These highly-recruited prospects struggled in SEC
The release of “Fantastic Four” this summer and the aftermath of its tanking at the box office has been one of the more interesting stories of the year. Director Josh Trank trashed his own movie on Twitter before it was released, and since then, sources close to the director and the studio have been playing the blame game.
When the movie was announced, it was met with a mostly positive reaction. It featured a talented young cast and a director whose first movie made more than $100 million on a $12 million budget. However, things did not turn out as planned.
The same things happen in college football.
There are players who are highly touted and expected to make a big impact on their teams, but for whatever reason, are either unable to do so or had careers that dominated the headlines for the wrong reasons.
Here are not-so-fantastic-four players who fit that description.
1. Jeff Driskel, Florida
Expectation: Driskel came into Florida as the No. 1 quarterback in the country, a big-time recruit who would help Florida pick up right where it left off. He was billed as the next Tim Tebow, words that are not used lightly around Florida.
Outcome: Driskel was largely unimpressive as the Gators’ starter. His best year came in 2012, when he threw for 1,646 yards and 12 touchdowns, hardly impressive numbers for a quarterback. Driskel drew the ire of fans early and often, and after four lackluster years, he transferred to Louisiana Tech, where he will get one last chance.
2. Russell Shepard, LSU
Expectation: Shepard was touted as the next great talent in college football, a player who had offers from schools around the country, and was a big coup for LSU when they landed him.
Outcome: Shepard is and was one of the more puzzling cases in recent SEC history. The Tigers often didn’t give him the ball, and when they did, it was often uneventful. They lined Shepard up all over the field, and nothing seemed to work. He never had more than 254 yards receiving in a season, and his highest touchdown total was four. His LSU tenure will be remembered as a frustrating one.
3. Kenny Hill, Texas A&M
Expectation: Hill dazzled in Texas A&M’s throttling of South Carolina to start the 2014 season. He emerged as an early frontrunner in the Heisman race and was touted as the next Johnny Manziel.
Outcome: Hill didn’t last the season as the Aggies’ quarterback. He was inconsistent and made poor decisions on the field, was arrested off of it, was suspended and transferred to TCU. There is still time for him to redeem himself, but Hill couldn’t make it work in the SEC.
4. Stephen Garcia, South Carolina
Expectation: Stephen Garcia was a big part of the program’s reclamation project and was expected to take them to bigger heights. The Gamecocks won the SEC East with Garcia at quarterback in 2010.
Outcome: He had the most productive career on this list, but it was dominated by off-the-field incidents. Garcia was suspended five times by coach Steve Spurrier and was arrested three times while on the team. On the field, he threw for 3,059 yards in 2010, but he was a headache for a team trying to stake its place in the SEC.
By Evan Greenberg/Special for Atlanta Journal-Constitution.