Where are they now? 2009 Elite 11 QBs including Gardner, Bolden & Boisture

Submitted by Leaders And Best on May 21st, 2012 at 1:10 PM

I was wondering about this today after hearing the news that Robert Bolden has disappeared from PSU.  Maybe too early to judge this class (now Juniors/RS Soph), but their outlook is not good.  Hopefully Gardner will reach his potential unlike the other star Michigan QBs that year (Bolden-uncertain status at PSU, Boisture-retired at MSU).

Full list:

Blake Bell (committed to Oklahoma) - RS Soph backup who plays Tim Tebow role for Oklahoma in red zone with Landry Jones entering his final season.

Joe Boisture (committed to Michigan State) - retired from football.

Robert Bolden (committed to Penn State) - Junior who lost starting QB to Matt McGloin last 2 years.  Not attended summer workouts and classes this year and future status uncertain.

Tyler Bray (committed to San Diego State) - Switched commitment to Tennessee. 2 year junior starter at Tennessee. Should be one of the elite QBs in college football this year.

Barry Brunetti (committed to West Virginia) - Junior who transferred last year to Ole Miss.  Supplanted as starting QB midseason last year and now battling for starting job again.

Devin Gardner (committed to Michigan) - obvious.

Jake Heaps (committed to BYU)- Junior who just transferred this year to Kansas along with Dayne Crist. Charlie Weis: the refugee camp for failed Elite11 QBs?

Austin Hinder (committed to Cal) - RS Soph not on the two deep depth chart.

Nick Montana (committed to Washington) - RS Soph who just transferred this year to JC.

Jesse Scroggins (uncommitted) - RS Sophomore battling for backup position at USC behind Matt Barkley.

Phillip Sims (committed to Alabama) - RS Soph who just transferred this year to Virginia.

Chandler Whitmer (committed to Illinois) - RS Soph who transferred to JC last year due to lack of playing time (behind Scheelhaase) and just enrolled at UConn.  Maybe Michigan sees him next year in 2013 when play at UConn.

The 2009 Elite11 preview: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/recruiting/football/columns/story?columnist=luginbill_tom&id=4324030

Full list of Elite11 QBs on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESPN_RISE_Elite_11



June 1st, 2012 at 12:56 PM ^

Agree with this. Some guy are definitely busts (Boisture), while others who have gotten significant playing experience haven't shown anything in extended time (Heaps, Bolden).  But guys like Bell aren't fair to judge because he was stuck behind a very good QB in Jones for so many years.  He still has time.  Same with a guy like Montana.  He probably committed thinking he was the heir apparent to Jake Locker.  No one knew Keith Price was going to be a stud. Since Price is only one class year ahead of Montana, Montana wouldn't play until he was a Sr.  So not really fair to judge him either.


May 21st, 2012 at 1:35 PM ^

down year for QBs. After taking a quick look at the 2010 Rivals 250 list the #1 QB is Heaps at 63. Couple that with it takes a few years to become a competent college QB and it doesn't bode well for that crop to have produced much at this point in time. I don't think that should discount the acceptance to any QBs that get an Elite 11 invite. They just take whom they believe are the 11 best QB recruits that year.


May 21st, 2012 at 2:27 PM ^

Part of the "problem" is the era in which we live.  Because the internet has made communication so much easier, and hype so much bigger, it's like no player with four stars next to his name has the patience to stay at his original school if he doesn't start his first or second year.

Nowadays, players feel like they are entitled to start the minute they walk on campus.  Then, they get into a snit, transfer, and often end up sitting out a year when they finally would have been playing.  


david from wyoming

May 21st, 2012 at 3:26 PM ^

This is just you making things up Tater. You have zero evidence to back these claims up. Maybe some transferred because they didn't like the coach, the school, were homesick... there could be a dozen different reasons. Instead, you paint with a wide brush and call them all entitled.


May 21st, 2012 at 1:35 PM ^

Does this list offer some insight into star QB's needing to play or else they transfer for playing time?  5 of 11 have transferred, 1 more left the program to parts unknown, 1 retired, and 1 isn't on the 2-deep in his third year with the program.  The transfer number is astounding to me.  You recruit an Elite-11 guy and think your program is going to be in good hands only to see him transfer? 


I wonder if you look at historical Elite-11 lists (or maybe just top recruiting lists for QB) and see the transfer rates versus other positions what it would say.


May 21st, 2012 at 1:38 PM ^

Him being your success story is seriously alarming. Just shows the randomness of recruiting. Have there been any big QB successes from that class? It would be fascinating to know why they weren't considered elite.


May 21st, 2012 at 1:52 PM ^

These guys have only had two years to make an impact.  Many of the class of 2010 quarterbacks redshirted, and many would still be behind upperclassmen.  It might have been a down year, but it might not have been.  There have been plenty of Michigan quarterbacks not to make an impact until late in their careers, such as Tom Brady and Brian Griese.  It's too early to make any judgments about the class as a whole.


