Four-five star recruits who came up short at Florida

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Gainesville, Fl. 3-14-00 - On the first day of spring football practice at the University of Florida freshman quarterback Brock Berlin worked out under the watchful eye of media and Gator fans. (Dede Smith / The Gainesville Sun)

 After coming up with Florida’s all-time three-star football team earlier this week, our summer (recruiting) star wars saga continues with a look at the Gators’ all-time four and five-star recruits who failed to reach their star power during their time in Gainesville:

Quarterback

Brock Berlin

Justin Midgett

Running back

Mike Blakely

Mack Brown

Bo Williams

Chevon Walker

Wide receiver

Ja’Juan Story

Javares McRoy

Chris Dunkley

Carl Moore

Adrian Coxson

Tight end

Kent Taylor

Colin Thompson

Gerald Christian

Offensive line

Earnest Smith

Jim Barrie

Anthony Guerrero

Kadeem Telfort

Wesley Bryant

Defensive line

John Brown

Gary Brown

Chris Martin

Quinteze Williams

Jay-nard Bostwick

Thomas Holley

Gerald Willis

Jordan Smith

Antonneous Clayton

Malik Langham

Linebacker

Matt Rolin

Graham Stewart

Brendan Deal

Defensive back

Jerimy Finch

Cody Riggs

Jonathan Dowling

Josh Shaw

Rhaheim Ledbetter

Justin Watkins

 So, there you have it, a team (or collection, if you will) of four and five-star prospects who never developed into four and five-star players at Florida (although some did elsewhere after transferring out).

 One of the biggest disappointments in the history of UF recruiting has to be Berlin, one of the highest-rated players ever signed by the Gators — a five-star prospect out of Louisiana who many figured would become an all-time great at Florida under the QB tutelage of Steve Spurrier.

 But Berlin was a bust. He got beat out by a lesser known recruit, and, while Rex Grossman went on to become one of the best QBs in school history and a Heisman Trophy finalist, Berlin transferred to Miami after the 2001 season. He had an OK career with the Hurricanes, his highlight moment being leading UM to a come-from-behind win over the Gators in 2003, but he fell short of being the college player everyone thought he would be when he signed with UF.

 Another five-star recruit who fell way short of expectations at Florida was Carl Moore, a junior college transfer in 2008. He saw considerable playing time and caught some big passes, but he never evolved into the electrifying playmaker that the Gators thought they had signed.

 Overall, if you compare the production of this four-star/five-star team with the three-star team, there is no comparison. The three-star teams blows this one away. It does statistically — and it would on the field.

 It’s yet another example of what an imperfect process it is placing stars by a prospect’s name and ranking recruiting classes on signing day.

 

 

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. Another thing: Berlin wouldn’t have had that comeback at Miami if Zook hadn’t changed his defense in the 4th quarter. All game up to then, UF had pressured Berlin so he could not do anything. Suddenly, at the beginning of the 4th quarter Zook decided to go into a prevent defense and gave Berlin time to throw. He picked the deep zone apart completing short passes all over the place. Bobby Knight, then a basketball coach at West Point said to his friend Bill Parcells, then a West Point assistant coach: “The only thing a prevent defense does is prevent winning the game.” Prevent defenses may work, but they almost always turn one-sided games into nail biters. Why don’t football coaches understand: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and allow the defenses that gave them the large leads keep doing it?