Recruiting crapshoot: reviewing the 2018 Top 100...

Cryptical Envelopment

What a long strange trip it's been
Oct 2, 2017
Let my choice of prefix be the teaser. Via The Athletic...

How many of college football’s top 100 recruits pan out four years later? Assessing the Class of 2018​

Max Olson

On Monday, we published our Recruiting Revisited project on the Class of 2018. It’s our annual re-assessment of the top 25 recruiting classes from that year with a focus on which programs did the best job of retaining, developing and winning with their signees. We know how the best classes of that cycle performed. But what about the best recruits? How many of the most coveted prospects of 2018 ended up panning out?

Here’s a look at the top 100 recruits in that class according to the 247Sports Composite industry rankings and how their careers have played out to date. Twenty members of this list have already become NFL Draft picks, including eight first-round selections. Three just played in the Super Bowl on Sunday night. And for a lot of these players, things haven’t totally gone as planned. More than 40 players in the top 100 have transferred during their careers. Thanks to an extra season of eligibility, though, there’s still time for many of these players to make good on their big-time potential.

Here’s how the top 100 of 2018 have fared so far, in order of their ranking coming out of high school.

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson: What more can be said about Lawrence’s college career than this: He was everything we hoped he’d be and more. He had one of the all-time great three-year runs at Clemson, from leading a national championship team as a freshman to the 34-2 record to the nearly 11,000 passing yards and 108 touchdowns to how he handled living under college football’s brightest spotlight for two years. The expectations and pressure that came with being a No. 1 recruit and a future No. 1 pick? He never seemed to mind one bit. When was Dabo Swinney sold on him being the best recruit in the country? He still remembers how obvious that was back when Lawrence was a high school sophomore. “That’s when I really recognized that, OK, this kid is just different. He’s a one-in-a-million type guy,” Swinney told The Athletic. “It was a miracle we got him. I was probably the only coach that didn’t offer him as a freshman. I just have a hard time with that, I needed to get to know him better. I told him that. I wanted to watch him play another varsity season. I remember him leaving my office that day and, in the end, I think that’s one of the reasons that we got him. I was honest with him. “But after his sophomore year, watching what he did, I was like, ‘There’s nobody better out there.’ There really weren’t any, even senior guys. Had he been a senior, he would’ve been your first pick then, too. He was just really, really special. And then, man, his junior year was unbelievable. The fact he had to go back and play another year of high school football almost wasn’t fair.”

2. Justin Fields, QB, Georgia: We don’t really need to relitigate the whole Fields vs. Jake Fromm debate in this space, do we? No, let’s not. Fields played a grand total of 173 snaps for the Bulldogs during his freshman season and accounted for nearly 600 yards and eight touchdowns in his supporting role. He left after the season for Ohio State, where he gained immediate eligibility and became one of the best quarterbacks in program history. Fields went 20-2 with the Buckeyes, won Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year twice, finished third in Heisman voting in 2019, went to two College Football Playoffs and played for a national title. The first-round pick started 10 games in his rookie season with the Bears

3. Xavier Thomas, DE, Clemson: Thomas looked like he’d probably be a three-and-pro kind of player for Clemson after putting together a Freshman All-America caliber season for the 2018 national champs. But the defensive lineman experienced complications from COVID-19 and strep throat in 2020, which turned into a real setback. He initially planned to take a redshirt season that year but still ended up playing in seven games. Thomas got back into the starting lineup as a senior and had a solid year with 27 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. He decided to return for 2022 and try to play his way back into first-rounder status.

4. Eyabi Anoma, DE, Alabama: Anoma played 90 snaps in 2018, recorded nine tackles and two TFLs and actually made the SEC All-Freshman team. Then he was dismissed from the university at the end of his freshman year. Houston took a chance on Anoma, and he only lasted six months there before he was dismissed for violating team rules. He’s now playing at the FCS level at UT-Martin, where he did lead the team in tackles for loss (9.5) and sacks (six) in 2021.

5. Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State: The recruiting experts were right about Parsons, no doubt about it. He’s a freaky talent, and that was clear to see at Penn State. Parsons only played two college seasons but was a Freshman All-American in his first season and a consensus All-American as a sophomore. He opted out of playing in 2020 to get ready for the draft, and the first-rounder was an absolute star in his first season with the Cowboys as an All-Pro linebacker and NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

6. Pat Surtain II, CB, Alabama: Here’s another defender who was definitely as good as advertised. Surtain won a starting job right away as a true freshman and was an excellent three-year starter. The shutdown corner won SEC Defensive Player of the Year and was a unanimous All-American for the 2020 national champs. In his first season with the Broncos, the No. 9 overall pick grabbed four interceptions and made the All-Rookie Team.

