<
>

'06 hits and misses from the Big East

Earlier today, the Scouts Inc. guys took a look backInsider at their 2006 prospect ratings to determine where they were off and where they hit the mark. I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff, as you may recall, so I thought this was a perfect excuse to do the same for the 2006 Big East recruiting classes.

Biggest busts

Andrey Baskin, WR, Syracuse: Baskin was the fourth-highest rated recruit to sign with a Big East school. But he failed to qualify and never made it to campus.

DeAntwan "Peanut" Whitehead, DE, Louisville: A major coup when the Cardinals landed him out of Alabama, Whitehead hurt his neck as a sophomore and never played again.

John Maddox, WR, West Virginia: A 6-foot-3 athlete who looked like a future contributor if not star, Maddox quit the team after a season.

Aundre Henderson, DT, Louisville: Henderson was a hometown star with a ton of ability. Unfortunately, he never really liked football and quit the sport.

Jamie Nixon, CB, Connecticut: Maybe this is why Randy Edsall doesn't like highly-rated recruits too much. Nixon was ranked as the 18th best cornerback in '06 but never panned out.

Hasn't met expectations ... yet

Brandon Heath, S/LB, Louisville: Heath was the highest-ranked player to sign with a Big East team in '06, checking in at No. 58 in the ESPNU 150. He hasn't lived up to that billing, thanks in large part to injuries. He moved to linebacker this past season and was productive. He has another year of eligibility.

Met expectations

Nate Byham, TE, Pittsburgh: Byham was No. 68 in the ESPNU 150 rankings and justified it as an All-Big East performer.

Dorin Dickerson, TE, Pittsburgh: Dickerson would have been labeled a bust this time a year ago, but the Panthers finally figured out what to do with him as a senior. He's a legitimate pro prospect now.

Jason Pinkston, OL, Pittsburgh: The Panthers' batting average was surprisingly high in 2006, as several signees became major contributors.

Tim Brown, WR, Rutgers: Ranked as one of the Scarlet Knights' top recruits in '06, Brown had a terrific career in Piscataway.

Chris Neild, DL, West Virginia: Neild was ranked among the top tight ends out of high school but made the successful transition to All-Big East nose guard.

Exceeded expectations

Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers: Rated just a "40" prospect, which is as low as the grading scale goes, Britt was a first-round pick last year after a record-breaking three-year career.

Nate Allen, S, South Florida: The scouts had him listed as the No. 152 quarterback in the class. He should be one of the first safeties picked in the NFL Draft.

Scott Lutrus, Robert McClain, Lindsey Witten, Lawrence Wilson, Zach Hurd, Connecticut: All were unheralded. All turned into top-notch Big East players. Should we even be surprised at that anymore when it comes to the Huskies?

Greg Romeus, DE, Pitt: Another "40" rated player, he was Big East co-defensive player of the year this past season.

Aaron Webster, S, Cincinnati: After attracting little notice out of high school, Webster developed into a starter and key member of a two-time Big East championship defense.