Sometimes big-name recruits pan out. Other times, they flame out.
Sooners Illustrated has compiled the 10 highest-rated recruits in the past 10 years. Then just for fun, we put together the top 10 three-star or unrated recruits over the past ten years. Which team would you rather have?
10 highest-rated prospects nationally in the past 10 years.
10. R.J. Washington, 2008 (No. 25 overall) – An All-American defensive end in high school, Washington started just six games during his career at Oklahoma. He had a career year his junior season with five sacks and five pass break-ups. He had 34 tackles his senior year but never really emerged from a back-up role during his time with Oklahoma.
9. Keith Ford, 2013 (No. 22 overall) – Ford played immediately as a freshman with the Sooners and was named the starter for his sophomore season. He lost the job after an injury and the emergence of freshman running back Samaje Perine. In two years, he is averaging 6.63 yards per touch.
8. Trey Metoyer, 2011 (No. 21 overall) – Metoyer’s road at Oklahoma was a rocky one before he eventually fell off the rail. He didn’t qualify academically but started in 2012. He was benched after four games. The wide receiver has been arrested twice since then.
7. Gabe Lynn, 2009 (No. 20 overall) – After being rated as the No. 1 cornerback in the country, Lynn found a home as a safety with the Sooners – and he was one of the best. He made 116 tackles in his career and picked off four passes during his senior season.
6. Jermie Calhoun, 2008 (No. 19 overall) – A five-star running back coming in on the tail of Adrian Peterson and considered one of the best since, Calhoun redshirted his first year before being stuck behind DeMarco Murray as a sophomore. He transferred to Angelo State in 2011 after just 220 yards in 12 games.
5. Joe Mixon, 2014 (No. 18 overall) – Mixon’s legacy is still to be written as the No. 1 running back in the 2014 recruiting class. He was suspended for his freshman season after a late-night altercation with a female student that ended in a misdemeanor charge being brought against Mixon.
4. Jamarkus McFarland, 2009 (No. 11 overall) – In a loaded class, McFarland was the No. 3 rated defensive tackle despite nearly cracking the top 10 overall. His recruitment was a point of contention in Texas, and his career with the Sooners lacked real punch. He finally started in his senior season, recording 28 tackles – six for loss. He went undrafted.
3. DeMarcus Granger, 2005 (No. 9 overall) – The cousin of former Indiana Pacers star Danny Granger, he struggled through a injury-plagued career and was arrested after his sophomore season. He missed the BCS championship during his junior year and his entire senior season in 2009 because of injury. Granger finished his career with 78 tackles as a defensive tackle and never lived up to his on-the-field expectations because of off-the-field hurdles.
2. Justin Johnson, 2008 (No. 7 overall) – Johnson came to Oklahoma with Calhoun as the Sooners corralled two of the top three running backs in the country. Another running back stuck behind Murray, Johnson played just one season at Oklahoma before transferring to Abilene Christian.
1. Gerald McCoy, 2006 (No. 4 overall) – From the start, the Oklahoma City-native McCoy was a game-changing defensive tackle. He was the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year after taking a redshirt. He was a First-Team All-American and the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year as a redshirt sophomore. He came back to Norman despite being a highly touted NFL prospect. He was an All-American again and was draft third overall after 14 ½ career sacks at Oklahoma by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he has been named to three-straight All-Pro teams.
Top 10 Low-rated prospects
Could Samaje Perine be a part of this list soon? Maybe. He was a three-star recruit out of high school. These guys had three or fewer stars in the Scout database.
10. Gabe Ikard, 2009 – After coming to Oklahoma as a tight end prospect in high school, Ikard played two positions on the Sooners’ line before being named to the All-Big 12 team as a senior. Ikard, who was the Academic All-American of the Year in 2013, possessed unmatched leadership, and he was a pivotal piece for Oklahoma. He is currently starting at center for the Tennessee Titans even after being undrafted.