7. Nicholas Petit-Frere, OL, Ohio State: The top-rated offensive lineman in the class earned the starting job at right tackle for the Buckeyes in 2020 and then started on the left side in 2021. Petit-Frere was a first-team All-Big Ten selection and, according to PFF, surrendered just two sacks over the past two seasons. He’s the No. 10 offensive tackle and No. 89 overall player in Dane Brugler’s new top 100 rankings for the 2022 draft.

8. Justin Shorter, WR, Penn State: Shorter left Penn State at the end of his redshirt freshman season after playing a minor role in the offense, catching 15 passes in his 14 games there. He transferred to Florida and did see his targets increase quite a bit. Shorter caught 41 passes for 550 yards and three touchdowns for the Gators in 2021 and is returning for another season.

9. Zamir White, RB, Georgia: “Zeus” had to come back from two knee surgeries early in his college career and backed up D’Andre Swift before getting his shot to be Georgia’s lead back in 2020. He rushed for 1,635 yards and 22 touchdowns over his final two seasons and rushed for 84 yards and a score on 6.5 yards per carry in the Bulldogs’ national championship win over Alabama.

10. Jamaree Salyer, OL, Georgia: Salyer took over as the Bulldogs’ starting left tackle in 2020 and was arguably their best offensive lineman for two seasons. The team captain was a second-team All-America and second-team All-SEC selection as a senior. He’s the No. 4 guard prospect and No. 49 overall player in Brugler’s new top 100.

11. Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC: St. Brown was very productive in all three of his seasons with the Trojans, finishing with 178 career catches for 2,270 yards and 16 touchdowns and picking up first-team All-Pac-12 honors in 2020. He slipped to the fourth round of the 2021 draft, but it looks like the Lions got a steal. St. Brown enjoyed an excellent finish to his rookie season with 560 receiving yards and six touchdowns over his last six games.

12. Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia: Campbell proved himself right away at Georgia, moving into the starting lineup as a true freshman and making 30 starts at corner over his three seasons in the program. The Jaguars made him the No. 33 pick in the 2021 draft, and he logged 70 tackles and two interceptions in 14 starts as a rookie.

13. Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU: Marshall put up 671 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns during the Tigers’ national title run in 2019, then got his chance to shine after Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase went pro. He was well on his way to an All-SEC season through seven games with 731 yards and 10 touchdowns before opting out for the final two games of 2020. The second-round pick caught 17 passes in his rookie season with the Panthers.

14. K.J. Henry, DE, Clemson: Henry has started a total of 10 games on defense over the past two seasons and developed into a solid pass rusher and great leader for the Tigers’ defense. He put up 28 tackles, 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble on 339 snaps in 2021 and will return as a fifth-year senior.

15. Palaie Gaoteote IV, LB, USC: Gaoteote saw lots of early playing time at USC and took over a starting spot as a sophomore, but injuries prevented him from taking his game to another level. He transferred to Ohio State before the 2021 season and played sparingly last fall with 78 snaps on defense, but he is returning in 2022.

16. JT Daniels, QB, USC: Daniels has had quite a career. He reclassified to the 2018 class and started 11 games for the Trojans as a true freshman. A season-ending knee injury knocked him out for 2019, and Kedon Slovisstepped up in his absence. Daniels transferred to Georgia and played really well in the final four games of 2020, leading the Bulldogs to a win over Cincinnati in the Peach Bowl. But injuries set him back again, and he lost his starting job to Stetson Bennett last season. He’s now back in the portal as a grad transfer.

17. Jackson Carman, OL, Clemson: Carman was a two-year starter and second-team All-ACC performer for the Tigers who made 27 consecutive starts at left tackle. The Bengals made Carman a second-round draft pick, and the rookie started six games in the regular season for the eventual AFC champs.

18. Adam Anderson, LB, Georgia: Anderson is currently suspended indefinitely from the Georgia program. He’s facing a felony rape charge for an incident that is alleged to have occurred in late October. A second woman also came forward and accused Anderson of rape during his bond hearing. He has played in 46 games during his college career.

19. Caden Sterns, S, Texas: Sterns put together an impressive first season with the Longhorns, earning Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year and first-team all-conference honors. He dealt with some injuries over the next two seasons but still left as a 28-game starter and captain when he went pro. The fifth-round pick intercepted two passes and started in two of his 15 games as a rookie with the Broncos.

20. Taron Vincent, DT, Ohio State: Injuries have been the issue for Vincent, but he was able to stay healthy in 2021 and start six games on the Buckeyes’ D-line, including the Rose Bowl win over Utah. Vincent is looking to build on that by returning for his fifth year in the program.

