Most Overrated College Football Players of All Time
Part of being a college football fan is investing in the future. You believe in the young recruits who come into the program and hope to watch them grow into champions. But it doesn't always work out like that.
Some college football players never live up to the hype. And in some cases, they bring an entire program crashing down with them.
These are the most overrated college football players of all time.
30. Shea Patterson, Quarterback
Born: Jan. 17, 1997 (Toledo, Ohio)
High school: IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida)
Colleges: Ole Miss/Michigan
College years: 2016-19
Career highlights: Two-time All-Big Ten (2018, 2019), USA Today High School All-American (2015)
NFL/CFL/XFL/USFL career: Kansas City Chiefs (2020), BC Lions (2021), Montreal Alouettes (2022), New Orleans Breakers (2022), Saskatchewan Roughriders (2023-present)
Bottom Line: Shea Patterson
Shea Patterson was the top-rated quarterback recruit in the Class of 2016 and seemed like a can't-miss prospect when he signed with Ole Miss.
Patterson was a victim of circumstance at Ole Miss, where he found himself caught in the middle of head coach Hugh Freeze's cell phone/escort scandal and ended up transferring to Michigan.
Patterson's time at Michigan went about how his whole college career went — good but not great.
29. Brian Bosworth, Linebacker
Born: March 9, 1965 (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
High school: MacArthur High School (Irving, Texas)
College years: 1984-86
Career highlights: AP national champion (1985), Heisman Trophy finalist (1986), two-time Butkus Award winner (1985, 1986), three-time AP All-American (1985, 1986), three-time All-Big Eight (1984-86)
NFL career: Seattle Seahawks (1987-89)
Bottom Line: Brian Bosworth
You can't put together a list of the most hated players in college football and NFL history without including linebacker Brian Bosworth, who wrote to NFL teams telling them not to pick him in the 1987 NFL supplemental draft.
The problem was that even more than most players of his era, Bosworth was geeked out on steroids to the point where we can't really even say if he was good or not.
One of those teams Bosworth wrote to, the Seattle Seahawks, went ahead and picked "The Boz" and signed him to an NFL record contract for a rookie — 10 years and $11 million. He played three seasons.
28. Brock Berlin, Quarterback
Born: July 4, 1981 (Shreveport, Louisiana)
High school: Evangel Christian Academy (Shreveport, Louisiana)
College years: 2000-04
Career highlights: Big East Champion (2003), USA Today High School All-American (1999), Mr. Football Louisiana (1999)
NFL career: Miami Dolphins (2005-06), Dallas Cowboys (2007), St. Louis Rams (2007-08), Detroit Lions (2009)
Bottom Line: Brock Berlin
Brock Berlin won three consecutive state titles at Evangel Christian Academy as well as being named the Gatorade National Player of the Year and USA Today Offensive Player of the Year.
One of the most highly recruited players in high school football history, Berlin chose the University of Florida but couldn't beat out Rex Grossman and transferred to Miami for his final two seasons.
With the Hurricanes, Berlin started for two years and famously went 5-0 against Florida and Florida State. He played two seasons in the NFL with the St. Louis Rams.
27. Tony Mandarich, Offensive Line
Position: Offensive tackle
Born: Sept. 23, 1966 (Oakville, Ontario)
High school: Roosevelt High School (Kent, Ohio)
Colleges: Michigan State
College years: 1985-88
Career highlights: AP All-American (1988), two-time Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year (1987, 1988)
NFL career: Green Bay Packers (1989-1992), Indianapolis Colts (1996-98)
Bottom Line: Tony Mandarich
The counterargument to putting Tony Mandarich on a list of the most overrated college football players of all time is that he was dominant most of his college career at Michigan State, including an All-American season as a senior in 1988.
Allow us to retort. Mandarich's success was nothing short of a chemical illusion — a player so juiced up on steroids throughout the entirety of his career that it's impossible to tell if he was actually good.
Taken at No. 2 overall in the 1989 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers, Mandarich is considered one of the biggest draft busts of all time.
26. Mike Mamula, Boston College
Position: Defensive end
Born: Aug. 14, 1973 (Lackawanna, New York)
High school: Lackawanna High School (Lackawanna, New York)
College: Boston College
College years: 1991-94
Career highlights: AP All-American (1994)
NFL career: Philadelphia Eagles (1995-2000)
Bottom Line: Mike Mamula
The original NFL combine superstar was Boston College defensive end Mike Mamula, who wowed scouts with his physical prowess enough that the Philadelphia Eagles selected him No. 7 overall in the 1995 NFL draft — ahead of future Hall of Famers Warren Sapp, Ty Law and Derrick Brooks.
