Former No. 1 recruits: Where are they now?
2008 No. 1 Terrelle Pryor
2008 No. 1 Terrelle Pryor

Posted Feb 6, 2013


We look back at the top recruits in Scout history and track how they fared in college and the pros.

The No. 1 recruit in Scout's 2013 class is Robert Nkemdiche, a defensive lineman who also dabbles at running back and seems to have all the physical tools to succeed going forward.

But not every former No. 1 recruit has made it to NFL stardom. With Signing Day 2013 approaching, we take a look back at the top recruits in Scout's 10-year history and track how they fared at the next levels.

2002: Lorenzo Booker, RB

High school: Booker went to St. Bonaventure High School in Ventura, Calif. He was a USA Today and PARADE All-American in 2001. He also won the Hall Trophy in 2001, given to the nation's outstanding high school football player.

Lorenzo Booker, in 2007.

College: Booker committed to Florida State and redshirted as a freshman. He led the Seminoles in carries as a sophomore and junior and was tops on the team in rushing yards in his junior and senior years.

Pro: Booker was drafted in the third round, 71st overall, of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. He has spent time with the Eagles, Vikings and Bears, as well as the Hartford Colonials, a former UFL team, during his pro career. He has a total of 230 rushing yards and 362 receiving yards in parts of four seasons in the NFL.

Top five in 2002: 1. Booker; 2. Haloti Ngata, DT (Oregon); 3. Devin Hester, CB (Miami); 4. Vince Young, QB (Texas); 5. Derek Landri, DT (Notre Dame)

2003: Ernie Sims, LB

High school: Sims was a varsity player at North Florida Christian in Tallahassee, Fla., by eighth grade. The team won four state championships while he was there, and he was widely regarded as one of the best high school players in the country.

Ernie Sims, in 2007.

College: Sims stayed home in Tallahassee to play at Florida State and started every game as a true freshman. He did well enough as a sophomore to earn his way into the All-ACC mix and got some All-American consideration from various sources. After his junior year, he decided to enter the NFL Draft.

Pro: Sims parlayed the nice career with the Seminoles into a first-round NFL Draft selection. The Detroit Lions took him ninth overall in 2006. He played with them until 2009 and has bounced around to the Eagles, Colts and Cowboys since. For his career, he has 580 tackles in 97 games.

Top five in 2003: 1. Sims, LB; 2. LaMarr Woodley, LB (Michigan); 3. Whitney Lewis, WR (USC); 4. Kyle Wright, QB (Miami); 5. Chris Leak, QB (Florida)

2004: Jeff Byers, OL

High school: Byers attended Loveland High School in Colorado and was also a standout athlete in basketball and track. He was the 2004 Gatorade National Player of the Year in football.

Jeff Byers, in 2007.

College: Byers had a tumultuous college career. He attended USC and had to switch from center to left guard upon arrival. He took a medical redshirt for the 2005 season due to hip surgery and also missed the 2006 season after suffering another injury that required surgery. He missed training camps before his senior season due to a bout with Rocky Mountain spotted fever, but still played and ended up Second-Team All-Pac-10. Due to the medical issues, he received a sixth year of NCAA eligibility and ended up a third-team Associated Press All-American in 2009.

Pro: Byers went undrafted in 2010, but he eventually caught on with the Seahawks practice team, and then the Broncos. He is currently a member of the Carolina Panthers and played in 14 games in 2012.

Top five in 2004: 1. Byers; 2. Willie Williams, LB (Miami); 3. Adrian Peterson, RB (Oklahoma); 4. Ted Ginn, CB (Ohio State); 5. Brandon Miller, LB (Georgia)

2005: Mark Sanchez, QB

High school: Sanchez started out at Santa Margarita High School in California before transferring to Mission Viejo High School, where he would work with the same quarterback coach who tutored Carson Palmer. He was named player of the year by many outlets after his senior year.

Mark Sanchez, in 2010.

