Texas 2010 recruiting class defined by lack of championships

Tom Pennington

The 2010 class was a complete failure at the only thing that mattered -- winning championships.

In the aftermath of the disheartening loss in the national championship game to Alabama, the fortunes for the Texas Longhorns on the football field still looked bright as January turned to February and former head coach Mack Brown inked the nation's No. 3 recruiting class by Rivals.

Five-Star Friday commitments from Jackson Jeffcoat and Jordan Hicks came weeks after the announcement from wide receiver Darius White at the Under Armour All-American game, which featured numerous Texas pledges. The heir apparent at quarterback, former blue-chip recruit Garrett Gilbert, had flashed just enough promise replacing Colt McCoy in the championship game that the expectations for his career on the 40 Acres still resided in the stratosphere.

At that point, fans were calling it the Golden Age of Texas athletics, as the three major sports all competed at a high level.

Standards and expectations were as high as they have ever were during the Mack Brown era, but it was clear from the moment that group put pen to paper that ultimate judgement of the class would not take place on the first Wednesday of February, 2010, but rather years down the road.

And that judgement was always going to be based on championships won.

Under Armour All-American defensive tackle Taylor Bible knew that, and confidently predicted four straight national titles and four straight wins in the Red River Rivalry for the Longhorns.

Bible showed up at Texas out of shape after shoulder surgery his junior season and never contributed for Texas.

As for the Horns, the team went 5-7, 8-5, 9-4, and 8-5 over the next four seasons, ultimately costing Brown his job. And forget national titles -- Texas only competed for the Big 12 title once in that stretch, this last season, in a weak year for the conference.

The disaster that was the 2009 recruiting class, including at center stage the costly failure of Gilbert in burnt orange, contributed to the lack of success on the field for the 2010 class, but as the following will show, a lot of those failures fall on misses in 2010, too.

Aaron Benson, Cedar Hill linebacker

Accolades: Prep All-American, Under Armour All-American, second-team DCTF Super Team

Notable offers: Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas A&M

Ranking (Rivals): 4* (5.8)

There weren't really any signs that Benson wouldn't pan out as a prospect when he signed -- he was rated as the No. 21 player in the state, the No. 155 player nationally, and the No. 11 outside linebacker. His scouting report by Rivals pegged him as an early-impact player on special teams, a three-year starter, and a four-year contributor.

Instead, Benson has only managed to play in 14 games over his career, registering two tackles during that time. The impact on special teams never happened and Benson has been repeatedly passed by younger players on the depth chart.

Verdict: Despite being Cedric Benson's cousin, Benson wasn't considered a lazy take -- he was highly productive at one of the top programs in the state, but seems to have enjoyed being a football player at Texas more than working hard to become a good football player at Texas. Benson failed himself and the previous coaching staff failed Benson, allowing him to coast for four years.

Taylor Bible, Denton Guyer defensive tackle

Accolades: Parade All-America, Under Armour All-American

Notable offers: Arizona, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech

Ranking (Rivals): 4* (5.9)

Bible turned in one of the most impressive junior seasons for a defensive tackle in the state of Texas over the last five years before shoulder surgery following the season allowed his weight to balloon. A productive senior season with 118 tackles and six sacks helped cover up the fact that he had lost his signature explosiveness as his weight approached somewhere around 330 pounds, but it was apparent at the Under Armour game that he wasn't the same player that he had been watching him move.

By December of 2011, Bible had left the program after riding the bench as a redshirt freshman, reportedly due to grade issues. He never played a down for the Longhorns.

Verdict: There's a thin line for defensive linemen -- one injury and poor attention to nutrition and exercise during the recovery period can turn an explosive player into an obese non-factor, exactly what happened to Bible.

Carrington Byndom, Lufkin cornerback

Accolades: Three-time All-District, second-team All-State as a senior, second-team DCTF Super Team

Notable offers: Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Stanford

Ranking (Rivals): 4* (5.8)

A low four-star prospect, Byndom ended up being one of the most productive players in the class for Texas, as he started every game at cornerback for Texas over his last three seasons and was a two-time All-Big 12 selection. However, Byndom never seemed to truly build on his breakout sophomore season, playing inconsistently over stretches during his junior and senior seasons.

Still, he finished his career with 29 pass break ups and returned two of his five interceptions for touchdowns, one of only eight players in school history to return two or more interceptions for touchdowns.

