Posted on: August 23, 2011 6:10 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
When I saw my colleague Jeff Borzello rank the decade's top basketball recruiting classes, I thought it was such a good idea I decided to steal follow his lead and do the same on the football side.
Little did I know what a tough job it was, first sorting through each class and then deciding where to rank each one. It's much easier on the basketball side from a sheer numbers standpoint too, an issue when you're talking about several thousand more players on the football field versus on the court. It's a fun experiment and a good chance to see just how far recruits from each year panned out however.
There's no set formula for determining where each class ranks, it's too hard to compare one class with a great college player like Tim Tebow with one that has several players who developed into great players later in their careers. So, after looking up and down plenty of recruiting lists, are the decade's top recruiting classes by year. Feel free to disagree and complain in the comments.
Top Players: Reggie Bush, Ernie Sims, Greg Olsen, LaMar Woodley, Chris Leak, Steve Smith, Vernon Davis, Dennis Dixon, Michael Griffin, Sedrick Ellis, JaMarcus Russell, LaRon Landy and Sam Baker among others.
The class of 2003 laid the foundation for four national titles at two different schools (LSU and USC). The headliner looking back is Bush who, though his many records have an * next to them, was among the most electrifying players on the field. Leak and Caldwell led Florida to a national title and Dixon was on his way with Oregon until injuring his knee. LSU also grabbed first-round picks JaMarcus Russell, Dwayne Bowe, Craig Davis and LaRon Landry.
Top Players: Terrelle Pryor, DaQuan Bowers, Blaine Gabbert, Julio Jones, Patrick Peterson, Tyron Smith, Marcus Fortson, A.J. Green, Mark Ingram, Terrence Cody, Michael Floyd, Andrew Luck, Jeff Fuller and Corey Liuget among others.
A loaded class at quarterback and wide receiver, 2008 was one of the deepest classes in recent memory and several players are only now wrapping up their college careers. Pryor was the top player coming out of high school and though some people question how he went out, he was nevertheless 31-4 as a starter. It's hard to argue against one of the top NFL prospects in a long time with Luck and Ingram has a Heisman Trophy and national title to his name. With a strong push from some seniors this season, this class could move into the top spot.
Top players: Percy Harvin, Andre Smith, Beanie Wells, Brandon Spikes, Gerald McCoy, Tim Tebow, Matthew Stafford, C.J. Spiller, DeMarco Murray, Jake Locker and Knowshon Moreno among others.
This class is littered with first-round draft picks and big-time college stars. Stafford the top pick in the draft and Harvin helped Tebow win two national championships before both left with plenty of records at Florida. This also was one of the more balanced classes with plenty of talent at multiple positions.
Top players: Eric Berry, Noel Devine, Ryan Mallet, Carlos Dunlap, Marvin Austin, Joe Haden, Dez Bryant, Tyrod Taylor, Rolando McClain, Lee Ziemba, Brian Price, Aaron Hernandez, Steven Garcia, Brian Bulaga and Joe McKnight among others.
Call this the class of misfits for their share of off-the-field issues but there's no denying this was a group of talented players. The top two guys, Jimmy Clausen and McKnight, failed to live up to expectations placed on them but still put together solid careers in college. Price, Austin, Dunlap and others are part of a great defensive line and Berry was one of the top safeties in the last several years.
Top players: Rueben Randle, Russell Shepard, Garrett Gilbert, Matt Barkley, Trent Richardson, Christine Michael, Cliff Harris, Devon Kennard, Vontaze Burfict, Shane Skov, Aaron Murrary, Dre Kirkpatrick, Manti Teo and Alshon Jeffrey among others.
This is still a class that's a work in progress but you can recognize several of these names on all-conference and all-America lists. There's some great running backs in Richardson and Michael among others and Murray and Barkley have been good, young signal-callers. Some elite linebackers in 2009 as well in Teo, Burfict and even Skov at Stanford.
Top players: Derrick Williams, Eugene Monroe, Mark Sanchez, Rey Maualuga, Jonathan Stewart, Darren McFadden, DeSean Jackson, Brian Cushing, Jamal Charles, Malcolm Kelly, Michael Oher, Doug Worthington, Ndamukong Suh, Colt McCoy and Mario Maningham among others.
Look up and down the top 100 recruiting lists and there were a lot of busts but this year still produced a lot of talent that had success. USC grabbed Sanchez, Cushing and Maualuga among others and they led the Trojans to the best four year winning percentage out this group of recruits (just six losses). Texas also found the winningest Division I quarterback in McCoy and Nebraska got one of the most dominant defensive linemen in years in Suh.
Top players: Vince Young, Haloti Ngata, Marcus Vick, Winston Justice, Tamba Hali, Tony Ugoh, Leonard Washington, Reggie McNeal, Eric Winston, Aaron Ross, Maurice Clarrett, A.J. Hawk and Troy Smith among others.