9. Frank Alexander, 2006 – Alexander took a redshirt as a freshman and became an immediate impact player. He started at least four games every season, and Alexander finished with 32 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks during his final two seasons at Oklahoma to become the AP Big 12 Player of the Year after his senior season. He parlayed that into a fourth-round selection in the NFL Draft and is still with the Carolina Panthers.
8. Aaron Colvin, 2010 – Another unrated, Oklahoma-grown prospect, the cornerback known as ‘Slick’ started at least 10 games in each of the final three years of his Oklahoma career. Colvin had four interceptions during his junior season, which culminated in an All-Big 12 selection. Despite a torn ACL in the senior bowl, he was drafted in the fourth round by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
7. Trey Millard, 2010 – Recruited as a middle linebacker, Millard’s full contribution to Oklahoma cannot be measured with statistics. He was the heart of the team from the time he stepped on campus and might go down as the most loved Sooner of all time. Full of nothing but desire, Millard is currently playing with the San Francisco 49ers.
6. Phil Loadholt, 2007 – Out of Garden City Junior College, Loadholt need just one season with the Sooners before going on to the NFL Draft, where he was taken in the second round by the Minnesota Vikings. He has remained the Vikings’ starter at right tackle since that day. With Loadholt as the Sooners’ left tackle in 2007, Oklahoma allowed a sack on less than three percent of its passing plays.
5. Lane Johnson, 2009 – One of two tight end prospects in the 2009 class, along with Ikard. Johnson could do it all. He has played quarterback, tight end, left tackle, right tackle and even bounced around a little on the interior. He has made a home though with the Philadelphia Eagles as their starting right tackle. Johnson was one of the best last season after being picked fourth overall in the 2013 draft.
4. Travis Lewis, 2007 – With his play on the field, Lewis quickly became the best linebacker at Oklahoma since Brian Bosworth. He was the AP Defensive Freshman of the Year after setting a new school record for freshman tackles (144), breaking Bosworth’s mark. Lewis finished his career with 451 total tackles and became the first player in school history to lead the Sooners in tackles four straight years.
3. Sam Bradford, 2006 – The quarterback from Putnam City North will go down as one of the greatest collegiate quarterbacks in Big 12 history. His NFL career has been littered with injury issues, just like his senior season that was cut short by a shoulder injury. In his first two seasons, Bradford threw for nearly 8,000 yards and tossed 86 touchdown passes. He set records for career completion percentage, career passing yards and career pass efficiency at Oklahoma. Bradford won Heisman Trophy in 2008 and is tied for fourth in NCAA history with 50 touchdown passes during his first year as a starter – still an Oklahoma record.
2. Trent Williams, 2006 – Williams wasn’t even a top-50 player at his position coming out of high school, and now, he’s one of the top offensive tackles in the NFL. Williams posted more than 40 career starts with the Sooners before being selected with the No. 4 overall pick by Washington in the 2010 after being named a unanimous All-American. He has made three Pro Bowls with Washington. He averaged a knockdown nearly every eight plays with the Sooners during his career.
1. Ryan Broyles, 2007 – From late offer to the greatest receiver in Oklahoma history: What more can you say about a player who grew up on the doorstep of Oklahoma Memorial Stadium? Broyles left Oklahoma as the NCAA career leader in receptions, the Sooners’ receiving yards leader and the highest-scoring pass catcher in Oklahoma history. That’s quite an accomplishment for a relative unknown coming out of Norman High School who was considered by many to be a cornerback. He now plays for the Detroit Lions.
Best of the rest
Low-rated: Quinton Carter, Tress Way; Highly rated: No. 47 overall (2010) Kenny Stills; No. 41 overall (2010) Blake Bell; No. 45 overall (2011) Jordan Phillips; No. 45 overall (2010) Brennan Clay; No. 27 overall (2005) Reggie Smith; No. 27 overall (2006) DeMarco Murray.
And no Adrian Peterson . . . He was a 2004 recruit (11 years ago).
Did we miss anyone?