This morning news broke across the Hi-Top Sports Desk that Ron Powlus III had signed to play football at Notre Dame.
After the initial “damn we are old” realizations had subsided, waves of nostalgia for 90s Era college football quarterbacks came rushing through our collective cerebral cortex’s.
The 1990s were the halcyon days of the “Next Great” college QB. Scouting and college recruiting were firmly “Big Business” and shows like “Scholastic Sports America” were piping High School QB prospects across the cable airwaves. The Hype Train had finally left the station. For the first time kids were coming into college with heavy and (usually absurd and even insane) expectations. Almost none of them lived up to the hype.
Hi-Top Top 5 Most Over Hyped College Quarterbacks
5. Todd Marinovich – USC
Of course we have to kick things off with the OG. The Marinovich Hype actually started at birth when his insane father declared he was attempting to raise the “Perfect QB” complete with baby weight lifting and toddler passing drills along with a supposedly high performance diet of super foods only. We now know that pretty much everything his father said was bullshit and Todd was actually eating plenty of McDonalds as well as smoking pounds of dope. The truly remarkable thing is not that Todd’s life went to shit and he became the ultimate cautionary tale – that was too be expected. No, the real amazing thing is that for brief moments he actually was the best QB in the world:
4. Thad Busby – FSU
Sure Busby played 30+ games at Florida State and even put up decent numbers for an 11-1 team in his senior year but the truth is nothing he was going to do could possibly have compared to the hype at which Busby entered college. Remember the Paul Walker character in Varsity Blues? Lance Harbor. Thad was a pre-injury Lance Harbor. Everyone’s All-American. The Number 1 guy.
3. Josh Booty – LSU
The Legend of Josh Booty might have more to do with baseball than football to be honest. Booty was THE Number 1 Guy in the late 90s, destined for gridiron glory. But Booty was actually a 2 Sport Star – Remember those??? And after getting drafted by the Marlins at #5 overall, Booty took the booty to the tune of a $1.6 million signing bonus with the stipulation that he’d drop his football career. Things didn’t pan out in the baseball world and after 5 frustrating seasons in the Minors Booty gave football another go. He signed with LSU but the magic was gone.
2. Dan Kendra – FSU
Dan Kendra was the Next Great Pennsylvania Quarterback following in the stored PA QB history of Namath and Montana and Marino. Tough Pennsylvania kids who were born to throw the pigskin. Kendra initially choose Penn State but eventually changed his mind and signed with powerhouse (at the time) Florida State to take over the program post Charlie Ward. The problem was while Kendra showed up looking like this:
He soon looked like this:
Kendra didn’t so much bust as he burst…with muscles. Lots and lots of muscles. Kendra got so into weightlifting that he simply became too swoll to play QB and spent his final years of eligibility playing TE/Wingback. It didn’t help that Kendra also suffered a nasty ACL tear back when those things were truly catastrophic. Kendra was all set to finally take over for Busby when he suffered the gruesome injury in the Spring Game. Chris Weinke took over as QB1 and that was that.
1. Ron Powlus – Notre Dame
Back to where we started with this article, Powlus is the clear cut and obvious Number 1 choice. But if we are really being honest this whole thing we just an excuse to bring up the Legend of Beano Cook cuz truly you cannot talk about Ron Powlus without talking about Beano Cook.
Ron Powlus, yet ANOTHER Pennsylvania school boy QB, was truly supposed to be the second coming of Joe Montano. So much so that he signed to play with none other than Joe’s alma mater Notre Dame. The hype levels were already deafening and then ol’ Beano Cook got involved:
Poor Ron never had a chance from that moment on. Nothing short of TWO Heisman’s would ever be good enough and ultimately Powlus struggled through a lackluster ND career.
For Cook though it was just another notch in the legend’s belt. Peep this other Cook gem:
Oh Beano! How we miss you so!
That’s it. That’s the list. Facts is facts and the fact is before YouTube highlight reels and Instagram stars there was still hype, it just came from Chris Fowler on Scholastic Sports America or the pages of USA Today.