How five-star QBs from past four recruiting cycles are performing
Now that the Early Signing Period is finished, we take a look at the five-stars from the previous four recruiting cycles to see how they performed. We start with quarterbacks.
Signing a five-star QB does not automatically put you in the national title picture, as just two of the 10 signed since 2015 have had an impact on the national title race. Interesting, three five-star QBs have transferred, and a fourth, Georgia's Justin Fields, is planning on transferring after his freshman season in Athens.
Recruiting: Rosen pledged to UCLA over Michigan and others in the spring before his senior season. At his commitment ceremony, the five-star quarterback pulled out three hats - all UCLA ones. Stanford was the dream school, but the Cardinal never offered.
Performance: Playing three seasons for the Bruins, Rosen threw for 9,341 yards with 59 touchdowns and 26 interceptions, breaking a lot of school records along the way. However, UCLA never finished in the Top 25 and he was just 17-13 as a starter. He was the No. 10 pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft and is now the starter for the Arizona Cardinals. He has started the last 12 games and is 3-9 with 10 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He has no touchdowns in his last four games and has the second-lowest QB rating among starting QBs.
Farrell’s take: Rosen, before Trevor Lawrence (below), was the best quarterback I had scouted in 20 years of high school football evaluation. He had all the intangibles, but also a knack for leading his team back from behind late in games. His college career was up and down, but as a first-round draft pick he clearly lived up to his billing though he has yet to find his footing in the NFL.
Recruiting: An early commitment to Arizona, Patterson backed off that pledge and picked Ole Miss over LSU and USC. He left Ole Miss after the Hugh Freeze scandal and transferred to Michigan, where he’s now the starter.
Performance: In his first season with the Wolverines, Patterson has thrown for 2,364 yards with 21 touchdowns and five picks. In 10 games during his Ole Miss career, he threw for 23 TDs and 12 interceptions.
Farrell’s take: Patterson showed a lot of moxie in his high school career and knew how to extend a play very well. He stepped up to the new level of competition when he went to IMG Academy and showed all the signs of being a star. His first year at Michigan was solid and he has a chance to add to his resume next season and try to land in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Recruiting: Eason committed to Georgia ,but then seriously considered many other options, including Florida, after then-coach Mark Richt was fired. Coach Kirby Smart made Eason a priority and he ended up sticking with the Bulldogs. After losing the starting job to Jake Fromm, Eason transferred to Washington.
Performance: As a true freshman at Georgia, Eason started 12 of 13 games and finished the season with 2,430 yards with 16 touchdowns and eight picks. He was injured in the first game of his sophomore year.
Farrell’s take: Eason showed promise in his freshman year of college, the kind of promise we saw in high school. He had good size, a great arm and a knack for seeing the field. It will be interesting to see how he does at Washington with a second chance.
Recruiting: In the spring before his junior season, Mills committed to Stanford over Georgia, Michigan, Miami, UCLA and others. Alabama offered the day after he committed to Stanford, but Mills stuck with the Pac-12 school.
Performance: Mills is on the depth chart behind starter K.J. Costello.
Farrell’s take: Mills hasn’t broken through yet, but I think he will soon enough. In high school he had good size, excellent accuracy and he was tough. I think those attributes will be shown before too long in college as well.
Recruiting: In December of his junior season, Johnson flipped his commitment from Tennessee to Clemson after a visit to the school. That same day, five-star DT Dexter Lawrence committed to the Tigers.
Performance: Johnson was third on Clemson’s depth chart and saw limited time in numerous games during his freshman season. But with Trevor Lawrence’s signing and it becoming clear Johnson would not start for Clemson, he decided to transfer to Northwestern.
Farrell’s take: Johnson was run out of town by Lawrence, but there is no shame in that. He should be successful at Northwestern with its offense, because he can make quick decisions, gets the ball out quickly and doesn’t make mistakes.
Recruiting: In the spring of his junior year, Fromm flipped his commitment from Alabama to Georgia, a huge recruiting win for coach Kirby Smart over Nick Saban. Former UGA coach Mark Richt did not recruit Fromm all that much, but Smart made him a top priority in the 2017 class.
Performance: Fromm entered his freshman season as the backup to Eason, but after Eason went down with an injury, Fromm stepped in and never looked back. Last season, he led the Bulldogs to the national title game and this year took Georgia to the SEC Championship Game, both times losing narrowly to Alabama. He’s thrown for 2,537 yards with 27 TDs and five picks this season.
Farrell’s take: Fromm has lived up to the five-star hype in a big way, leading his team to the national title game as a freshman and the SEC title game this past season. He always had a good skill set out of high school, but the thing that sold us was his leadership and how calm and cool he was under pressure in high school. He’s shown that in college as well.
Performance: Mond entered last season as the backup to Nick Starkel, but took over the starting job after Starkel went down with an injury. This season, in his first coached by Jimbo Fisher, Mond completed just 57.5 percent of his passes, but has thrown for 2,967 yards with 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also ran for six scores.
Farrell’s take: Mond was a controversial five-star and really a kid I pushed for by myself. He has been very up and down in his college career so far and his accuracy, the biggest drawback in high school, has been an issue. However, he has a high ceiling and definitely grew and developed from his freshman to his sophomore year.
Performance: Lawrence took over the starting job from Kelly Bryant (who has since transferred) and the former No. 1 overall recruit has thrown for 2,606 yards with 24 touchdowns and four interceptions this season while leading Clemson to the College Football Playoff.
Farrell’s take: Lawrence is, hands down, the best high school quarterback prospect I’ve ever scouted out of high school. There isn’t anything to his game that’s missing, and I expect him to be a Heisman winner and No. 1 overall pick in the draft eventually.
Performance: Fields was used largely in a backup role and mainly as a Wildcat quarterback this season. He has thrown 39 passes and has rushed the ball 42 times. The former No. 2 overall prospect in the 2018 class is seeking a transfer from Georgia, with Ohio State rumored to be one landing spot.
Farrell’s take: Fields wasn’t able to show his true passing ability at Georgia, and it will be interesting to see where he lands and how they use him. In high school, he was not only mobile but he could throw accurately from the pocket as well. He’s a dynamic athlete.
Recruiting: Daniels committed to USC after a late push from Michigan, Stanford and Washington, among others. He decided to skip his senior year of high school to enroll early at USC, where he won the starting job as a freshman.
Performance: In 11 games this season, Daniels completed 59.5 percent of his passes for 2,672 yards with 14 touchdowns and 10 picks as the Trojans finished 5-7.
Farrell’s take: Daniels accelerated his high school graduation to hit college early and had an up and down year. Perhaps he was thrown into the fire too soon, but he has all the skills to be a star and throws one of the best deep balls you’ll ever see.