Reviewing the Big East's ESPNU 150 players

January, 31, 2011
1/31/11
3:08
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The Big East doesn't usually grab a lot of the nation's elite players. There are currently four members of the ESPNU 150 who are committed to Big East schools, with three of those heading to Louisville.

So it's nice when those rare blue-chippers actually work out. ESPN's recruiting experts put together a list of how the 2007 ESPNU 150 players panned out, and here's a look at the four Big East players on that list:

[+] EnlargeNoel Devine
AP Photo/Keith SrakocicRunning back Noel Devine was a coup for West Virginia in 2007.
Noel Devine, West Virginia (No. 6 overall): I'd say this was a fortuitous relationship. Devine might have had a disappointing, injury-plagued senior season, but he still ended his career as one of the top running backs in Big East history.

Anthony Davis, Rutgers (No. 113): Davis was a major recruiting coup for the Scarlet Knights. A three-year starter who anchored the left tackle spot his final two seasons, Davis was dominant at times and inconsistent at others. But he was the No. 11 overall pick in last year's NFL Draft after just three years in school.

Pat Bostick, Pittsburgh (No. 134): Always a little overrated as a prospect, Bostick was forced into a starting role his true freshman year as Pitt went 5-7. From there he settled into a backup's role, but he was under center for two of the Panthers' most memorable victories: at West Virginia at the end of '07, and at Notre Dame in 2008.

Manny Abreu, Rutgers (No. 144): Abreu has never quite lived up to his hype, but has been a solid contributor at linebacker for most of his career thus far and has a year left.

Why stop at 2007? Here's a look at how some other ESPNU 150 performers have panned out at Big East schools in recent years:

Brandon Heath, Louisville (No. 58 overall in 2006): Heath was hurt a lot earlier in his career but became a star linebacker as a senior this past season, finishing with 70 tackles and three sacks.

Nate Byham, Pittsburgh (No. 68 in 2006): Byham was the top blocking tight end in the league for most of his career at Pitt and went on to the NFL.

Dorin Dickerson, Pittsburgh (No. 74 in 2006): Dickerson underachieved for his first three years as the Panthers could never quite figure out what to do with him. Moved to tight end, he had a huge senior year and finally justified the hype.

Andrey Baskin, Syracuse (No. 86 in 2006): Never made it to the Orange.

Deantwan "Peanut" Whitehead, Louisville (No. 130 in 2006): Had a promising freshman year at defensive end, but a back injury prematurely ended his football career.

Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh (No. 25 in 2008): Baldwin had an excellent three-year career and is entering the NFL Draft.

Shayne Hale, Pittsburgh (No. 101 in 2008): Moved from linebacker to defensive end after his redshirt freshman year, but hasn't been able to crack the rotation.

Chris Burns, Pittsburgh (No. 110 in 2008): The running back was buried on the depth chart for two years and transferred to UMass after the season.

Lucas Nix, Pittsburgh (No. 124 in 2008): Started this season at right tackle before moving inside to guard and playing at an all-league level.

Darrell Givens, Rutgers (No. 61 in 2009): The cornerback has yet to make an impact for the Scarlet Knights.

Geno Smith, West Virginia (No. 97 in 2009): Starting quarterback for the Mountaineers was my choice this year for first team All-Big East at his position.

Tom Savage, Rutgers (No. 125 in 2009): Took over starting job early in true freshman year, but was replaced this year by freshman Chas Dodd. Has announced he will transfer this spring.

Antwan Lowery, Rutgers (No. 134 in 2009): Was moved to offensive line last season and contributed; expected to start in 2011.

Demar Dorsey, Louisville (No. 12 in 2010): Opting for Louisville after Michigan would not admit him, Dorsey has not been able to get eligible and has never enrolled with the Cardinals.

Ivan McCartney, West Virginia (No. 109 in 2010): Had one catch as a true freshman; could see his role expand in Dana Holgorsen's new offense.

Terrence Mitchell, South Florida (No. 144 in 2010): Signed as a defensive back, he had his biggest impact as an electric punt returner. Was switched to offense midway through the season and could stay on as a receiver.

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