November 6, 2010; University Park,PA, USA: Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Kevin Newsome (12) during pre-game warm ups against the Northwestern Wildcats at Beaver Stadium. Penn State won 35-21. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USPRESSWIRE

Penn State Not Alone When It Comes to Under-Developed Quarterback Recruits

Following the announcement that Paul Jones was no longer on the Penn State roster, this tweet caught my eye:


Since you mention it Corey, quite a few.

In 2007, Michigan secured a commitment from Ryan Mallet, the number two overall quarterback in the country and a top 10 player, nationally. Mallett’s career at Michigan included 892 passing yards and seven touchdowns.
Steven Threet was a four star prospect coming out of high school. He amassed just over 1100 yards and nine touchdowns in his career at Michigan.
In 2009, four star recruit and freshman Tate Forcier would start for Wolverines and throw for over 2000 yard and 13 touchdowns while rushing for 240 yards. He would only gain a total of 648 yards in the rest of his time at Michigan.
Devin Gardner, arguably the top dual threat QB in the 2010 class has 261 passing yards after two+ years in the program. He now starts at wide receiver.

Michigan came easy, because I follow the Big Ten teams closest, but they’re not alone.

In 2008, Notre Dame signed the top pro-style quarterback in the country. Dayne Crist had 300 total passing yards in 2009 and 2011 and a 2,000 yard season in 2010. He is now a Kansas Jayhawk.
Four Star signal caller Andrew Nix signed in 2010 and has just over 300 career passing yards at Notre Dame. It’s more than possible that he’ll never see the field again.

2007 top ten pro-style quarterback Jarrett Lee was followed into LSU by the top dual threat quarterback in the country in 2009, Russell Shepard. While Lee had minimal success before losing his job in 2011, Shepard never threw a pass in college and now plays wide receiver.

UCLA signed four star dual threat QB Chris Forcier in 2007. He completed three passes for the Bruins in his career.
The following year, four star pro style QB Nick Crissman signed with UCLA. He was 0-2 passing in his career as a Bruin.
In 2009, another four star QB, Richard Brehaut signed with UCLA. He has played all four years, amassing a 14:9 TD to Interception ratio. He has thrown just 9 passes in 2012.

Texas landed Garrett Gilbert, a top 3 pro-style QB in 2009. He has 16 career touchdowns and 27 career interceptions.

Possibly the best example is Florida.
In 2005, it was four star Josh Portis who followed Meyer from Utah, only to transfer to Maryland after not playing.
In 2007, Cam Newton was a four star QB coming out of high school. He enrolled at the same time as five star quarterback John Brantley. Cam was 6-12 passing at Florida for 54 yards. Brantley had more success, but never threw for more than 11 touchdowns in a season and battled with turnover issues.
From the 2009 class, four star dual threat QB Jordan Reed has not thrown a pass in the last two seasons and is now a tight end.
In his third year with the team, one time dual-threat QB Trey Burton is now a running back.

The moral here is that big time quarterback recruits bust all the time, everywhere. The more a team accrues, the higher the chances are that they’ll have an issue with “supposed quarterback talent.” Also, it’s not as if LSU is getting way more out of Rob Bolden than Penn State did and Kevin Newsome isn’t playing at Temple, either.

Luckily for fans and universities, with these stories come the ones of guys like Daryll Clark, Matt McGloin and, hopefully, Steven Bench. Recruiting is a crapshoot, folks. More so at quarterback than at any other position. That’s the case across the country, not just at Penn State.

For all of the latest on the Penn State Nittany Lions, follow VBR Lead Editor Tim Tolley on Twitter.


Tags: Florida Gators Football LSU Tigers Michigan Wolverines Notre Dame Fighting Irish Penn State Nittany Lions Ucla Bruins

  • Willie Green

    So QB development is Darwinian — Survival of the Fittest — Adapt or Perish.
    Some HS QBs flourish in environments where others whither.
    Some, like Jones, fail to adapt to other opportunities to survive whereas a more confident athlete might’ve flourished with the opportunity to transition at TE.
    Paul Jones is a nice kid and a good athlete. It’s a shame that his self-image as a QB is so deeply ingrained. He probably would’ve made a good TE if he had stuck with it for more than 3~4 weeks.

  • Lionseye

    What about Mitch Mustain, Dan Kendra, Justin Zwick, Zack Fraser, Ryan Perriloux, Ben Olson, Jevan Snead, Aaron Corp, Pat Bostic?

  • PSUMatt2005

    Only thing I’d add is that offensive line recruiting is a challenge as well. You see more than a few high profile kids not pan out there as well.

    • Willie Green

      That’s a brutal position. I imagine that many don’t pan out due to injury.

      • PSUMatt2005

        Injury, but the best high school linemen are just bigger, stronger and faster than most of the kids they play against. They are dominant because they’re just bigger. When they hit college, they’re up against guys their own size, and it becomes a challenge. Can’t remember the coach who said this, but you almost want a little bit of a-hole in your linemen. A lot of those guys just don’t have the mean streak you need on the field.

        • Willie Green

          Bigger isn’t necessarily an advantage. I’ve often heard that kids who are abnormally large often experience greater difficulty with their physical development. I don’t know if medical data actually supports that, but I do believe that that “too large, too fast” isn’t healthy.
          And I believe the same is true for people at the smaller extreme of the “normal” Bell Curve. For whatever reason, they experience greater phyisical challenges than those of us who are merely “average.”

  • john

    i have heard him do interviews on the radio for some of the stations in iowa and for someone who covers penn state i feel like cory giger has a geniune dislike for this university……..i cant really figure out what his problem is

    • Tim Tolley

      This wasn’t intentionally aimed at Giger. Many people feel this way-his tweet was just the inspiration.

  • AA

    Hope we don’t add HAck to this list in a few years.