Chew on This: Most Overrated Players in College Football
College football is all about hype. That is why we have different sets of rankings before the season starts, even before any team steps onto the gridiron.
These rankings foster expectations that, more often than not, end up falling short.
The perception of recruiting classes needs to be revamped. We grade all of these players on what they do behind some grainy video feed from our VCRs.
The perception of who is going to be good needs to be redesigned. Prior to the season, most people would have agreed that Miami Hurricanes quarterback Jacory Harris had a ton of upside, but no one can truly say that he would be as good as he has been.
Meanwhile, there is a long list of players that were overrated. Let's step back and remember guys like former Cal quarterback Nate Longshore, former Penn State quarterback Zack Mills, and current USC passer Mitch Mustain.
Just because someone is overrated does not mean that they have accomplished nothing.
As a matter of fact, overrated players have usually accomplished something, but it has been blown out of proportion.
Well, let's delve into the 12 most overrated college football players in 2009, and how insignificant they really have been.
12 - RB Jeffrey Demps (Florida)
Jeffrey Demps is just the "hype man" for the Florida Gators. Urban Dictionary defines the "hype man" as the "person who helps gets the crowd hyped/amped/pumped/before/during a show."
That is exactly what Demps is.
He provides a ton of hype, yet he is rarely significant in regards to the outcome of the football game.
As a freshman, the legend of Demps built around his first two games where he saw considerable playing time. Unbeknownst to Arkansas and LSU, Demps had plenty of speed.
Last year, he had 17 carries combined against the Razorbacks and Tigers, and he rushed for 232 yards and three scores.
The rest of the season though, through eight games, Demps topped more than 53 rushing yards just once.
Thus far in 2009, he blazed lowly Charleston Southern and Troy.
In three games (vs. Tennessee, at Kentucky, at LSU) since, he has 214 yards and one score.
Still, what Demps has done on the football field for Florida has been forgettable despite all of the pregame hype about his speed and usefulness.
After all, he is no Darren Sproles or Maurice Drew.
11 - QB Zac Robinson (Oklahoma State)
What exactly has Oklahoma State quarterback Zac Robinson done during his collegiate career?
The Cowboys are 2-10 against ranked opponents with Zac Robinson starting behind center. The two wins came at No. 19 Missouri in 2008 and versus No. 22 Texas Tech in 2007.
Most people would point at his statistics and say that he has had a fine career, but those can be misleading.
Since 2007, Robinson has thrown 55 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. He also has added 17 rushing touchdowns. Yes, 72 touchdowns looks great on paper but...he has thrown eight interceptions in eleven games versus ranked opponents since 2007.
Robinson is not a great quarterback. He is solid by college football's standard, but he will never win the Heisman Trophy, nor will he ever lead the Cowboys to a BCS bowl game.
10 - DE George Selvie (South Florida)
After a breakout 2007 campaign where the South Florida Bulls cracked the top five in both polls, the hype has shadowed their one-time star defensive end George Selvie.
In 2007, Selvie recorded 31.5 tackles for loss, 14.5 of which were sacks.
Amazing numbers, yes, but since then, he has 7.5 sacks in 17 games.
Selvie is a hybrid defensive end. Most likely, he would be moved to outside linebacker on the next level but his height mitigates with his speed and it causes him to breakdown during a live play more quickly than other pass rushers.
Selvie has also failed to record more than four tackles in a single game since Sept. 6, 2008 at Central Florida.
Some of the hype around this kid has already disintegrated, but the bottom line is that he earned it in 2007. But after a porous 2008, one would have thought that he would have had to re-earn his hype.
9 - QB Jevan Snead (Ole Miss)
The 2009 season has been a disaster for Ole Miss, but more importantly, it has had a larger impact on quarterback Jevan Snead's reputation.
Snead, considered by most to be in contention for the Heisman Trophy and a potential first round selection in the 2010 NFL Draft, should he come out, is playing more like Kirby Freeman than Matt Ryan.
