Recruiting Rankings | Looking Back at the 2008 Class

Up this morning, is the 2008 class, which was relatively small and had some real reaches on defense that never paid off. Up first, is the entire class, which was only 16 players total (it included Donnie Carona as a special teams player). I should also mention that I thought about DTN grading the classes and I came up with a numerical system that I thought we would debate, but I also wondered if it did us any good to grade the classes. In part because the closer we get to this class, the tougher it is to actually determine if a class has done much of anything. Ed. Note:  I did a less than stellar job of looking at the 2007 class and you'll see corrected tables at the end of this post.

The 2008 recruiting class had 8 defensive players and 7 offensive players, with 1 special teams player:

2008 Recruiting Class

 

# Player O/D/ST Scout Rivals Rivals Rating ESPN
1 Cody Davis D 3.00 2.00 5.40 72.00
2 McKinner Dixon D 4.00 4.00 5.90 -
3 Brandon Sesay D 4.00 4.00 5.90 -
4 Ryan Haliburton D 3.00 3.00 5.60 75.00
5 Joey Fowler D 3.00 3.00 5.60 78.00
6 Broderick Marshall D 4.00 3.00 5.60 -
7 Brandon Reid D 2.00 3.00 5.50 40.00
8 Jarrell Routt D 2.00 3.00 5.50 -
9 Cornelius Douglas O 3.00 3.00 5.60 72.00
10 Austin Zouzalik O - 2.00 5.30 -
11 Seth Doege O 3.00 3.00 5.70 73.00
12 Deveric Gallington O 3.00 3.00 5.70 40.00
13 Harrison Jeffers O 3.00 4.00 5.80 78.00
14 Terry McDaniel O 3.00 3.00 5.50 78.00
15 Joe King O 2.00 3.00 5.50 40.00
16 Donnie Carona S 2.00 2.00 5.10 40.00
  AVERAGES   2.75 3.00 5.58 42.88

 

On paper, this class actually graded out incredibly well with the Scout and Rivals recruiting services. I'm sure that this was a class that I celebrated because of the handful of 4-star players, especially on defense. I mentioned this when discussing the 2007 recruiting class, but if it's not clear that recruiting JUCO players is a hit-or-miss proposition. Of the 8 defensive players, 4 of those were JUCO players. When a player doesn't work out, and it's debatable whether or not a JUCO player plays just one year is considered to be all you ask of a player. But ESPN continues to give a zero rank for most, if not all JUCO players and if there's a class that demonstrates ESPN's philosophy of thinking of JUCO players as icing on the cake (i.e., if you get anything out of them, consider it a win). Let's take a look at the defense and offense a little closer.

More after the jump.


2008 Recruiting Class | Defense

 

# Player O/D/ST Scout Rivals Rivals Rating ESPN
1 Cody Davis D 3.00 2.00 5.40 72.00
2 McKinner Dixon D 4.00 4.00 5.90 -
3 Brandon Sesay D 4.00 4.00 5.90 -
4 Ryan Haliburton D 3.00 3.00 5.60 75.00
5 Joey Fowler D 3.00 3.00 5.60 78.00
6 Broderick Marshall D 4.00 3.00 5.60 -
7 Brandon Reid D 2.00 3.00 5.50 40.00
8 Jarrell Routt D 2.00 3.00 5.50 -
  AVERAGES   3.13 3.13 5.63 33.13

 

There's only 1 player, and it's painfully obvious, that made any impact from this recruiting class. Thank you Mr. Davis. What we're looking at here is almost a complete failure of a recruiting class. To only have one player make an impact for more than one year is not good, and if there's a reason why the current defense is struggling, this is a good place to start.

Dixon and Sesay both had a productive year, but both are knuckleheads and couldn't make things stick. Routt may have been on campus for a year, I'm not sure, but he was at best a special teams player that I don't even remember making plays on special teams. Fowler was on campus for a year (I think), but he couldn't stick. With Marshall and Reid I'm pretty sure that these two never made it on campus, and if they did I can't remember.  Marshall and Reid were always grade risks and there was a good chance that both would have never stuck.