College: Sanchez, like Palmer, went to USC. He spent much of his early time there in the shadow of Matt Leinart and John David Booty. He won the starting job ahead of the 2008 season and led the Trojans to a 12-1 record and a Rose Bowl win, throwing for 3,207 yards and 34 touchdowns. He opted to leave college early after that string of success.

Pro: The New York Jets drafted Sanchez with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2009 draft. His career in the NFL has been filled with attention and criticism. He led the Jets to the AFC Championship Game in each of his first two seasons, but he has struggled statistically and the team has not sustained the success. In the 2012 season, he was famously the subject of a quarterback controversy after the Jets signed Tim Tebow. Still, Sanchez has started all but two games so far in his pro career.

Top five in 2005: 1. Sanchez; 2. Ryan Perrilloux, QB (LSU); 3. Eugene Monroe, OL (Virginia); 4. Patrick Turner, WR (USC); 5. Demetrice Morley, CB (Tennessee)

2006: Beanie Wells, RB

High school: Wells went to Garfield High School in Akron, Ohio, and lit up the stat pages as an upperclassman. He rushed for over 4,000 yards and 47 touchdowns in his final two seasons. He was named the MVP of the 2006 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Beanie Wells, in 2009.

College: Wells went to local powerhouse Ohio State despite heavy interest from many major programs. He rushed for over 3,300 yards and racked up 30 touchdowns in his three seasons in Columbus before leaving early for the NFL Draft.

Pro: Wells went to the Arizona Cardinals with the 31st overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. He has recorded over 2,400 yards and 24 touchdowns so far in his four seasons in the league. A turf toe injury kept him out of eight games in 2012.

Top five in 2006: 1. Wells; 2. Andre Smith, OL (Alabama); 3. Sam Young, OL (Notre Dame); 4. Gerald McCoy, DT (Oklahoma); 5. Vidal Hazelton, WR (USC)

2007: Everson Griffen, DE

High school: Griffen went to Agua Fria Union High School in Avondale, Ariz., where he was also a standout running back. But it was at defensive end that he eventually found his home, being handed several all-American honors in his final season.

Everson Griffen, in 2006.

College: Griffen enrolled at USC with expectations high as he won a starting job as a true freshman. His college career, though, was not filled with the accolades to match his talent. As a junior in 2009, Griffen earned Second-Team All-Pac-10 honors before opting to enter the NFL Draft early.

Pro: The Minnesota Vikings plucked Griffen in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft with the 100th overall pick. He has played in 43 games for the Vikings, starting just one, and has tallied 58 tackles and one interception.

Top five in 2007: 1. Griffen; 2. Joe McKnight, RB (USC); 3. Marvin Austin, DT (North Carolina); 4. Jimmy Clausen, QB (Notre Dame); 5. Ryan Mallett, QB (Michigan)

2008: Terrelle Pryor, QB

High school: At Jeannette High School in Pennsylvania, Pryor was the first player in state history to rack up 4,000 yards passing and 4,000 yards receiving. He was also the MVP of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in 2008.

Terrelle Pryor, in 2008.

College: Pryor -- also a basketball standout -- ultimately chose Ohio State in the one of the most high-profile recruiting announcements ever. As a Buckeye, he played extensively and earned Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors. He led Ohio State to a Big Ten title that year and again in 2009, winning Rose Bowl MVP at the end of that season. In December 2012, he was suspended five games for selling memorabilia and ultimately decided in June 2011 to enter the NFL's Supplemental Draft.

Pro: The Oakland Raiders scooped up Pryor in the third round of the 2011 Supplemental Draft. He has appeared in only four games in two seasons and was given the start for the Raiders' 2012 season finale. In that game, he completed 13 of 28 passes for 150 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a 24-21 loss to the San Diego Chargers.