Thus far, he is completing just 46.8 percent of his passes, and he has nine interceptions thrown to go along with his nine touchdowns thrown.
Last year, Snead struggled through his first four games but ended up dazzling all spectators in the Cotton Bowl so the window for him to get back to form is still there but it will take a lot to repair the damage done to his reputation.
8 - RB C.J. Spiller (Clemson)
Expectations for Clemson running back C.J. Spiller were high entering this season now that former Clemson starting RB James Davis moved on to the NFL.
With the rock for his sole possession, Spiller has misfired frequently and not looked as dominating as we expected.
He is averaging just 72 yards rushing per game and topped the 100-yards mark just once (vs. TCU). Spiller is helping out in the passing game, but his effect for the 2-3 Tigers has been minimal.
Spiller is a dominating returner on kickoffs, giving the Tigers' offense good field advantage, but the offense, headed by Spiller himself, can not fulfill on the delivery.
He is barely averaging more than four yards per carry. He has great straight-line speed like former Boise State running back Ian Johnson, but he lacks other intangibles or is just not consistent with those intangibles.
The C.J. Spiller for Heisman train never even left the station.
7 - DE Rahim Alem (LSU)
The LSU Tigers entered this past Saturday's showdown versus No. 1 Florida ranked fourth in the country. They entered the 2009 season showcasing their strong and gutsy defense.
We have yet to see said defense.
Thus far on the season, the defense, anchored by defensive end Rahim Alem, has recorded just four total sacks.
Alem has one of them, recorded in a game versus Vanderbilt.
Billed as one of the best pass rushers in the SEC, Alem has not footed the bill and his teammates have followed in his underachieving footsteps.
The LSU Tigers are 40th in the nation in total defense and 55th against the run.
The trouble starts up front with Rahim Alem's issues rushing the passer.
6 - QB Max Hall (Brigham Young)
BYU quarterback Max Hall has 36 interceptions in 32 starts during his career. Since Ty Detmer did his thing for the Cougars in the '80s, any BYU passer that has shown he can hurl the long-ball has been overrated.
Sure, Hall also has 74 touchdowns during the same span, but BYU has only ever beaten one ranked opponent during Hall's career at BYU, and that came against Oklahoma this season.
He is a product of a prolific offense, but his lack of awareness contributes to his high turnover ratio—one that has ruined any chances of him coming close to touching the Heisman Trophy.
His gunslinger mentality and lack of consistency, especially when it comes to accuracy, are the reasons the Cougars were blown out by Florida State on Sept. 19.
Remember, Hall threw three interceptions in that game.
Still, Hall will be remembered for giving BYU credibility on the national football landscape, but at the end of the day, he is just another gunslinger who puts his team in jeopardy with his turnovers.
5 - QB Greg Paulus (Syracuse)
Greg Paulus was just a hype-machine when he decided to use his open eligibility for football to start for the Syracuse Orange.
While at times he has looked impressive, this is still Syracuse. It is no longer the same football program as when Donovan McNabb, Marvin Harrison, and Dwight Freeney were suiting up in the orange and blue.
With Paulus under center, the 'Cuse are 2-3. He does have 10 touchdowns thrown, but opponents have taken eight interceptions from him.
It was a good story to start the season, but no one cares anymore. Paulus is not going to bring Syracuse into contention for the Big East championship.
4 - RB Caleb King (Georgia)
Crowned as the heir to Knowshon Moreno, Georgia running back Caleb King has yet to live up to the hype.
In 2008, King saw a decent amount of playing time but averaged just 4.05 yards per carry.
Injuries have already slowed him this season as King has missed three games, but his 4.03 yards per carry average is less than impressive.
His best game this season was at Arkansas when he rushed for 59 yards on 11 carries. King has proved to be insignificant in the passing game as well.
Injuries often do contribute to the death of the hype surrounding stars, but King was crowned as "the guy" before he ever had the chance to prove it.
