Oklahoma football: 5 biggest busts of the modern recruiting era

(Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images) /
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Brent Rawls, quarterback – Class of 2001

This name might not be as big as some of the others on the list because recruiting didn’t get the attention it does today back in 2001.

In January of that year the Sooners were on top of the world. Fresh off a national championship they signed an premier recruiting class that included future All Americans like Vince Carter and Tommie Harris. Up near the top of that list that season was a 6-foot-5 quarterback from Shreveport Louisiana named Brent Rawls.

Rawls checked all the boxes one would look for in a potential superstar quarterback – tall, athletic and all the arm talent in the world. After sitting for two years it appeared as though Rawls might be ready to challenge Jason White – who was thought of as injury prone at the time – for the starting job going into the 2003 season.

Any though of that happened disappeared quickly at the start of fall camp after Bob Stoops released a depth chart that had Rawls coming in at No. 4 behind Jason White, Paul Thompson and Tommy Grady (we’ll get to him soon enough).

Rawls’ trouble off the field combined with his struggles on it were too much to overcome. He left the Sooners’ program after suffering a concussion in a drunken tumble off a tailgate and transferred to Louisiana Tech, but never played another down of college football.

Years later he would turn up in the Arena Football League II and even made a return to Oklahoma in 2005 as a member of the Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings to take on the OKC Yard Dawgz (yes that’s spelled correctly). He threw three picks that day and it remains the closest OU fans will ever get to seeing the much-ballyhooed prospect start a game in Norman.