10 Recruits Who Made the Wrong Decision on National Signing Day 2013
High school recruits have the option to go anywhere they would like. As long as the school has extended an offer, nobody can tell them that they won't be allowed to go there and you wish them the best of luck at the collegiate level.
However, some schools are better than others for certain recruits. Things that recruits look for are an opportunity to play right away, depth at the certain position they play, recent overall team success and how close the school is to friends and family. There is never a particular order and some things get put on the back burner for a few other factors that come into play.
Some decisions are better than others and you get the feeling that a certain recruit could have been more productive or shined brighter at a school they didn't pick.
While you wish everybody a productive career at the next level, here are 10 of the 2013 recruits that could have made a better choice with the school they selected.
A.J. Turman, RB, Georgia
A.J. Turman is a big back at 6'0", 205 pounds and runs with terrific power. He is that typical SEC runner that can wear down defenses and really bully opposing defensive players. With his size and ability to receive a lot of touches, there were other schools that could have offered him the option to play right away.
Schools such as Florida State, Notre Dame and Tennessee could use a running back right now.
The Bulldogs already have a young combination that is working well with Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley. As long as those two runners continue to produce at a high level, Turman will likely take a backseat and not see any real significant playing time until his junior year.
With many teams looking for a workhorse running back that can lead the way on the ground, Turman ended up picking the school that didn't exactly need another elite talent at the position.
Kohl Stewart, QB, Texas A&M
Kohl Stewart must not have a serious NFL future on his mind at the moment. If he did, there wouldn't have even been the slightest thought of him playing college football in College Station.
Unless quarterback Johnny Manziel falls off the face of the earth or lets the instant fame go to his head, Stewart is going to spend a lot of time holding a clipboard.
Stewart was considered by many to be a solid quarterback recruit, as he moves around the pocket well and throws the ball accurately. However, this appears to strictly be a baseball decision, as he is well on his way to becoming a solid major league player.
The 4-star quarterback recruit obviously has a bright future ahead of him, but if we are talking about a college football decision, there were better options out there that would have allowed him to actually see the field.
Derwin Gray, OT, Maryland
Maryland has had trouble competing in the ACC under head coach Randy Edsall. Once the Terrapins make the move to the Big Ten, you figure it will increase in difficulty for this team to reach any big-time success in the near future.
This is why you can question the decision that Derwin Gray made to take his talents to Maryland. With offers on the table from multiple SEC and current Big Ten schools, Gray could have had an instant impact on a team that is more relevant at the moment.
The Terrapins actually put together a solid recruiting class that should benefit this team in the future, but Gray is a player that that can win now and the growing pains over the next couple of years could be mighty frustrating for the young man.
Taquan Mizzell, RB, Virginia
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Taquan Mizzell is one of the top running backs in the 2013 recruiting class and really could have gone anywhere in the country. With his elusiveness and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, Mizzell is an all-purpose back that could have helped an offense out immediately.
With offers on the table from Miami, Notre Dame and Ohio State, Mizzell decided he was going to stay in-state and become a Virginia Cavalier.
We are seeing this more and more where recruits want to stay closer to home so friends and family can see them play, but you get the feeling that his talents are going to buried at the bottom of the ACC with this decision.
Marquel Combs, DT, Kansas
What's the first sports related thing that comes to mind when somebody says Kansas?
Nine times out of ten, it would be the Jayhawks basketball team. The football program is going nowhere fast and it will likely be a decade before Kansas is winning consistently in the Big 12.
So it kind of throws you for a loop when one of the top JUCO players in Marquel Combs decides to commit to Kansas. This is somebody who could really help anchor the defensive line and he had offers from numerous BCS program like Michigan State, South Carolina and Arkansas.
Combs displays a good motor and he is a disruptive run defender. He could have thrived elsewhere and would have had a much better chance to win a few games along the way
Robbie Rhodes, WR, Baylor
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You have to love the job head coach Art Briles is doing at Baylor. He has really helped put the school on the map by leading the Bears to three straight bowl games. The progress he has made even caught the attention of wide receiver Robbie Rhodes, who signed on national signing day.
Big move for Baylor, but this isn't exactly what the school is known for. This is a program that usually takes the guys that nobody else wanted and helps turn them into players who are worth watching. Now it is neat that a legitimate 5-star player is willing to give the Bears a chance, but this is somebody who should be playing on national television and thinking about an NFL career.
Sure, Baylor did produce Robert Griffin and wide receiver Kendall Wright, but it is still a school that is not going to receive national attention from anybody. Rhodes will thrive in the Bears offensive system, but a school with a bigger name would have done a lot more good.
Altee Tenpenny, RB, Alabama
Full Altee Tenpenny Scouting Report
In case you haven't heard, Alabama is absolutely loaded at the running back position. With T.J. Yeldon, Kenyan Drake and a handful of other guys, the position was already set heading into 2013. But that doesn't even include top running back recruits such as Derrick Henry and Alvin Kamara also committing to the team this year.
There is just not enough room or enough footballs for everybody to be completely satisfied. This is why Altee Tenpenny has made a questionable decision in signing with the two-time defending national champions. Sure, it is great to be on the hot team and play for a winning coaching staff, but Tenpenny could have been the man on nearly any other backfield in the country.
Being from the Arkansas area and with the Razorbacks losing nearly every noticeable face on offense, the 4-star back could have become the main weapon within his first year on campus. Now, he will have a hard time rising up the depth chart with so much depth at the running back position on Nick Saban’s club.
Chris Jones, DE, Mississippi State
Chris Jones decided he was going to team up with the Mississippi State Bulldogs because that was the first school that extended a scholarship offer. It was also the only school, according to USA Today, that was willing to show up and watch him play in high school.
Loyalty is a big thing with young recruits and it is cool to see that he stuck by a school that really showed interest in him.
The problem is that Mississippi State isn't exactly a premier SEC program and head coach Dan Mullen has struggled mightily to beat some of the top teams in the SEC. The Bulldogs are even losing ground to Ole Miss, who recruited out of its mind this year and is on the right track to become conference contenders.
Jones had offers from the Rebels, Alabama and Florida, and seems his skill set would have been more valuable to a top-notch SEC program.
Dorian Johnson, OT, Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is going to see better recruiting classes now that the Panthers have moved into the ACC. They are already starting to see more recruits give them a look, as offensive tackle Dorian Johnson made his commitment official on national signing day.
That's right, Johnson picked Pittsburgh over Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame, just to name a few.
The benefits are that he remains close to home as he is from the Pennsylvania area, and he will also have a chance to start right away, which head coach Paul Chryst has already told the AP.
However, there is some guy named Nick Saban who has had an incredible track record of producing quality offensive linemen. This also happens to be an area of need for the Crimson Tide, which would have given Johnson a shot to play right away for a national championship contender.
Last time I checked, the Panthers aren't winning much of anything at the moment.
Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
Full Christian Hackenberg Scouting Report
Christian Hackenberg is considered by many to be the best quarterback prospect of the 2013 recruiting class. He had offers from many schools including Alabama, South Carolina and Florida.
Instead he decided to become a Nittany Lion.
Now he will have one of the best quarterback coaches as a head coach in Bill O'Brien. That is somebody that should be able to take his skills and help turn Hackenberg into a true future NFL prospect once he is ready to bolt for the NFL draft.
The downside with this move to Happy Valley is that he will only be eligible to play in a bowl game or compete for a conference championship during his senior year due to the NCAA sanctions.
Penn State is doing an incredible job recruiting given the circumstances, but you would think a 5-star recruit would have wanted to compete for bowl games and future national championships.