College football is filled with players who are supposed to be the next big thing, but most of them fail to live up to expectations that are set before them. This list consists of guys whom have yet to either live up to expectations or the expectations are SO high that if they don’t live up to the hype, they will be considered overrated by others.
Before he even started his freshman season, there were whispers that Matt Barkley could be a Heisman candidate; by the end of the season, people discovered he was just another struggling freshman. Unlike Matt Leinart who showed promise in his freshman year as a back up to Carson Palmer, Barkley didn’t prove much last year, he had his moments but overall, he wasn't that impressive. In the spring game, he was outshined by backup Mitch Mustain, but because he is a quarterback at USC he is already being hyped as the next great thing by certain media types, and yet he hasn’t shown anything.
How can a kid that hasn’t played a down yet be overrated? Because he probably won’t live up to the hype surrounding him. Newton is expected to be the savior of the Tigers offense, but like a freshman quarterback, how do we know how good he is until he gets on the field in real competition? There is already talk about him and John Brantley of Florida as being HEISMAN candidates.
Brantley is supposed to be better then Tim Tebow; do people in Gainesville realize that Tebow by many accounts was the best player ever to play the game and this kid is suppose to be BETTER because he can pass a little bit more? Brantley could turn out to be the best Florida quarterback ever, but many will consider him overrated if he doesn’t live up to those expectations.
Miller led the nation in sacks with 16 but those numbers are very deceiving. Miller got half of those sacks in the first three games of the season against UAB (2) Utah State (3) and New Mexico State (3). In the last four games of the season against Oklahoma, Baylor, Georgia and Texas, he only had one sack.
The knock on Mallett is although his numbers are good, he is slow and if you put any pressure on him, he folds like a tent. That fact was proven in the Alabama game last year. Surprisingly, Mallett is considered by many the top quarterback returning quarterback in the SEC, but he ranked 46th in the country last year in passing behind Stephen Garcia of South Carolina who was 34th in the country. Surprise!
Royster is supposed to be one of the best running backs in the Big Ten, but the numbers don’t prove that. Royster ran for over a thousand yards (1,195) this past season, but most of those yards weren’t against good teams. Against LSU, Iowa and Ohio State, three of the best defenses in the country, Royster had less then 100 yards in all of those games. Against lesser defenses like Temple (138), Northwestern (119) and Minnesota (140), he looked like a Heisman candidate, but Heisman candidates put up big numbers on good opponents as well, not just on the lesser ones.
This kid is already being hyped up for the Heisman, but outside of the USC game last year, what other big game did Locker win? Cal? Locker got a lot of mileage out of that USC game, but even in that game, he didn’t put up big numbers. It's going to be interesting to see if he is truly the player some experts says he is.
Pryor has been over-hyped since he stepped onto a college campus and he hasn’t lived up to expectations yet. As good as he was in high school, Pryor has had limited success in college. He has YET to prove that he can beat teams on a consistent basis with his abilities; prime example, the USC game last year.
Coming out of high school, Julio Jones was the most celebrated wide receiver in the country and with good reason. Jones showed a lot of promise in the first half of his freshman year, but since then he has been surpassed by another SEC receiver; A.J. Green of Georgia. Some blame Jones’ issues on injuries which he had last year or the fact that Alabama has relied more on running back Mark Ingram, but there have been crucial times in games when Jones has dropped passes or was unable to free himself from defenders. Jones is still one of the best receivers in the game, but fans and experts are STILL waiting for Jones to have that breakout year.
Case Keenum was the No. 1 rated passer in the NCAA last year and a lot of Cougar fans were upset that he didn’t get an invite to the Heisman ceremony in New York. There are reasons for that and the primary one being is he puts up big numbers against weaker opponents. Like former Heisman winner Andre Ware, Keenum plays in a weak conference, therefore, giving him plenty of opportunities to put up big numbers; again like Andre Ware and we see where those numbers got him.