Following the announcement that Paul Jones was no longer on the Penn State roster, this tweet caught my eye:
How many programs have gotten less out of supposed QB talent than PSU in recent years? Devlin, Newsome, Bolden, Jones all 4-star guys.
— Cory Giger (@CoryGiger) September 26, 2012
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.
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