Topic: Whatever happened to...? Part 3--Recruits Who Didn't Pan Out
Replies: 2   Last Post: May 1, 2019 3:52 PM by: acevans®
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Whatever happened to...? Part 3--Recruits Who Didn't Pan Out

Posted: May 1, 2019 2:06 PM

I've been enjoying looking into what happened to former Clemson players the last couple of weeks with Transfers:


And Former First Round Draft Picks


In light of our recruiting momentum, I've been thinking about former Clemson recruits who where hyped or heavily recruited but didn't pan out for whatever reason and whatever happened to them. I'm purposefully not using the term "bust" as I think that's unfair to a lot of these guys as it implies a certain level of fault to the player and I don't think that's the case for everyone. Some of these dudes were total busts though...

Roscoe Crosby
I'm sure everyone is familiar with Crosby. He was a 5-star WR out of Union HS and the highest-rated player to sign at Clemson in many a year in 2001. He had a moderately successful freshman campaign despite being injured but left to play minor league baseball in 2002. He suffered devastating personal losses with the loss of 3 close friends in a car wreck and his brother to drowning in a short span and was injured for most of his brief baseball career. He battled some personal demons for years before turning it around and working as a youth counselor. He ended up returning to Clemson in 2014 to finish his degree and help out with the football team.

Jeff Francoeur
This one is kind of a cheat and I'm sure everyone remembers but "Frenchy" was a 4-star HS DB recruit who signed with Clemson in 2002. He was drafted by the Braves in the first round of the MLB draft later that year and went on to a long pro baseball career, earning the Golden Glove in 2007 and retiring in 2016.

Antonio Clay
Clay was a highly-sought-after LB recruit in the 2005 class out of GA. He had a promising early career at Clemson but struggled following a family death and withdrew after the 2007 season. According to my Google stalking, he's played some indoor football league for the West TX Roughnecks and Spokane Shock.

Willy Korn
Korn was pegged as the savior of Clemson football as a 5-star QB coming out of Byrnes HS in 2007. He ended up redshirting in 2007 and losing the starting QB battle to Cullen Harper during the 2008 pre-season. After Tommy Bowden was fired in the middle of 2008 and the WR Coach took over, he gave Korn the nod to start over Harper against GT. Korn injured his shoulder in that game and really never seemed to fully recover. He lost the QB battle in 2009 to Kyle Parker and then decided to transfer to Marshall. He was at Marshall for only a few months before coming back to the Upstate and enrolling at NGU where he went 18-4 as the starter. He's now an assistant coach at CSU.

Spencer Adams
Adams was a promising DB in the 2008 Class who also ran track for Clemson. He redshirted in 2008 and ended up dropping football to focus on track and field. As of 2017 he was participating in USATF.

Kenneth Page
Page was a highly-rated O-Line recruit out of AC Flora in 2008. He redshirted in 2008 and played sparingly in '09 before being dismissed from the team. He played the 2010 season at Coastal Carolina. According to a 2016 NY Times article, he actually wrote Dabo a letter saying that being kicked off the Clemson Football Team forced him to turn his life around and he's apparently a youth pastor now.

Bryce McNeal
McNeal was the highest-rated WR Clemson had signed since Crosby when we plucked him out of Minnesota in 2009--part of Dabo's "Dandy Dozen" first recruiting class. He put up some solid numbers his first two seasons but ended up buried behind some guys named Hopkins, Watkins, and Bryant and withdrew from the football team in the Fall of 2011. He transferred to Louisville in 2012 but ended up quitting football before the 2012 season. He's actually married to fellow Tiger alumna and Olympic Gold Medalist Brianna Rollins.

Mike Bellamy
The 5-star RB was set to be the next CJ Spiller after a spectacular freshman campaign in 2011 but couldn't get out of his own way. He was ruled academically ineligible for the 2012 season and then dismissed from the team. He enrolled briefly at East Mississippi Community College (famous as the subject school of the first two seasons of Netflix's 'Last Chance U') but was dismissed from that team as well. He ended up at East Arizona College before transferring to Fort Valley State. He had a brief stint at the CFL Toronto Argonauts in 2014.

Chad Kelly
"SWAG" Kelly was a 4-star QB recruit out of NY and nephew of Bills great Jim Kelly. Arguably the most entitled recruit in recent memory, he showed up to Clemson expecting to be handed the starting QB job but was forced to redshirt in 2012. He played sparingly as Tajh Boyd's backup in 2013 and was set to take over the starting QB position in 2014 before a young guy from GA by the name of Deshaun Watson showed up. He was kicked off the team after a spectacular week of screwups that included a side-line fracas with Dabo during the Spring Game and a hit-and-run incident on Miss SC's parked car. He enrolled at Ole Miss where he had a very successful second act, helping the Rebels (er, Black Bears?) beat #2 Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 2015. He was named "Mr. Irrelevant" after being the last overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft by the Broncos. Unsurprisingly, he was released by the Broncos last year following a bizarre incident in Denver where he entered a stranger's house after leaving Von Miller's Halloween Party. He pleaded guilty to second degree criminal trespassing in March. He's currently a Free Agent--ladies!

Ebenzer Ogundeko
"Ebo" was a 4-star D-lineman out of Brooklyn, NY in 2013. He redshirted in 2013 and was a promising backup in 2014 but was dismissed from the team in 2015 after some run-ins with the law. He ended up at FCS Tennessee State where he exhausted his eligibility in 2017.

Kyrin Priester
Priester was a promising 4-star WR out of FL in 2013 who enrolled at Fork Union in VA before re-signing with Clemson in 2014. He didn't play an offensive down in Tiger Town before being dismissed in Sept. 2014. He transferred to Washington State and had a solid 2015 season. He was dismissed by Wazzou HC Mike Leach in 2016, then allowed to participate again in the Spring of 2017, before striking out a third time in the Summer of 2017.

It's a good reminder that you can be the greatest HS football player in history but you still have to show up to campus ready to be coached.

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Re: Whatever happened to...? Part 3--Recruits Who Didn't Pan Out

Posted: May 1, 2019 2:11 PM

Only one of those that makes me think "what could have been?" is Roscoe Crosby. He would have made 10's of millions.

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Re: Whatever happened to...? Part 3--Recruits Who Didn't Pan Out

Posted: May 1, 2019 2:12 PM

A good write up. Thanks. I recall seeing McNeal was talented in music and was trying to make inroads there but I forget the context of that. As a side note there are two people that annoy me because they have a Clemson connection however brief- Chad Kelly and Jimbo Fisher.


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