This is the definition of making a gamble for the 2008 season with the hope that some of these players would make a significant impact. This is putting all your chips in, especially on defense, with the hope that this would pay off with some of these players would help with a 2008 team. The problem with doing this is that it cripples your program in the relative future and if you want to point to a class that is the problem with the 2010 team, it's the 2008 defense.  It's this class that should have been the big part of the 2010 defense, but you've got one player making a contribution.  The funny thing is that the offense signed lower rated high school players, but is looking like will be a fairly successful recruiting class.

Perhaps the greater point isn't to never recruit JUCO players, but if JUCO players constitute a large percentage of your recruiting class there's potential for those players not to make a significant impact and can have a long-term effect on overall success of a team.


2008 Recruiting Class | Offense

 

# Player O/D/ST Scout Rivals Rivals Rating ESPN
1 Cornelius Douglas O 3.00 3.00 5.60 72.00
2 Austin Zouzalik O - 2.00 5.30 -
3 Seth Doege O 3.00 3.00 5.70 73.00
4 Deveric Gallington O 3.00 3.00 5.70 40.00
5 Harrison Jeffers O 3.00 4.00 5.80 78.00
6 Terry McDaniel O 3.00 3.00 5.50 78.00
7 Joe King O 2.00 3.00 5.50 40.00
  AVERAGES   2.43 3.00 5.59 54.43

 

On paper, this looked like a pretty bad class, but it's actually turned out to be okay, especially when you consider the attrition rate of the 2008 defensive class. Joe King was the only player that didn't make any sort of impact, but Texas Tech has had some sort of contribution from 6 of the remaining 7 commits, which is really a staggering figure. Of course, you can't expect that every player is going to be a super-star, but you have the starting right guard, two significant inside receivers, the possible starting quarterback next year, a pretty talented running back and the top back-up offensive lineman for next year.

If there was ever a contrast in recruiting tactics, it's the 2008 class. With high school commits, there's at least a chance that the player will be a player and a program has at least 5 years to help that player figure it out. With a JUCO commit, you've got 2 years and typically, there's a reason why that player was in a JUCO in the first place, usually grades, and so there's almost always a risk. To hit on 6 of 7 recruits is a high figure, but when you give players time to get into a program and make an impact, this is an example of how it can work.


Overall

The last few tables before the corrected 2007 tables reflect a couple of things. The first table is the year, total number of commits and the ratings for those years. The second table is just the defense and offense, with the percentage of commits for each class. In other words, the percentage of offensive commits for a particular class and percentage of defensive commits for a particular class as well as the offense and defense grades.

 

Year #   Scout Rivals Rivals Rating ESPN ESPN Grades
2007 29   2.38 2.72 5.47   59.34
2008 16   2.75 3.00 5.58   42.88

 

Please note that the column "ESPN" will be the number of stars awarded by ESPN and they didn't start handing out stars until the 2010 recruiting classes. It will be filled in once we get there.

Overall | Offense

 

Year # % Scout Rivals Rivals Rating ESPN ESPN Grades
2007 15 51.72% 2.40 2.80 5.49   66.33
2008 7 43.75% 2.43 3.00 5.59   54.43

 

Overall | Defense

 

Year # % Scout Rivals Rivals Rating ESPN ESPN Grades
2007 13 44.83% 2.38 2.69 5.46   52.77
2008 8 50.00% 3.13 3.13 5.63   33.13

 

Everything appears to be fairly even here. There wasn't too much disparity between the offense and defense in terms of number of commits. The biggest thing, and I mentioned this above, is that of the 8 defensive commits in the 2008 class, 7 of them didn't do much of anything. Be afraid of putting all your eggs in the JUCO basket.


