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July 16, 2011

Rivals at 10: Biggest busts

MORE: The five-star recruits | A look back

Rivals.com ranks the top 10 biggest busts of the past decade.

1. Melvin Alaeze

Alaeze was a big, strong, powerful, tough defensive end from Randallstown, Md., who had everything going for him - he was ranked No. 1 at strongside defensive end and fourth in the 2005 class by Rivals.com - but he was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty in 2007 to first-degree assault. There is a website dedicated to financing his defense and other strange things have happened to Alaeze, who seemingly threw it all away by off-the-field mistakes.

2. Willie Williams

Williams had lots of football talent but even more off-the-field problems, including multiple arrests that sidetracked his career. The former Miami Carol City five-star was the top-rated outside linebacker and No. 6 prospect in the 2004 class. Williams bounced around to different schools and was dismissed by Louisville in 2007 after being arrested for marijuana possession, felony tampering with physical evidence and driving without a license. According to reports, Williams was arrested 11 times before enrolling at Miami in 2004.

3. Fred Rouse

Rouse, from Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln, was the second-best wide receiver and the sixth-best player overall in 2005 - he even reportedly predicted he'd be the first player to jump directly from high school to the NFL. But he had drug and legal issues at Florida State, left for UTEP and ended up at tiny Concordia College in Selma, Ala. At one time, Rouse was compared with Randy Moss. Now he's another example of a player gone awry and trying to get back in the game.

4. Ryan Perrilloux

Nobody has ever questioned Perrilloux's football talent but he made some serious missteps at LSU where coach Les Miles finally dismissed him. Perrilloux was dismissed for repeated off-the-field problems after being suspended three times in a year. He transferred to Jacksonville State and then signed a reserve/future contract with the New York Giants. Rivals.com rated him as the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback and No. 16 prospect in the 2005 class.

5. Mitch Mustain

Mustain, from Springdale, Ark., was rated as the second-best pro-style quarterback in the 2006 class behind Matthew Stafford. Stafford was the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NFL draft and Mustain was not taken in this year's draft. Mustain won eight games as a freshman at Arkansas but decided to transfer to USC where things went horribly wrong. As the Trojans went from Mark Sanchez to Matt Barkley, Mustain was left out of the loop and his career spiraled to anonymity.

6. Whitney Lewis

According to reports, Lewis was the first player in California high school history to have 1,000 rushing and receiving yards in the same season, which was 2002, and he signed with USC in its 2003 recruiting class. But after his sophomore season, Lewis transferred to Northern Iowa and fell off the radar. Rivals.com rated Lewis as the third-best player in the 2003 recruiting class behind Ernie Sims and Reggie Bush.

7. Jason Gwaltney

Even before Gwaltney played a game at West Virginia there was Heisman talk and lots of chatter that he was going to be the next big running back for the Mountaineers. A five-star rated as the third-best RB in the 2005 class, Gwaltney had 82 touchdowns in his junior and senior seasons combined, but he only played six games at West Virginia. The New York recruit then fell out of favor with Rich Rodriguez and wound up at Division III Kean University in New Jersey.

8. Darrell Scott

Scott was the top-rated running back and sixth-best prospect in the 2008 recruiting class, and he went to Colorado with weighty expectations that never materialized. He finished with 343 rushing yards on 87 carries in his freshman season and then transferred after one carry in his sophomore season because he wanted more carries. Scott, who rushed for nearly 7,000 yards in his final three high school seasons, has landed at USF but is running out of time to make his mark.

9. Torrey Davis

Davis was saddled with academic issues for large portions of his first two seasons at Florida and then was arrested in Gainesville for violating his probation. Former Florida coach Urban Meyer didn't officially give Davis the boot, but he left the team after it became clear he was out of chances. The massive prospect who was rated second at defensive tackle and ninth in the 2007 recruiting class landed at Jacksonville State but never returned to his earlier form.

10. Ben Olson

Olson threw for 2,989 yards and 32 touchdowns in his senior season at Thousand Oaks, Calif., before going to BYU and redshirting as a freshman. He then did his two-year mission to Canada, returned and decided to transfer to UCLA. Olson never really got traction with the Bruins and injuries played a role as well. The former five-star had such high expectations that Rivals.com once wrote the headline "The Next Troy Aikman?". That, obviously, never came to fruition.



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