21. Tyreke Johnson, DB, Ohio State: Johnson appeared in 12 games for the Buckeyes over two seasons and transferred to Nebraska, where he got on the field for two games in 2021. According to PFF, he has played a total of just 141 snaps on defense in his career.

22. Cade Mays, OL, Georgia: Mays was ready to play right away, earning Freshman All-America honors and becoming a two-year starter for the Bulldogs. He entered the portal after the 2019 season and transferred back home to Tennessee to play with his younger brother. He was granted a waiver to play right away and has started 17 games for the Vols at right tackle and right guard. The second-team All-SEC selection ranked No. 11 among interior linemen in Brugler’s initial position rankings.

23. Brenton Cox Jr., LB, Georgia: Cox got on the field right away for Georgia’s defense as a freshman and started in their bowl game but was dismissed from the program right before the 2019 season. He transferred to Florida and has been a two-year starter for the Gators who racked up 14.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks in 2021.

24. B.J. Foster, S, Texas: Foster started 27 games in four seasons with the Longhorns and recorded 47 tackles, 2.5 TFLs and a team-high three interceptions in 2021 to receive honorable mention All-Big 12 recognition. He entered the transfer portal to play his bonus season elsewhere and ended up signing with Sam Houston.

25. Lorenzo Lingard, RB, Miami: A leg injury brought an early end to Lingard’s freshman season and caused him to fall behind other backs. He transferred to Florida after the 2019 season and hasn’t broken out there yet, with 16 carries for 75 yards over the past two seasons.

26. Derion Kendrick, CB, Clemson: Kendrick leaves college with national title rings from two schools. The converted receiver became a first-team All-ACC cornerback in his three years with the Tigers. When he was dismissed from the program in the spring of 2021, he transferred to Georgia and proved himself all over again as one of the best corners in the SEC, grabbing a team-high four interceptions for the national champs. He was the No. 7 corner in Brugler’s initial position rankings.

27. Ricky Slade, RB, Penn State: Slade rushed for 471 yards and eight touchdowns on 92 carries in two seasons with the Nittany Lions. He transferred to Old Dominion in the summer of 2020 but left the program in early 2021 before he played a down there.

28. Olaijah Griffin, CB, USC: Griffin overcame injuries to become a two-year starter for the Trojans who twice received honorable mention All-Pac-12 recognition. He went pro after three years, went undrafted and is currently on the Bills’ roster on a futures deal.

29. Brey Walker, OL, Oklahoma: Walker started two games as a redshirt freshman but hasn’t been able to break back into the Sooners’ starting lineup since then. He played a total of 40 snaps at right guard in 2021, according to PFF. Walker entered the portal in December and is still listed as active, but he did rejoin the team for bowl practices.

30. Jaelen Gill, WR, Ohio State: Gill saw limited action in eight games at Ohio State and transferred to Boston College in 2020. He has carved out a solid role in their offense at receiver, catching 53 passes for 704 yards and two scores over the past two seasons while also returning punts.

31. Quay Walker, LB, Georgia: Walker took advantage of his reps on special teams and saw his playing time on defense increase every year until he earned a starting role as a senior. The inside linebacker finished as the third-leading tackler with 67 stops, 5.5 TFLs and 25 pressures for the Bulldogs’ epic No. 1 defense. He’s the No. 3 linebacker and No. 44 overall player in Brugler’s new top 100.

32. Isaac Taylor-Stuart, CB, USC: Taylor-Stuart became a two-year starter for the Trojans and finished with 80 tackles, two interceptions and seven pass breakups in his career. He entered the draft and was invited to the NFL combine.

33. Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami: Jordan came in with big-time hype and played up to it, earning All-ACC honors in all three of his seasons at Miami. He was a Mackey Award finalist in 2019 and recorded 105 career catches for 1,358 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Texans drafted Jordan in the fifth round and he scored three TDs as a rookie.
34. Tyreke Smith, DE, Ohio State: Injuries made it tough for Smith to consistently play up to his full potential at Ohio State, but he was a starter for 13 of his final 14 games with the Buckeyes. Smith led all Buckeye defenders with 22 quarterback hurries and 36 total pressures in 2021, according to PFF.

35. Jaiden Woodbey, DB, Florida State: The versatile defensive back overcame a significant knee injury to start 22 games in three seasons with the Seminoles. He departed as a grad transfer after the 2020 season and joined Boston College. Woodbey started every game last fall and was the team’s second-leading tackler and an honorable mention All-ACC selection.

36. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, QB, UCLA: Thompson-Robinson had to play right away for some not-good UCLA teams and managed to endure the early struggles and keep steadily improving. The four-year starter is coming off his best season yet with 2,409 passing yards, 609 rushing yards, 30 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He received second-team All-Pac-12 recognition for that breakthrough and is coming back for one more season.

37. Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State: The Buckeyes’ offense did not target the tight end much during Ruckert’s four seasons, but he did finish No. 2 in the school record books for career TD catches by a tight end with 12. Ruckert had his most productive season as a senior with 26 catches for 309 yards and three touchdowns. He’s the No. 2 tight end prospect and No. 63 overall player in Brugler’s new top 100.

38. Brendan Radley-Hiles, DB, Oklahoma: “Bookie” had an up-and-down career in three years as a Sooner but did get to start 32 of his 36 games there. Radley-Hiles exited as a grad transfer after the 2020 season and joined Washington. He recorded 46 tackles, five TFLs, four pass breakups and an interception in his lone season there.

39. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama: Waddle quickly became one of the most exciting playmakers in college football as a receiver and returner for the Crimson Tide. He was SEC Freshman of the Year in 2018, SEC Special Teams Player of the Year in 2019 and probably could’ve had an All-America season in 2020 if not for his ankle injury. The No. 6 overall pick got healthy and got back to shining in an All-Rookie caliber debut season with the Dolphins.

40. Devon Williams, WR, USC: Williams entered the portal early in his sophomore season after catching just five passes for the Trojans. He transferred to Oregon and was the Ducks’ leading receiver in back-to-back seasons with a combined 50 catches for 843 yards and six touchdowns.

41. James Cook, RB, Georgia: Cook became a dynamic offensive weapon for the national champs, producing 1,012 total yards and 11 touchdowns his senior season. He finished with more than 2,220 career yards as a rusher and receiver in the Bulldogs’ crowded running back room.

42. Kelvin Joseph, CB, LSU: Joseph transferred to Kentucky after his freshman year at LSU, had to sit out 2019 and enjoyed a breakout year in 2020 with four interceptions in nine starts. The Cowboys made him a second-round draft pick, and he started two games during his rookie season.

43. Justin Rogers, QB, TCU: Rogers suffered a significant knee injury in high school that affected his development at TCU. He appeared in one game in two seasons before transferring to UNLV. Rogers passed for 640 yards and four touchdowns in nine games there and is now back in the portal as a grad transfer.

44. Teradja Mitchell, LB, Ohio State: The longtime backup became a team captain in 2021 and moved into a starting role for the Buckeyes’ first eight games. He finished with 45 tackles and 4.5 TFLs and plans to return for another season.

45. Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson: Ross had quite a ride at Clemson. He had a 1,000-yard freshman season and was utterly dominant during Clemson’s run to the national title. He was just as good as a sophomore and a projected first-rounder entering his junior season. But a congenital fusion of his neck and spine required surgery that forced him to sit out 2020. He put together a good comeback season in 2021 with a team-high 514 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 46 catches and is currently the No. 90 player in Brugler’s top 100.

46. Tanner McKee, QB, Stanford: McKee spent two years on a mission in Brazil before enrolling at Stanford in 2020. He started nine games as a redshirt freshman and finished No. 2 in the Pac-12 in passing yards per game, throwing for 2,327 yards and 15 touchdowns with seven interceptions.

47. Jalen Green, S, Texas: After starting eight games over three seasons at Texas, Green transferred to Mississippi State and made the switch to safety. The senior recorded 41 tackles and two interceptions in 10 starts and plans to return in 2022.

48. J.J. Peterson, LB, Tennessee: Peterson appeared in 17 games as a backup and special teams contributor for the Vols before leaving the team during the 2020 season. He entered the portal and it appears he did not play anywhere in 2021.

49. Joey Gatewood, QB, Auburn: Gatewood was unable to beat out Bo Nixin Auburn’s QB competition and went in the portal. He was unable to beat out Will Levis in Kentucky’s QB competition and went in the portal. He reunited with Gus Malzahn at UCF and played in 10 games as a backup in 2021, rushing for 142 yards and one score.

50. A.J. Lytton, CB, Florida State: Lytton is currently back in the transfer portal after leaving both Florida State and Penn State. He played in 21 games with one start for the Seminoles and spent one season in State College, where he played on special teams and recorded one tackle.

51. Luke Ford, TE, Georgia: Ford transferred home to Illinois after his freshman season, but the NCAA denied his hardship waiver for immediate eligibility. He became a full-time starter in 2021 and caught 15 passes for 144 yards and two scores. Ford is returning for his fifth year in 2022.

