National Signing Day: Grading The 2011 Texas Longhorns Recruiting Class

2011 National Siging Day - Texas Longhorns Review

Overall Class Rating - A

Top Half Of The Class:

  1. Steve Edmond
  2. Quandre Diggs
  3. Malcolm Brown
  4. Sheroid Evans
  5. Garrett Greenlea
  6. Jaxon Shipley
  7. Sedrick Flowers
  8. Mykkele Thompson
  9. Kendall Thompson
  10. Desmond Jackson
  11. Cedric Reed
Don't fixate on the order - these guys are separated by eyelashes, if at all.  When you leave out athletes like David Ash, Josh Turner, Josh Cochran, Quincy Russell and Joe Bergeron from the top half of the class, you've landed a pretty special group. When you have to go to the 18th man in a class before you start asking questions, you're in good shape.

Most Likely Early Contributor(s) -

Quandre Diggs, Garrett Greenlea, Joe Bergeron, Cedric Reed, Malcolm Brown

Quandre is an explosive athlete who will find a way on the field.  Greenlea’s physical maturity will allow him early reps at OT.  I consider he and Josh Cochran wildly underrated.  Joe Bergeron will be the only true FB in the program the moment he walks on campus and Cedric Reed is a need at a position with a depth chart as shallow as a children’s wading pool.  Malcolm Brown will provide a solid chain-moving presence with some upside if he can be maximized via S&C.

Top Class Sleeper(s)Mykkelle Thompson, Joe Bergeron, Quincy Russell, Josh Cochran

Thompson moved from being a Who Dat to an obvious take as he blossomed in his senior year.  The question now is whether he belongs as a ball hawking DB or a WR.  Quincy Russell is a big man interior DL with sweet feet, basketball ability, and a projectable growth curve - all things I love in a young DT.  OL Josh Cochran has the frame, aggression, and the ability - now he just needs three years in a weight room.

The One That Got Away - Christian Westerman - Auburn

His loss was a tough one - arguably one of the two or three most important recruits in the class.  Bad habits, bad evaluations, and bad development from the coaching staff over the last half decade on OL makes any loss of OL talent tough to grapple with.

Hey, Jealousy -  Brandon Williams - Oklahoma

The most explosive and dynamic RB in the state is a Sooner.  Elite out of the backfield with Chris Johnson-like top end speed. He is the recruit we'll wish we'd gotten.

I'm From MizzourahTaylor Doyle, Marcus Hutchins, Leroy Scott, Chet Moss

OL Doyle and Hutchins are projects, each for different reasons.  Hutchins has good baseline athletic ability though.  Leroy Scott and Chet Moss both have a maxed out feel though both are certainly legit prospects.

Strongest Position Group - DL, DB, LB

Weakest Position Group - OL  - relative to the above

Did class address need?

The class addressed needs in several areas, but the loss of Christian Westerman is particularly galling for a program that has done a poor job in OL development and badly needed early impact candidates up front.  There are game breakers and blue chips at several position groups and a number of less hyped players with tremendous upside.

Overall:

This is a Top 5 class nationally.  Texas fans should be pleased with this class.  An absence of last second big name signings will obscure the quality of this group as there tends to be a recency bias that favors "momentum" of late signings and hype generated by recruiting services.  The success of this class will be heavily predicated on finding appropriate positions for multifaceted players capable of playing multiple positions.


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