Not a deep group but a collection of college stars that proved they could beat top teams by themselves. Young is the big name after leading Texas to BCS Championship and upsetting USC in a magical run to the title. Clarrett, Hawk and Smith won a title early on and helped the Buckeyes to years of dominance in the regular season later on.
Top players: Jadeveon Clowney, Curtis Grant, Cyrus Kouandjio, Karlos Williams, Charone Peake, Malcolm Brown, James Wilder, Tony Steward, Stephon Tuitt, Colt Lyerla, Aaron Lynch, Nick O'Leary, Jeff Driskel, Savon Huggins, Ray Drew, Brett Hundley and Jaxon Shipley among others.
The players from the 2011 group haven't taken a snap in college yet but read the fall camp reports and you can see why they're higher than other classes. It wasn't a great year for quarterbacks but there were a ton of defensive linemen that will have an impact early, topped by one of the most dominant players in the country (and athletic freak) in Clowney. Lyerla and O'Leary will play early at tight end and Shipley should have fans in Austin thinking he's a mirror image of his older brother.
Top players: Adrian Peterson, Ted Ginn, Calvin Johnson, Early Doucet, Keith Rivers, Chad Henne, Fred Davis, Marshawn Lynch, Zach Miller, Dwayne Jarrett, Glen Dorsey and Michael Bumpus among others.
Peterson burst onto the scene as a freshman and established himself as a top tier running back. Johnson is one of the most athletic wide receivers in the game (some would call him a freak of nature) and he developed in a run-based college offense no less. Doucet and Dorsey had fun in the SEC and Henne was a successful quarterback at Michigan.
Top players: Ronald Powell, Seantrel Henderson, Kennan Allen, Robert Woods, DaRick Rodgers, Marcus Lattimore, Jackson Jeffcoat, Michael Dyer, Jake Heaps, Tony Jefferson, Sharrif Floyd and Jake Matthews among others.
Also a work in progress, were not a ton of impact players outside of Lattimore, Dyer, Heaps and Woods. The two players at the top, Powell and Henderson, have loads of talent but will need battle others to stay on the field. There's time for this group to rise up the list but for now, they're at the bottom.
Tags: A.J. Green, A.J. Hawk, Aaron Hernandez, Aaron Lynch, Aaron Murrary, Aaron Ross, Adrian Peterson, Alshon Jeffrey, Andre Smith, Andrew Luck, Beanie Wells, Blaine Gabbert, Brandon Spikes, Brett Hundley, Brian Bulaga, Brian Cushing, Brian Price, C.J. Spiller, Calvin Johnson, Carlos Dunlap, Chad Henne, Charone Peake, Chris Leak, Christine Michael, Cliff Harris, Colt Lyerla, Colt McCoy, Corey Liuget, Craig Davis, Curtis Grant, Cyrus Kouandjio, DaQuan Bowers, DaRick Rodgers, Darren McFadden, DeMarco Murray, Dennis Dixon, Derrick Williams, DeSean Jackson, Devon Kennard, Dez Bryant, Doug Worthington, Dre Kirkpatrick, Dwayne Bowe, Dwayne Jarrett, Early Doucet, Eric Berry, Eric Winston, Ernie Sims, Eugene Monroe, Florida, Fred Davis, Garrett Gilbert, Gerald McCoy, Glen Dorsey, Greg Olsen, Haloti Ngata, Heisman Trophy, Jackson Jeffcoat, Jadeveon Clowney, Jake Heaps, Jake Locker, Jake Matthews, Jamal Charles, JaMarcus Russell, James Wilder, Jaxon Shipley, Jeff Driskel, Jeff Fuller, Jimmy Clausen, Joe Haden, Joe McKnight, Jonathan Stewart, Julio Jones, Karlos Williams, Keith Rivers, Kennan Allen, Knowshon Moreno, LaMar Woodley, LaRon Landy, Lee Ziemba, Leonard Washington, LSU, Malcolm Brown, Malcolm Kelly, Manti Teo, Marcus Fortson, Marcus Lattimore, Marcus Vick, Mario Maningham, Mark Ingram, Mark Sanchez, Marshawn Lynch, Marvin Austin, Matt Barkley, Matthew Stafford, Maurice Clarrett, Michael Bumpus, Michael Dyer, Michael Floyd, Michael Griffin, Michael Oher, Michigan, Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska, Nick O'Leary, Noel Devine, Ohio State, Patrick Peterson, Percy Harvin, Ray Drew, Reggie Bush, Reggie McNeal, Rey Maualuga, Robert Woods, Rolando McClain, Ronald Powell, Rueben Randle, Russell Shepard, Ryan Mallet, Sam Baker, Savon Huggins, Seantrel Henderson, SEC, Sedrick Ellis, Shane Skov, Sharrif Floyd, Stanford, Stephon Tuitt, Steve Smith, Steven Garcia, Tamba Hali, Ted Ginn, Terrelle Pryor, Terrence Cody, Texas, Tim Tebow, Tony Jefferson, Tony Steward, Tony Ugoh, Trent Richardson, Troy Smith, Tyrod Taylor, Tyron Smith, USC, Vernon Davis, Vince Young, Vontaze Burfict, Winston Justice, Zach Miller
Posted on: February 23, 2011 9:21 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Tennessee is expected to receive a notice of allegations from the NCAA today. You can bet that will come up with every one of their recruits by opposing coaches.
