Williams, Rouse, other recruits who didn't pan out 

February, 3, 2010
02/03/10
11:17
AM ET
Signing day is here, and every coach can say how great things have gone. Of course, we won't really know how good any of these two- or five-star recruits truly are until they suit up and play some games.

We've seen countless reasons there is no such thing as a can't-miss recruit. In that vein, this week's list: the top 10 recruiting disappointments of the past decade. (I'm not calling them "busts" because a few of them were sidetracked by nagging injuries.)

1. Willie Williams, Miami Hurricanes, 2004: Williams' story sounds like a modern-day Dan Jenkins tale. The Miami native is practically iconic in recruiting discussions because of the startling recruiting diaries he helped write for The Miami Herald during his recruitment. Everything about the linebacker's over-the-top recruiting visits screamed excess, and in response, the NCAA folks screamed reform to try to remove -- or at least diminish -- the aspect of celebrity involved in the process.

Right after Williams announced his commitment to Miami, word of his rap sheet spread. UM president Donna Shalala defended the decision to admit Williams amid controversy, and she sent a letter to students and alumni to explain her reasoning. Turns out Williams, the No. 6-rated recruit in his class according to Rivals.com, had little impact for the Canes on the field. He couldn't crack the linebacker rotation and then bailed, beginning a mind-numbing series of moves. First he went to West Los Angeles CC and then the Louisville Cardinals, where he spent less than a half-season before getting into trouble. Then he went to Division II Glenville (W.Va) State before finishing his college career at Union College, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics school in Kentucky.


Williams is a strong No. 1 here, right? But what about guys such as Xavier "the Savior" Lee and Fred Rouse? Whitney Lewis? Where do they rank? If you want to see the full list, you must be an ESPN Insider. Being one also would get you Feldman's content daily, which is a pretty sweet thing if you're a college football fan. So ... get after it.

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