The Unpredictability of Recruiting in College Football

Below is an article from the Austin American Statesman that looks back on the college football careers of what its sports writers considered to be the top 55 high school football prospects in the state of Texas for 2009. It's an interesting read and demonstrates how difficult it is to predict the trajectory of high school students' football careers.

Revisiting our 2009 Fabulous 55 recruiting class: How fab did they turn out?



Suzanne Halliburton’s look back at the American-Statesman’s Fabulous 55 list of the state’s top recruits of 2009 — and how their college careers panned out:

Rnk., Player;Pos.;High school;College

1. Garrett Gilbert;QB;Lake Travis;Texas

Quit UT in 2011, transferred; started 23 games for SMU — No. 2 on school’s career passing yards list.

2. Jamarkus McFarland;DT;Lufkin;Oklahoma

Started 22 games in four seasons, but was overlooked in 2013 draft.

3. Russell Shepard;QB;Hou. Cypress Ridge;LSU

Some felt he was the best QB in this class. But he started only 14 games, playing WR, QB and RB.

4. Mason Walters;OL;Wolfforth Frenship;Texas

Started 51 straight games at right guard. Will be eligible for this year’s draft.

5. Alex Okafor;DE;Pflugerville;Texas

All-American as a junior, All-Big 12 twice. Drafted in the fourth round of 2013 draft (Cardinals).

6. Kevin Brent;DB;South Oak Cliff;Oklahoma

Injured coming into his freshman season. Left the team in spring 2011.

7. Craig Loston;DB;Aldine Eisenhower;LSU

Was a two-year starter, a two-time All-SEC second-teamer, 2014 Senior Bowl invitee.

8. Chris Whaley;RB;Madisonville;Texas

Played in 47 games, 19 at defensive tackle. Midseason knee injury last fall ruined a potential all-star year.

9. Marcus Davis;DB;Hou. Clear Creek;Texas

Ran into legal problems at UT as a freshman, transferred to Oregon. Left the Ducks program in spring 2011.

10. Tom Wort;LB;New Braunfels;Oklahoma

Three-year starter skipped his senior year, but went undrafted last April.

11. Christine Michael;RBl;Beaumont West Brook;Texas A&M

Started 18 games, was the Big 12 freshman of the year. Seattle’s second-round pick in 2013.

12. Cody Green;QB;Dayton;Nebraska

Was a reserve with the Huskers. Transferred to Tulsa, where he started 20 games.

13. Tyrik Rollison;QB;Sulphur Springs;Auburn

Left in 2010, when Cam Newton was signed, for Sam Houston St., then Tyler JC. Now A&M-Commerce.

14. Shavodrick Beaver;QB;Wichita Falls Rider;Tulsa

Played 14 games at Tulsa, then transferred to Midwestern State, where he’s played in six.

15. Dexter Pratt;ATH;Navasota;Oklahoma State

Running back quit after one semester. Legal problems ended his career.

16. Thomas Ashcraft;OL;Cedar Hill;Texas

Graduated from UT, but never started a game. Signed with SMU, started one game last fall.

17. Emory Blake;WR;Austin High;Auburn

Led team in TD catches in 2010 BCS title year; his 94-yard TD is UA’s longest play from scrimmage.

18. Garrett Porter;OL;Odessa Permian;Texas

Reserve and special teams player was a four-time all-conference, all-academic selection.

19. Calvin Howell;DT;San Antonio Warren;Texas

Started seven games. Quit team in spring 2012. Transferred to Illinois State.

20. Greg Timmons;WR;Aldine Eisenhower;Texas

Played in only six games. Quit the team in June 2011.

21. Mike Brockers;DE;Hou. Chavez;LSU

The 14th overall player of the 2012 draft. Turned pro after his redshirt sophomore year.

22. Tevin Mims;DE;Stony Point;Texas

Played 4 games at UT, transferred to Navarro, then South Florida. Two-year starter with Bulls.

23. Chris Williams;LB;Abilene;Nebraska

Left the Cornhuskers after one semester. Transferred to McMurry for 2011 season.

24. Marcus Trice;DB;Mesquite;Oklahoma

Reserve for two years. Transferred to North Texas, where he was All-Conference USA in 2013.

25. Brandon Mahoney;LB;Keller Fossil Ridge;Texas Tech

Quit football after one season.

26. Stavion Lowe;OL;Brownwood;LSU

Redshirted in 2009, then quit the team, transferred to Tyler JC, then SMU.

27. Ivory Wade;OL;Dickinson;Baylor

Started 46 straight games at center, tackle and guard.

28. Steve Williams;DB;Dallas Skyline;California

Cal’s defensive MVP in 2012, drafted in the fifth round by San Diego in 2013.

29. Drew Allen;QB;Alamo Heights;Oklahoma

Career backup. Graduated, transferred to Syracuse. Started first two games of 2013, then lost his job.

30. Stepfan Taylor;RB;Mansfield;Stanford

Stanford’s career rushing leader (4,300 yards), 2013 Rose Bowl MVP. Drafted in fifth round (Arizona).

31. Knile Davis;RB;Marshall;Arkansas

All-SEC in 2010, missed 2011 (injury), third-round pick by Kansas City in 2013.

32. Kyle Clark;OL;Denton Guyer;Texas Tech

Played in two career games, graduated early and quit football.

33. Terdema Ussery;WR;Dallas St. Mark’s;Colorado

Played in one career game, then left the team.

34. Eryon Barnett;S;Euless Trinity;Texas

Played in seven games, then transferred to Montana St.; started 4 games in 2013.

35. Clinton Naron;OL;Klein Oak;Texas A&M

Was forced to quit football because of an injury.

36. Eric Stephens;RB;Mansfield Timberview;Texas Tech

Set Tech record for kick return yards. Suffered a severe knee injury in 2011.

37. Stephen Barrera;DT;Hou. Clear Lake;Texas A&M

Was a reserve his freshman year, then quit football because of injuries.

38. Prinz Kande;DB;Euless Trinity;Kansas

Played in 35 games for the Jayhawks, with one start.

39. Barrett Matthews;TE;Galena Park N. Shore;Texas

Started 10 career games with 13 receptions.

40. Jacob Karam;QB;Friendswood;Texas Tech

Career backup, magna cum laude grad. Transferred to Memphis, where he played 15 games.

41. Rhontae Scales;OL;Killeen;Texas A&M

Switched from offense to defense, where he was a career reserve.

42. Hasan Lipscomb;RB;Hou. Cypress Ridge;Minnesota

Was an academic casualty. Enrolled at Blinn College.

43. Rex Burkhead;WR;Plano;Nebraska

All-Big Ten in 2011. A sixth-round pick of Cincinnati in 2013.

44. Casey Pachall;QB;Brownwood;TCU

TCU’s most accurate passer ever, but career marred by 2012 suspension and 2013 injury.

45. Darius Jones;WR;Marshall;Baylor

Spent his career as a kick returner and backup safety.

46. Waymon James;RB;Sherman;TCU

Led Horned Frogs in rushing in 2011. Part-time starter in 2013.

47. Tariq Allen;LB;Irving MacArthur;Texas

Quit team after 2010, then tried to rejoin as a walk-on. Out of football.

48. Ryan Mossakowski;QB;Frisco Centennial;Kentucky

Never threw a pass for UK. Transferred, ended up at Lamar, where he started 6 games.

49. Aaron Fisher;WR;Keller Fossil Ridge;Texas Tech

Caught six passes as a reserve in 32 career games.

50. Ryan Swope;ATH;Westlake;Texas A&M

Left as A&M’s leader in single-season catches, yards. Drafted in ‘13, but quit football (concussions).

51. Jurell Thompson;ATH;Wichita Falls Rider;TCU

Legal problems cut his football career short.

52. Paden Kelley;OL;Lake Travis;Texas

Made one start in 20 games, then quit football in 2012.

53. Eric Ward;WR;Wichita Falls Rider;Texas Tech

Caught 255 career passes, third-most in Red Raiders history.

54. Tanner Brock;LB;Copperas Cove;TCU

Kicked off team after 2012 arrest. Transferred, led Sam Houston State in tackles last season.

55. Kenny Vaccaro;DB;Brownwood;Texas

All-American, two-time all-conference, New Orleans’ first-round pick in 2013.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Card Chronicle

You must be a member of Card Chronicle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Card Chronicle. You should read them.

Join Card Chronicle

You must be a member of Card Chronicle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Card Chronicle. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.