Verdict: Byndom was every bit as good as he was supposed to be at Texas and perhaps even a little bit better than expected.

Demarco Cobbs, Tulsa (Okla.) Central athlete

Accolades: Parade All-American, All-State, Under Armour All-American, second-team All-USA, second-team EA Sports All-American, Gatorade Oklahoma High School Player of the Year, Oklahoman Offensive Player of the Year

Notable offers: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas A&M, USC

Ranking (Rivals): 4* (5.8)

Ranked as the No. 18 player in the country by ESPNU, Cobbs was a standout on offense and defense for Tulsa Central, slicing up defenses from the quarterback position.

Cobbs began his career at Texas as a running back, but it quickly became apparent that he didn't have a strong aptitude for that position and he was quickly switched to safety. A redshirt season would have benefitted him tremendously, but he played on special teams before he was moved to linebacker in the spring of 2011.

And then the injuries started. Cobbs missed six games as a sophomore with a broken arm, but flashed in limited action, making a stop behind the line of scrimmage against Kansas and recording a quarterback pressure against Cal in the Holiday Bowl.

Those hints of potential never materialized as a junior, when Cobbs was massively disappointing as part of an underachieving linebacker corps as a starter in six games. By the time that Cobbs suffered a season-ending knee injury against TCU, it hardly seemed like much a loss.

Cobbs did not play in 2013 while recovering from that knee injury and it's unclear whether he will be part of the team in 2014.

Verdict: Finding a position for pure athletes can be difficult at times and injuries slowed Cobbs' development. Some times prospects just miss for reasons that aren't easy to identify.

DeAires Cotton, Alief Taylor defensive tackle

Accolades: Second-team DCTF Super Team, second-team Greater Houston all-area

Notable offers: Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas A&M

Ranking (Rivals): 3* (5.6)

Cotton was never particularly impressive on his high school highlights, making him a questionable take in the first place. After redshirting, a back injury forced him to end his football career prematurely.

Verdict: Injuries are a part of football, but it's hardly surprising that a decidedly non-dynamic prospect didn't pan out.

Greg Daniels, Houston St. Pius X defensive end

Accolades: Third-team DCTF Super Team, Two-time All-State

Notable offers: Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas A&M

Ranking (Rivals): 4* (5.8)

Daniels has had to undergo several transitions during his Texas career -- first he was bulking up to make the move to defensive tackle from defensive end and then he was again shedding weight to help out at tight end. Since switching sides of the ball during the 2012 offseason, Daniels has started 14 games at tight end, where he's been a constantly productive blocker, though his only highlight as a pass catcher was his reception against Iowa State in 2012 on the trice play to honor Darrell K Royal.

The hit rate for players in a position like that of Daniels making so many drastic weight/position changes isn't high, making Daniels something of an anomaly.

Verdict: Given how hard it's been for Texas to find production at the tight end position, Daniels has been a solid take and a good contributor.

Mike Davis, Dallas Skyline wide receiver

Accolades: Second-team EA Sports All-American, Under Armour All-American, No. 2 wide receiver and No. 13 player nationally by ESPN, first-team All-State by AP and TSWA, first-team DCTF Super Team

Notable offers: Cal, Florida, LSU, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Stanford, Texas A&M, Texas Tech

Ranking (Rivals): 4* (6.0)

A near miss by the previous coaching staff, Davis was one of the few attendees at the first Junior Day in 2009 not to receive an offer. He later committed to LSU, but reached out to the Texas staff late in the process and told them that he wanted to become a Longhorn. Despite a large receiver class that year, the coaches decided to take his commitment.

And it was a really good thing that they did, as Davis went on to become one of the most productive wide receivers in Texas history. Capable of getting open deep on post routes on a consistent basis, Davis was the favored big-play target of David Ash and held the same status with Case McCoy last fall after Ash's injury.

Davis now sits at No. 4 all-time at Texas in receptions and receiving yards and No. 5 in touchdown receptions. A three-time All-Big 12 performer, the Skyline product registered 10 career 100-yard games, tied for second in school history.

Add everything together and there's a strong case to be made that Davis deserves mention with Roy Williams and Jordan Shipley as the best receivers in Texas history.

Verdict: The fact that Davis was passed over for players who ultimately failed to contribute at Texas and then basically recruited himself to the class is one of many indictments of former wide receivers coach Bobby Kennedy's last several years with the Longhorns.

