Not every college football recruit booms right away. Several players still have the opportunity to avoid the bust label with a last hurrah in 2023.
From offensive playmakers to defensive stalwarts to oft-injured veterans whose careers have been derailed by injuries, comeback candidates abound across the country.
To make this list, prospects had to be 247Sports composite 5-star recruits from the 2018-20 recruiting classes. While a few of these players have experienced success as starters and even in some cases posted decent stats, they've fallen far below elite expectations and are approaching their final opportunities to do big things.
A few quarterbacks have started, lost their jobs and are looking to take advantage of new opportunities in new places (including one player who is on his fourth college following a topsy-turvy career). Others just need to be a part of the depth chart.
In some cases, potential stardom is expected in 2023. In others, just being a part of the picture would be a move in the right direction.
Chris Braswell, Alabama Edge
There's no shame in not cracking Alabama's starting lineup considering how much talent head coach Nick Saban cycles in year after year. But edge-rusher Chris Braswell, the No. 19 overall recruit from the 2020 class, likely expected more.
This year, he should get the opportunity to showcase the talent that made him a high school star.
Braswell has played in 26 games over the past two seasons, registering 34 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. But he has never started a game for the Crimson Tide.
This year, with Will Anderson Jr. off to the NFL, Braswell has a clearer path to start at the "Jack" outside linebacker spot. He has bulked up to 6'3" and 255 pounds, so he is physically ready to lead.
Braswell is the type of player whom Saban has watched blossom throughout his tenure at Alabama. Some guys may be slower to break out or are blocked by elite players, but they prove to be top-tier stars once they get on the field. Braswell will line up opposite Dallas Turner and should form a fearsome duo that could wreak havoc quarterbacks.
Although he's listed as a senior on Alabama's roster, Braswell could play a few more seasons in Tuscaloosa. But even with all of the exciting, young edge-rushers and outside linebackers on Alabama's roster, Braswell could also boom this year and head to the NFL.