Penn State Football: 5 Biggest Recruiting Commit Busts in Program History

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistApril 22, 2012

Penn State Football: 5 Biggest Recruiting Commit Busts in Program History

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    The Penn State Nittany Lions have enjoyed many prolific recruiting classes throughout their storied history. But like any other program, Penn State has also endured its share of recruiting disappointments. 

    The Nittany Lions have lost many recruits to other schools, and have landed many others who failed to live up to their enormous expectations. 

    This list could also include Eric Shrive, Antono Logan-El and maybe even Rob Bolden. 

    However, these are the five players I consider the biggest busts in Penn State's history.

5. Corey Jones

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    Corey Jones was a USA Today All-American in 1994. He was expected to make a major impact on Penn State's offense, but never came close. 

    Granted, Jones did have to catch passes from Kevin Thompson and Rashard Casey; both were far from prolific. Penn State's passing offense was below-average with, or without, Jones' production.

    Jones was supposed to break games open. He left Penn State with less than 500 career receiving yards and two touchdowns. 

    Jones' best season came in 1998. He had 368 yards and two touchdowns.

    The Nittany Lions were disappointed in Jones' failure to deliver. He played in Chafie Fields' shadow, and never came close to backing up his high school accolades.

4. Austin Scott

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    Austin Scott was a 2002 Parade All-American and record-breaking runner at Parkland High School.

    Scott ran for 3,853 and 53 touchdowns in his senior year at Parkland. Both were Pennsylvania single-season records.

    Scott had less than 1,500 yards and 17 total touchdowns in his career. He was in Joe Paterno's doghouse on a regular basis and never became Penn State's next great ball-carrier.

    The Nittany Lions were hoping Scott would produce a highlight-filled career. He was a frustrating head-scratcher instead. 

3. Mark Farris

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    Mark Farris was considered the No. 9 offensive guard in the 2002 recruiting class, according to rivals.com. Farris was a high school All-American and had very high expectations.

    Once in Happy Valley, Farris failed to find his way into Penn State's starting lineup. 

    Farris never played a meaningful football for the Nittany Lions and didn't come close to his considerable hype.

    Some Nittany Lion critics wonder how Farris failed. Either Penn State coaches failed to develop his significant talent, or Farris just did not fit the Nittany Lions' scheme.

    Farris should have been leading the way for the Nittany Lion backfield. He watched from the sidelines instead.

2. Kevin Newsome

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    Kevin Newsome transferred to Temple last offseason, solidifying his bust status.

    Newsome was considered the No. 4 quarterback prospect in the nation by rivals.com when he arrived at Penn State. He was the heir apparent to Darryl Clark but failed to grasp the offense and the starting position.

    Newsome appeared in 10 games as a freshman in 2009. In 2010, Newsome attempted just 13 passes for less than 100 yards and zero touchdowns. He managed to regress from mediocrity.

    The Nittany Lions had high hopes for the dual-threat quarterback. Instead, Newsome bailed to Temple as a talented backup. This could bring familiar feelings back to when Steve Joachim transferred to Temple in 1972

    Add Newsome to the long list of disappointing Penn State quarterbacks.

1. Anthony Morelli

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    Anthony Morelli originally committed to Pittsburgh but instead ended up choosing Penn State. 

    Morelli was considered the No. 2 pro-style quarterback in the nation coming out of high school by rivals.com. Rivals also considered Morelli Pennsylvania's top prospect and the No. 12 recruit in the nation.

    Morelli's underwhelming Nittany Lions career may have some Penn State fans wishing he had chosen the Panthers instead. 

    Morelli had over 5,000 yards and 31 touchdowns in his Nittany Lion career. He also threw 19 interceptions. 

    His No. 1 ranking is not about how bad he was, but about how good he was supposed to be. Morelli had an incredibly strong arm but his accuracy and decision-making severely lacked. 

    Nittany Lion fans consider Morelli the ultimate case of "what could have been."