It’s hard to deny talent. And especially in the context of the 2017 college football season, it’s hard not to get excited about a certain handful of players.
While there will be plenty of big stars in the season ahead and plenty of big moments for those players to step up in, there are also a handful of players who might be receiving just a bit too much hype during the spring period session and heading into the summer.
That’s not to say the players mentioned in this article will struggle or fail, but for the sake of being level headed and fair, let’s pump the breaks on these five players. Perhaps they’ll shine, but don’t coronate them as kings of college football just yet.
Josh Rosen, quarterback, UCLA
Even before he put on his pads for the Bruins, Rosen was nicknamed “Chosen Rosen,” and as a freshman at UCLA, he appeared to live up to the hype. He threw for 3,669 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2015, completing 60 percent of his passes. He did throw 11 interceptions, but some growing pains are to be expected from a freshman.
The problem with Rosen in year one was that he had trouble coming up big in big games, though. He threw two interceptions in a loss to Stanford, didn’t throw a touchdown in a loss to Washington State and threw four touchdowns compared to three interceptions in UCLA’s two final losses to end the season. That included two interceptions against Nebraska in the Foster Farms Bowl.
The 2016 season was a disappointment for both Rosen and UCLA. He was expected to take a big step after the growing pains of his freshman season, but he couldn’t stay healthy.
He did play the first six games of the season for the Bruins, but his output was average. He threw 10 touchdowns but also gave away five interceptions, leading UCLA to a 3-3 record.
A shoulder injury cost him the rest of his sophomore season, and though he could easily bounce back in 2017 and play up to his elite expectations — it’s a very realistic possibility that Rosen is simply a good quarterback, and not “The Chosen One” he was expected to be.