- Florida is hoping to turn Stephenson High School into a productive recruiting pipeline.
- A quick USC recruiting update and list of offers out.
- Michigan and Illinois are the latest to offer tight end A.J. Williams.
- Baylor announced they've added a punter to their class of 2011.
- The sibling rivalry between Jaxon and Jordan Shipley will be turned up a notch once the young Shipley enrolls at Texas with the intent of breaking all of the older brother's records.
Posted on: February 19, 2011 4:42 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
We're still digesting the class of 2011 and what better way to look at it than through the lens of two rivals. Texas and Texas A&M have been going at each other on the recruiting trail for decades and the regular season each team had in 2010 certainly added a bit of intrigue to each class. Despite the down year for the Longhorns, Mack Brown still managed to bring a lot of talent to Austin for next season.
Tags: Ben Compton, Big 12, Brandon Alexander, Bryan Harsin, Cedric Reed, Chance Nelson, Chet Moss, Christian Westerman, Darzil Washington, David Ash, Deshazor Everett, Desmond Jackson, Devonta Burns, Donnie Baggs, Drew Kaser, Floyd Raven, Garrett Greenlea, Howard Matthews, Jaxon Shipley, Johnny Manziel, Johntel Franklin, Joseph Cheek, Josh Cochran, Josh Turner, Kendall Thompson, LeMarc Strahan, Leroy Scott, Mack Brown, Malcolm Brown, Marcus Hutchins, Mike Evans, Mike Sherman, Miles Onyegbule, Mykkele Thompson, Nathan Gutekunst, Quandre Diggs, Quincy Russell, Sedrick Flowers, Shaun ward, Shayvion Hatten, Sheroid Evans, Steve Edmond, Steve Jenkins, Taylor Bertolet, Taylor Doyle, Texas, Texas A&M, Tyrell Taylor, Will Randolph
Posted on: February 15, 2011 4:01 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2011 4:15 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
The recruiting class of 2011 is finally signed and sealed with Jadeveon Clowney's announcement on Valentine's Day. While college coaches have turned their attention to evaluating the class of 2012, their NFL counterparts are locked in war rooms evaluating tape on the draft eligible players coming out in 2011. Of course we wondered, if NFL teams had to select from current group of high school recruits, who would they draft?
The following mock draft of the 1st round takes a look at where top high school recruits would go based on team needs and draft position.
Tags: Aaron Lynch, Anthony Chickillo, Anthony Johnson, Antonio Richardson, Aundrey Walker, Brandon Shell, Charone Peake, Christian Westerman, Colt Lyerla, Curtis Grant, Cyrus Kouandjio, De'Anthony Thomas, George Farmer, Hasean Clinton-Dix, Isaish Crowell, Ishaq Williams, Jadeveon Clowney, James Wilder Jr., Jaxon Shipley, Jeff Driskel, La'El Collins, Lawrence Thomas, Malcolm Brown, Marcus Roberson, Matthew Hegarty, Quandre Diggs, Ray Drew, Stephon Tuitt, Tony Steward, Trey Metoyer, Tyler Moore, Viliami Moala
Posted on: February 4, 2011 3:21 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Ranking the Big 12 recruiting classes and breaking them down at the same time.
Overview: Mack Brown earned the title of Mr. February once again, turning a losing season and six new coaches into another top 10 class. Once again, the top talent in Texas is headed to Austin in a class that fills a lot of needs on both sides of the ball.
Hidden gem: Wide receiver Jaxon Shipley may have a familiar last name but he has the skills to easily pickup where his brother left off.
Pencil in for the fall: Running back Malcolm Brown, one of the best running backs to commit to the Longhorns out of high school in years.
Just missed on: Offensive tackle Christian Westerman to Auburn.
Overview: The Sooners have a ton of talent returning for 2011 and a likely top three team in the country but that didn’t stop them from bringing a talented recruiting class. It wasn’t a big class but the talent in it should hit the field sooner rather than later (pun very much intended).
Hidden gem: Cornerback Bennett Okotcha, a former Notre Dame commit, has continued to get better and could be a steal after a redshirt year.
