College Stars to Professional Busts

Zach Piatt

Sports Editor

The sports world has come to know professional sports as leagues chock full of teams loaded with great talent. Most of these athletes made it to the pros via the draft. Most of those athletes made it to the draft by tearing it up in college. Not all great college athletes can make it big, however, proving that professional sports are for the elite class of athletes. The tricky part is…how do you know who is ready to take that big step up to the pros? The truth is you never know until you find out. These are the top 10 football and basketball players who were the best of the best at the collegiate level, but couldn’t cut it as professionals.

  1. Jimmer Fredette (Basketball)

Jimmer won Naismith Player of the Year as a senior at BYU, averaging 28.9 points per game and lighting it up from downtown. Entering his fifth season in the NBA, Fredette still hasn’t got it going yet. He still shoots well, but he never gets his opportunities, as he has only averaged 6 points per game in his career.

  1. Brady Quinn (Football)

Quinn started at quarterback for Notre Dame all four years in college. He threw for 95 touchdowns and almost 12,000 yards, and was a two-time Heisman finalist. After getting drafted in 2007, Quinn threw a total of 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions with a 30.3 QBR (Quarterback Rating) in four short seasons.

  1. Tyler Hansborough (Basketball)

This guy was a monster in college. He won Player of the Year as a junior. He was a first team All American three times and got second team honors once. He also had career averages of 20.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. You won’t find many accomplishment lines better than that. However, Hansborough’s time in the NBA has been less than stellar. His minutes have been limited and he is averaging only 7.1 points per game.

  1. Steve Alford (Basketball)

Alford led IU to a National Championship in 1987 in large part because of the introduction of the three point line. He already had a nice jumper, but the three point line gave him more incentive to shoot, as he had a .530 three point percentage. Alford was a two-time first team All American and averaged 19.5 points per game through his collegiate career. His time in the pros was short, as he played 9.7 minutes and scored 4.4 points per game in four seasons.

  1. Trent Richardson (Football)

In his final year at Alabama, Richardson rushed for 1,679 yards, scored 24 touchdowns, received All American honors, and was a Heisman finalist. He had a good rookie year in the NFL, but has put up terrible stats since. Richardson does not have a team to call home as of now and as far as the football world is concerned, he’s fallen off the face of the earth.

  1. Brian Bosworth (Football)

Brian Bosworth was scary. I mean he was one of the scariest linebackers in college football history. He just dominated his opponent in every matchup. Bosworth was a Heisman finalist once and an All American twice in his three years at Oklahoma. He only lasted three seasons in the NFL. Some off the field issues could have influenced his decline. Bosworth was most remembered for getting run over by Bo Jackson at the goal line.

  1. Matt Leinart (Football)

Leinart threw for over 10,000 yards and 99 touchdowns and led USC to 2 National Championships in just three years. He won the Heisman as a junior and was a finalist his other two years. Leinart played a total of 33 games in six seasons in the NFL with just over 4,000 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 21 interceptions. He also sported a dreadful 35.8 QBR.

  1. Greg Oden (Basketball)

Oden played for one year in college before entering the draft. In his short stint in college he averaged 15.7 points and 9.6 rebounds per game and led Ohio State to the NCAA Championship. Oden was drafted first overall in 2007 right before *cough cough* Kevin Durant. Injuries plagued Oden once he went pro. He played a total of 105 games in three different seasons over a six year span.

  1. Tim Tebow (Football)

Everyone has heard of this guy. Tebow threw for over 9,000 yards and 88 touchdowns and ran for almost 3,000 yards and 57 touchdowns in his career at Florida. He won a National Championship in 2008, the Heisman as a sophomore, and was a Heisman finalist two other years. It turns out, Tebow’s mix of run and pass playing style at quarterback didn’t fit in the NFL. In three seasons he threw for only 2,422 yards and 17 touchdowns with a 33.4 QBR. Tebow is now a college football analyst.

  1. Ryan Leaf (Football)

Has anyone ever heard of this guy Peyton Manning? You know, the five-time NFL MVP who holds most career passing records? Yes you have, ok, well Ryan Leaf was supposedly better than him. Leaf was dominant in college at Washington State. He really shined in his final year, throwing for almost 4,000 yards and 34 touchdowns. Leaf was drafted second overall in the 1998 NFL Draft behind Manning and only lasted four seasons. He averaged under 1,000 passing yards per season while throwing 36 interceptions in his short career.

*All statistics are as of December 17, 2015.



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