While awards aren't everything, the fact that Mamula was only selected All-Big East once, and in a time when the Big East wasn't great, should have been more telling.
25. Jeff Demps, Running Back
Position: Running back
Born: Jan. 8, 1990 (Winter Garden, Florida)
High school: South Lake High School (Groveland, Florida)
College years: 2008-11
Career highlights: SEC champion (2008), BCS national champion (2009)
NFL career: New England Patriots (2012), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2013-14), Indianapolis Colts (2014-15)
Bottom Line: Jeff Demps
If you watched a lot of college football in the late 2000s, you understood that Florida running back Jeff Demps was very, very fast.
But that was about it. He never rushed for more than 1,000 yards in four seasons, and his productivity dropped off drastically over his last two seasons, never rushing for more than 600 yards in either season.
You have to wonder how good Demps could have been had he not spent so much time on his track career. He was a sprinter on the 400-meter relay team for the U.S. in the 2021 Summer Olympics.
24. Jake Fromm, Quarterback
Born: July 30, 1998 (Warner Robins, Georgia)
High school: Houston County High School (Warner Robins, Georgia)
College years: 2017-19
Career highlights: Sugar Bowl champion (2020), Rose Bowl champion (2018), SEC champion (2017), SEC Freshman of the Year (2017), AP Freshman All-American (2017), USA Today High School All-American (2016)
NFL career: Buffalo Bills (2020-21), New York Giants (2021), Washington Commanders (2022-present)
Bottom Line: Jake Fromm
If college football didn't have the archaic system in place that conscripts athletes into at least three seasons before being eligible for the NFL draft, someone like Jake Fromm really could have cashed in.
Fromm was the hottest quarterback going after his freshman season, when he was brilliant in leading Georgia to the CFP national championship game after he stepped in for an injured Jacob Eason, but the next two years showed us he was just OK.
More than anything, those last two years for Fromm were defined by Georgia's decision to start Fromm over Justin Fields, who eventually transferred to Ohio State.
23. Cardale Jones, Quarterback
Born: Sept. 29, 1992 (Cleveland, Ohio)
High school: Glenville High School (Cleveland, Ohio)
College: Ohio State
College years: 2012-15
Career highlights: CFP national champion (2015)
NFL career: Buffalo Bills (2016), Los Angeles Chargers (2017-18), Seattle Seahawks (2019)
Bottom Line: Cardale Jones
Cardale Jones seemed like a world beater when he went from Ohio State's No. 3 quarterback to leading the Buckeyes to the CFP national championship in 2015.
It was just an illusion. Jones considered declaring for the NFL draft after starting just three games but came back for another year and was benched after seven games in favor of J.T. Barrett.
He still was taken in the 2016 NFL draft as a fourth-round pick of the Buffalo Bills, but played for three teams in four seasons before he was out of the NFL.
22. Taylor Martinez, Quarterback
Born: Sept. 15, 1990 (Corona, California)
High school: Centennial High School (Corona, California)
College years: 2009-13
Career highlights: Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year (2010)
NFL career: None
Bottom Line: Taylor Martinez
There was something about the early promise of Taylor Martinez's career that made it so underwhelming in the end. Martinez seemed brilliant running the ball — he even had a 1,000-yard rushing season as a junior — but he couldn't throw the ball.
Martinez threw interceptions like it was going out of style during his career, and by the time he suffered a debilitating foot injury as a senior, the book was already written.
All that early promise and no ability to grow as a quarterback doesn't compute.
21. Todd Marinovich, Quarterback
Born: July 5, 1969 (San Leandro, California)
High school: Capistrano Valley High School (Mission Viejo, California)
College years: 1988-1990
Career highlights: AFL All-Rookie Team (2000), USA Today High School All-American (1987)
NFL/CFL/AFL career: Los Angeles Raiders (1991-93), Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1994), BC Lions (1999), Los Angeles Avengers (2000-01)
Bottom Line: Todd Marinovich
Former USC quarterback Todd Marinovich is one of the more infamous players in college football history. The "Robo QB" was trained from birth by his father, former USC star Marv Marinovich, to be a star.
Todd Marinovich was very good but what coaches and scouts didn't account for was the fact that he didn't even want to play football. He famously beefed with coaches at USC and was forced out of school early after a drug arrest, then played three seasons in the NFL before substance abuse issues derailed his career.
