College Football: Former 5-Star Recruits Who Have Yet to Reach Potential
While most five-star recruits excel at the collegiate level, not everyone reaches his full potential.
Whether it be off-the-field troubles, an inability to adjust to the college game, logjams at their positions or bad fits with their teams, the 14 players on this list arrived at their respective universities with promise they have yet to fulfill.
14. Ishaq Williams: Notre Dame Linebacker, 2011
Ishaq Williams was the No. 16 overall player in the 2011 class, and while he has had some success at Notre Dame, there is no question that his potential is far from being reached—or perhaps being utilized.
Williams began to see the field on a more consistent basis in 2012, serving primarily as a backup on one of the best defenses in the nation.
He totaled 19 tackles in 11 games last season after recording six tackles in 11 games as a true freshman in 2011.
13. Dee Hart: Alabama Running Back, 2011
Dee Hart is the victim of Alabama's talented backfield.
The tiny running back was the best at his position in the 2011 class and has seen very little action during his first two years in Tuscaloosa.
After redshirting in 2011, he began to see action last season, playing in the Crimson Tide's first five games, in which he totaled 88 yards on 21 carries. Then, against Ole Miss, he sustained a season-ending injury.
12. Ray Drew: Georgia Defensive End, 2011
Ray Drew was a top 10 recruit coming out of high school in Thomasville, Georgia in 2011. He has had strong moments over the past two years at Georgia but has not been as good as anticipated.
In 2012, Drew totaled 23 tackles but was unable to record a sack. He could continue to improve, but he has ground to make up before he proves his potential.
11. Tony Steward: Clemson Linebacker, 2011
Tony Steward was the No. 1 outside linebacker in the 2011 class and chose Clemson over other big-name schools such as Alabama.
He began to see playing time in 2012 during his sophomore season. Steward totaled 19 tackles on the year in the eight games he saw action.
Steward could improve in 2013, but there is no question that he has not yet come close to living up to his potential.
10. Curtis Grant: Ohio State Linebacker, 2011
The only player ranked ahead of this Ohio State linebacker in the 2011 recruiting class was South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney. While Clowney has lived up to his potential, Grant has not.
He was the top linebacker in the class, and while he has seen much playing time for the Buckeyes, it has been in a reserve role.
Grant totaled only eight tackles this past season, and even with the injuries Ohio State suffered at the linebacker position, he still played behind converted fullback Zach Boren.
There is time for Grant to improve, but he is not off to a good start.
9. Brandon Williams: Oklahoma Running Back, 2011
When he committed to Oklahoma, Brandon Williams was the No. 3 running back in the country and the No. 14 player overall.
As a true freshman in 2011, he had his moments, rushing for 219 yards on 46 carries, while competing for playing time with talented players in the backfield.
During the 2012 offseason, he transferred to Texas A&M and will be eligible to play beginning in 2013. This will be the perfect opportunity for Williams to show off his talent alongside Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
8. Mike Bellamy: Clemson Running Back, 2011
As the No. 25 player in the 2011 class, Mike Bellamy was not as highly touted as others on this list. But he was one of the best freshman running backs when he arrived at Clemson.
As a freshman, Bellamy rushed for 343 yards and three touchdowns on 57 carries before being suspended. During that year, he primarily served as the backup to Andre Ellington.
Before the 2012 season, Bellamy was declared academically ineligible and moved on to a junior college in Mississippi.
7. Markeith Ambles: USC Wide Receiver, 2010
Markeith Ambles arrived at USC as the No. 24 player in the 2010 class.
After a freshman season that saw only one reception for three yards, Ambles spurned the USC program, in much the same way that he abandoned Tennessee to follow Lane Kiffin out west.
Ambles ended up at Arizona Western Community College, and like other names on the list, he is still trying to reach his full potential.
6. Kyle Prater: Northwestern Wide Receiver, 2010
Kyle Prater was the No. 1 receiver in the country in the 2010 class and was also rated the No. 3 overall player in the country.
After committing to USC, he was forced to redshirt during his freshman season because of an injury. Once Pete Carroll bolted to the Seattle Seahawks, Prater decided to transfer closer to his home in Illinois.
At Northwestern, Prater saw action in 10 games this season. In those games, he caught 10 passes for 54 yards, not 5-star numbers by any stretch of the imagination.
5. Dillon Baxter: USC Running Back, 2010
Dillon Baxter was the No. 1 running back in the 2010 class and the No. 17 player overall. He began his career at USC and did some good things as a true freshman.
Baxter carried the ball 59 times for 252 yards and a touchdown during his first season. In 2011, things fell apart. Baxter had nine carries for 29 yards during his sophomore campaign at USC before being forced away from the football team to focus on academics.
He ended up at San Diego State but only for two months. After being dismissed from that program, he arrived at Baker University in Kansas, an NAIA school.
4. Kris Frost: Auburn Linebacker, 2011
Kris Frost was as good as it got for outside linebackers in the 2011 recruiting class.
Even though Auburn had a down year in 2012 and was very short on talent, Frost did not see much action.
He redshirted in 2011 and only played in three games this past season, in which he totaled five tackles. While he has plenty of time to develop, he is not off to a fast start.
3. Latwan Anderson: Miami Defensive Back, 2010
There were not many pure athletes in the country with more potential than Latwan Anderson. After receiving offers from nine schools, including Ohio State and Michigan State, the Cleveland native committed to Miami on a track scholarship and never played a down of football before leaving the university.
He has since reemerged at East Mississippi Community College.
Whether he makes it back to the big time remains to be seen, but this kid has a wealth of potential if he can put it together.
2. Chris Martin: California Linebacker, 2010
Chris Martin left California before he played a down. The linebacker spurned the Golden Bears to enroll at Florida.
He was forced to sit out the 2010 season and received a redshirt. In 2011 he left Florida for Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas.
It is not known why he left Florida, but the No. 18 player in his recruiting class was arrested in January 2011 for possessing two grams of marijuana, in a case that did not go to trial. He has never played a down at the FBS level.
1. George Farmer: USC Wide Receiver, 2011
George Farmer is another talented USC wide receiver recruit who has not panned out as many were expecting.
He was rated the No. 3 overall recruit and best receiver in the 2011 class, ahead of teammate Marqise Lee.
During his two seasons for the Trojans, Farmer has only caught five passes for 49 yards. While there are plenty of talented receivers at USC, Farmer has too much potential to continue to get lost in the mix.