Running back Richard Samuel has appeared to put a choke hold on the running back position for Georgia right now.
3 - RB Jacquizz Rodgers (Oregon State)
You may be asking yourself, how can someone with 697 rushing yards through six games be overrated? Let me explain.
Quizz Rodgers broke out onto the scene last year in the Beavers' upset of the USC Trojans.
In 17 career starts, he has 10 games of 100 yards rushing or more.
This year, despite his high output, he has failed to crack 100 yards or more against three schools ranked in the top 25 in run defense (No. 25 Cincinnati, No. 20 Arizona, and No. 2 Arizona State).
Last year, Rodgers missed time because his body started breaking down. The shoulder injury he sustained could likely come back to haunt him this year as he is a little running back, weighing in at 190 pounds and standing at 5'7".
The thing with Rodgers is that while he is a proven commodity, at the same time he is a "fun" player to watch because of his stature.
However, he can not maintain drives throughout the game that will help Oregon State win as they get deeper into their schedule.
Finally, the schools that he has rushed for more than 100 yards on this year are ranked as followed in run defense: Portland State (FCS), UNLV (No. 113), and Stanford (No. 49).
2 - QB Sam Bradford (Oklahoma)
Sam Bradford deserves all of the credit in the world for what he has accomplished at Oklahoma, but it all is nothing new, ask Jason White.
Bradford may have a Heisman Trophy, but one thing he lacks is a national championship and a victory in a bowl game, for that matter.
Bradford has been the starting quarterback for the Sooners since his freshman season. During that span, Oklahoma has struggled with achieving the "big win."
Oklahoma might not have even deserved to play in the national championship last year, as the team that beat them, the Texas Longhorns, was left out of the Big 12 championship because they lost to Texas Tech and the BCS computer rankings calculated the Sooners in.
If it were not for that snafu, Bradford may not have even played in the title game.
Still, over the last three seasons, with Bradford at the helm, the Sooners have lost some pretty big games.
Also, we cannot change history; so Oklahoma losing to BYU and Miami happened, and there's nothing we can do about it. Losing big games has been Oklahoma's MO.
When Bradford suffered his shoulder injury and freshman QB Landry Jones took his place, it was more than evident that Bradford is a product of the system set in place at Oklahoma.
In Jones's second career start, he broke the single-game passing touchdown record. That little tidbit alone speaks volumes of the offensive system under which Bradford has been groomed.
When he wins something other than some personal accolades, come talk to us about him not being overrated.
1 - QB Terrelle Pryor (Ohio State)
The Ohio State noise machine has been out there promoting Terrelle Pryor since the day he committed, choosing the Buckeyes over Oregon, Michigan, and Penn State.
Still, Pryor has a winning record as the starting quarterback, but his skills from behind center are extremely questionable.
Ohio State is not known for developing quarterbacks, but they hope to change that with Pryor.
Still, the sophomore quarterback has yet to improve on his technique—like throwing from the waist to expound energy on the throw.
Pryor is completing just 55.9 percent of his passes. He has nine touchdowns and six interceptions in six games. He brings another element with his mobility, adding 333 yards rushed to his total yardage.
Even a Buckeye fan has to admit that 941 passing yards through six games is not sufficient.
Against USC, Pryor was just 11-of-25 passing. This past Saturday versus Wisconsin, he completed just 5-of-13 passes.
Nine quarterbacks in the run-first Big Ten have more passing yards than Ohio State's Pryor.
Ohio State's passing offense ranks 108th nationally. That may not be so bad if their run offense was one of the best in America, but it isn't. It is ranked No. 41.
Ohio State is ranked No. 86 nationally in total offense.
And just to think, two years ago Pryor was supposed to come in and change the way Ohio State's offense worked.
Last time I checked, the offense was more productive under Todd Boeckman in 2007 than it is in 2009 with Terrelle Pryor.