Looking Back at the 14 Most Overhyped Recruits of the Past Decade
Throughout the years, many recruits have entered college football with a ton of hype surrounding them. There have been some who have lived up to the hype, while others have even exceeded it.
However, there has been a large number of recruits who have failed to even come close to justifying their hype. Looking back over the past decade of recruiting (classes 2005-2014), some prospects have been major busts, thus earning the "overhyped" label.
A Pac-12 recruiting juggernaut has signed some historic classes, but several of its key recruits have proven to have been overhyped. Florida State had a 5-star receiver thought to have NFL talent, but he was a huge bust. Plus, a current starting SEC quarterback is on this list.
All stats are from Sports-Reference.com.
All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports.
Marc Tyler, RB (USC-2007)
Marc Tyler wasn't the only 5-star prospect in his huddle in high school, as his quarterback at Oaks Christian in California will be discussed a little later.
However, that didn't stop Tyler from having a great deal of hype around him during the 2007 recruiting cycle. Standing around 6'0" tall and weighing more than 210 pounds, Tyler was said to have an advanced skill set as a running back prospect.
However, he suffered a broken leg during his senior year of high school, which may have played a role in Tyler's inability to live up to his hype at USC.
Tyler never topped the 1,000-yard mark in Troy and never fulfilled the promise he showed in high school.
Garrett Gilbert, QB (Texas-2009)
It would be hard to find a bigger bust and more overhyped quarterback prospect in Texas' history than former 5-star recruit Garrett Gilbert.
Gilbert was the prize of the Longhorns' class in 2009, but he never came close to living up to his hype. He threw 23 interceptions in three seasons in Austin to just 13 touchdowns. Gilbert never completed more than 59 percent of his passes in a season and never looked comfortable.
He eventually transferred to SMU, where things got a little better for him. Yet, in hindsight, he was overhyped.
Dillon Baxter, RB (USC-2010)
The Reggie Bush comparisons in 2010 with Dillon Baxter clearly were way off. Baxter signed with USC but never really did anything.
He only played in 14 games in two seasons at USC, scoring just one touchdown.
Joe McKnight, RB (USC-2007)
Before Dillon Baxter, there was Joe McKnight. USC somehow got McKnight to spurn in-state LSU in 2007, which drew the ire of many people around Louisiana.
Yet McKnight never fully lived up to his hype during his tenure in Los Angeles. Sure, he rushed for 1,014 yards in 2009 as a junior, but a lot more production was expected from McKnight.
The hype around him coming to USC was that of a player viewed as a better version of former USC running back Reggie Bush, but McKnight was nothing of the sort.
Fred Rouse, WR (Florida State-2005)
Florida State was giddy when it signed Fred Rouse in 2005, as this guy was supposed to revolutionize the receiver position.
Rouse was such a hyped talent in 2005 that a constant whisper that year was he was ready for the NFL. In hindsight, no he wasn't, he was overhyped.
Rouse resurfaced at UTEP a few years later, but his production never matched his hype in high school.
Chris Galippo, LB (USC-2007)
Yet another bust from the infamous 2007 recruiting class. USC signed a terrific class on paper that year, with 5-star linebacker Chris Galippo being one of the headliners.
Galippo's instincts were what helped him make plays in high school, but his lack of speed was often exposed at USC. With the Trojans having a great tradition of linebackers, Galippo was viewed as the next great one around Heritage Hall.
He never became that, as this overhyped 'backer's best season came in 2009, when he notched 70 tackles. Galippo wasn't a major bust, but he never looked like the dominant player he was supposed to be.
Patrick Turner, WR (USC-2005)
For the record, this is not an anti-USC list. The Trojans have just had several high-profile recruits that signed with them turn out to be busts.
Among those overhyped elite prospects is former 5-star receiver Patrick Turner. From Tennessee, the 6'5" Turner was supposed to be the new Mike Williams for USC, as Williams' size and strength allowed him to dominate the Pac-12.
However, Turner never totaled more than 50 receptions and 800 yards receiving in a season. Again, Turner wasn't a disaster at USC, but it's easy to see he was overhyped.
Darrell Scott, RB (Colorado-2008)
A 5-star running back in 2008, Darrell Scott had ideal size, speed, quickness and confidence to excel at the running back position.
He signed with Colorado and was expected to immediately make an impact in Boulder. However, his 343 yards and one touchdown on 87 carries as a freshman was pedestrian.