20. Jacob Eason, Quarterback
Born: Nov. 17, 1997 (Lake Stevens, Washington)
High school: Lake Stevens High School (Lake Stevens, Washington)
College years: 2016-19
Career highlights: Gatorade Player of the Year (2015), USA Today All-American (2015)
NFL career: Indianapolis Colts (2020-21), Seattle Seahawks (2021), Carolina Panthers (2022)
Bottom Line: Jacob Eason
We will cut Jacob Eason some slack for having a hard-luck start to his college football career. He won the starting job for Georgia in 2017 but was injured early in the season and gave way to Jake Fromm, who guided the Bulldogs to the CFP championship game.
Eason transferred back home to the University of Washington, where he posted one season as a very average starter before he was taken in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts, where he's in his second season as a backup.
19. Rhett Bomar, Quarterback
Born: July 2, 1985 (Groesbeck, Texas)
High school: Grand Prairie High School (Grand Prairie, Texas)
College: Oklahoma/Sam Houston State
College years: 2005-08
Career highlights: Rivals High School Junior of the Year (2002), Holiday Bowl Offensive MVP (2005), two-time All-Southland Conference (2007, 2008), Walter Payton Award finalist (2008)
NFL career: New York Giants (2009-10), Minnesota Vikings (2010), Oakland Raiders (2012)
Bottom Line: Rhett Bomar
Rhett Bomar was a dual-threat quarterback who was named the starter at the University of Oklahoma as a freshman in 2005 but was thrown off the team by head coach Bob Stoops the next year over NCAA violations.
Bomar got another chance at Sam Houston State and put up big numbers there but went 4-6 in his final season as the Bearkats' full-time starter.
18. Sam McGuffie, Running Back
Position: Running back
Born: Oct. 16, 1989 (Cypress, Texas)
High school: Cy-Fair High School (Cypress, Texas)
College years: 2008-12
Career highlights: U.S. Army All-American (2008)
NFL/CFL career: Oakland Raiders (2013), Arizona Cardinals (2013), New England Patriots (2013), Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2014)
Bottom Line: Sam McGuffie
Sam McGuffie was one of the more exciting running back recruits in recent memory. Think Christian McCaffrey before Christian McCaffrey.
McGuffie took a big swing and signed with Michigan, where he lasted all of one season before transferring back to his home state to play for Rice, where he was eventually moved to wide receiver.
McGuffie lasted one season in the NFL as a practice squad player, then had one of the more interesting post-football careers of any player on this list. He was a professional rugby player and was on the U.S. bobsled team at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
17. Ron Powlus, Quarterback
Born: July 16, 1974 (Berwick, Pennsylvania)
High school: Berwick High School (Berwick, Pennsylvania)
College: Notre Dame
College years: 1994-97
Career highlights: Parade Magazine National Player of the Year (1992), USA Today Offensive Player of the Year (1992), PIAA state champion (1992)
NFL career: Philadelphia Eagles (2000)
Bottom Line: Ron Powlus
Ron Powlus is perhaps the most heavily recruited high school football player of all time and played in front of 40,000 in his first varsity start at Berwick High School.
After Powlus chose Notre Dame in 1993, former ESPN college football analyst Beano Cook famously predicted Powlus would win the Heisman Trophy twice, but injuries derailed his career.
Powlus still started all four years for the Irish and finished his career with 20 school records, but went 0-2 in bowl games and was never an All-American.
16. Jake Locker, Quarterback
Born: June 15, 1988 (Bellingham, Washington)
High school: Ferndale High School (Ferndale, Washington)
College years: 2006-10
Career highlights: AP Freshman All-American (2007), Pac-10 Freshman of the Year (2007), Parade All-American (2005)
NFL career: Tennessee Titans (2011-14)
Bottom Line: Jake Locker
Jake Locker seemed like he was on the way to becoming one of the best quarterbacks in University of Washington history after he set almost all of the school's records for a freshman quarterback in 2007, including rushing for 968 yards.
Locker drew comparisons to Steve Young for his play in college, but like many players on this list, the bottom line never lived up to the hype. The Huskies went 16-34 in Locker's four years as a starter, including an 0-12 campaign in 2008.
Locker was picked No. 8 overall by the Tennessee Titans in 2011 but abruptly retired after four seasons in the NFL and a 9-14 record as a starter.
