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Recruiting Rankings | Looking Back at the 2007 Class

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There's no better way to figure out where a team is headed than to look back at where it's been. Fans of every team get excited about how a team is going to find players that other teams have overlooked and each commitment has the potential to be a star. Obviously, that's just not accurate, players don't work out, for whatever reason. And as National Signing Day approaches, it's good to take a look back at the prior recruiting classes.

Since I don't follow other teams closely, it's tough to tell what's a high attrition rate is and what isn't. The best thing that I know to do is to somewhat categorize the players and how much of an impact they had on the team. For this exercise, I also think it's important to take a look at the class overall, and then also take a look at the talent on both the offense and defense, from both a ranking standpoint and an attrition rate and contribution level.  Again, these are my opinions and if there's a consensus to how much a player has contributed then we can change that.  At the end of this exercise and after everyone's weighed in on players then I'll put together a final table where we grade the grades of the recruiting classes.

The fancy tables and analysis are after the jump.

2007 Recruiting Class

Commits Player O / D / ST Scout Rivals Rivals Rating ESPN
1 Bobbie 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 - - 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 - - - 77.00
23 Justin Keown O 2.00 2.00 5.20 40.00
24 Lyle Leong O - - - 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 2.45 4.91 59.34

 

Overall, this is a relatively low ranked class with a fairly pitiful ranking by all of the recruiting services. That's not to say that there weren't some real contributors from this class because by my count, there's a handful of players that made significant contributions to this team, but what you normally want is a team where one of the older recruiting classes makes up the backbone of team. Here's my classifications (again, these are my opinion):

Little to No Contribution | Omar Castillo, Taylor Charbonnet, Jonathan Hollins, David Neill, De'Shon Sanders, Jacob Amie, Dominique Delpeche, Blake Emert, Jerrod Gooch, Stefan Loucks 

Hollins and Amie never even made it on campus. That's ten players that made little to no contribution for this team. Neill, Charbonnet, Sanders and Emert probably got some snaps during parts of this year, but haven't made any significant contribution to this team other than depth. Before Charbonnet was injured, he did make some plays on special teams, but wasn't a big contributor otherwise. Neill might be a usable part in the defensive line rotation next year, but if he hasn't been able to get in the rotation this year then he's probably not going to make the rotation next year either.  I really can't remember what happened to Delpeche or Gooch.  Emert is leaving the team after this year and Loucks transferred the year before last to South Alabama (I think).

Middle of the Road | Bobbie Agoucha, Sam Fehoko, Jared Flannel, Daniel Howard, Brandon Sharpe, Tyrone Sonier, Rashad Hawk, Adam James

For some of these guys, the writing is already on the wall. Hawk is no longer with the team, but last I heard ran track for Texas Tech, but he did contribute a little. I've classified Howard and Sharpe as middle of the road players because they had only one good player with both of these guys. They had really productive years, but to have a player on scholarship for two or three years and he only gives you one good year isn't the best situation. Flannel was pretty good on special teams the year before last, but was injured early in the year and should be a contributor next year. Agoucha, Fehoko, Flannel, Sonier and James are all bit players. Agoucha was kicked off the team and Tuberville has welcomed him back this year. I'm not completely confident that he's going to be a huge part of the team next year. I hope he's a part, but I'm not holding my breath. Fehoko finally got on the field this year and after the last two games, he's played a significant amount of downs at defensive end. He had a decent year this year, but next year has to be his year. Sonier, like Fehoko, had an okay year, but it was his first year to make any sort of contribution and it was okay. I think for some players, it took an entire year for the defensive staff to figure out where players fit. Both Fehoko and Sonier seem to fit that mold.

Solid Contributors | Bront Bird, Colby Whitlock, Aaron Crawford, Lonnie Edwards, Jacoby Franks, Lyle Leong, Detron Lewis, Mickey Okafor, Tramain Swindall

These players either started for a good part of a year or multiple years or have played significant roles on the team. The tough thing here is that there's only two defensive players amongst this group, although it's clear that both Bird and Whitlock were significant players for this team. The good thing about the offensive group is that Crawford, Edwards, Franks, Okafor and Swindall all return next year and should be a significant part of the team next year. I don't know what Crawford's role will be, but he seems like the sort of guy that takes ownership of whatever role he's given, offense or special teams. Teams need players like that. With Edwards, Franks, Okafor and Swindall you might be looking at four starters and that's a good thing for 2011. Leong and Lewis were the stars of the offense this year and now the coaching staff has to figure out who's going to pick up their production.


2007 Recruiting Class | Defense

Commits Player O / D / ST Scout Rivals Rivals Rating ESPN
1 Bobbie 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 - - 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 2.46 5.04 52.77

 

From a pure numbers standpoint, the problem with this recruiting class is that the average defensive rating is relatively low. And if you look at recent or the current recruiting classes, that Rivals Rating is closer to 5.5 rather than 5.0. And you'll note that there were players that weren't even graded or given a grade of 40, like Sanders and Sharpe, which significantly brings down the ESPN average. At some point I thought that sort of thinking was really unfair, but JUCO players are so hit-or-miss, you're lucky to get one good year from a JUCO player and that just seems like a very risky investment. The staff totally missed on 4 of 13 players, which is about 30%. That's not awful, but to what hurt this group was that they weren't there for 3 or 4 years to develop for players like Sanders, Howard or Sharpe.


2007 Recruiting Class | Offense

Commits 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 - - - 77.00
10 Justin Keown O 2.00 2.00 5.20 40.00
11 Lyle Leong O - - - 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 2.47 4.77 66.33

 

Depending on what service you look at, it wasn't much better than the defense, although there were much few reaches offensively, i.e. no JUCO players. At the very least, each player was graded in some form or fashion and at least the staff had ample time to figure out if the guy was a player or if he wasn't a player. Overall, I think this was a pretty good group of players, and really only missed on 5 of 15 players. About 30% of the offensive players.

Questions:

1.  Have I missed anything or graded someone or something incorrectly?

2.  Is there anything else that you'd like to see be given consideration?

3.  How should we rank the players?  What kind of scale (perhaps 1 to 3)?