Ashton Dorsey, Tyler John Tyler defensive tackle

Accolades: Prep All-American, Under Armour All-American, two-time All-State, two-time first-team All-District

Notable offers: Oklahoma, Texas A&M, UCLA

Ranking (Rivals): 4* (5.9)

As the process winded down and it became clear that Taylor Bible was overweight and had lost his explosiveness, Dorsey became an even more important part of the class, as De'Aires Cotton was never projected as a difference-maker.

And Dorsey did at times fulfill the significant expectations that started to emerge as he made his way to Texas, starting six games and appearing in 24 more, recording 11 tackles for loss as a junior in 2012, production that would have made him one of the top returning defensive tackles in the Big 12 had he made it to his senior season. Had Dorsey played the entire year, he would have surely added to those numbers, as he missed two games with a calf injury and two games with a concussion.

Unfortunately, Dorsey left the program before the 2013 season after he and the coaches decided it would be in the best interest of both parties to end his career as a Longhorn at that point.

Verdict: Dorsey may have ultimately been a bit of a disappointment because of his 2012 injuries and unceremonious departure from the program, he was still the only defensive tackle from the class who ended up producing for Texas.

Dominic Espinosa, Cedar Park center

Accolades: Prep All-American, US Army All-American, All-State selection, two-time All-District, second-team DCTF Super Team, No. 1 center nationally by Rivals

Notable offers: Kansas State, Missouri, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCLA

Ranking (Rivals): 4* (5.9)

By his second year in Austin, Espinosa was the starting center, a position that he has held down for three seasons, starting 39 consecutive games. Durable and mobile, Espinosa has struggled at times against the strong, squatty nose tackle types and was one of the weak links on the line during the early part of the 2013 season with numerous missed blocks, but he improved throughout the season and managed to turn in some strong efforts when the Texas running game surged.

Verdict: Texas had some serious problems evaluating and developing talent along the offensive line during the last several seasons Mac McWhorter was the offensive line coach at Texas, but Espinosa was a strong take who has become a solid contributor for the Horns and will likely finish his career as a four-year starter barring injury.

John Harris, Garland Naaman Forest wide receiver

Accolades: Two-time first-team All-District, third-team DCTF Super Team

Notable offers: Arizona, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech

Ranking (Rivals): 4* (5.8)

Harris was a productive wide receiver as a junior who showed an ability to make defenders miss on hitch passes, but moved to quarterback as a senior in a move that may have slowed his development at the wide receiver position. After a redshirt in 2010, a foot injury in 2011 also seems to have set him back and may have cost him some of the explosiveness that he showed in high school.

Known as a strong blocker, Harris has played some flex tight end and some wide receiver, but has struggled to get onto the field and caught only five balls as a junior, though two of them went for touchdowns, including the Hail Mary from Case McCoy before the half against Iowa State that ranked as one of the top plays from the 2013 season and was a critical moment in keeping the Horns in that game against the Cyclones.

Verdict: Harris was another of the big wide receiver takes from Bobby Kennedy who has not ended up becoming a productive player in college and is on the potential attrition list at the moment.

Jordan Hicks, West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West linebacker

Accolades: Parade All-American, EA Sports All-American, USA TODAY first-team All-USA, Under Armour All-American, High School Butkus Award winner, Gatorade's Ohio High School Football Player of the Year, No. 1 outside linebacker and No. 4 player nationally by ESPNU

Notable offers: Alabama, Cincinnati, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, South Carolina, Stanford, USC, Virginia, Wisconsin

Ranking (Rivals): 5* (6.1)

One of the major coups in the entire class, Hicks committed on the same day as fellow five-star Jackson Jeffcoat, perhaps the last truly high point for Texas football. Called the best linebacker in Ohio history by his high school coach, Hicks looked like a can't-miss prospect set for a productive career at Texas.

A bit player in 2010, appearing in 12 games on special teams and eight games at linebacker, Hicks suffered his first significant injury in the spring of 2011, when he missed most of practice with a fractured foot. Then there was a hamstring injury that limited him as a sophomore, even though he managed 65 tackles. Then there was the hip flexor injury that ended his 2012 season after only three games. Then there was the torn Achilles that ended his 2013 season against Kansas State in the conference opener.

Hicks may be able to play another two years at Texas, assuming that his Achilles injury heals to the point where he can once again play, but it doesn't seem like a stretch to suggest that he probably won't be the same player he was last season and probably was not the same player last season that he was when he came into the program.