15. Tate Martell, Quarterback
Born: Jan. 26, 1998 (San Diego, California)
High school: Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Colleges: Ohio State/Miami/UNLV
College years: 2017-21
Career highlights: Gatorade National Player of the Year (2016), USA Today Offensive Player of the Year (2016)
NFL career: None
Bottom Line: Tate Martell
Five-star recruit Tate Martell committed to the University of Washington at 14 years old, switched his commitment to Texas A&M and ultimately signed with Ohio State. He announced a transfer to Miami in January 2019 after five-star recruit Justin Fields announced a transfer from Georgia to Ohio State and became eligible immediately.
Martell was eventually switched to wide receiver, then switched back to quarterback before he decided to opt out of the 2020 season, leaving him two years of college eligibility remaining.
He transferred to UNLV in the summer of 2021 with hopes of earring the starting quarterback spot in his hometown but eventually retired from football altogether.
14. DeAngelo Evans, Running Back
Position: Running back
Born: Dec. 13, 1976 (Wichita, Kansas)
High school: Wichita Collegiate School (Wichita, Kansas)
Colleges: Nebraska/Emporia State
College years: 1996-2000
Career highlights: USA Today High School All-American (1996)
NFL career: None
Bottom Line: DeAngelo Evans
DeAngelo Evans was one of the most coveted running backs in the nation for the Class of 1996 for a good reason. He set Kansas state records with 8,473 rushing yards and 131 touchdowns for Wichita Collegiate.
Evans picked the University of Nebraska, where he split time with future NFL star Ahman Green as a true freshman and had a breakout performance in the first Big 12 championship game, rushing for 130 yards and three touchdowns in a loss to Texas.
While Evans was good, he wasn't good enough to alienate his teammates, and after quitting the team at Nebraska for a second time, he wasn't welcomed back and finished his career at NCAA Division II Emporia State.
13. Josh Freeman, Quarterback
Born: Jan. 13, 1988 (Kansas City, Missouri)
High school: Grandview High School (Grandview, Missouri)
College: Kansas State
College years: 2006-08
Career highlights: None
NFL career: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2009-13), Minnesota Vikings (2013), New York Giants (2014), Miami Dolphins (2015), Indianapolis Colts (2015), Montreal Alouettes (2018)
Bottom Line: Josh Freeman
Kansas State's Josh Freeman sure looked like he should be a great quarterback, checking in at 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds with a cannon arm.
But you can't coach someone to have heart, and Freeman had none. His career highlight was going 7-6 as a freshman and losing in the 2006 Texas Bowl, followed by back-to-back 5-7 seasons.
He was selected No. 17 overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2009 NFL draft and lasted 62 games.
12. Robert Marve, Quarterback
Born: Feb. 10, 1989 (Tampa, Florida)
High school: Plant High School (Tampa, Florida)
College years: 2007-12
Career highlights: Florida Mr. Football (2006), Parade All-American (2006)
CFL career: Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2014-15)
Bottom Line: Robert Marve
Robert Marve came of age in the beginning of the social media era, starting his career at the University of Miami as one of the top-ranked recruits in the country.
If you want to point to where Marve's career went wrong, it's easy to look at the 2008 season as a great example. Marve was the starter for the Hurricanes' first 11 games and went 6-5 before head coach Randy Shannon benched Marve in favor of Jacory Harris.
So Marve quit, and transferred to Purdue. In three years as the Boilermakers' full-time starter, Marve stayed on brand with two losing seasons and a 17-21 record as a starter.
11. Speedy Noil, Wide Receiver
Position: Wide receiver
Born: Oct. 14, 1995 (New Orleans, Louisiana)
High school: Karr High School (New Orleans, Louisiana)
College: Texas A&M
College years: 2014-16
Career highlights: Under Armour All-American (2013)
NFL career: None
Bottom Line: Speedy Noil
While stats don't tell us everything about a player, it's hard to look past when numbers take a drastic drop season-to-season. Such is the case of former Texas A&M wide receiver Speedy Noil, who had 46 receptions for 583 yards and five touchdowns as a freshman in 2014, then 42 receptions for 351 yards and four touchdowns over his next two seasons.
The former five-star recruit capped off his college career with a marijuana arrest following the 2016 season, signed with the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent, and was cut before the end of training camp.
10. Kyle Wright, Quarterback
Born: Oct. 18, 1984 (Danville, California)
High school: Monte Vista High School (Danville, California)
College years: 2004-07
Career highlights: All-ACC (2005)
NFL career: Minnesota Vikings (2008), San Francisco 49ers (2008)
Bottom Line: Kyle Wright
Pegged as the next great quarterback at "The U," Kyle Wright flamed out at the University of Miami despite being one of the most highly recruited players of the early 2000s.