CORRECTED | 2007 Recruiting Class | Total

 

# Player O / D / ST Scout Rivals Rivals Rating ESPN
1 Bobby Agoucha D 2.00 2.00 5.20 40.00
2 Bront Bird D 2.00 3.00 5.50 73.00
3 Omar Castillo D 2.00 2.00 5.20 40.00
4 Taylor Charbonnet D 2.00 3.00 5.50 68.00
5 Sam Fehoko D 3.00 3.00 5.70 72.00
6 Jared Flannel D 3.00 3.00 5.60 71.00
7 Daniel Howard D 2.00 2.00 5.30 40.00
8 Jonathan Hollins D 3.00 3.00 5.50 72.00
9 David Neill D 3.00 3.00 5.50 68.00
10 De'Shon Sanders D 3.00 3.00 5.60 -
11 Brandon Sharpe D 2.00 2.00 5.40 -
12 Tyrone Sonier D 2.00 3.00 5.50 69.00
13 Colby Whitlock D 2.00 3.00 5.50 73.00
14 Jacob Amie O 3.00 3.00 5.70 74.00
15 Aaron Crawford O 2.00 3.00 5.50 75.00
16 Dominique Delpeche O 2.00 2.00 5.30 40.00
17 Lonnie Edwards O 4.00 4.00 5.80 73.00
18 Blake Emert O 3.00 3.00 5.60 70.00
19 Jacoby Franks O 2.00 3.00 5.50 63.00
20 Jerrod Gooch O 3.00 3.00 5.50 77.00
21 Rashad Hawk O 3.00 3.00 5.50 77.00
22 Adam James O - 3.00 5.50 77.00
23 Justin Keown O 2.00 2.00 5.20 40.00
24 Lyle Leong O - 2.00 5.20 71.00
25 Detron Lewis O 3.00 3.00 5.60 40.00
26 Stefan Loucks O 3.00 2.00 5.20 75.00
27 Mickey Okafor O 3.00 3.00 5.50 71.00
28 Tramain Swindall O 3.00 3.00 5.70 72.00
29 Jonathan LaCour ST 2.00 2.00 5.20 40.00
  AVERAGES   2.38 2.72 5.47 59.34

 

2007 Recruiting Class | Defense

# Player O / D / ST Scout Rivals Rivals Rating ESPN
1 Bobby Agoucha D 2.00 2.00 5.20 40.00
2 Bront Bird D 2.00 3.00 5.50 73.00
3 Omar Castillo D 2.00 2.00 5.20 40.00
4 Taylor Charbonnet D 2.00 3.00 5.50 68.00
5 Sam Fehoko D 3.00 3.00 5.70 72.00
6 Jared Flannel D 3.00 3.00 5.60 71.00
7 Daniel Howard D 2.00 2.00 5.30 40.00
8 Jonathan Hollins D 3.00 3.00 5.50 72.00
9 David Neill D 3.00 3.00 5.50 68.00
10 De'Shon Sanders D 3.00 3.00 5.60 -
11 Brandon Sharpe D 2.00 2.00 5.40 -
12 Tyrone Sonier D 2.00 3.00 5.50 69.00
13 Colby Whitlock D 2.00 3.00 5.50 73.00
  AVERAGES   2.38 2.69 5.46 52.77

 

2007 Recruiting Class | Offense

# Player O / D / ST Scout Rivals Rivals Rating ESPN
1 Jacob Amie O 3.00 3.00 5.70 74.00
2 Aaron Crawford O 2.00 3.00 5.50 75.00
3 Dominique Delpeche O 2.00 2.00 5.30 40.00
4 Lonnie Edwards O 4.00 4.00 5.80 73.00
5 Blake Emert O 3.00 3.00 5.60 70.00
6 Jacoby Franks O 2.00 3.00 5.50 63.00
7 Jerrod Gooch O 3.00 3.00 5.50 77.00
8 Rashad Hawk O 3.00 3.00 5.50 77.00
9 Adam James O - 3.00 5.50 77.00
10 Justin Keown O 2.00 2.00 5.20 40.00
11 Lyle Leong O - 2.00 5.20 71.00
12 Detron Lewis O 3.00 3.00 5.60 40.00
13 Stefan Loucks O 3.00 2.00 5.20 75.00
14 Mickey Okafor O 3.00 3.00 5.50 71.00
15 Tramain Swindall O 3.00 3.00 5.70 72.00
  AVERAGES   2.40 2.80 5.49 66.33
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