality he wreaked havoc upon his own franchise.

    Being the top pick in the draft brings in a ton of impossible expectations, but registering 19 sacks and 156 tackles isn't exactly living up to them.

Aundray Bruce

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    School: Auburn Tigers

    Position: Outside Linebacker/Defensive End

    Draft: First Overall, 1988

    Recap: This SEC stud accomplished a ton while he was at Auburn, and he did so in the biggest of games.

    The two-time All-SEC performer and 1987 All-American picked off three passes (one for a TD) and registered 10 unassisted tackles on national TV against Georgia Tech in 1987.

    He would go on to be named the 1987 Citrus Bowl MVP in the Tigers' victory over Southern California.

Akili Smith

42 of 50

    School: Oregon Ducks

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: Third Overall, 1999

    Recap: Being the quarterback of the Bengals and Bucs on top of backing up Brett Favre is the road to disaster.

    Well, at least it was for Mr. Smith, and he came off quite the senior season with the Oregon Ducks after coming over from the junior college ranks.

Eric Crouch

43 of 50

    School: Nebraska Cornhuskers

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: Round 3, 95th Overall, 2002

    Recap: Your 2001 Heisman Trophy winner did not have any success in the NFL, but he currently plays quarterback in the AFL for Omaha Nighthawks.

    The former Nebraska Cornhuskers QB was as valuable as we've seen while winning the Davey O’Brien and Walter Camp awards on top of leading Nebraska to a BCS title appearance.

    Still, his career peaked in college, as he quickly became a blur once his professional career began (tried out as receiver but wanted to be a quarterback; nothing worked).

Cade McNown

44 of 50

    School: UCLA Bruins

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: 12th Overall, 1999

    Recap: The southpaw played for the Bears, Dolphins and 49ers, but the results did not alter. He stunk up the joint wherever he went, especially when you compare those results to the godlike performances he pulled off at UCLA.

    The All-Pac-10 and All-American quarterback led the Bruins to a 10-0 start in 1998 before losing to Miami in the regular-season finale and ultimately Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.

    McNown at the time became the Pac-10’s all-time leader in total offense, and he was rewarded with a third-place finish in the Heisman voting.

    Although he was drafted in the first round by the Bears, he never became relevant again.

Tim Couch

45 of 50

    School: Kentucky Wildcats

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: First Overall, 1999

    Recap: The quarterback who had what everybody thought was a plus arm turned out to be a huge bust.

    The former All-SEC and All-American quarterback in 1998 (SEC Player of Year, ‘98) made Kentucky nationally relevant. It didn’t take much time, though, for him to reveal himself as an NFL bust.

    Playing for three teams (Browns, Packers, Jaguars) in nearly 10 seasons, Couch threw for 64 TDs and 67 INTs. At least he is being honored back home, where all the enjoyable memories started.

Brady Quinn

46 of 50

    School: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: 22nd Overall, 2007

    Recap: Didn't it seem like it was yesterday when you literally picked up half a dozen college football magazines that featured Notre Dame’s Brady Quinn?

    The kid was a superstar, and his combination of throwing accuracy and strength was remarkable in South Bend.

    He became a god in Charlie Weis' first two seasons with Notre Dame, appearing in consecutive BCS bowls.

    Quinn ended up setting 36 records and won 29 games as a starter, which is still tied for the most ever at ND (Ron Powlus, Tom Clements).

    Now on the Kansas City Chiefs, he is hoping that his third team will be the charm to start his NFL career off on the right foot.

    Registering a pedestrian 10 TDs and nine INTs is absurd to think since he had more touchdowns in his sophomore season with the Irish.

Matt Leinart

47 of 50

    School: USC Trojans

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: 10th Overall, 2006

    Recap: Matt Leinart can still put together an NFL career, but the expectations were overflowing the entire kitchen.

    One of the best southpaws in BCS history, Leinart did it all while playing for the Trojans but thus far has not accounted for much in the NFL.

    His arm strength wasn't the best at USC, but his savvy, awareness, pocket presence and pinpoint accuracy were incredible.

Vince Young

48 of 50

    School: Texas Longhorns

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: Third Overall, 2006

    Recap: Seemingly the only guy to be able to beat Matt Leinart, Vince Young arguably put together two of the best Rose Bowl performances in the history of the sport.

    Young was an assassin as he slashed and dashed the Wolverines and Trojans defenses in two dramatic and thrilling comeback victories.

    The magic hasn’t been there in the NFL, as his throwing ability has gone south in a hurry and hasn't improved like some had anticipated.

JaMarcus Russell

49 of 50

    School: LSU Tigers

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: First Overall, 2007 

    Recap: JaMarcus Russell was not the greatest college signal-caller who has ever lived, but he was one hell of a stud during his final season in Baton Rouge (he left school a year early).

    He could reportedly throw the ball 65 yards on one knee, which is farther than some could throw it in their wildest of dreams while giving it a good chuck.

    Still, Russell struggled with his footwork to go along with his accuracy issues. It was only in the 2007 NFL draft that he became a pro, but he has nearly fallen off the face of the earth.

    Russell remains a free agent, but it was his huge frame (6'6", 260-plus pounds) that had scouts drooling back not long ago. So far in the NFL he has notched just 18 TDs compared to 23 INTs.

Ryan Leaf

50 of 50

    School: Washington State Cougars

    Position: Quarterback

    Draft: Second Overall, 1998

    Recap: Knock it off!

    The second pick overall following Peyton Manning will remain arguably the biggest bust in the history of the NFL.

    A Sporting News first-team All-American nod and a third-place finish in the Heisman race labeled Ryan Leaf as a superstar.

    He was expected to become a capable and potential Pro Bowler in the NFL, thanks to his size and arm strength, but everything fell apart quickly.

    His career ended with 14 TDs and 36 INTs in four miserable seasons, but the brash, fiery-tempered thrower has changed his ways and started a new life, so to speak, with the publication of his book.

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