Arkansas has experienced highs and lows with top-tier recruits since the turn of the century.
Some, such as local high school legend Mitch Mustain, never lived up to hype for the Razorbacks, while others like Darren McFadden left behind a legacy that will last forever.
SEC Country has taken a look at how the top 10 signings of the past 16 years fared at Arkansas.
The rankings are from the 247Sports composite ratings. It is important to note the rankings are based on the perception of the prospect coming into Arkansas. Performance after arriving is not taken into account.
1. Mitch Mustain, 5-star QB
Signing class: 2006
Career at Arkansas: Mustain, from Springdale (Ark.) High School, was the No. 2-rated quarterback in his class and arguably the most-celebrated Arkansas prospect ever. His senior year of high school he became the first-ever consensus Gatorade, Parade and USA Today Player of the Year.
Mustain’s story is well known — and often a sensitive subject — among Razorback fans. He signed with Arkansas just as his high school coach, Gus Malzahn — now the head coach at Auburn — was hired as the Razorbacks offensive coordinator. Mustain saw action in the first game of his freshman season and started the next eight, going 8-0 despite erratic play. He eventually was benched for the final five games of the season, including the SEC Championship and Capital One Bowl. Mustain then transferred to Southern California after the season. Contributing to Mustian’s exit was the rift between Malzahn, who also left Arkansas after the 2006 season, and then-head coach Houston Nutt. The two never got on the same page, and as a result Malzahn wasn’t able fully implement the hurry-up offense that had made Mustain a high school star at Springdale.
After Arkansas: Mustain never found regular playing time during his final three seasons of eligibility at USC. After his career at USC, he held brief stints in the Canadian Football League and the Arena Football League. He also had a 19-appearance minor-league baseball career in the Chicago White Sox organization. According to his LinkedIn page, Mustain has spent the past 11 months working at the Phoenix (Ariz.) Children’s Hospital in the emergency department.
2. Ahmad Carroll, 5-star CB
Signing class: 2001
Career at Arkansas: The Razorbacks landed Carroll, from Atlanta, as the No. 1 cornerback in the 2001 class. He had a standout career in two sports at Arkansas, twice being named a first-team All-SEC selection in football and earning All-America honors in the 100 and 200 meters as a member of the track team in 2003.
After Arkansas: Carroll left Arkansas with one season of eligibility remaining and was drafted in the first round by the Green Bay Packers. He never experienced much success in the NFL, but went on to have a nine-year professional career with 10 different teams in the NFL, CFL and AFL before retiring in 2011.
3. Darius Winston, 5-star CB
Signing class: 2009
Career at Arkansas: The No. 1 prospect in Arkansas and No. 24 overall in the 2009 class from Central (West Helena, Ark.) High School, Winston never lived up to the expectations of a 5-star recruit with the Razorbacks. He saw at least some action all four seasons in Fayetteville, registering 52 tackles, one interception and one pass defended during his career.
After Arkansas: Winston signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He never carved out a role in the NFL and was last reported to be in camp with the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimo’s in 2014.
4. McTelvin Agim, 5-star DE
Signing class: 2016
Career at Arkansas: Agim became the first 5-star prospect to join the program in seven years when he arrived as an early enrollee in January. Big things are expected from the Hope (Ark.) High School product, who was the No. 1 prospect in Arkansas and No. 18 overall in the 2016 class.
After Arkansas: TBD.
5. Darren McFadden, 5-star RB
Singing class: 2005
Career at Arkansas: The No. 1 prospect in Arkansas and No. 32 overall in 2005 from Oak Grove High School in North Little Rock, McFadden more than lived up to 5-star expectations as he went on to become one of the most accomplished college players to ever come out of the state.
He rushed for at least 1,100 yards in all three of his seasons in Fayetteville and was among the most explosive playmakers in college football. McFadden was a two-time consensus All-American, a two-time Doak Walker Award winner as the nation’s top running back and a two-time Heisman Trophy runner-up. He is widely considered the greatest Razorback of all time.
After Arkansas: McFadden left Arkansas after his junior season and was selected fourth overall by the Oakland Raiders in the 2008 NFL Draft. His seven-year stint with the Raiders came with ups and downs as he played under five head coaches, had just one season with more than 1,000 rushing yards and was saddled with injuries. His career experienced a resurgence in 2015 when he rushed for 1,089 yards while starting 10 games and playing in all 16 with the Dallas Cowboys. He is expected to once again be a contributor in the Dallas backfield in 2016, his ninth NFL season.
6. De’Arrius Howard, 4-star RB
Signing class: 2001
Career at Arkansas: The No. 2 2001 prospect in Arkansas the West Memphis High School graduate’s best collegiate season came as a freshman when he set what would stand as career highs with 595 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. He never became the clear starter in his four seasons, and in his senior year finished fourth on the team in carries behind McFadden, Felix Jones and Peyton Hillis.
After Arkansas: Howard was given a shot at the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent, but his pro career was short lived. According to his LinkedIn page, he now works as a merchandise support manager for Walmart headquarters in Rogers, Ark.
7. Alex Collins, 4-star RB
Signing class: 2013
Career at Arkansas: Another highly-touted running back, Collins was the No. 41 overall prospect in his class. His career at Arkansas, at least by the numbers, stacks up well against the best running backs in school history. He was the third SEC running back to rush for more than 1,000 yards in his first three seasons, joining McFadden and former Georgia star Herschel Walker. Over his three-year career, his 3,703 yards and 5.6 yards per carry average are second in school history only to McFadden.
After Arkansas: Collins left Arkansas early for the 2016 NFL Draft and was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round. He is expected to compete for significant playing time in his rookie season.
8. Lawrence Richardson, 4-star CB
Signing class: 2000
Career at Arkansas: Richardson had a solid career after arriving with high expectations as the No. 2 cornerback recruit in the 2000 class. He earned regular playing time over his final three seasons as one of team’s top corners. Richardson tied for the team high with four interceptions as a junior and averaged 23.1 yards with one touchdown as a kick returner his sophomore season.
After Arkansas: He had a short stint with Buffalo Bills after going undrafted in 2004. He later spent time in the CFL and AFL.
9. Shawn Andrews, 4-star OL
Signing class: 2001
Career at Arkansas: Andrews was a highly-sought Parade All-American from Camden (Ark.) Fairview High School who lived up to the expectations for the Razorbacks. He became one of the most-accomplished SEC offensive linemen of his era during his stellar three-year career. Andrews was a two-time All-American, two-time winner of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy for the best SEC offensive lineman and winner of the Jim Parker Trophy in 2003 as the nation’s top offensive lineman.
After Arkansas: Andrews left school early and was selected in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He excelled for the Eagles, becoming a two-time All-Pro selection before his career was derailed by a battle with depression and later due to injuries. He eventually retired in 2011, citing persistent back pain. Andrews now lives back in Arkansas and is a quite active user of Twitter.
10. Jeb Huckeba, 4-star LB
Signing class: 2001
Career at Arkansas: Huckeba, from Harding Academy in Searcy, Ark., was the No. 4 in-state prospect in a loaded 2001 class. An outside linebacker recruit, Huckeba developed into a standout defensive end for the the Razorbacks. He was a four-year letterwinner, team captain and a first-team All-SEC selection as a senior in 2004, when he had with 13 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.
After Arkansas: Huckeba was selected in the fifth round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. He played two seasons for Seattle before retiring to get into coaching. He has spent the past six seasons as an assistant coach at Fayetteville High School.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.