5 Highly Hyped 2012 Recruits Who Flopped in Their Freshmen Seasons

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IDecember 30, 2012

5 Highly Hyped 2012 Recruits Who Flopped in Their Freshmen Seasons

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    As the 2012-2013 college football season winds down, it's time to start looking back and evaluating the season, coaches, teams and, of course, players. To keep things in a recruiting perspective, I'm going to look at members of the 2012 recruiting class, as they were true freshmen this year.

    Looking at the class, there were several prospects that had a huge amount of hype surrounding them. From Johnathan Gray to Mario Edwards to Dorial Green-Beckham and more, hype was big in the 2012 class. 

    Living up to hype is always tough, and in today's college football world, where fans and media alike expect recruits to perform immediately, it's even tougher. For this read, let's look at five recruits from the 2012 class who didn't live up to their recruiting hype and pretty much flopped as true freshmen.

5. Shaq Roland, WR

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    Roland, who signed with South Carolina, was one of the top players on my board and a 5-star WR according to Scout.com last year.

    The 6'1", 173-pound speedster is a smooth athlete with gliding movement skills and a high ceiling. The Gamecocks are going to be looking for more from Roland in 2013, as another five-catch, 80-yard, one-TD season won't cut it.

4. Ellis McCarthy, DL

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    The big 6'5", 330-pound monster DL prospect shocked a few heads when he committed to UCLA.

    McCarthy is viewed as a future superstar in Westwood, so hopefully he will fulfill more of his promise next year.

    McCarthy appeared in nine games this season, totaling just 10 tackles and one sack for Jim Mora. He flashed at times, but the 5-star DT prospect was outplayed by crosstown true freshman DT Leonard Williams at USC. 

3. Dorial Green-Beckham, WR

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    I wouldn't say that DGB's season was a flop, but I think we all wanted more from him since he was hyped as a revolutionary WR prospect.

    At 6'6" and 220 pounds, Green-Beckham was hailed as a combination of Calvin Johnson and Andre Johnson.

    He ran into some off-field troubles this year and finished with 28 catches for 395 yards and five TDs. Solid numbers for a freshman WR, but when you're the No. 1 prospect in the country and viewed as a surefire NFL talent, more production is warranted.

    I'm sure Green-Beckham's numbers will see a substantial increase in 2013.

2. Quay Evans, DT

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    Evans is a 6'3" DT who plays at over 300 pounds. He was among the elite prospects in the 2012 class and Scout.com gave him the 5-star nod. 

    Choosing to stay home and play at Mississippi State was a thrilling decision for Evans, but I imagine Dan Mullen is going to want more from him during his sophomore campaign.

    Evans played in nine games this season, but registered only six tackles and didn't get a sack. 

1. Cayleb Jones, WR

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    Scout.com rated Jones a 5-star WR prospect last year, and I had him as one of the best WR's to sign with Texas since perhaps Roy Williams. At 6'2", 185 pounds, Jones has a long frame, good hands and Larry Fitzgerald potential.

    That potential just wasn't seen enough this year.

    Jones was a bit of a disappointment, as he notched just two catches for 35 yards during the regular season. 

    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects and writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (formerly ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.