Verdict: Hicks seems like he was always on track to become the player everyone expected when he arrived at Texas, but his body has just let him down repeatedly.

Trey Hopkins, Galena Park North Shore offensive lineman

Accolades: Prep All-American, US Army All-American, Houston Touchdown Club's Offensive Player of the Year, All-State, All-Area, two-time All-District, No. 1 guard by Rivals

Notable offers: Stanford, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt

Ranking (Rivals): 4* (5.9)

The mobile lineman from the run-heavy North Shore program didn't have to wait long to make an impact at Texas, as an injury to starter Michael Huey thrust Hopkins into the starting lineup for four games as a true freshman. As a sophomore, a lack of depth at tackle pushed Hopkins outside even though it wasn't his ideal position and he acquitted himself well in his 13 starts there.

When he was able to move back inside to his natural guard position as a junior, Hopkins emerged as the team's best offensive lineman. In 2013, it was more of the same, as Hopkins teamed with tackle Donald Hawkins to form a dominant left side of the line behind which the Longhorns ran repeatedly and with great success. During a stretch in the middle of the season, it was rare to see Hopkins miss a block, whether in the run game or in pass protection.

By the time Hopkins finished at Texas, he had earned two All-Big 12 selections, including first-team honors from the AP, Sporting News, and ESPN as a senior.

Verdict: Hopkins wasn't able to benefit from a redshirt season, but has turned in a massively productive career nonetheless and has been a model person teammate by all accounts.

Bryant Jackson, Sulphur Springs safety

Accolades: First-team TSWA All-State, second-team DCTF Super Team, two-time All-District

Notable offers: Texas A&M

Ranking (Rivals): 4* (5.8)

After a redshirt season in 2010, Jackson moved from defensive back to wide receiver in 2011 due to a lack of numbers at the position and was a bit contributor during his redshirt freshman season, mostly playing on special teams. In 2012, Jackson was a bigger factor, making plays on special teams with seven tackles and showing up in the stat sheet with eight catches and a 17.5-yard per-catch average, making him a dark horse to contribute in a meaningful way at wide receiver in 2013.

But Jackson suffered a foot injury during fall camp and never recovered in time to play in 2013. With a medical redshirt, he would have two seasons of eligibility remaining, but it's unclear whether he will be a part of the team moving forward.

Verdict: For most players, a position change is a death knell for their long-term prospects and while Jackson has contributed in moments, overall he hasn't ended up making an impact at Texas to match the expectations generated by his four-star ranking out of high school.

Tevin Jackson, Garland linebacker

Accolades: US Army All-American, Prep All-American, All-State, All-Area, two-time All-District

Notable offers: Kansas, Oklahoma

Ranking (Rivals): 4* (6.0)

Jackson was a rather under-the-radar prospect when he committed at the first Texas Junior Day in 2009 with teammate Adrian Phillips, but ended up becoming one of the most highly-rated players in the state and the No. 36 player nationally.

A Sergio Kindle type because of his aggressive style of play at his best when playing straight ahead, Jackson stood out at in 7on7 at Gridiron Kings before his senior season, providing hope that he wasn't just a one-dimensional linebacker.

However, his first setback occurred quite quickly in his career as a victim of the Brian Davis experience, as there was an issue with his high school transcript that had him flagged by the NCAA and declared ineligible for the 2010 season. Jackson made it to campus the next year and was a special teams contributor before emerging late in 2012 as a blitz linebacker excelling in a similar role to the one that he played in high school.

The 2013 season was much less positive, as Jackson struggled to find the field under defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, making only three tackles before a season-ending ACL injury against Kansas that has put the final season of his Texas career in jeopardy, though he does have a redshirt season if he needs it.

Verdict: When taking linebackers who have rather limited high school film and aren't asked to do much more than play downhill, it's not overly surprising if they fail to develop, though some of that may fall on former defensive coordinator Manny Diaz.

Jackson Jeffcoat, Plano West defensive end

Accolades:

Notable offers: Arizona State, Cal, Florida, Georgia, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Stanford, TCU, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, USC

Ranking (Rivals):

The other Five-Star Friday edition, Jeffcoat was a huge pledge for the Longhorns over the Sooners because Oklahoma was still a major contender for top prospects in the state at that time and Jeffcoat opted to join the class even though it already featured another highly-rated defensive end in Reggie Wilson, giving Texas an embarrassment of riches at the position.