May 21st, 2012 at 2:41 PM ^

seems to be a take-away if you are not ready to say it's a pretty much 1 out of 11.  Elite 11 doesn't guarantee you will walk into a major program and blow it up, let alone start your first year....  It also speaks to ye old recruiting hype and highlight / 7v7 reference points.


May 21st, 2012 at 2:45 PM ^

The historical statistics are a sobering reminder of how difficult it is to project future success. Of the 95 "Elite 11" QBs between 1999 and 2006 (every year since 1999 has had 12 QBs - go figure), only 14 went on to be picked in the first 4 rounds in the NFL draft. More than half (52) never even got a sniff of the pros. 35 wound up transfering.

Of the three Michigan commits, two transfered (Gutierrez, Mallet) and one (Clayton Richard) never got significant playing time.

Leaders And Best

May 21st, 2012 at 2:54 PM ^

At least Mallett and Gutierrez made the NFL.  In Clayton Richard's defense, he quit the football team after his RS Freshman year to play baseball. Mallett transfer more to do with coaching change than Michigan as he had significant playing time as a true freshman and would have been a 3 year starter if Carr had not retired. Gutierrez transfer was part injury and bad timing.  If he doesn't hurt his shoulder during camp, Henne probably doesn't take his starting job.


May 21st, 2012 at 3:20 PM ^

I think this speaks to how fateful is the decision that elite QBs have to make.  Elite teams ideal scenario is to to take exactly one blue chip QB every year.  Where that is the case, there will inevitably be kids that either never get to play or have to transfer, sit out and hope to play somewhere else.

Just look at Michigan over the last several years:

The ins: Brady, Henson, Navarre, Henne, Sherideathreet, Tate Forcier, Robinson, ???


The outs: Gonzales, Mignery, Guiterrez, Jason Forcier, Brinton, Mallett, Threet, Tate Forcier, ???

What's cool is guys like Gonzales or Mignery who figure out how to stay and be meaningful contributors.  Having said that, I don't necessarily hold it against any of the above for leaving either.  (I just don't happen to like Ryan Mallett.)


Leaders And Best

May 21st, 2012 at 3:56 PM ^

Brady Hoke and Al Borges identified and recruited Tyler Bray before he blew up that summer.  He committed early to San Diego State but decommitted later in the year after big time programs started to call and Tennessee offered.


May 21st, 2012 at 5:13 PM ^

Jake Heaps (the #1 QB from that class) started most of the season for BYU in each of his first two years, but pretty much sucked. He finally lost the starting job toward the end of last year to a guy who isn't a good passer but is their version of Zack Novak (Gritty McGritsalot). The coaches asked Heaps to redshirt for Gritty's senior year and come back to start his last two seasons, but he decided if he's going to redshirt he might as well do it elsewhere.

Kid's got a rocket arm but is really inconsistent and generally doesn't have the demeanor of a football player, let alone a QB. Despite his talent, I'll be surprised if he ever surpasses mediocrity.

I think this demonstrates one of the biggest flaws with the Elite 11 and other camps. Heaps was a 7-on-7 demon, but the first time he took a big hit he got really scared and played accordingly. It's a whole different game with pads on.


May 21st, 2012 at 6:45 PM ^

I think this speaks more to the recruiting process being faulty than the kids abilities. Look at the RB we are recruiting, Auburn has told him he is the best RB they have seen in years and garaunteed he will be on the field in the 1st quarter of the 1st game. Maybe he will, but to pander to a kids interests like that is ugly. His most recent interview I've seen didn't say a word about the actual school. Priorities of many schools are messed and kids are kids. Hopefully he has someone looking out for his best interests. I wish him the best wherever he decides to go but it's up to him to beat the process because it isn't looking out for him.


May 21st, 2012 at 11:03 PM ^

I remember seeing Jake Heaps in his freshman year and thinking man if this guy improves like he should he's going to be amazing in 2 years. He was interception and mistake prone but could make a lot of good throws.

Then....I saw his sophomore season. Huge disappointment for BYU who thought they had a big time recruit coming in.

Leaders And Best

May 22nd, 2012 at 8:27 AM ^

Played really weak competition as a junior.  Transferred to Saline for senior year where he proceeded to have a terrible yaar and outplayed by the backup QB.  Still somehow managed to get invited to US Army All American Bowl despite this.  His offers never seemed to match his hype as only BC and Sparty were seriously recruiting him.  A really nice breakdown of when recruiting hype goes wrong:


He originally announced he was going to transfer after his freshman year but then it was decided he had a career ending back injury only 2 months later.  I don't want to question a kid's injury status, but I find it very unlikely to have a career ending back injury as a QB without seeing playing time.  I could see a shoulder or elbow from throwing, but a back is very unlikely.  I just think the kid realized he was not D-I caliber, and MSU wanted to open up his scholarship.  Medical hardship lets the kid stay in school on scholarship and get his education, and MSU gets to fill his schollie with another player.