College Football Seniors Not Living Up to Their Lofty Recruiting Ranking

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst ISeptember 16, 2013

College Football Seniors Not Living Up to Their Lofty Recruiting Ranking

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    Not every elite recruit goes on to have success. Prospects sign with schools and a number of factors lead to some of them not reaching their potential or living up to their hype.

    Across the country in college football this season, several seniors are entering the city of "Bustville, USA," as they are not living up to their lofty recruiting ranking. So just because your favorite program has a commitment from that stud 5-star prospect does not mean it's a given that the recruit will pan out.

    One left tackle in the ACC appears to not consider football a priority. One quarterback is with his second team, and has not done anything special. One cornerback in the SEC got picked on in a big game recently because he has not played up to his recruiting ranking.

    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals247Sports and ESPNU

Reggie Wilson, DE—Texas

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    Reggie Wilson was a 5-star defensive end prospect in the 2010 class who signed with Texas. He came to Austin with a ton of hype, as coaches and fans expected him to become a feared defender in the Big 12.

    That hasn't exactly happened.

    Wilson is now a senior for the Longhorns who has started just one game in his career. He has only two sacks and three tackles for loss.

    Wilson needs to put it all together immediately or he will go down as one of the biggest busts in Texas football history. 

Chris Davenport, OL/DL—LSU/Tulane

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    A 5-star defensive tackle who stood 6'4" and 318 pounds, Chris Davenport was one of the most feared players in the 2009 class.

    The Louisiana native signed with LSU, where many expected him to anchor the Tigers' defensive line for several seasons. However, Davenport was moved to offensive line in 2011, where he made little impact.

    He has since transferred to Tulane, where he is back playing defensive tackle. Davenport does not look like a player who was once a 5-star prospect. 

John Fulton, CB—Alabama

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    John Fulton was an elite 4-star cornerback in the 2010 class. He signed with Alabama out of South Carolina, as his 6'0", 187-pound frame and cover skills were expected to flourish under head coach Nick Saban.

    Fulton is currently a member of an Alabama secondary that got torched for 464 yards by Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel last weekend. Fulton was picked on by Manziel, who connected often with Aggie receiver Mike Evans. The wideout totaled 279 receiving yards, with many coming at the expense of Fulton.

    Alabama has had several good recent cornerbacks in Javier Arenas, Dre Kirkpatrick and Dee Milliner, but Fulton will leave Tuscaloosa far from being mentioned in the same breath as his great predecessors.  

Garrett Gilbert, QB—Texas/SMU

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    The only quarterback ranked higher than Garrett Gilbert in 2009 was Matt Barkley.

    The 5-star passer signed with Texas, where head coach Mack Brown thought he had his best quarterback recruit since Vince Young.

    Brown was wrong, and so were many others. Gilbert threw 17 interceptions in 2010, then was benched by Brown early in the next season. He transferred to SMU for the 2012 season, where he threw 15 interceptions.

    Gilbert only has thrown one touchdown pass this season.  

Seantrel Henderson, OT—Miami

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    Many felt 5-star offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson was the top prospect in the 2010 class. He stood 6'8", weighed 330 pounds and has the athleticism of a running back.

    Henderson committed to USC, but bolted before arriving in Los Angeles due to the Trojans being hit with NCAA sanctions. He signed with Miami, where he played in more than 11 games as a true freshman.

    However, things have not gone well in Coral Gables for the former elite prospect. He has struggled with effort, concentration, passion, discipline and intensity. 

    Henderson, who was not considered a starter when fall camp broke before this season, is considered by many to be one of the biggest recruiting disappointments in modern history. 


    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 and Cleveland Browns.