Miami's record slowly got worse with Wright as a starter over three seasons. They went 9-3 in 2005, 7-6 in 2006, and 5-7 in 2007, his final season in which he was benched in favor of Kirby Freeman several different times.
9. Josh Rosen, Quarterback
Born: Feb. 10, 1997 (Torrance, California)
High school: St. John Bosco High School (Bellflower, California)
College years: 2015-17
Career highlights: All-Pac-12 (2017), AP Freshman All-American (2015), Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year (2015), USA Today High School All-American (2014)
NFL career: Arizona Cardinals (2018), Miami Dolphins (2019), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2020), San Francisco 49ers (2020-21)
Bottom Line: Josh Rosen
For all the bluster surrounding UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen — "Chosen Rosen" — we have a very basic metric to point to when making the case for exactly how overrated he was in college.
That metric is wins and losses. UCLA went 18-20 in Rosen's three years as a starter and had losing records in both of his last two seasons. Few first-round picks in the NFL draft, regardless of position, have flamed out as quickly as Rosen.
After selecting Rosen No. 10 overall in 2018, the Arizona Cardinals picked quarterback Kyler Murray No. 1 in 2019. When the San Francisco 49ers cut Rosen in 2021, it was his fourth NFL team in as many years.
8. Rashan Gary, Linebacker
Position: Defensive Line/Outside Linebacker
Born: Dec. 3, 1997 (Plainfield, New Jersey)
High school: Paramus Catholic High School (Paramus, New Jersey)
College years: 2016-18
Career highlights: USA Today Defensive Player of the Year (2015), Under Armour All-American Game MVP (2016), USA Today All-American (2015), two-time All-Big Ten (2017, 2018),
NFL career: Green Bay Packers (2019-present)
Bottom Line: Rashan Gary
Rashan Gary is one of just three players to be a unanimous No. 1 player for all four major recruiting services and played three mostly lackluster seasons for Michigan as he struggled to consistently stay in playing shape. From his sophomore to his junior season his stats took a drastic dip with his tackles, tackles for loss and sacks almost all cut in half.
Gary was still the No. 12 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft and through two NFL seasons has 55 tackles and seven sacks, which shows he could still be a decent pro despite his college shortcomings.
7. Jimmy Clausen, Quarterback
Born: Sept. 21, 1987 (Thousand Oaks, California)
High school: Oaks Christian School (Westlake Village, California)
College: Notre Dame
College years: 2007-09
Career highlights: USA Today Offensive Player of the Year (2006), Hall Trophy (2006)
NFL career: Carolina Panthers (2010-13), Chicago Bears (2014-15), Baltimore Ravens (2015)
Bottom Line: Jimmy Clausen
There wasn't a lot to like about Jimmy Clausen. He was almost 20 years old when he graduated from high school because of being held back in one grade and not starting kindergarten until he was 6 years old.
Clausen was dubbed "The Kid With The Golden Arm" by Sports Illustrated despite largely padding his stats against inferior competition, and at Notre Dame, he proved even tougher to love.
Clausen went 1-5 in his first six starts before he was benched, and if you want to draw a direct line between head coach Charlie Weis' firing and a reason, it's probably his faith in Clausen.
6. Bryce Brown, Running Back
Position: Running back
Born: May 14, 1991 (Wichita, Kansas)
High school: East High School (Wichita, Kansas)
Colleges: Tennessee/Kansas State
College years: 2009-11
Career highlights: U.S. Army National Player of the Year (2008), two-time USA Today All-American (2007, 2008), Wichita City League record 7,209 career rushing yards
NFL career: Philadelphia Eagles (2012-13), Buffalo Bills (2014-15), Seattle Seahawks (2015)
Bottom Line: Bryce Brown
Bryce Brown was a can't-miss, five-star running back when he signed with Tennessee in 2009. Then, he left the school after his freshman season.
He transferred to Kansas State to play alongside his older brother, Arthur Brown, and lasted just one game before he left the team, but Bryce turned heads at pro day and played in the NFL for four seasons.
Few running backs in recent memory have done less with more talent.
5. Byron Cowart, Defensive Tackle
Position: Defensive tackle
Born: May 20, 1996 (Seffner, Florida)
High school: Armwood High School (Seffner, Florida)
College years: 2015-18
Career highlights: USA Today High School All-American (2014)
NFL career: New England Patriots (2019-21), Indianapolis Colts (2022), Houston Texans (2023-present)
Bottom Line: Byron Cowart
Regarded as the No. 1 overall recruit in the nation coming out of high school, 6-foot-3, 300-pound defensive tackle Byron Cowart was regarded as a revolutionary player at defensive tackle.
