While only a fraction of those who played college football eventually played on Sundays, there were plenty of “sure” bets that didn’t live up to expectations or simply failed due to injury or lack of talent. Here is a top 5 list of college football players who are considered NFL busts. Hut, hut, walk!
1. Bo Jackson
His first inclusion on this list is sure to generate a lot of controversy, but there’s no doubt that Jackson hasn’t lived up to his potential as a professional football player. Jackson, who became a cultural icon for the “Bo Knows” ad campaign, was a two-sport standout at Auburn. Still, in four seasons with the NFL’s Raiders, he managed to rush for just under 2,800 yards while playing second fiddle to Marcus Allen. Jackson’s career ended prematurely due to a hip injury, so there will always be questions about whether or not Jackson will eventually live up to the massive hype.
2. Art Schlichter
Like Jackson, our No. 9 pick fell short of expectations in the National Football League, but like Jackson, there are mitigating circumstances to consider. Former Ohio State quarterback and 1981 Big Ten Conference Most Valuable Player (MVP) Art Schlichter was selected fourth overall by the Baltimore Colts in the 1982 NFL Draft. Many thought Schlichter would easily start for Baltimore and actually be the future of the franchise. However, it was not to be, and Schlichter was unable to beat Mike Pagel as a rookie. Off the field, a long-term gambling addiction ruled his life and he would later be suspended indefinitely by the league for betting on football. Schlichter was reinstated for the 1984 season, but his poor play and gambling continued, and by the end of 1986 he was out of the NFL entirely, playing in only 13 career games.
3. Ricky Williams
While it’s hard to call someone still actively playing in the NFL a “bust,” Williams has failed to live up to expectations so far in his professional football career. The two-time Doak Walker Award winner and former Heisman Trophy winner from Texas is a former Pro Bowl MVP, but the circumstances surrounding Williams’ career have led many to label him a bust. Then New Orleans Saints coach Mike Ditka spent the entire draft’s worth, minus the 1st and 3rd round picks the following year, to acquire Rickey in 1999. in the eyes of many and engaged with Miami. In his first year as a Dolphin, Williams rushed for over 1,800 yards and led the league in rushing. Then the fun began. Williams has reportedly tested positive three times for marijuana. Then he retired, tested positive for drugs again, signed to play in the CFL, announced his desire to return to the NFL, became the subject of endless trade rumors before eventually returning to the Dolphins. wants to throw away the bust label once and for all.
4. Gino Torretta
Unlike Williams, former Miami Hurricanes quarterback Gino Torretta finished his collegiate career without much attention from NFL scouts and draft experts. A 7th round pick of the Minnesota Vikings, Torretta played for five different NFL clubs from 1993-1997, playing in just one regular season game during that span. He retired before the 1998 season and has since continued his entrepreneurial career.
5. Rashaan Hello
A virtual unknown for most of his college career, former Colorado Buffaloes running back Rashaan Salaam became a star after rushing for more than 2,000 yards and winning the Heisman Trophy during the 1994 season. He continued to show flashes of early stardom in the NFL, rushing for over 1,000 yards as a rookie with the Chicago Bears. However, he soon fell prey to injuries, concussions and drug problems. After three years with the Bears, he was released and signed by the Cleveland Browns. Salaam played in just two games for the Browns and bounced between different teams and different leagues before his career officially ended in 2004.