52. DeMarvion Overshown, LB, Texas: Overshown made the transition to linebacker and has developed into a 22-game starter who has twice received honorable mention All-Big 12 recognition. He was the Longhorns’ leading tackler in 2021 with 74 stops, 5.5 TFLs and two sacks and is returning for his super senior season.

53. William Barnes, OL, North Carolina: Barnes has been a career backup for the Tar Heels but did see more action as a redshirt junior, making his first start at right tackle and playing 228 snaps according to PFF.

54. Nesta Jade Silvera, DT, Miami: Silvera came to Miami to “make the crib great” and put in a solid four seasons in the program, becoming a two-year starter who recorded 38 tackles, 18 pressures and 5.5 TFLs last fall. The grad transfer moved on for his final season of eligibility and signed with Arizona State.

55. Tommy Togiai, DT, Ohio State: Togiai earned a starting job as a junior and earned second-team All-Big Ten recognition after recording 23 tackles, 4.5 TFLs, three sacks and a forced fumble. He decided to go pro early and was a fourth-round draft pick who played in six games for the Browns during his rookie season.

56. Kyler McMichael, CB, Clemson: McMichael left Clemson at the end of his freshman year and transferred to North Carolina. After sitting out 2019, he started a total of 16 games over the past two seasons for the Tar Heels and entered the draft after graduating.

57. Penei Sewell, OL, Oregon: Sewell proved to be special right away for the Ducks, receiving Freshman All-America recognition for his debut season and winning the Outland Trophy as a unanimous All-American in his sophomore year. Sewell opted out of the 2020 season, went No. 7 overall to the Lions and had a promising All-Rookie Team-caliber first season with 16 starts playing left and right tackle.

58. Jordyn Adams, WR, North Carolina: When the Los Angeles Angels made Adams the No. 17 overall pick in the 2018 MLB draft, Adams decided to skip college and received a $4.1 million signing bonus. He’s still playing in the minors and hit .217/.290/.311 with five home runs, 27 RBI and 18 stolen bases in 71 games at the High-A level with the Tri-City Dust Devils in 2021.

59. Marquis Spiker, WR, Washington: Spiker caught three passes in his three years at Washington and did not appear in a game in 2020. He entered the transfer portal and initially committed to Nevada but ended up resurfacing at FCS Portland State, where he played in 10 games last fall as a kick returner and backup receiver.

60. Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State: Samuel left Florida State as a two-year starter and first-team All-ACC selection and was the No. 47 overall pick in the 2021 draft. He started 12 games for the Chargers as a rookie and snagged two interceptions.

61. Brennan Eagles, WR, Texas: Eagles caught 61 passes for 1,026 yards and 11 touchdowns in three seasons with the Longhorns. He decided to go pro early, went undrafted and was cut by the Cowboys during training camp.

62. Trey Hill, OL, Georgia: Hill was a two-year starter at center for the Bulldogs and a second-team All-SEC performer as a sophomore. The Bengals made him a sixth-round draft pick last year, and Hill made three starts in his rookie season as their second-team center.

63. Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss: Corral emerged as one of college football’s top quarterbacks in his time with Lane Kiffin and produced 8,287 passing yards, 1,338 rushing yards and 75 total touchdowns over his three college seasons. As a junior, he finished No. 7 in Heisman Trophy voting and guided the Rebels to 10 wins and the Sugar Bowl. The projected first-round pick went No. 18 to the Saints in Brugler’s latest mock draft.

64. Anthony Cook, DB, Texas: Cook entered the portal in the summer of 2020 but ended up staying at Texas, a decision that ended up working out. He earned a starting role at nickel under the Longhorns’ new staff in 2021 and received honorable mention All-Big 12 recognition after recording 47 tackles, three TFLs and three pass breakups. He’s set to return for his super senior season.

65. Rasheed Walker, OL, Penn State: Walker took over as the Nittany Lions’ left tackle as a redshirt freshman and started 31 games over the past three seasons, becoming a team captain and twice earning third-team All-Big Ten honors. In Brugler’s mock draft 2.0, Walker was a second-round pick as the No. 58 overall selection.
66. Ronnie Perkins, DE, Oklahoma: Perkins was an All-Big 12-caliber pass rusher during his three seasons with the Sooners, recording 99 tackles, 32 TFLs and 16.5 sacks in 33 games. He served a six-game suspension due to a failed drug test that cut his junior season short, but Perkins was still drafted in the third round by the Patriots. He dealt with several injuries and was inactive for his rookie season.

67. Mark Pope, WR, Miami: Pope got his shot to play a starting role in 2020 but was passed up on the depth chart last fall and entered the transfer portal. He’ll continue his career at Jackson State. Pope caught 52 passes for 680 yards and four touchdowns over his first three seasons with the Hurricanes.

