Here's Why The Top 15 Freshmen In College Football This Year Will Probably Never Make It In The NFL


Photo: YouTube

College football is almost back.With its return comes all sorts of hype around the nation’s top “impact freshmen.”

But how often do these prospects pan out?

Before checking in on the nation’s top 15 freshmen (according to ESPN) going into next year, we took a look back what happened to ESPN’s top 100 recruits from 10 years ago. And we found some surprising results:

  • 26 of the 100 players are currently in the NFL.
  • Only 2 of the top 15 players is currently in the NFL.
  • Only 5 of the top 25 players are currently in the NFL.
  • 32 of the 100 players never received an NFL contract, including 3 of the top 20 players.

This volatility is understandable for a few reasons.

Football players are especially prone to injury. In addition, body type is vital in the sport, so you never know if an 18-year-old is going to fill out or not. 

But still, it’s interesting to see that landing on a top-100 recruits list still makes you a longshot to have a long NFL career.

Click here to see the top freshmen going into 2011 >

Here’s the breakdown of the 2001 prospects (numbers are ESPN rank):

In the NFL

5. Shaun Cody
14. Carnell Williams
20. Marlin Jackson
22. Derek Anderson
24. Chris Spencer
27. Mark LeVoir
29. Lorenzo Alexander
32. Matt Ware
35. Tommie Harris
36. Michael Clayton
37. Matt Roth
42. Quan Cosby
45. Matt Leinart
46. Larry Fitzgerald
49. Cedric Benson
53. Mark Anderson
56. Kellen Clemens
60. Mike Bell
62. Stephen Jackson
68. Joseph Addai
71. Antrel Rolle
72. Jonathan Scott
78. Michael Robinson
82. Chauncy Davis
87. Owen Daniels
91. Kyle Orton

Out of NFL

2. Brodie Croyle*
3. Kevin Jones
4. Reggie Williams
6. Eric Shelton*
7. D.J. Shockley
9. Anttaj Hawthorne
10. Jabari Davis
11. Leon Williams
12. Marquise Hill
15. Adrian McPherson
17. George Gause
18. Pat Massey
19. De’Arrius Howard
21. Ben Wilkerson
23. Damien Nash
25. Cedrid Houston
26. Ahmad Carroll*
30. Marcus Spears*
31. J.R. Lemon
33. Kevin Simon
34. Ernest Shazor
38. Jerome Carter
39. Patrick Estes
40. Lydell Ross
47. Craphonso Thorpe
48. Airese Currie
54. Corey Mays*
55. Tyler Reed
59. Gerard Ross
61. C.J. Fayton
63. Jeff Littlejohn
64. Tramain Hall
65. Pierre Woods*
67. Brett Basanez*
73. Maurice Hall
74. Titus Adams
75. Anthony Mix*
76. Lynzell Jackson
94. Taye Biddle
98. Orien Harris

*Players who’ve played in the NFL recently but are currently out of a job.

Never in the NFL

1. Joe Mauer (yes, that Joe Mauer)
8. Roscoe Crosby
13. Cecil Howard
16. Kelly Baraka
28. Michael Craven
41. Dominic Robinson
44. Robert Boulware
50. Seymore Shaw
51. Blake Larsen
52. Lemarcus Rowell
57. Brett Bell
58. Russell Lovett
66. Morris Virgil
69. David Underwood
70. Montrell Jones
77. Ty Eriks
79. Derron Johnson
80. Marquis Elmore
81. Jerome Janet
83. Justin Holland
84. James Buchanan
85. Carlos Campbell
86. Keith Carter
88. Brandon Brokaw
89. Zachary Giles
90. Robert Strickland
92. Willie Jones
93. Junior Taylor
95. Charles Rush
96. Tom Derricks
97. Angelo Chattams
99. Marvin Simmons
100. Robert Taylor

15. Aaron Lynch (DE, Notre Dame)

THE BUZZ OUT OF CAMP: Right on schedule

Lynch enrolled early in Notre Dame last semester and started in the spring game.

Source: ESPN

14. Charone Peake (WR, Clemson)


Peake practiced with the second-teamers in the preseason, but Clemson plans to use freshmen early and often this year.

Source: The State

13. Ray Drew (DE, Georgia)


The DE separated his shoulder in a scooter accident on Sunday. Typical freshman.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

12. George Farmer (WR, USC)


Farmer has struggled through USC's camp. Fellow freshmen Marquis Lee has taken his spot.

Source: ESPN

11. Aaron Green (RB, Nebraska)

THE BUZZ OUT OF CAMP: Behind his big brother

His older brother Andrew has made the headlines at Cornhuskers camp.


10. Jeff Driskel (QB, Florida)


Driskel has taken sole control of Florida's backup QB position.

Source: St. Petersburg Times

9. Tony Steward (LB, Clemson)

THE BUZZ OUT OF CAMP: Maybe redshirting

He has a knee injury, and might sit out this season with a reshirt.

Source: SB Nation

8. La'El Collins (OT, LSU)


Collins as seen time at left guard after some injuries to the Tigers O-line.


7. Malcolm Brown (RB, Texas)


The Longhorns vets like him, but he's been hampered by an undisclosed injury.

Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram

6. Christian Westerman (OT, Auburn)

THE BUZZ OUT OF CAMP: Maybe starting

Westerman could step in at left tackle for the Tigers' opener if Lee Ziemba stays injured.

Source: SB Nation

5. Karlos Williams (S, Florida State)

THE BUZZ OUT OF CAMP: Still just hype

Florida State pulled in a monster recruiting class, we'll see if they can shine when the games start.

Source: Fox Sports

4. Isaiah Crowell (RB, Georgia)


The guy who made headlines for whipping out a dog on signing day now has a groin injury.

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

3. Cyrus Kouandjio (OT, Alabama)

THE BUZZ OUT OF CAMP: Standing out

The highly-regarded lineman has turned heads in Tuscaloosa, and could start.


2. Anthony Johnson (DT, LSU)

THE BUZZ OUT OF CAMP: Freakishly good

He already has a nickname -- The Freak. That's a good sign.


1. Jadeveon Clowney (DE, South Carolina)

THE BUZZ OUT OF CAMP: As promised, but noisy

He got a noise violation for playing his music in his car too loud earlier this summer. Other than that, she's shining at camp.

Source: National Football Post

Let's hope they don't land on this list

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