Once Jeffcoat got to Texas, it was apparent that he was going to contribute much more quickly than Wilson, hardly a surprise given the high-level tutelage that he received from his father in high school. In limited playing time as a freshman, Jeffcoat recorded six tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks, but missed four games due to an ankle injury.

As a sophomore, Jeffcoat had to battle through a torn pectoral muscle to turn in a monster performance in the Holiday Bowl against Cal in which he had eight tackles, three tackles for loss, and two sacks to cap his breakout season.

Another torn pectoral muscle ended his season against Oklahoma after a strong six games to start his junior campaign, but still finished second on the team with 11 tackles for loss and four sacks.

As a senior, Jeffcoat managed to stay healthy for an entire season for the first time and it showed. The Hendricks Award winner as the nation's top defensive end, Jeffcoat also took home Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors for his efforts, which included leading the team with 86 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, and 13 sacks.

Verdict: Had Jeffcoat managed to stay healthy throughout his entire career at Texas, he would have likely finished with more tackles for loss than anyone else in team history and much higher on the all-time sacks list than seventh. Even with the injuries, he still managed to become one of the most productive defensive ends from a school that churned out NFL prospects at the position for more than a decade now.

Chris Jones, Daingerfield wide receiver

Accolades: Two-time second-team TSWA All-State, two-time state champion

Notable offers: Baylor, TCU, Texas A&M

Ranking (Rivals): 4* (5.9)

Jones came out of high school as a potential big-play threat with his vertical speed, but redshirted and then left the program without ever making a catch. Since then, it's hard to figure out if he ever played football again.

Verdict: Some players just aren't a cultural fit in Austin and get homesick. Another mysterious flameout, it's hard to accurately say what happened with Jones that kept him from ever making an impact at Texas.

Case McCoy, Graham quarterback

Accolades: Offense-Defense All-American, prep All-American, two-time All-State, state champion

Notable offers: Arizona, Auburn, Texas A&M

Ranking (Rivals): 3* (5.6)

The younger brother of former Texas star Case McCoy, the question surrounding the younger McCoy throughout his recruitment and his time in Austin was whether he was a legacy take because of his brother.

But his last name also benefitted him tremendously as a player, helping to create a cult-like following based on his intangible qualities. Five career fourth-quarter comebacks justifiably helped to fuel the myth-making, aided by two of the four longest consecutive streaks without interceptions in school history.

In between those streaks, however, McCoy was often prone to bouts of interceptions, including four against Baylor in 2011 and two that were nearly returned for touchdowns and led to two short scores for Kansas State in 2012. In the same game, McCoy also completed 17 straight passes, a mark that is tied for second in school history and the single game that encapsulated the entire Case McCoy Experience.

The finish to McCoy's career quieted even his most ardent supporters, as he threw for more interception return yards against Baylor and Oregon than he had passing yards and had more interception return touchdowns against him than passing touchdowns thrown, two of the worst performances by a recent

Still, McCoy will ultimately be known as much for his come-from-behind victories against Texas A&M in 2011 and Kansas in 2011, as well as the dominate win over Oklahoma in 2013, as for the terrible finish to his Texas career. Mack Brown managed to avoid a number of high-profile losses that could have otherwise ended his coaching career in Austin due to McCoy, but ultimately, Colt's little brother couldn't do enough to save his head coach's job for another season.

Verdict: Texas took McCoy as a career back up and got a career back up who owns a special place in Texas history as inexplicably intertwined in the drama of Mack Brown's demise.

Adrian Phillips, Garland athlete

Accolades: Second-team DCTF Super Team

Notable offers: Oklahoma

Ranking (Rivals):

A jack-of-all-trades in high school, Phillips did a little bit of everything for Garland, but always projected as a defensive back at Texas, where he immediately saw the field, especially on special teams. It took some time to find the right position for him, as he filled in at cornerback as a sophomore, including five starts, before he moved to safety permanently as a junior.

And even though Phillips found a home at safety in 2012, it was a season marred by tackling issues that were compounded by a shoulder injury suffered late in 2011 that kept him out of spring practice, out of the weight room, and limited in fall practice before being thrown on the field when the season started.

Phillips recovered from those struggles after some unsteady moments early in 2013 and finished second on the team in tackles and first in solo stops, all while anchoring a secondary that had to change its identity on the fly when Greg Robinson took over as the defensive coordinator.

Verdict: There were some rough moments for Phillips during his career, but he was ultimately a two-year starter and the backbone of the 2013 secondary -- he ended up being virtually everything that Texas wanted from him, especially in the context of all the other failures in this class.