68. Matthew Jones, OL, Ohio State: Jones has made six starts at left guard over the past two seasons, including in the 2020 national championship game. He was expected to become the full-time starter there in 2021, but the staff chose to move tackle Thayer Munford inside. He’s a versatile lineman who has stayed patient and should have a greater role this year.

69. Jacob Copeland, WR, Florida: Copeland was the Gators’ leading receiver in 2021 with 41 receptions for 642 yards and four TDs. After producing 1,350 receiving yards and nine scores over the past three seasons, Copeland decided to enter the transfer portal and join Maryland this offseason. He has two more seasons of eligibility.

70. Houston Griffith, CB, Notre Dame: Griffith, a backup and special teams contributor for three seasons, was able to move into a starting role in 2021 and finished with 38 tackles in 13 games. He’s planning to return as a fifth-year senior.

71. Josh Proctor, S, Ohio State: After two seasons backing up Jordan Fuller, Proctor moved into a sort of Swiss army knife role for the Buckeyes as a defender who can play all over the secondary. He started in all three of Ohio State’s postseason games in 2020, but a broken leg ended his 2021 season after just two games. He should regain his starting role this fall.

72. Michael Thompson, DT, Oklahoma: Thompson suffered a torn ACL in summer workouts before his freshman year and redshirted. Oklahoma’s staff moved him to the offensive line in 2019 but he never saw the field, so Thompson entered the portal at the end of his second season in the program. He’s now at Butler Community College and back to playing on the defensive line, with 12 tackles and three TFLs in six games last fall.

73. Kamryn Babb, WR, Ohio State: Babb’s playing career at Ohio State hasn’t gone as planned. He’s missed three of his four seasons due to ACL tears and didn’t record a catch in the seven games he did play in 2020. His resilience has been impressive enough, though, that his teammates voted him a captain in 2021, and he’s planning to return and give it another shot this year.

74. Stephon Wynn Jr., DT, Alabama: Wynn has appeared in 21 games for the Crimson Tide but has yet to start a game. The backup nose guard has rotated in for a total of 163 snaps in his four seasons in the program, according to PFF.

75. Leon O’Neal Jr., S, Texas A&M: O’Neal proved himself as a three-year starter at safety for the Aggies, finishing his career with 28 consecutive starts, 161 career tackles and six interceptions. He was the No. 14 safety in Brugler’s initial position rankings for the 2022 draft.

76. Odafe Oweh, DE, Penn State: Oweh only started eight games and recorded 13.5 tackles for loss in his three seasons at Penn State, but the pass rusher’s Freaks List-caliber ability made him a first-team All-Big Ten selection and a first-round draft pick. He racked up five sacks in his rookie season with the Ravens.

77. Jarren Williams, QB, Miami: Williams has had quite the journey. He decommitted from Kentucky to sign with Miami and started 10 games for the Hurricanes as a redshirt freshman. He left when Miami landed D’Eriq King and went to Garden City Community College. Then he transferred to USF but wasn’t able to win the starting job, didn’t play in a game and left in October. Williams is now transferring to Alabama A&M and will try to get back on track there.

78. PJ Mustipher, DT, Penn State: Mustipher received second-team All-Big Ten honors from the league’s coaches last year despite only playing in six games before a season-ending injury. The team captain is returning in 2022 for his third season as a starter on the Nittany Lions’ D-line.

79. Payton Wilson, LB, NC State: Wilson has had a tough run when it comes to injuries, starting with a re-torn ACL in the spring of his freshman year, two dislocated shoulders late in the 2020 season and a re-injured left shoulder that required season-ending surgery in 2021. When healthy, though, Wilson has been an All-ACC performer and has twice led the Wolfpack in tackles. He opted to bypass the draft and return for another season in 2022.

80. Brian Snead, RB, Ohio State: Snead was suspended during his freshman year after being accused of sexual assault. A university investigation found he violated the school’s code of conduct prohibiting non-consensual ***, but no criminal charges were filed. Snead was dismissed from the program and went to Iowa Western Community College. He then transferred to Austin Peay, where he has rushed for 1,066 yards and nine touchdowns in 17 games.

81. Richard Gouraige, OL, Florida: Gouraige has made 29 career starts for the Gators, with the first 17 coming at left guard before a move over to left tackle for the 2021 season. He surrendered just two sacks on 435 snaps in pass protection last season, according to PFF.

82. Kevin Austin Jr., WR, Notre Dame: Austin was suspended for the 2019 season and missed most of the 2020 season due to a foot injury, but he managed to bounce back and re-emerge as Notre Dame’s leading receiver with 888 yards and seven touchdowns on 48 receptions last season.

