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ESPN’s re-ranking leaves 2013 Texas recruiting class 9th in Big 12

Thanks, Mack.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Alabama vs Clemson Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Notice the lack of redshirt juniors and seniors on the 2016 depth chart for the Texas Longhorns?

That’s because Mack Brown’s final full class of 15 players completely cratered, earning a ranking of ninth in the Big 12 when ESPN looked back on the 2013 recruiting class.

Here’s the description from the Worldwide Leader:

2013 grade: A-

2017 grade: D

Top signees: QB Tyrone Swoopes, OT Kent Perkins, TE Geoff Swaim, DE Naashon Hughes, WR Jacorey Warrick

Texas only took 15 signees in the final class that Mack Brown signed. Eight ended up leaving the program. So that's not good. Swoopes, Perkins and Hughes at least played a lot of games, and Swaim is still in the NFL. The toughest loss was probably Darius James, a top-25 ranked recruit who transferred and became Auburn's starting left tackle this season. Bad classes like these help get coaches fired.

The group ranked only in front of Kansas, which loaded up with junior college prospects under Charlie Weis in hopes of rebuilding quickly. The plan failed, as the Jayhawks only hit on seven of 18 prospects from those ranks.

What happened at Texas?

Injuries played a role, with No. 1 junior college tight end and three-star safety Erik Huhn failing to play a single snap between them at Texas.

Behavioral attrition also factored in — talented safety Chevoski Collins was kicked off the team by Charlie Strong during his first purge and linebacker Deoundrei Davis followed not long thereafter.

Wide receiver Montrel Meander was also kicked off the team following a 2014 charge of sexual assault alongside 2012 wide receiver signee Kendall Sanders. The charge was later dismissed after Sanders was found not guilty.

No. 3 junior college offensive tackle Desmond Harrison was suspended for the entire 2014 season and later left school after late-rising offensive guard Rami Hammad bolted for Baylor during the fall. Last summer, Hammad was arrested on stalking charges and kicked off the Bears team.

Overall, Kent Perkins was the only one of the five offensive linemen taken in the class to finish his eligibility with Texas, as Jake Raulerson opted to transfer to Arkansas instead of taking over the starting center role.

Misses hurt just as much as the prospects that Texas did take, with the decision to take Swoopes over JT Barrett looming as large as any in the class.

Then there were the decommitments — running back Kyle Hicks, wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones, tight end Durham Smythe, defensive end Daeshon Hall, and defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson.

Most glaringly, those losses left the Longhorns without any high school signees at running back, tight end, defensive end, and defensive tackle, areas where Strong struggled to rebuild depth.

Ultimately, Brown did a poor job of vetting the character of his signees and couldn’t keep committed prospects in the class as he got caught in his old habits of pushing for quick commitments and then attempting to keep those prospects from later taking visits.

The result was another in a line of disappointing classes that had little margin for error due to its small size.

When it failed, it did so in spectacular fashion.