Top five in 2008: 1. Pryor; 2. Da'Quan Bowers, DE (Clemson); 3. Julio Jones, WR (Alabama); 4. Darrell Scott, RB (Colorado); 5. Arthur Brown, LB (Miami)

2009: Bryce Brown, RB

High school: Brown had a monster career at Wichita East High School in Kansas, rushing for at least 1,400 yards in all four seasons and finishing with 7,209 for his career. He was twice named a USA Today All-American.

Bryce Brown, in 2008.

College: Brown initially committed to Miami before letting Signing Day come and go without sending in a letter of intent. He ultimately settled on Tennessee. After spending 2009 as a backup, Brown transferred to Kansas State before the 2010 season. He sat out that season and played in only three games in the 2011 season before leaving the team. He opted to declare early for the 2012 NFL Draft.

Pro: The Philadelphia Eagles snatched up Brown with the 229th overall pick in the seventh round. He played in all 16 games in 2012, mostly as a backup, but became a fantasy football stud late in the season when Eagles start LeSean McCoy went down with an injury. Brown finished the season with 115 carries for 564 yards and four touchdowns.

Top five in 2009: 1. Brown; 2. Matt Barkley, QB (USC); 3. Jacobbi McDaniel, DT (Florida State); 4. Russell Shepard, QB (LSU); 5. Xavier Nixon, OT (Florida)

2010: Seantrel Henderson, OT

High school: Henderson went to Cretin Derham Hall in Saint Paul, Minn., and was considered the top overall player by many outlets. He was twice named to USA Today's All-USA First Team. Henderson's recruitment was a national showcase, with programs across the Midwest, Southeast and West chasing his commitment.

Seantrel Henderson, in 2010.

College: He initially committed to USC, but the infractions stemming from the Reggie Bush scandal eventually led him to seek a release. It was granted, and Henderson flipped his commitment to Miami. Henderson was a true freshman in 2011, starting nine of the 12 games he played that year. He had offseason back surgery before the 2011 season and played in just eight games. This past season, he started seven games and was named honorable mention All-ACC.

Pro: Henderson is still a college player, opting to stay at Miami for his senior season.

Top five in 2010: 1. Henderson; 2. Ronald Powell, DE (Florida); 3. Robert Woods, WR (USC); 4. Kyle Prater, WR (USC); 5. Keenan Allen, S (Cal)

2011: Jadeveon Clowney, DE

High school: Clowney was a star from day one at South Pointe High School in Rock Hill, S.C. A dominant defensive presence, Clowney took home all sorts of honors as senior. He was a USA Today All-American and South Carolina's Mr. Football. He was considered the best player in his class by most every recruiting service.

Jadeveon Clowney, in 2011.

College: Clowney let Signing Day pass without an announcement before picking South Carolina over his host of other major BCS offers. He played in all 12 games as a freshman, recording eight sacks. He broke out even more in 2012, setting Gamecocks records for tackles for loss and sacks in a season. A hit on Michigan running back Vincent Smith during the Outback Bowl, which sent Smith's helmet flying, brought him into the national spotlight. He finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Pro: Clowney is still a college player but is projected by most as a top-five NFL Draft back for 2014, if he opts to leave early.

Top five in 2011: 1. Clowney; 2. Cyrus Kouandjio, OT (Alabama); 3. DeAnthony Thomas, CB (Oregon); 4. Anthony Johnson, DT (LSU); 5. Isaiah Crowell, RB (Georgia)

2012: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR

Green-Beckham, in 2011.

High school: Green-Beckham was a four-year star at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo. He set the national record for total receiving yards for a career and hauled in 75 touchdowns in four seasons, earning several national All-American honors along the way.

College: His highly publicized recruiting race ended with a commitment on Signing Day to stay home and attend Missouri. Green-Beckham played in 11 games in his freshman season, starting one. He caught 28 passes for 395 yards and five touchdowns.

Pro: Green-Beckham is still a college player.

Top five in 2012: 1. Green-Beckham; 2. Arik Armstead, OT (Oregon); 3. Shaquille Thompson, S (Washington); 4. Mario Edwards, DE (Florida State); 5. Noah Spence, DE (Ohio State)





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