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Retrospect: Texas Tech Recruiting Classes 2003 and 2004

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So I'm a little bored, I had a bad day at work and thought that I would watch The Office and bury myself in some Texas Tech recruits. I know that we're all excited about the way that the 2007 class is shaping up, but thought that it might be more beneficial to look back at the 2004 and 2003 recruiting classes. I have one disclaimer, all of the information is from Red Raider Sports/Rivals.com and all of the measurables and rankings are courtesy of Rivals.com. As I said before, they seem to be on top of the recruiting game and if I could be trusted, I'd probably join their subscription service.

Also, I'll probably try to make this a yearly exercise, take a look back four years and see where we hit and where we missed.

2004 Recruiting Class

Player Pos Stars Ht Wt 40 RR Comment
Josh Aleman OL 2 6-3 290 5.1 5.2 Could possibly start next year.
Danny Amendola WR 3 5-11 178 4.65 5.5 Strong contributor.
Deke Bake DE 3 6-6 260 4.8 - Juco - Graduated.
Cody Baker OL 2 6-5 280 5.1 5.2 Not on roster.
Brett Bischofberger DT 3 6-3 270 5.1 - Deep snapper
Sylvester Brinkley LB 4 6-4 235 4.6 - Not on roster.
Caldwell Brown DB 2 5-10 175 4.5 5.2 Not on roster.
Marcus Bunton ATH 2 5-9 175 4.4 5.1 Moved to DB, could possibly start next year.
David Chatterton OL 3 6-5 290 5.2 5.5 Not on roster.
Lance Fuller DB 2 6-1 190 4.5 5.1 Minimal playing time.
Charles Glover DT 3 6-4 265 4.9 - Not on roster.
Graham Harrell QB 4 6-2 183 4.7 5.9 Starter, star in the making.
Anthony Hines DB 2 6-2 200 4.6 5.1 Minimal playing time.
Anthony Jenkins ATH 4 6-0 180 4.4 5.8 Not on roster.
Marquis Johnson WR 4 6-3 210 4.4 - Not on roster.
Robert Johnson QB 5 6-1 195 4.45 - Juco - Graduated.
Brian Jones DT 2 6-1 265 5.2 5.2 Has not contributed.
Darcel McBath DB 3 6-2 180 4.5 5.6 Started and contributed this year.
Eric Morris ATH 2 5-9 171 4.47 5.2 Contributed this year.
Jake Ratliff TE 2 6-5 234 4.8 5.2 Moved to DE, should start next year.
L. A. Reed WR 2 6-3 170 4.6 5.3 Should start next year.
Dwayne Slay DB 2 6-4 210 4.65 - Graduated.
Marcus Smith LB 2 6-1 230 4.6 5.4 Not on roster.
Jared Williams OL 2 6-6 245 - 5.1 Moved to DE, does not contribute.
Shannon Woods RB 2 5-11 195 4.4 5.2 Starter, showed real progress.

Let's take a snapshot look at the 2004 class.

  • 8 players are not on the roster.
  • 3 players have graduated.
  • 3 returning players return with significant roles (Ratliff, McBath, Harrell and Woods)
  • Robert Johnson, Dwayne Slay and Deke Blake all had significant impact on the field.
  • The average number of Rivals.com stars was 2.24 (compared with 2.76 with this year's class)

So what can we gather by looking back? Just like any other class, this class has suffered quite a bit of attrition. With 8 players no longer even on the roster the team has suffered some loss. However, of this crew there are two bonafide stars and a number of significant contributors.

Offense:

On offense Harrell and Woods are an integreal part of the offense (note that Woods was only rated a 2 star prospect). L.A. Reed should start next year at receiver although most of his playing time last year was on special teams (where he was freaking awesome). Amendola will be a senior and start next year. Aleman has a chance to start as well. Eric Morris has contributed and will certainly contribute next year.

Defense:

Darcel McBath, although has some deficiencies in his game, will be a junior next year and will start. Marcus Bunton could start as well and played in all 13 games. Jake Ratliff will start at one defensive end and will contribute to a young defensive line. Lance Fuller will contribute more as well as he also played in all 13 games.

So where's the problem? Well, it seems obvious to me, of the recruits, the defensive recruits haven't panned out as planned? Nothing really earth shattering there, but therein lies the problem with Tech, and something that we've discussed before. The Tech offense can take average players and make them great as a result of the system, but it doesn't necessarily work that way with the defensive players. The defensive players need to be more talented in order to make an impact, a true impact. Additionally, Tech's most important player, Harrell, had the highest rating (other than Robert Johnson) so it's understandable that Tech has suffered on defense, especially if you consider the 2003 recruiting class. Bleh.

2003 Recruiting Class

Player Pos Stars Ht Wt 40 RR
Michael Brisco ATH 2 6-3 205 4.4 -
Darylan Carroll DB 2 5-10 160 4.5 -
Dan Christian OL 3 6-6 330 5.2 -
Chauncey Clark LB 4 6-3 225 4.4 -
Phillip Daugherty QB 3 6-3 215 4.78 -
Keyunta Dawson DT 3 6-2 240 4.65 -
Joey Garcia DB 2 6-3 205 4.6 -
Ben Griffin OL 2 6-5 271 4.9 -
Matt Grissel OL 2 6-5 285 5 -
Sione Havili RB 2 6-3 255 4.5 -
Antonio Huffman DB 3 6-0 175 4.45 -
Jamaal Jackson DB 4 5-11 175 4.45 -
Chad Johnson DB 3 5-11 190 4.45 -
Josh Morris OL 2 6-4 270 5.1 -
Chris Parker DB 2 6-0 171 4.41 -
Ryan Phillips DB 3 5-11 185 4.4 -
Tommie Pratt DE 2 6-2 260 4.6 -
Taurance Rawls ATH 3 5-11 190 4.4 -
Alex Reyes K 2 6-0 181 5 -
Raymond Serres OL 2 6-5 265 4.88 -
Jabari Smith DB 3 5-11 180 4.38 -
Brock Stratton LB 2 5-11 225 4.6 -
David Weems TE 3 6-4 235 4.68 -
Paul Williams LB 3 6-2 221 4.55 -
Tyler Yenzer DE 3 6-4 225 4.6 -

So who are the players of note here? Dawson, Garcia, Huffman, Reyes and Stratton. Other than that, I'm not impressed at all. However, the average number of Rivals.com stars, 2.6. Not bad, but the problem is that only a handful of players made an impact.

I hope you enjoyed this exercise. I wish that it would have "proved" something, but unfortunately you can't predict what a kid is going to do when he arrives on campus. I think that it's safe to say that the the Rivals.com ranking system does have it's flaws, but it's probably more right than not and that's impressive considering the volume of players they grade. We'll take a look at the 2005 and 2006 classes when I have a little more time.