Perhaps no top 2018 recruit remains more of a mystery than Warriors cornerback Michael Washington. The Monrovia High product headlined a class which also included Blessman Ta’ala, Khoury Bethley and Justus Tavai and, interestingly enough, flashed a lot of promise when given a chance to see the field, kicking off his collegiate career in earnest with extended playing time in the 2019 Hawaii Bowl win over BYU and starting the team’s last six games in 2020.
However, despite starting 2021 on the two-deep, Washington didn’t play at all for Hawaii last season. Still just a junior, there’s a good chance he figures heavily in the mix to replace Cortez Davis and re-establish himself as an up-and-coming defender in the Mountain West.
The Rebels’s 2018 class didn’t really work out as intended, as evidenced by top recruit Kenyon Oblad. The Henderson native stayed home with eyes on becoming UNLV’s quarterback of the future and it looked for a time like things might turn out favorably, when Oblad started the final eight games of the 2019 season as a redshirt freshman and led the way to an upset over rival Nevada. After Marcus Arroyo replaced Tony Sanchez as head coach, though, he got buried on the depth chart and threw just four passes in the 2020 campaign. In 13 career games with the Rebels, Oblad would complete 53.6% of his throws for 2,090 yards and 18 touchdowns against nine interceptions.
Eventually, Oblad transferred to FCS Dixie State in February 2021 and saw action in seven games last fall, completing 50.6% of his 162 attempts for 878 yards and five touchdowns with ten interceptions.
Kenyon Oblad to Steve Jenkins for a 75 yard TD. pic.twitter.com/SJh9xPgOT2
— Tyler Bischoff (@Bischoff_Tyler) November 30, 2019
Sometimes, a top recruit’s promising career can get derailed by old fashioned hard luck. Such is the case for Andy Koch, who redshirted after appearing in three games back in 2018 but stepped in as a starter at the beginning of 2019 at right tackle. Unfortunately, a knee injury knocked him out for the rest of the season after three games and, though he returned in 2020 to make four more starts, he was medically disqualified and did not play in 2021.
Cadets often take a long time to find their way into Troy Calhoun’s starting lineup, but sometimes top recruits like defensive back David Eure can break the mold and at least earn a little run in the attempt. He saw playing time in ten games during the 2019 season, but never quite broke through after that, seeing time in five of six games back in 2020 and seven more in 2021. In all, Eure appeared in 22 games for the Falcons and made 20 tackles.
The Lobos rolled the dice on a litany of junior college products in their 2018 class, which explains why Sheriron Jones is the lone juco athlete among the twelve top prospects discussed here. He arrived in Albuquerque after first spending two years at Tennessee, a four-star recruit in Butch Jones’s 2015 class, though he never quite seized the New Mexico starting job as hoped. He started seven games and appeared in 11 back in 2018, completing 54.5% of his throws for 1,417 yards, 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
The following year, Jones saw action in six games but was part of a four-quarterback shuffle that ultimately cost Bob Davie his job as head coach and, to make matters worse, was suspended after being charged with indecent exposure (though he was eventually acquitted).
That's one way to score a TD 👀@UNMLoboFB's Sheriron Jones leaps into the end zone! pic.twitter.com/0vkDWbh01O
— Mountain West (@MountainWest) October 5, 2019
Chad Muma is probably going to make an impact on Sundays in the near future, but the one 2018 recruit who rated higher, quarterback Sean Chambers, didn’t really pan out. He shined in his first extended as a true freshman starter, winning his first three starts despite throwing just 25 passes, though the ultimate story of his career with the Cowboys is one of severe injuries and a failure to develop as a passer.
Season-ending injuries curtailed him in both 2019 and 2020 and though he opened 2021 as the starter, Chambers eventually gave way to Levi Williams before transferring to Montana State shortly after the end of the season. In 22 career games with Wyoming, he completed 48.8% of 324 pass attempts for 2,312 yards, 16 touchdowns and ten interceptions while adding 1,103 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground.
Sean Chambers hit the meanest stiff-arm of the day 😷
— Bleacher Report CFB (@BR_CFB) September 1, 2019