Then, things got worse during his sophomore year, where he rushed for a grand total of 95 yards and failed to score a touchdown. Scott transferred to South Florida, where in 2011 he rushed for 814 yards, but he's someone who was more of a recruiting myth than a productive player.
Russell Shepard, WR (LSU-2009)
Among the top overall prospects in the 2009 class was 5-star recruit Russell Shepard. A dual-threat quarterback in high school, Shepard had the makings of an outstanding receiver.
His speed, agility, quickness and natural running ability with the ball in his hands were terrific. For some reason, he never put it all together at LSU.
With all of Shepard's natural talent, it's disappointing to see he never had more than 300 yards receiving in a season and scored just 10 total touchdowns from scrimmage.
Aaron Corp, QB (USC-2007)
Aaron Corp signed with USC in 2007, as he ascended up the prospect rankings and earned a fifth star thanks to having a great finish to his high school career at Orange Lutheran in southern California.
Corp's athleticism, solid arm strength, mobility and playmaking skills had people buzzing around the time he signed with the Trojans. Yet he'll be best remembered around Troy as the guy who former quarterback Matt Barkley beat out as a true freshman.
Corp never looked like a 5-star prospect at USC, appearing in just eight games. He eventually transferred to Richmond.
Mitch Mustain, QB (Arkansas-2006)
A lot of attention in 2006 recruiting was given to Mitch Mustain, a 5-star quarterback from Arkansas. He committed to his in-state school, but then decommitted due to concerns about the Razorbacks' scheme.
Mustain had good arm strength, pitched with solid accuracy and had the skill set of a good starting college quarterback. To assure him that they would throw the ball during his tenure in Fayetteville, the Hogs hired Mustain's high school coach, some guy named Gus Malzahn, to be their offensive coordinator.
Mustain eventually recommitted to Arkansas and went on to start as a true freshman. He completed just 52.3 percent of his passes for 894 yards, 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
While those numbers weren't impressive, it was expected Mustain would make a serious jump as a sophomore, but he never did.
He transferred to USC, where he served as a reserve for the rest of his college career.
Jeff Driskel, QB (Florida-2011)
Still at Florida, Jeff Driskel has not had a great career in Gainesville. He possesses excellent physical tools, but Driskel has not looked like the hyped 5-star quarterback prospect he was in 2011.
He only has 2,271 yards and 14 touchdown passes in his career, which are numbers many quarterbacks have surpassed in one season. Driskel missed most of the 2013 season with a broken leg, plus he'll be learning a new system under new Florida offensive coordinator Kurt Roper.
To add even more on his plate in 2014, Driskel will have two freshman quarterbacks coming hard for his starting job.
Driskel looks like a former 5-star prospect headed for "Bustville, USA."
Jimmy Clausen, QB (Notre Dame-2007)
Jimmy Clausen, who played with fellow 2007 5-star recruit Marc Tyler at Oaks Christian High School, was a good starting quarterback at Notre Dame who did produce in college.
He threw for 8,148 yards and 60 touchdowns while with the Fighting Irish, but he never had a chance to live up to the hype that accompanied him to South Bend from California.
Clausen was tabbed the "LeBron James of high school football" and drew comparisons to NFL Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway coming out of high school in 2007.
That's a surreal amount of hype to live up to.
Unlike many recruits on this list, Clausen wasn't overhyped because he wasn't a good prospect or failed to produce as a college player; rather, he was overhyped because everyone in the recruiting industry placed impossible expectations on him.
Ryan Perrilloux, QB (LSU-2005)
While Clausen was a victim of too much hype and impossible expectations placed on him by others, Ryan Perrilloux is more on the opposite end of the spectrum.
Perrilloux was a player who did not lack confidence, and he loved the attention the recruiting process brought him. With his athleticism and amazing arm strength, Perrilloux was the apple of many college coaches' eyes in 2005.
He had a ton of hype surrounding him, but his career at LSU was a huge disappointment. His off-field and character issues are well documented, and he only appeared in 17 games for LSU, failing to throw for 1,000 career yards.
Perrilloux may be the biggest bust of the modern recruiting era.
Said Perrilloux to Scout.com coming out of high school:
I do it all. I can run and throw. I have a lot of time to throw and I have a real strong arm. I'm also real fast and the type of QB that everyone wants.
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