Cowart signed with Auburn and struggled to even get on the field through the first three seasons, registering just 15 tackles and zero sacks. He transferred to Maryland for his final season.
4. Ryan Perrilloux, Quarterback
Born: Jan. 1, 1987 (LaPlace, Louisiana)
High school: East St. John High School (Reserve, Louisiana)
Colleges: LSU/Jackson State
College years: 2006-09
Career highlights: Super Bowl XLVI champion (2012), BCS national champion (2008), SEC champion (2007), Hall Trophy (2004), USA Today High School Offensive Player of the Year (2004), USA Today High School All-American (2004), Mr. Football Louisiana (2004)
NFL/CFL/AFL career: New York Giants (2011-12), Calgary Stampeders (2013), New Orleans VooDoo (2014)
Bottom Line: Ryan Perrilloux
Here's a word to the wise. Don't predict you're going to win the Heisman Trophy as a true freshman. Five-star recruit Ryan Perrilloux did that when he signed with LSU, where he won a national championship two years later as a backup to Matt Flynn.
Other than a decent performance in the 2007 SEC championship game when he filled in for Flynn, Perrilloux's career was defined by a series of offseason transgressions that eventually led to his dismissal from the team.
3. Robert Nkemdiche, Defensive End
Position: Defensive end
Born: Sept. 19. 1994 (Atlanta, Georgia)
High school: Grayson High School (Loganville, Georgia)
College: Ole Miss
College years: 2013-15
Career highlights: Gwinnett Daily News Defensive Player of the Year (2012), two-time MaxPreps All-American (2011, 2012), two-time USA Today All-American (2011, 2012), AP All-American (2015), All-SEC (2015)
NFL career: Arizona Cardinals (2016-18), Miami Dolphins (2019), Seattle Seahawks (2021)
Bottom Line: Robert Nkemdiche
One of the few players to be a consensus No. 1 national recruit, Robert Nkemdiche went wire-to-wire as the top recruit in the Class of 2013 for all of the major recruiting services.
Nkemdiche's career since then, aside from one good season at Ole Miss, has been a study in coming up short of expectations. One can only wonder how his career would have gone had he stayed with his original college commitment at Clemson instead of following his older brother to Ole Miss.
2. Seantrel Henderson, Offensive Line
Position: Offensive tackle
Born: Jan. 31, 1992 (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
High school: Cretin-Derham Hall High School (Saint Paul, Minnesota)
College years: 2010-13
Career highlights: Freshman All-American (2010), USA Today Offensive Player of the Year (2009), Minnesota Player of the Year (2009), two-time USA Today High School All-American (2008, 2009), Rivals Junior of the Year (2008)
NFL/CFL career: Buffalo Bills (2014-17), Houston Texans (2018-19), Saskatchewan Roughriders (2021-22)
Bottom Line: Seantrel Henderson
Seantrel Henderson wasn't the first No. 1 overall prospect to come out of Cretin-Derham Hall High School. That honor belongs to former quarterback and future MLB star Joe Mauer.
What Henderson was, though, was the first offensive lineman to be a No. 1 overall prospect in the modern recruiting era and the first offensive lineman to be named USA Today Offensive Player of the Year — an almost impossible task because offensive lineman don't record statistics.
At 6-foot-7 and 330 pounds, Henderson was described as a cross between Orlando Pace and Jonathan Ogden, but he would prove to be nothing of the sort. In four seasons at the University of Miami, Henderson was never even a full-time starter.
1. Mitch Mustain, Quarterback
Born: Feb. 27. 1988 (Fayetteville, Arkansas)
High school: Springdale High School (Springdale, Arkansas)
College years: 2006-10
Career highlights: USA Today National Player of the Year (2005), Gatorade National Player of the Year (2005)
NFL career: None
Bottom Line: Mitch Mustain
One of the most coveted high school prospects of all time, Mitch Mustain swept the 2006 national player of the year awards and followed his high school coach, Gus Malzahn, to Arkansas.
Mustain was the starter at Arkansas as a true freshman, then transferred to USC after the season, despite going 8-0 as a starter for the Razorbacks. After an unheralded career with the Trojans where he made just one start, he played Single-A baseball for one season, followed by two seasons in the Arena Football League.
In five seasons of college football, Mustain ended up with 13 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions.