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February 2, 2010

Rivals.com five-star tracker: Class of 2008

We're closing in on National Signing Day, but don't necessarily expect that heralded five-star recruit to deliver an instant impact.

Only three of the 33 five-star prospects from last year made the Rivals.com Freshman All-America team this season. The vast majority couldn't crack the starting lineup on their respective teams.

As the list of five-star prospects in the past four signing classes shows, it generally takes a while -- even for can't-miss guys -- to make a big impact in college.

Patience is the key. Many of the players on these lists have gone on to have outstanding careers.

Here is a look at the careers of the five-star prospects in the Class of 2008.

MORE: Class of 2009 | Class of 2007 | Class of 2006


1. QB Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State
: Pryor has been uneven in his two seasons as the Buckeyes' starters; part is his own doing, part is the conservative nature of Ohio State's offense. He was superb in the Rose Bowl, throwing for 266 yards and two touchdowns on a career-high 37 attempts. Pryor threw for 2,094 yards, with 18 TDs and 11 interceptions this season. He also ran for 779 yards and seven touchdowns in 2009. As a true freshman in 2008, Pryor threw for 1,311 yards, 12 TDs and four picks, and ran for another 631 yards and six touchdowns. His play this fall will go a long way toward determining whether Ohio State is a legitimate national title contender.

2. DE DaQuan Bowers, Clemson
: He was a part-time starter as a true freshman in 2008, then became the full-time starter this season. Bowers had 46 tackles, three sacks, 10.5 tackles for loss, seven quarterback hurries and a blocked kick this season. He has 83 tackles, four sacks, 18.5 tackles for loss and 16 quarterback hurries in his career. He will be expected to provide more big plays for Clemson in 2010, which might be his last season with the Tigers.

3. OT Mike Adams, Ohio State
: Adams has played in nine games in his first two seasons; he played in four games as a true freshman in 2008 and five games this season. He started four at left tackle this season before suffering a knee injury; he also was suspended early in the season. He will head into spring practice as perhaps the leading candidate to win the starting job at left tackle.

4. WR Julio Jones, Alabama
: Jones has started for the Tide in both of his seasons on campus. He had 58 receptions for 924 yards and four touchdowns as a freshman, then followed that with 43 receptions for 596 yards and four TDs this season. Jones is one of the most talented wide receivers in the nation, but given Alabama's emphasis on the run, he seems unlikely to ever put up huge receiving numbers. Regardless, he'll go into the 2010 season expected to contend for All-SEC and All-America honors.

5. CB Patrick Johnson (Patrick Peterson), LSU
: He's now known as Patrick Peterson -- he changed his name in August 2008 -- and he started all 13 games this past season. Peterson finished with 54 tackles, two picks and 13 pass breakups. He had 41 tackles and an interception as a part-time starter as a true freshman. Peterson has great size (6-1/211) and speed, and has the ability to be a top-flight shutdown corner. He must become more consistent. If he does, he will be an All-America candidate.

6. RB Darrell Scott, Colorado
: Scott hasn't come close to living up to the high school hype. He ran for just 95 yards in scant action this season after rushing for 343 yards as a true freshman in 2008. He announced in early November that he was leaving the program, but he hasn't decided on his next destination.

7. DT Marcus Forston, Miami
: After a good debut in 2008 as a true freshman -- 18 tackles, three sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss -- Forston took a step back in 2009. Coaches weren't pleased with his conditioning and he had zero tackles in three games before undergoing shoulder surgery. A big spring practice is vital for Forston, or he risks being buried on the depth chart on a UM team looking for interior linemen who can make plays.

8. OT Baker Steinkuhler, Nebraska
: Steinkuhler redshirted in 2008, then played as a reserve defensive tackle this season. He had 17 tackles and one tackle for loss. He will head into spring practice expected to win the starting job vacated by All-America Ndamukong Suh.

9. WR A.J. Green, Georgia
: Green had 53 receptions for 808 yards and six TDs this season despite suffering through some late-season injuries that cost him three full games and half of another. He had 56 catches for 963 yards and eight TDs as a true freshman. Green will be working with his third starting quarterback in as many seasons this fall, but he'll still be expected to contend for first-team All-SEC honors and be one of the best wide receivers in the nation.

10. S Will Hill, Florida
: Hill shared time at both safety spots and also played some nickel back for the Gators this season, finishing with 42 tackles and one pass breakup. He has made 90 tackles and two interceptions in his two seasons with the Gators. Hill will go into spring practice as the favorite to win the starting position at free safety.

11. OT Matt Kalil, USC
: Kalil redshirted as a true freshman, then served as a backup right tackle this season. He played in 12 games, primarily on special teams, before getting a start in the Emerald Bowl because usual starter Tyron Smith was academically ineligible. If Smith is moved to left tackle to replace the departed Charles Brown, Kalil will be given every opportunity to win the starting right tackle spot during spring drills. If Smith isn't moved, Kalil will be vying for a backup role.

12. OL Michael Brewster, Ohio State
: Brewster has started at center in each of his first two seasons on campus. He was a freshman All-America selection in 2008, then battled through an ankle injury to start every game this season. He should be one of the nation's best centers in 2010.

13. DE R.J. Washington, Oklahoma
: Washington redshirted in 2008, then saw scant action this season. He played in five games and had three tackles. Washington heads into spring ball as a reserve and should be in that role in the fall, as well.

14. QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
: Gabbert played sparingly as a true freshman in 2008, throwing just 13 passes. However, he emerged as a productive player this season. He threw for 3,593 yards and 24 TDs and helped Mizzou win eight games. He should be one of the best quarterbacks in the Big 12 in 2010. With further development, he could get some All-America mention.

15. OT Tyron Smith, USC
: Smith was a backup left tackle as a true freshman, then started at right tackle this season. He might be moved back to left tackle during spring drills. Regardless of where he plays, he should be expected to contend for All-Pac-10 honors.

16. LB Nigel Bradham, Florida State
: Bradham was a part-time starter as a freshman in 2008, then became a full-time starter this season. He led the Seminoles with 93 tackles; he added 5.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and an interception. He has 122 career tackles and should be a team leader for the Seminoles this fall. He has a chance to be one of the best linebackers in the ACC.

17. DT Omar Hunter, Florida
: Hunter redshirted as a true freshman in 2008, then was a starter at tackle this season; he finished with 17 tackles and two tackles for loss. He will go into spring drills as a favorite to start at one of the tackle spots.

18. OT Matt Patchan, Florida
: He missed this season with a torn ACL. He played sparingly as a reserve defensive tackle as a true freshman in 2008, finishing with seven tackles and a sack. He is expected to be 100 percent for spring practice and is expected to vie with sophomore-to-be Xavier Nixon -- the returning starter -- for the starting spot at left tackle.

19. RB Jermie Calhoun, Oklahoma
: Calhoun redshirted in 2008, then played in 12 games as a backup this season; he had 220 yards and a touchdown on 45 carries. He has a chance to be the top backup for DeMarco Murray in the fall, but needs to impress coaches during spring practice.

20. TE Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame
: Rudolph missed two games with an injury this season and finished with 33 receptions for 364 yards and three touchdowns. Rudolph has 62 catches for 704 yards and five touchdowns in his two years at Notre Dame. How he fits into new coach Brian Kelly's offense will be a story to follow during spring practice.

21. WR DeVier Posey, Ohio State
: Posey caught 11 passes as a backup as a true freshman, then emerged as a burgeoning star as a sophomore this season. He started all 13 games and finished with 60 receptions for 828 yards and eight touchdowns. He has excellent size (6-3/205), good hands and solid top-end speed. He should be one of the nation's best at his position in 2010.

22. WR DeAndre Brown, Southern Miss
: Brown had some injury issues this season and finished with 47 receptions for 785 yards and nine TDs. As a true freshman in 2008, he put up excellent numbers -- 67 catches for 1,117 yards and 12 touchdowns. If he's healthy in 2010, he will be the best wide receiver in Conference USA and should get some national acclaim.

23. LB Arthur Brown, Miami
: After seeing scant time as a true freshman reserve, Brown saw the field a bit more as a backup this season (he finished with 13 tackles). In his two seasons, Brown has played in 24 games and has 17 tackles. Brown will head into spring practice with a shot at a starting job, but he will need to show a lot more than he has shown thus far to become a starter.

24. RB Richard Samuel, Georgia
: Samuel played sparingly as a true freshman -- rushing for 137 yards and a TD on 26 carries -- then opened this season as the starter. But he lost his starting job after Game 6 and saw his playing time decrease the rest of the way. In fact, he was the third-teamer by the end of the season. He finished with 395 yards and two TDs. Samuel played some linebacker in high school and it's possible he changes positions for spring practice. He has said that while he expects to remain at running back, he is open to a position change.

25. QB Dayne Crist, Notre Dame
: Crist played in four games this season after redshirting as a freshman in 2008. He was 10-of-20 for 130 yards, with one TD and one pick. He blew out his knee late in the season and is expected to miss spring practice. Still, he is seen as the likely starter for 2010 under new coach Brian Kelly.

26. WR Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh
: Baldwin had just one catch in 2008 as a true freshman, then burst onto the scene in a big way this season. He had 57 catches for 1,111 yards and eight TDs, and had seven 100-yard games. He will go into spring ball trying to develop a good working relationship with Pitt's new quarterback and will find himself mentioned as a potential All-American heading into the 2010 season.

27. WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
: He missed half the season but still finished with 44 catches for 795 yards and nine touchdowns. Floyd has 92 receptions for 1,514 yards and 16 TDs in his two seasons with the Irish. He is expected to be one of the most productive receivers in the nation in 2010 as a junior.

28. WR Burton Scott, Alabama
: Scott played in nine games as a backup wide receiver as a true freshman, catching two passes. He was moved to cornerback for the 2009 season but didn't play a down and was redshirted. With the departure of both starting cornerbacks, Scott will head into spring practice as a contender for a starting job.

29. G Stephen Good, Oklahoma
: He saw action in seven games as a backup as a true freshman, then was a part-time starter at guard this season. He started seven of OU's 13 games in 2009. He should be a full-time starter in 2010 as a junior.

30. OT Tyler Love, Alabama
: Love redshirted as a true freshman, then played in six games as a backup right tackle for the Tide this season. Starting right tackle Drew Davis was a senior, which means Love will go into spring practice with a chance to win the starting job on the right side.

MORE: Class of 2009 | Class of 2007 | Class of 2006

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