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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Rhett Bomar Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images)
Rhett Bomar Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images) /

Rhett Bomar, quarterback – Class of 2005

Anyone who has followed Oklahoma football for a reasonable amount of time knows the name Rhett Bomar. He’s a cautionary tale among Sooner fans.

Bomar was the No. 1 quarterback recruit in the country in 2004 according to both Rivals and Scout after a great high school career at Grand Prairie High School in Texas. When he got to Norman it was obvious that his talent was too good to keep him off the field. By the second game of the 2005 season he had taken over as the starter and after a few early bumps in the road he rallied the Sooners to a win over Oregon in the Holiday Bowl.

The victory over a top 10 team in a bowl game had the Sooners hype train running on full blast all offseason. With a solid cast around him that included a healthy Adrain Peterson Oklahoma was the preseason No. 1 pick according to major magazines like Athlon, Phil Steele and Gold Sheet, but on Aug. 2 Bomar, along with offensive lineman J.D. Quinn, were both dismissed from the team after a it was reported they had received extra compensation from a part-time job.

The Sooners rallied behind quarterback-turned-receiver-turned-quarterback-again Paul Thompson to win the Big 12 and make the Fiesta Bowl despite losing Bomar, Quinn (who was slated to start at center) and Peterson halfway through the season. They would go on to lose their postseason game to Boise State in one of the most famous college football games ever played.

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Bomar finished his career at Sam Houston State and eventually found his way to the NFL where he bounced around for three years before retiring and getting into coaching. While his career can’t be called a failure, most Sooner fans will always wonder what might have been had he stayed in 2006, even though his departure did make way for Sam Bradford to take over the job in 2007.