83. Phil Jurkovec, QB, Notre Dame: After backing up Ian Book as a redshirt freshman and appearing in six games, Jurkovec was ready to play and transferred to Boston College. He had a good year in 2020, throwing for 2,558 yards and scoring 20 total touchdowns in 10 starts. A hand injury limited Jurkovec to six starts last season, but he won four of those games and averaged 9.5 yards per attempt, which led all ACC starters. He’s planning to return in 2022.

84. Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU: Maybe this guy should’ve been ranked a little higher? We only got to watch Chase play two seasons at the college level. He truly did it all as a sophomore: 1,780 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns, All-American, Biletnikoff winner, national champ. Now the No. 5 overall pick is the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year, a Pro Bowler and just played in the Super Bowl.

85. Emory Jones, QB, Florida: Jones did what few highly ranked QB recruits do these days and waited his turn until Year 4 to become the Gators’ starter. He threw for 2,734 yards, rushed for 758 yards and scored 24 total touchdowns with 13 interceptions in an up-and-down year in which he made 12 starts. Jones declared he was entering the transfer portal at the end of the season, but he never did. Instead, he stayed in school and will try to impress his new coaches and hold onto his starting role.

86. Solomon Tuliaupupu, LB, USC: The third member of USC’s Mater Dei haul has had a tough journey so far with the Trojans. He missed his first two seasons due to a foot injury suffered in high school, then had a knee injury in summer workouts that forced him to miss the 2020 season. Tuliaupupu put in the hard work to get back and was able to practice and dress for games this season but hasn’t played in a game yet.

87. Otis Reese, LB, Georgia: After two seasons of limited action at Georgia, Reese elected to transfer within the conference to Ole Miss. His waiver for immediate eligibility was finally approved by the NCAA late in the 2020 season, and Reese has started all 15 games ever since he was cleared. The “Star” hybrid safety/linebacker produced 91 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble in 2021.

88. Talanoa Hufanga, DB, USC: Hufanga was starting safety in all three of his seasons with the Trojans and earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and All-America honors in 2020 for recording a team-high 62 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, four interceptions and two forced fumbles. He went pro but fell in the NFL Draft due to his injury history. The 49ers scooped Hufanga up in the fifth round, and he started three games as a rookie.

89. Justin Watkins, WR, Florida: Watkins left the Gators before his freshman season after he was arrested on charges of domestic battery, strangulation and false imprisonment of his girlfriend. Three of his four charges were dropped, and Watkins pled no contest to misdemeanor battery. He was sentenced to six months probation and was later arrested for violating his probation. Watkins did end up playing again at East Los Angeles College in 2019.

90. Shayne Simon, LB, Notre Dame: Simon played in 31 games for the Irish and was able to earn a more significant role in 2020 with eight starts for his CFP-bound squad, but a torn labrum in the season opener forced him to miss the rest of the 2021 season. He opted for a fresh start and transferred to Pitt, where he can play two more seasons.

91. Colson Yankoff, QB, Washington: Yankoff transferred to UCLA after his freshman year but couldn’t play in 2019 after Washington blocked his transfer waiver. He ended up moving to wide receiver for the 2020 season and has appeared in 12 games as a reserve wideout and special teams contributor.

92. Matthew Hill, WR, Auburn: Hill had just eight catches through his first two seasons at Auburn and moved to safety for his redshirt sophomore year. He played just two snaps on defense in 2020 and decided to transfer to USF. He worked hard to earn a starting job and regained his confidence, recording 50 tackles and an interception in 10 starts.
93. Tyler Friday, DE, Ohio State: Friday started four games up front for the Buckeyes in 2019, but injuries have prevented him from taking the next step. He appeared in five of eight games in 2020 as was expected to have a greater role as a senior, but then came a season-ending torn ACL suffered in the preseason. Friday is expected to return and still have two more seasons of eligibility.

94. Jacob Sirmon, QB, Washington: Sirmon backed up transfer Jacob Easonas a redshirt freshman and then lost a QB competition to Dylan Morris in 2020. He entered the portal and chose Central Michigan. He started the Chippewas’ first four games last fall and threw for 628 yards and six TDs with four interceptions but was benched for Daniel Richardson for the rest of the season. So he went back into the portal and signed with Northern Colorado in December.

95. Jalen Preston, WR, Texas A&M: Preston is one good example of a player staying patient and eventually earning his opportunity. He only had 11 career catches going into 2021, and most of his playing time had come on special teams. But he stepped up for the Aggies as a junior and started six games, finishing with 17 catches for 255 yards and two touchdowns.

96. Joshua Moore, WR, Texas: Moore showed promise as a freshman but had to sit out the 2019 season due to a misdemeanor gun charge. He received deferred adjudication and was able to resume his playing career, catching 54 passes for 737 yards and 12 touchdowns over the past two seasons. Moore left the Longhorns during the 2021 season after reportedly feuding with new coach Steve Sarkisian and is transferring to SMU.
97. Al Blades Jr., DB, Miami: Blades earned 14 starts through his first three seasons but has endured some tough setbacks in the past year. He was diagnosed with myocarditis in December 2020 while going through COVID-19 protocols. Blades was cleared to resume physical activity in the spring and was a backup in 2021 whose season was cut short after four games due to a sports hernia.

98. Bryan Addison, DB, Oregon: The No. 3 ranked athlete recruit began his career at wide receiver and started six games there in 2019. When the Ducks needed help in the secondary in 2020, Addison made the switch to safety. He played a limited role on defense with six tackles and one interception on just 134 snaps, according to PFF, while also contributing on special teams.

99. Jack Lamb, LB, Notre Dame: Lamb dealt with injuries and saw more playing time on special teams than on defense while appearing in 20 games with the Irish, though the linebacker did lead the ACC in special teams tackles in 2020. He moved on as a grad transfer to Colorado in 2021 and started three games.

100. T.J. Pledger, RB, Oklahoma: Pledger appeared in 30 games for the Sooners and rushed for 695 yards over his three seasons, but he wasn’t able to break through and become the Sooners’ No. 1 back. Pledger transferred to Utah for his final college season and had his best one yet, with 801 total yards and six touchdowns for the Pac-12 champs.
A word about Eyabi Anoma #4. Overall was a big talent. He just struggled with emotional problems, to say the least. He moved around like a traveling salesman because he couldn't stick anything out. From classroom work to the practice grind. A lot like Arik Gilbert at Georgia as we speak. It's got to be tough when the body is willing but the brain says no.
Wow, this is good stuff. What I take from all this is 247 missed on at least 55% of the evaluations. See Pope at #67 and Jamar Chase at #84

Yep. It's why blanket star-chasing is how to lose your job. You need to be a good evaluator and be able to see which highly ranked kids are legit and which aren't, and make sure you don't miss the underrated local 3-star types with a chip on their shoulder.

NFL GM's and scouts, with years of ESPN/CBS/FOX tape, combines, workouts, wonderlics, interviews, and more of 21-22 year old kids with fully developed bodies still miss 50% of the time.

But people think that these former garbagemen and checkout boys who evaluate for websites and aren't qualified to coach JV HS football can somehow evaluate 17 year olds accurately. LOL.

Remember, there are 7-rounds of picks in the NFL Draft, but the recruiter services literally give about 10-11 rounds worth of kids a bluechip grade (5 and 4 star) every year (~350). They flood the market with dart throws and still miss a ton. It's cooked, and the public falls for it.
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Hard to fathom that Miami had 4 and marginal success with the group. But that seems to be the norm.
I'd say given the hype, outside of Jordan, the word 'marginal success' is a bit too lofty.
And to that point Jordan and our other best player from that class (production wise) was Rousseau and both will have their best days in the pros

We’ve had a lot of that as well. They didn’t fulfill expectations here for a variety of reasons but yet ball out in the pros.
3 of our 4 on the list transferred. It's important to recruit top talent but that top talent also have to have a work ethic and competitiveness to them as well. In the past we've had too many Williams and Pope's, not enough Brevin's.
Yep. It's why blanket star-chasing is how to lose your job. You need to be a good evaluator and be able to see which highly ranked kids are legit and which aren't, and make sure you don't miss the underrated local 3-star types with a chip on their shoulder.

NFL GM's and scouts, with years of ESPN/CBS/FOX tape, combines, workouts, wonderlics, interviews, and more of 21-22 year old kids with fully developed bodies still miss 50% of the time.

But people think that these former garbagemen and checkout boys who evaluate for websites and aren't qualified to coach JV HS football can somehow evaluate 17 year olds accurately. LOL.

Remember, there are 7-rounds of picks in the NFL Draft, but the recruiter services literally give about 10-11 rounds worth of kids a bluechip grade (5 and 4 star) every year (~350). They flood the market with dart throws and still miss a ton. It's cooked, and the public falls for it.
Yeah, but there are still a ton of NFL players or high-impact college players on that list.

I'd love to compare hits and misses from 0-100 to 100-200, 200-300 and so on.

Is it safe to presume that the "miss rate" is less in the 0-100 kids than 100-200, etc.; and, that the likelihood of hitting on a real talent is higher in the 0-100 range than others?