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Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Top Alabama recruit misses

By Alex Scarborough

Five-star talent doesn't always equate to star-studded results on the football field. Every so often a player fails to reach his full potential. Whether it's a lack of effort in the weight room, a lack of understanding on the practice field, or something as simple as the wrong fit systematically, misses are bound to occur. With that in mind, we'll take a look back at the recruiting classes since 2006 and determine who were some of the biggest misses.

1. Burton Scott: He was ranked alongside the likes of Julio Jones, Courtney Upshaw and Mark Barron in 2008. The former five-star athlete was a top-25 player in most rankings. So where was he in 2011? The former ESPNU No. 1 athlete was stalking the sidelines at the University of South Alabama. After coming to Tuscaloosa as a running back, coaches moved him to corner, where he turned in three underwhelming seasons. Seeing the writing on the wall, Burton transferred to South Alabama in 2010.

Phillip Sims
Phillip Sims failed to stand out at Alabama and transferred to Virginia.
2. Tyler Love: He was the No. 1-rated offensive lineman in the country in 2007, the best tackle to sign with Alabama in years. But after three seasons as nothing more than a talking point, he gave up football. The talent who never quite appeared couldn't get off the bench. Instead Alabama found success with some less heralded linemen -- Barrett Jones and Chance Warmack, neither of whom were ranked in the top 15 at their respective positions.

3. Duron Carter: Some might say Carter was nothing more than a mirage, a hope that was never destined to materialized. The son of All-Pro wideout Cris Carter came to Alabama as a transfer from Ohio State by way of Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College. After practicing for most of the 2011 preseason, it was announced he would not play that season, taking a redshirt instead. But when he didn't practice at all during the regular season and didn't appear on the sidelines for spring practice the following year, the writing was on the wall. He would transfer to Florida Atlantic, where he would not play a single down last season.

4. Phillip Sims: Recruiting services are rarely perfect. It's an imperfect science judging the future development of teenagers. But when you're the No. 1-ranked player at your position, there's a good chance you'll succeed. So far, Sims has not. After failing to crack the starting lineup his first two years on campus, he transferred to Virginia where even there he would not win the starting job outright. He has one more year of eligibility remaining, but he's in danger of becoming an all-time bust.

5. Mike Ford: Ford was supposed to be Mike Shula's star running back in 2005. Ford set Florida state records at Escambia High, running for more than 2,000 yards his senior year before signing with Alabama. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior ran a 4.5 40-yard dash and looked to be the next big thing in Tuscaloosa. But Ford never even made it to town, failing to become academically eligible and instead landing at USF after one year at Hargrave Military Academy. But before he had a chance to develop, Ford got himself kicked off the team.