Pencil in for the fall: Wide receiver Trey Metoyer, who should be the next freshman wide receiver to put up numbers in the Oklahoma offense.
Just missed on: Athlete Brandon Carter to TCU.
3. Texas Tech
Overview: Tommy Tuberville has certainly made his mark on the recruiting trail for the Red Raiders this year. Pulling prospects from Florida, Wisconsin, Alabama and Pennsylvania show that Tech is no longer just grabbing the players passed over by Texas and Oklahoma. In fact, this may be the most talented class to ever head to Lubbock.
Hidden gem: Defensive end/linebacker Branden Jackson, who could be a terrific hybrid player with his speed and athleticism.
Pencil in for the fall: Running back Kenny Williams has the size and power to add to the Tech ground game from day one.
Just missed on: Cornerback Marcus Roberson to Florida.
4. Oklahoma State
Overview: Credit to Mike Gundy for signing an impressive class, especially on offense, despite experiencing a lot of staff turnover. The Cowboys filled needs and brought in some great skill position talent in 2011.
Hidden gem: Athlete Desmond Roland is very versatile and could play all over for Oklahoma State.
Pencil in for the fall: Running back Herschel Sims should slot into the running back rotation from the get go.
Just missed on: Possibly Jon Jenkins, a former commit at defensive tackle who still hasn’t made his choice.
5. Texas A&M
Overview: The Aggies might not have taken advantage of Texas’ down year quite as much as they might have liked but they did put together a very solid class. Grabbing a few linebackers filled a big need.
Hidden gem: Kicker Taylor Bertolet, one of the best kickers in the country and even kicked the game-winning field goal in the Under Armour All-America game.
Pencil in for the fall: Outside linebacker Shaun Ward should come in and compete for playing time right away.
6. Kansas State
Overview: Junior college heavy to no one’s surprise, the Wildcats grabbed talented players from different parts of the country.
Hidden gem: Former top recruits Arthur and Bryce Brown are part of this class as transfers and are still very talented despite most glossing over them because they transferred awhile back.
Pencil in for the fall: Defensive end Ian Seau may have a familiar name (he’s Junior Seau’s nephew) but he will have no problem getting Wildcat fans to think of Ian whenever they hear of Seau.
Overview: Turner Gill’s first full class as head coach doesn’t have a ton of impact players but it is a deep and versatile class.
Hidden gem: Wide receiver JaCorey Shepherd is a very explosive athlete who could end up being a steal.
Pencil in for the fall: Running back Darrian Miller is an early enrollee so he will already be going through spring drills to learn the system. One of the best backs from the Midwest, he should step in right away at Kansas.
Overview: Solid if not spectacular is the best way to describe Baylor’s class. There’s a ton of talent that should benefit from a redshirt year and good coaching from Art Briles.
Hidden gem: Wide receiver Jonathan Lee has the size and speed to quickly become a factor in the passing game.
Pencil in for the fall: Defensive tackle Trevor Valdez has a terrific motor and great quickness inside.
Overview: Not the typical class we’ve seen from Missouri over the past couple of years but nevertheless a solid class to build around.
Hidden gem: Quarterback Corbin Berkstresser should be a dependable backup early in career before being tapped to put up some big numbers for the Tigers.
Pencil in for the fall: Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson has been waiting for a few years to play for Mizzou and should step in right away in the middle of the defense.
10. Iowa State
Overview: A very surprising class given some of the talents the Cyclones brought in. Although they’re ranked at the bottom of the Big 12 classes, there’s still a talent upgrade headed to Ames.
Hidden gem: Wide receiver Quenton Bundrage is a very speedy kid who could be very productive in just about any offense.
Pencil in for the fall: Running back DeVondrick Nealy is a great get for Iowa State out of Florida.
Tags: Art Briles, Arthur Brown, Baylor, Bennett Okotcha, Big 12, Big 12 Signing Day, Branden Jackson, Brandon Carter, Bryce Brown, Christian Westerman, Corbin Berkstresser, Darrian Miller, Desmond Roland, DeVondrick Nealy, Herschel Sims, Ian Seau, Iowa State, JaCorey Shepherd, Jaxon Shipley, Jon Jenkins, Jonathan Lee, Kansas, Kansas State, Kenny Williams, Mack Brown, Malcolm Brown, Marcus Roberson, Mike Gundy, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Quenton Bundrage, Shaun Ward, Sheldon Richardson, Taylor Bertolet, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tommy Tuberville, Trevor Valdez, Trey Metoyer, Turner Gill
Posted on: February 3, 2011 1:48 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 1:51 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Despite a tumultuous season and an offseason that saw six coaches depart the program, Texas head coach Mack Brown still managed to bring a MaxPreps top 10 recruiting class. Recapping some of the highlights of the class of 2011 and just how the Longhorns kept rolling in February.