The Legend of Ricky Town

Ranking CFB’s 10 Biggest Busts from the 2015 Recruiting Class

1. Ricky Town, USC, Quarterback

Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

Brad Shepard (Bleacher Report)  —  Quarterbacks get most of the praise, most of the blame and many of the headlines. It’s only appropriate a signal-caller takes the top spot on this list, especially considering how coveted Ricky Town was.

Though the prospect from Ventura, California, tumbled down the rankings a bit during his senior year, he was still rated No. 79 overall in the 2015 class. The 6’3″, 206-pound quarterback originally committed to the Alabama Crimson Tide before decommitting from a group that already featured Blake Barnett (another one of CFB’s 10 Biggest Busts from 2015).

After signing with USC, he became a poster boy for a class gone wrong for the Trojans.

That second-ranked class had some successes, but it also featured failed top-100 prospects like Town, Osa Masina (who dealt with serious legal issues off the field), Porter Gustin, Jacob Daniel and Ykili Ross. The two best players in that class, Sam Darnold and Cameron Smith, ranked outside the top 100.

Town couldn’t crack the starting lineup with the Trojans, transferred to Arkansas but never played, and then finished his career at Pittsburgh. Town left the program in December after failing to beat out Kenny Pickett in 2018.

“I think he’s got two more classes to graduate. He’s a great kid. I appreciate everything he did for this football team,” Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi told reporters. “We needed Ricky when he came, and I appreciate his trust coming here.”

Though players flame out all the time, it’s staggering that a quarterback with the hype of Town attempted just one collegiate pass (a 15-yard completion as a junior for the Panthers). Surely a player of his ilk should’ve gotten a chance to play somewhere.

Town never did, and his college career was even less eventful than that of another star prospect who played for the Trojans and Razorbacks: Mitch Mustain.

bleacherreport.com

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SAS
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One player who USC clearly missed and he was on the verge of being a star was Noah Jefferson. I don’t remember the official word why he left. I want to say grades were the issue but one of the insider pay sites reported that Jefferson had too many friends from home around him where they were a bad influence and he chose that element instead of school. Jacob Daniel was also a huge letdown. He went from being the top DT in the nation to 5-Star to just barely an Army Game participant to 4-Star. Injuries hammered him early… Read more »

Chris
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By no means am I saying he is better, but JT can make throws that Sam couldn’t. He throws a better deep out and in my opinion has better arm talent. He is nowhere near the playmaker. But if you had them stand back and rip throws JT would look every bit as good. When you put them both in games, not so much.
I do think he (JT) will win the starting job again and I think he will have typical air raid system numbers.

Rock2112
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JT is not a terrible athlete, but it would behoove him to work on his mobility and athleticism this offseason. If he’s going to start in this offense, he is just going to HAVE to keep the ball once in a while on the read option and be a threat to do so on any play. Imagine Oregon with Marriota or Hundley with UCLA if you knew every time they held the ball out it was going to the back. Those would have been completely different offenses. It would allow the linebackers to relax on protecting the middle of the… Read more »

Chris
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Agreed. Look at WSU the last few years. With Falk they still threw for a whole bunch of yards, but he was a statue back there. With Minshew, who can run a little and make plays, their offense was significantly better. When the air raid is clicking, the ball is out in no time, but good QB’s need to be able to make plays when that doesn’t happen. Hope JT is up to the task or whomever is back there for us.

Paul_Muad_dib
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I think JT’s biggest problem last year was confidence. He didn’t have trust in his O line and he played like he was a deer-in-the-headlights. Fear caused him to chuck up duck balls. I’m hoping Harrell can simplify the offense and get the team confident in what they do.

Old_Trojans_never_die
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I ‘d pretty much forgotten Ricky Town. But he is a clear example of how skewed recruitment can be. Max Browne is my favorite example. I remember watching him at a camp where he was by far the brightest player out there. He was already committed to USC. After seeing him in game situations I actually thought he might be on drugs or something. He was a poster child for the deer in the headlights look. We have away a couple of games waiting for him to catch fire. When I saw Daniels throw a pick in the Army high… Read more »