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Rivals Crossover 2012: No. 1s Dorial Green-Beckham vs. Shabazz Muhammad

The Rivals Crossover Series is a weeklong look at some historic figures in football and basketball, merging our two sports into one storyline.

In this piece, national football recruiting director Mike Farrell and national basketball analyst Eric Bossi look at the No. 1 player from each sport and compare their national influence and success. Here we look at the class of 2012.



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No. 1 vs. No. 1 (2003): LeBron James vs. Ernie Sims

No. 1 vs. No. 1 (2004): Dwight Howard vs. Adrian Peterson

No. 1 vs. No.1 (2005): Gerald Green vs. Derrick Williams

No. 1 vs. No. 1 (2006): Greg Oden vs. Percy Harvin

No. 1 vs. No. 1 (2007): Michael Beasley vs. Jimmy Clausen

No. 1 vs. No. 1 (2008): B.J. Mullens vs. Terrelle Pryor

No. 1 vs. No. 1 (2009): John Wall vs. Bryce Brown

No. 1 vs. No. 1 (2010): Josh Shelby vs. Ronald Powell

No. 1 vs. No. 1 (2011): Austin Rivers vs. Jadeveon Clowney

BASKETBALL: Shabazz Muhammad

Bossi’s take: A strong and physical wing from Las Vegas, Muhammad just beat out Kentucky-bound big man Nerlens Noel for the No. 1 spot in 2012. His lone season at UCLA began with controversy while he was suspended by the NCAA (who ended up firing the investigator in his case) for alleged improprieties. Once cleared, Muhammad won the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award and left for the NBA Draft where he was taken 14th overall by the Utah Jazz. He was traded to Minnesota and averaged nine points per game over five NBA seasons before making his way to China where he’s still playing.


FOOTBALL: Dorial Green-Beckham

Farrell’s take: DGB had only one question mark coming out of high school and that was in regard to consistent hands. But we looked at him as the next Megatron at the college and NFL level but that never happened despite a few glimpses here and there. He was a second round pick based on potential despite some issues in college and was effective at times in the NFL but never made it fully.


And the winner is ... While Muhammad’s NBA career didn’t last as long as expected, he’s certainly had a far more successful run than Green-Beckham and he’s the choice. Unfortunately, Green-Beckham’s off the field troubles have prevented us from ever knowing just how good he could have been.