William Russ, Shreveport (La.) Evangel Christian kicker

Accolades: First-team All-State, state champion

Notable offers: Arkansas, Miami, Vanderbilt

Ranking (Rivals): 3* (5.5)

Rated as the No. 11 kicker in the country by Rivals, Russ was seen at the time of his signing as the final piece of a potential championship puzzle, the player likely to have a championship-winning kick on his foot during his career.

Instead, Russ hasn't managed to earn a single job in the kicking game during his four years on campus and despite averaging 41 yards per punt in high school, wasn't able to earn that job last season, either, though he was sidelined with a back injury during a critical stretch in the spring.

For his career, Russ has only attempted four kickoffs in games. With Anthony Fera gone, Russ will have a shot at the placekicker and punter jobs this fall, but it would be a surprise to see him still on scholarship with Texas currently over the limit.

Verdict: There's a certain amount of risk assumed with every scholarship kicker taken since preferred walk ons often up winning jobs and don't cost scholarships. Because the scholarships are so limited for these positions, any misses are magnified.

Traylon Shead, Cayuga running back

Accolades: US Army All-American, three-time first-team All-State, AP and TSWA 1A Offensive Player of the Year, all-time Texas leader in rushing touchdowns at time of graduation

Notable offers: Baylor, TCU, Texas A&M

Ranking (Rivals): 4* (5.8)

Shead came to Texas after an immensely productive high school career that saw him finish second all-time in rushing yards in the state and first in rushing touchdowns, with the latter mark only standing for two more seasons, when it was broken by current Longhorn Johnathan Gray.

Cayuga won the 1A basketball title during his senior season and Shead was photographed throwing a hook 'em at Texas governor Rick Perry, a moment that marked the high point of Shead's career.

After redshirting in 2010, Shead played in four games at H-back in 2011 before opting to transfer after never carrying the ball at Texas. A year at Navarro College helped him land at SMU, but battled through an injury last season.

Verdict: Small-town running backs who are 6'2 and 215 pounds coming out of high school will probably have trouble sticking at running back at a major-college program.

Darius Terrell, DeSoto wide receiver

Accolades: Parade All-American, first-team All-State

Notable offers: Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas Tech

Ranking (Rivals): 4* (5.8)

A standout on the basketball court as well as on the football field at DeSoto, Terrell was one of the first Junior Day takes over Mike Davis because of his hands and ball skills. He quickly made the move to tight end at Texas and bulked up, but was more interested in playing wide receiver and made only one catch in burnt orange before opting to transfer.

Terrell caught seven passes for 76 yards in 2013 at North Texas after sitting out a season.

Verdict: Texas tried and failed at making big wide receivers with questionable speed into tight ends.

Adrian White, DeSoto cornerback

Accolades: Under Armour All-American, first-team TSWA All-State, first-team DCTF Super Team

Notable offers: Cal, Florida, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin

Ranking (Rivals): 3* (5.7)

The top target for Texas at cornerback in the 2010 class, White seemingly had all the physical tools to succeed, but notably struggled in two high-profile match ups against future teammate Mike Davis that provided some serious cause for concern and probably helped knock White down into the three-star range.

Once he got to Austin, he struggled to get onto the field and contributed only on special teams, making nine total tackles, before transferring in the spring of 2012 after he was passed on the depth chart by younger players in the 2011 class. His only real memorable moments at Texas were getting run over by Chris Whaley twice in the 2010 spring game.

Verdict: White is an example of the hazards of early recruiting and if a top prospect gets burned

Darius White, Fort Worth Dunbar wide receiver

Accolades: Under Armour All-American, Parade All-American

Notable offers: Auburn, Florida, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, TCU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, USC, Utah

Ranking (Rivals): 4* (6.0)

The No. 6 wide receiver nationally and the No. 41 player in the country by Rivals, White was the last addition to what was seen as a stellar wide receiver class for Texas when he committed at the Under Armour game.

Once he got to Texas, however, White struggled to get on the field, even as a sophomore when freshman Jaxon Shipley went down for three games with a knee injury. Including a 31-yard touchdown catch against Texas Tech at the end of the blowout in 2011, White caught only six passes during his Texas career before transferring in December of 2011.

White ended up at Missouri amid rumors that he had bad-mouthed the program to 2012 blue-chip wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham while the latter was taking his official visit to Texas. In 2013, the Fort Worth native caught only seven passes for 76 yard and one touchdown.

