A couple weeks ago, some big Bulldog news was the commitment from Christian LeMay (Photo: MaxPreps), who will be one of the top pro-style quarterback recruits for 2011. His commitment made me wonder if, for the most part, highly-recruited players, especially quarterbacks, eventually see the majority of playing time and experience more success than lesser recruited players? One would certainly think so.
However, I remember David Greene being not particularly highly recruited and he wound up starting four entire seasons and 52 games, winning an NCAA-record 42.
Had there been other Bulldog quarterbacks not highly recruited, who saw significant playing time, or was Greene a rare case?
Does the same hold true for individual recruiting rankings of quarterbacks and their eventual on-field experience and success?
Personally, I prefer to use Phil Steele's team and individual recruiting rankings because he compiles information “based on the many different recruiting services across the country,” including Rivals.com, Parade, Tom Lemming, PrepStar, and ESPN.
Using Steele's rankings, I went as far back as I could (1992) and found the incoming freshman position ranking for every Georgia quarterback recruit. Below, listed next to each recruit is the Bulldogs' record when the player eventually started at quarterback for Georgia. If he never started under center, I comment on his time as a Bulldog.
For example, Brian Smith, Georgia's lone quarterback recruit in 1992, was the 35th-best quarterback recruit in college football for that season. He would eventually have a 4-0 starting record quarterbacking the Bulldogs.
1992 #35 Brian Smith: 4-0 record
1993 #9 Mike Bobo: 16-10 record
1994 #7 Hines Ward: 1-4 record
1995 #36 Jon England: Although he attempted just 19 career pass attempts, England did reach a somewhat notable accomplishment. #71 Earl Chambers: Moved to defensive back in '97, starting at safety as a senior in '99...Never took a snap from center.
1996 #14 Mike Usry: Like England, a backup in '97 and '98, seeing limited action because of Quincy Carter...88 career passing yards, one TD.
1997 #10 Daniel Cobb: After two years of not playing at Georgia, Cobb transferred to a JUCO, and then to Auburn in 2001. In two years as a Tiger, he made 11 starts, throwing for 2,400+ yards. Defeated UGA in '01 as starting QB. #22 LaBrone Mitchell: Was the backup QB in '99, throwing for 30 yards on 3-of-7 passing...Moved to receiver in 2000 and caught 27 passes for career.
1998 #4 Quincy Carter: 22-9record(Although a '98 signee with UGA, Carter's #4 ranking is from 1997 after he originally signed with Georgia Tech.) #17 Terrence Edwards: Instantly converted to receiver, becoming one of the best in history at the school. Coach Donnan tried Edwards some at QB in 2000. #27 Nate Hybl: After redshirting in '98, transferred to Oklahoma, playing sparingly in 2000 and starting in 2001-2002...5,000+ career passing yards, 40 TDs, 20-3 record as starter, 2003 Rose Bowl MVP.
2000 #31 David Greene: 42-10 record #35 Sean Jones: Redshirted in 2000. When Coach Richt arrived, Jones was moved to defensive backfield...250 tackles from 2001-2003, 7 int, 4 blk kicks, 2003 All-American. #66 Matt Redding: Redshirted in 2000. No. 3 QB in 2001 - didn't see any playing time...Moved to linebacker in 2002 but left team soon afterwards.
2001 #3 D.J. Shockley: 10-2 record
2002 #21 Joe Tereshinski: 2-3 record
2004 #10 A.J. Bryant: According to Rivals, the No. 1 recruit at the "Athlete" position...enrolled early and moved to receiver...Started at flanker in 2006 as junior...22 career catches for 393 yards from 2004-2007. #19 Blake Barnes: Played in 3 games as redshirt freshman in 2005, attempting three passes...Played in only one other game (2008 Sugar Bowl) for next 2 seasons...Transferred to Division II Delta State in 2008, where, as the No. 2 QB, passed for 533 yards.
2005 #8 Joe Cox: 9-5 record
2006 #2 Matthew Stafford: 27-7 record
2007 #19 Logan Gray: In two seasons (2008-2009), has 87 yards of total offense on 23 plays, 70 yards on 7 punt returns.
2009 #6 Aaron Murray: Projected starter in 2010 as redshirt freshman. #24 Zach Mettenberger: Dismissed.
The first thing I notice regarding the Georgia quarterback recruits above is all of those ranked in the top 10, as was the case with Aaron Murray in 2009 and probably Christian LeMay in 2011, wound up starting for at least one season, whether as a Bulldog quarterback, at a different position, or as another school's quarterback.
None of the top ten quarterback recruits were seemingly a complete "bust."
Out of interest, I also listed the No. 1 incoming quarterback recruit for each season since 1995:
1995: Dan Kendra, Florida State 1996: Tim Couch, Kentucky 1997: Kenny Kelly, Miami (Fla) 1998: Ronald Curry, North Carolina 1999: Chris Simms, Texas 2000: Brock Berlin, Florida 2001: Joe Mauer, Florida State 2002: Ben Olson, BYU 2003: Kyle Wright, Miami (Fla) 2004: Chad Henne, Michigan 2005: Ryan Perrilloux, LSU 2006: Mitch Mustain, Arkansas 2007: Ryan Mallett, Michigan 2008: Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State 2009: Russell Shepard, LSU