Franz Beard's Thoughts of the Day; August 5

A few thoughts to jump start your Wednesday morning...

When it comes to recruiting the most important position in all of college football, more stars doesn’t always mean the best quarterback. Going back in’s rankings since 2002, the 14 teams that make up today’s Southeastern Conference have recruited 20 5-star quarterbacks. Only two – Florida’s Chris Leak and Tim Tebow – have delivered a national championship and only one other (Georgia’s Matt Stafford) has brought home an SEC title. It could be safely argued that of the 20 5-star QBs, nine were total busts and the jury is out on 2015 5-star recruits Blake Barnett (Alabama) and Kyler Murray (Texas A&M).

During the SEC’s seven-year run as the undisputed king of college football, here is how the starting quarterbacks of national championship teams ranked coming out of high school:

2006: Chris Leak, Florida, 5-star
2007: Matt Flynn, LSU, 4-star
2008: Tim Tebow, Florida, 5-star
2009: Greg McElroy, Alabama, 3-star
2010: Cam Newton, Auburn, 4-star
2011-12: A.J. McCarron, Alabama, 4-star

Here are the league numbers for quarterbacks recruited since 2002:

5-star: 20
4-star: 79
3-star: 95
2-star: 55
1-star: 1
Unranked: 11

Since 2002, the SEC has produced three Heisman Trophy quarterbacks and only one (Tebow) rated five stars. Cam Newton, originally recruited by Florida as a 4-star, was a 4-star out of junior college when he signed with Auburn. Johnny Manziel, the first freshman to win the Heisman, was a 3-star recruit out of high school.

Here is a breakdown of quarterback recruiting, team-by-team in the SEC since 2002:


5-star (2): Phillip Sims (2010); Blake Barnett (2015)

4-star (6): Star Jackson (2008); A.J. McCarron (2009); Blake Sims (2010); Phillip Ely (2011); Cooper Bateman (2013); David Cornwell (2014); Jacob Coker (2014)

All quarterbacks recruited since 2002:

5-star: 2
4-star: 6
3-star: 8
2-star: 1

Lived up to the hype: McCarron threw for 77 touchdowns and 9,019 yards while leading Bama to a 36-4 record and 2011-12 national titles as a starter.
Busts: Phillip Sims
Diamond in the rough: Former 3-star Greg McElroy who took the Tide to a 24-3 record as a starter and the 2009 national championship.

2015 quarterback: The expected starter is Jacob Coker, a 4-star recruit out of high school who signed with Florida State but transferred to Alabama after graduating from FSU in three years.

5 star (2): Mitch Mustain (2006); Ryan Mallett (2008)

4 star (3): Cedric Washington (2002); Austin Allen (2013), Ty Storey (2014)

All quarterbacks recruited since 2002:

5-star: 2
4-star: 3
3-star: 9
2-star: 5

Lived up to the hype: Mallett threw for 62 touchdowns in two years after transferring in from Michigan.
Bust: Mustain.
Diamond in the rough: Former 2-star Casey Dick started 2-1/2 seasons and threw for 47 touchdowns.

2015 quarterback. Former 3-star recruit Brandon Allen has started the last two years for the Razorbacks and is coming off a 2014 season when he passed for 20 touchdowns.


5 star (2): Kodi Burns (2007); Kiehl Frazier (2011)

4 star (7): Brandon Cox (2002); Tyrik Rollison (2009); Cameron Newton (2010); Zeke Pike (2012); Nick Marshall (2013); Jeremy Johnson (2013); Tyler Queen (2015)

All quarterbacks recruited since 2002:

5-star: 2
4-star: 7
3-star: 9
2-star: 2
Unranked: 1

Lived up to the hype: After transferring in from Blinn Junior College, Newton won the 2010 Heisman and led Auburn to the national title, throwing for 30 touchdowns while running for 1,473 and 20 more. Marshall started two years and took Auburn to the 2013 national championship games, throwing for 34 touchdowns while running for 1,866 yards and 23 more TDs.
Bust: Frazier
Diamond in the rough: Former 3-star Chris Todd threw 22 touchdown passes as the starter in 2009.

2015 quarterback: Former 4-star Jeremy Johnson, who is 1-0 as a starter and has thrown 9 touchdown passes in two years as Marshall’s backup will be the starter.


5-star (4): Gavin Dickey (2002); Chris Leak (2003); Tim Tebow (2006); Jeff Driskel (2011)

4-star (9): Justin Midgett (2003); Cornelius Ingram (2004); Josh Portis (2005); Cameron Newton (2007); John Brantley (2007); Bryan Waggener (2007); Jacoby Brissett (2011); Will Grier (2014); Treon Harris (2014)

All quarterbacks recruited since 2002:
5-star: 4
4-star: 9
3-star: 6

Lived up to the hype: Leak took over as the starting quarterback in game three of his freshman year and finished his UF career with a 35-12 record with a 2006 national championship and 88 touchdown passes. Tebow won the 2007 Heisman, was a vital part of the 2006 national title and led the Gators to the 2008 national championship. He was 35-6 as a starting quarterback with 88 passing and 57 rushing touchdowns.
Bust: Portis

2015 quarterback: Either Grier or Harris, both former 4-stars, will be the starter.


5-star (2): Matt Stafford (2006); Aaron Murray (2009)

4-star (9): Joe Tereshinski (2002); A.J. Bryant (2004); Joe Cox (2005); Logan Gray (2007); Zach Mettenberger (2009); Christian LeMay (2011); Brice Ramsey (2013); Jacob Park (2014); Greyson Lambert (2015)

All quarterbacks recruited since 2002:
5-star: 2
4-star: 9
3-star: 3

Lived up to the hype: Stafford threw for 51 touchdowns in three years as Georgia’s starter (30-9 record). After a 2009 redshirt, Murray started the next four years (36-18 record) and threw for 121 touchdowns and an SEC record 13,166 yards.
Bust: Gray

2015 quarterback: Ramsey will start fall practice as the #1 QB but he could be overtaken by Greyson Lambert, a 4-star recruit to Virginia in 2012 who transferred in after graduating in three years from UVa.

4-star (4): Andre Woodson (2002); Morgan Newton (2009); Ryan Mossakowski (2009); Drew Barker (2014)

All quarterbacks recruited since 2002:
5-star: 0
4-star: 4
3-star: 5
2-star: 5
1-star: 1
Unranked: 1

Lived up to the hype: Woodson put together two outstanding seasons in a row in 2006-07, when he threw 71 touchdown passes and led the Wildcats to consecutive bowl games.
Bust: Newton
Diamond in the rough: Former 2-star Mike Hartline threw for 38 touchdowns and took Kentucky to three straight bowls.

2015 quarterback: Former 3-star Patrick Towles threw 14 touchdown passes as the 2014 starter. He goes into the fall with a slight edge over redshirt freshman Barker.


5-star (3): JaMarcus Russell (2003); Ryan Perrilloux (2005); Russell Shepard (2009)

4-star (8): Lester Ricard (2002); Matt Flynn (2003); Jarrett Lee (2007); Jerrard Randall (2011); Zach Mettenberger (2011); Anthony Jennings (2013); Hayden Rettig (2013); Brandon Harris (2014)

All quarterbacks recruited since 2002:
5-star: 3
4-star: 8
3-star: 6
2-star: 1

Lived up to the hype: Russell was the big name in the 2003 class. He earned the starting job as a redshirt sophomore in 2005 and threw 43 touchdown passes the next two years while leading LSU to consecutive 11-2 seasons.
Busts: Perrilloux; Shepard

2015 quarterback: Anthony Jennings, who started 12 of LSU’s 13 games in 2014, is the expected starter although Harris is expected to battle for the #1 job.

4 star (4): Omarr Conner (2003); Josh Riddell (2007); Tyler Russell (2009); Cord Sandberg (2013)

All quarterbacks recruited since 2002:
5-star: 0
4-star: 4
3-star: 5
2-star: 11
Unranked: 2

Lived up to the hype: When he was healthy, Russell was very good, throwing for 42 touchdowns and only 23 picks in four years.
Bust: Riddell
Diamond in the rough: Former 3-star QB Dak Prescott has thrown for 41 touchdowns and run for 31 in two years as a starting QB while taking the Bulldogs to a #1 ranking during the 2014 season.

2015 quarterback: Prescott could be on the Heisman podium if the Bulldogs can get to the 9-win level.

4 star (9): Chase Patton (2004); Gilbert Moye (2007); Blaine Gabbert (2008); Blaine Dalton (2009); Tyler Gabbert (2010); James Franklin (2010); Maty Mauk (2012); Trent Hosick (2013); Drew Lock (2015)

All quarterbacks recruited since 2002:
5-star: 0
4-star: 9
3-star: 5
2-star: 4
Unranked: 2

Lived up to the hype: James Franklin passed for 6,962 yards and 51 touchdowns and ran for 21 more as a 3-year starter. He led Mizzou to the SEC East title in the Tigers’ second year in the SEC in 2013.
Bust: Moye
Diamond in the rough: Former 3-star Chase Daniel started three seasons, leading Missouri to a 30-11 record. He threw for 12,515 yards and 101 touchdowns in his career.

2015 quarterback: Mauk led the Tigers to a 10-3 record in his first full year as a starter. He has thrown for 3,719 yards and 36 touchdowns in two seasons.

5 star (1): Brent Schaeffer (2006)

4 star (6): Robert Lane (2003); Jevan Snead (2007); Raymond Cotton (2009); Randall Mackey (2009); Devante Kincaid (2013); Ryan Buchanan (2013); Chad Kelly (2015)

All quarterbacks recruited since 2002:
5-star: 1
4-star: 6
3-star: 9
2-star: 2
Unranked: 3

Lived up to the hype: Snead transferred to Ole Miss in 2007 after one year at Texas. In two years as the Ole Miss starter, he threw for 5,394 yards and 46 touchdowns
Bust: Schaeffer
Diamond in the rough: A 3-star recruit out of East Mississippi Community College, Wallace started three years for the Rebels, throwing or 9,354 yards and 62 touchdowns while rushing for 19 more TDs.

2015 quarterback: Former Clemson and East Mississippi Community College QB Chad Kelly is projected to be the starter.

4 star (3): Syvelle Newton (2003); Blake Mitchell (2003); Stephen Garcia (2007)

All quarterbacks recruited since 2002:
5-star: 0
4-star: 3
3-star: 8
2-star: 9
Unranked: 1

Lived up to the hype: Blake Mitchell threw for 38 touchdowns and took the Gamecocks to two bowl games.
Diamond in the rough: When Stephen Garcia went down with an injury in 2010, Shaw took over. The former 3-star QB helped South Carolina to four straight seasons with 10 or more wins while throwing for 56 touchdowns and running for 17.

2015 quarterback: It’s supposed to be Connor Mitch but freshman Lorenzo Nunez might win the job.

5 star (1): Jonathan Crompton (2005)

4 star (6) Brent Schaeffer (2004); Nick Stephens (2005); B.J. Coleman (2007); Josh Dobbs (2013); Sheriron Jones (2015); Quinten Dormady (2015)

All quarterbacks recruited since 2002:

5-star: 1
4-star: 6
3-star: 9
2-star: 0
Unranked: 2

Lived up to the hype: Crompton was about to be declared a bust when Lane Kiffin took over as coach and transformed him into a 27-touchdown QB in 2010. He’s still in the NFL.
Bust: Schaeffer
Diamond in the rough: Erik Ainge was a 3-star recruit who started two full seasons and threw for 72 touchdowns in his UT career.

2015 quarterback: Josh Dobbs will be the starter after finishing strong last season with nine touchdown passes and eight rushing touchdowns in six games as the starting QB.


5-star (3): Reggie McNeal (2002); Kyle Allen (2014); Kyler Murray (2015)

4-star (5): Stephen McGee (2004); Tommy Dorman (2008); Matt Davis (2012); Kenny Hill (2013); Kohl Stewart (2013)

All quarterbacks recruited since 2002:
5-star: 3
4-star: 5
3-star: 4
2-star: 2

Lived up to the hype: Reggie McNeal started three years, threw for 44 touchdowns and 6,992 yards plus ran for nearly 2,000 yards and 15 more.
Bust: Dorman
Diamond in the rough: After a redshirt season in 2011, former 3-star Johnny Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman. In two years as the starter, Johnny Football threw for 63 touchdowns and ran for 30 more, accounting for 7,820 passing yards and 2,169 rushing.

2015 quarterback: Allen is the starter after finishing the season 4-2 as the starter with 16 TDPs, but Kyler Murray will see the field early and often.

All quarterbacks since 2002:
5-star: 0
4-star: 0
3-star: 12
2-star: 8

Lived up to the hype: Jordan Rogers was only a 3-star recruit out of juco, but he was the younger brother of the Packers Aaron Rogers. In his two years as the Vandy starter he took the Dores to back-to-back bowl games for the first time in school history.
Bust: Stephen Rivers
Diamond in the rough: Former 2-star Chris Nickson threw for 29 touchdowns against only 21 interceptions playing on four bad teams.

2015 quarterback: Johnny McCrary is the starter in August. He might not be in September.


Florida 52, Florida State 20; January 2, 1997

With a healthy offensive line and a shotgun offense to give him more time, Danny Wuerffel had everything he needed to avenge Florida’s 24-21 loss to FSU back in November and give the Gators their first national championship in football. The day before, the Gators got the help they needed to play for the national title from Ohio State, which knocked off previously unbeaten and #2 Arizona State in the Rose Bowl. That set up the Sugar Bowl matchup between unbeaten and #1 FSU and the #3 Gators as the title game. Florida took a 24-17 lead into the dressing room at the half, but the Seminoles got a field goal to start the third quarter to narrow the margin to 24-20. Florida answered with 28 straight points – an 8-year Wuerffel TDP to Ike Hilliard, a 16-yard touchdown run by Wuerffel, a 42-yard scoring run by Terry Jackson and a 1-yard run by Jackson. Wuerffel, who was sacked six times when the Gators lost to FSU earlier, had the time he needed in the shotgun and he made the Seminoles pay by throwing for 306 yards and three touchdowns. Hilliard, who scored on a dazzling 31-yard touchdown that put the Gators up 24-10 in the second quarter, caught seven passes for 150 yards while Jackson ran for 118 on 12 carries. Florida’s defense pitched in by holding Thad Busby to 17-41 passing and only 55 yards in the second half, but it was a first half stand at the UF 23 that set the tone for the game. On the Seminoles’ first possession, Bobby Bowden gambled on fourth and one but Reggie McGrew made the first hit on Pooh Bear Williams and Fred Weary finished him off. The Gators drove 77 yards and took the lead and never lost the momentum after that.


Won-Lost records

1. Florida 100-30
2. LSU 99-31
3. Georgia 98-31
4. Auburn 88-39
5. Tennessee 83-44
6. Arkansas 71-54
7. South Carolina 68-54
8. Alabama 58-48
9. Ole Miss 63-58
10. Kentucky 50-70
11. Mississippi State 42-76
12. Vanderbilt 34-83

Not in the SEC

Missouri 70-54
Texas A&M 63-59

Best 5 coaches

1. Urban Meyer, Florida (58-10)
2. Nick Saban, LSU/Alabama (86-27) *
3. Les Miles, LSU (52-15)
4. Mark Richt, Georgia (90-27)
5. Tommy Tuberville, Auburn (80-34)

Best 10 players

1. Tim Tebow, Florida
2. Darren McFadden, Arkansas
3. Mark Ingram, Alabama
4. John Henderson, Tennessee
5. Brandon Spikes, Florida
6. Eric Berry, Tennessee
7. Jabar Gaffney, Florida
8. Shawn Andrews, Arkansas
9. Glenn Dorsey, LSU
10. Terrence Cody, Alabama


Now that Laremy Tunsil and stepfather Lindsey Miller have kissed and made up, the Lafayette County (Mississippi) district attorney has dropped the domestic violence charges against the Ole Miss offensive tackle. Meanwhile, the NCAA is investigating Tunsil because of statements made by Miller that Tunsil has taken illegal benefits from agents and from Ole Miss dating back to his high school days in Lake City, Florida.

The American Athletic Conference, of which USF and UCF are members, is feeling the monetary pinch. The league is trying to match the power five conferences in cost of attendance stipends, but unless the AAC gets a big TV contract it’s going to be difficult. Says UCF coach George O’Leary, “We can do that for a couple of years. When you are not getting a $35 million check it’s hard to have that costa of attendance and keep up with everything.

Ray Rice, who is trying to stage an NFL comeback after last year’s suspension for a domestic violence incident, says he’s “really hopeful for a second chance.” Rice says that he’s “a rehabilitated man.” Rice can run with the football and gain big yards. Someone will give him a chance.


Why do you think so few 5-star quarterbacks pan out when they make the move up to college football?


From 1964-71 The Four Tops were one of Motown’s most bankable acts. With Levi Stubbs’ powerful lead vocals, the Four Tops hit #4 on the Billboard rhythm and blues charts with “Baby I Need Your Loving” in 1964 and they followed that up with “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) in 1965, which reached #1 on both the Billboard pop and R&B charts. When Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown records, opted to move the company to Los Angeles in 1972, the Four Tops were among the groups that refused to leave Detroit. From that point the Four Tops career was in a downward spiral. Those first seven years were spectacular, though.

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