Verdict: Wide receivers without polish obviously have a higher bust rate than more refined prospects and White compounded that issue by having a poor attitude and work ethic.

Reggie Wilson, Haltom City defensive end

Accolades: US Army All-American, second-team All-USA, first-team AP All-State, first-team DCTF Super Team, Fort Worth Star-Telegram Defensive Player of the Year

Notable offers: Arkansas, California, Florida State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Stanford, TCU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, USC

Ranking (Rivals): 4* (6.0)

A native of the Ivory Coast, Wilson was known as an immensely talented but raw prospect coming out of high school. Dumped into a crowded defensive rotation that included Sam Acho, Alex Okafor, Jackson Jeffcoat, and eventually Cedric Reed, Wilson would have benefited from a redshirt, but played mostly on special teams as a freshman and remained a bit player for the rest of his career.

Perhaps at a school with a less-talented depth chart at defensive end, Wilson would have turned more early playing time into a stronger finish to his career. As it is, Wilson is a cautionary tale about prospects who have everything together personally and all the athleticism necessary to succeed, but just can't put it ally together in a meaningful way on the field.

Verdict: Players like Wilson are why depth has to be recruited at every position and why it's ideal to combine some polished players with more raw takes to reduce risk.

Connor Wood, Houston Second Baptist quarterback

Accolades: US Army All-American, prep All-American, three-time All-State, No. 1 pro-style quarterback by Rivals.

Notable offers: Alabama, Arizona, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Stanford, TCU, Texas A&M

Ranking (Rivals): 4* (5.9)

Wood was the top quarterback in the state in a class that ultimately produced a better player in James Franklin, who wasn't ranked much lower than Wood. A big recruiting victory over Oklahoma, the Second Baptist product enrolled early and battled for the starting job into the 2010 season, but never made a great deal of progress on the depth chart because of his inconsistent play and ended up transferring before the 2011 season.

As often happens with quarterbacks, the injury to Garrett Gilbert might have given Wood a chance to play, but he was already off to Colorado, where he's been a below average player.

Verdict: Quarterbacks have the highest transfer rate of any position and taking quarterbacks with major accuracy issues in high school is inherently dangerous.

*****

In all, the 25-man class produced only four players who look like they have a shot at the NFL unless Jordan Hicks can miraculously come back from all his injuries to have a shot or Adrian Phillips manages to catch on somewhere.

Here's the breakdown:

  • All-American (1) -- Jackson Jeffcoat
  • All-Big 12 (3) -- Mike Davis, Trey Hopkins, Carrington Byndom
  • Starter (5) -- Greg Daniels, Ashton Dorsey, Dominic Espinosa, Jordan Hicks, Adrian Phillips
  • Contributor (5) -- Demarco Cobbs, Bryant Jackson, Tevin Jackson, Case McCoy, Reggie Wilson
  • Non-contributor/transfer (10) -- Aaron Benson, Taylor Bible, De'Aires Cotton, John Harris, Chris Jones, William Russ, Traylon Shead, Adrian White, Darius White, Connor Wood

The inclusion of most of those contributors is probably questionable, as Cobbs and the Jacksons haven't produced much, while Harris has played fairly extensively on special teams. By a strict definition, then, McCoy and Wilson are the only non-starter contributors, while the other three could slot into the non-contributor/transfer list, which makes up nearly one half of the class.

What's rather shocking about the non-contributor/transfer list is how many of those players were Army or Under Armour All-Americans -- Benson, Bible, Shead, Wood, and the Whites. Six players who were considered among the best in the country at their respective positions never managed to make an impact at Texas in any way.

This was a class with two five-star players, 19 four-star prospects, and only four three stars. Where the attrition of most classes might be expected to come from the three-star ranks, the prospects who were always more questionable takes like Patrick Nkwopara or Brock Fitzhenry in the past, 10 of the non-contributors/transfers were four-star prospects, a miss rate of more than 50%.

Some of that is probably poor evaluations by Rivals, as Terrell, Shead, Harris, Daniels, and Bryant Jackson were all seem like borderline four-star prospects in retrospect. Perhaps there was some of the bias towards Texas commits that A&M fans always liked to cite over the years, as ESPN classified all of those players as three-star prospects.

In the end, though, the group was always going to be defined by the championships that they won and they failed to even win the Big 12.

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