The 2002 class may be our gold standard, but 2005 was platinum. We didn't need much to extract real value.
A h/t to Rivals/Orangebloods for this list of 15 signees from 2005.
This tiny class of 15 came in ranked #20 in the country and caused much consternation amongst our fan base. Particularly when you consider the historical context of that time and a succession of five straight OU losses.
We took some guys who proved to be flat out ballers for us.
Mind you, in raw points, we were outpaced by such luminaries as Maryland and Virginia and were lapped by traditional rivals OU (#3 in the country), Nebraska (#5), and A&M (#8).
We had the last laugh.
Let's take a look at this class - in order of Rivals ranking:
Jamaal Charles RB 6-1 185 4.4 6.0 Port Arthur, TX
An elite back, one of the most explosive players in the history of Longhorn football. Had JC stuck around for his senior year, you're looking at a 5,000+ yard career rushing mark and someone mentioned solidly behind Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams in the pantheon of demi-god running backs.
Henry Melton ATH 6-3 275 4.6 6.0 Grapevine, TX
If Henry agrees to a position switch as a freshman, you're looking at a 2nd round draft pick and an All Big 12 DE. He'll blossom in the NFL with the Bears. Take notes Chris Whaley.
Roy Miller DT 6-2 302 5 6.0 Killeen, TX
What did I tell you about this class? It just keeps coming. Big Roy dominated in his senior year after promising freshman and sophomore campaigns and an injury riddled junior year. He even added a pass rush to his run stopping repertoire. Barring injury, he'll play eight years in the league and retire to a life of luxury and BBQ.
Jermichael Finley TE 6-4 210 4.6 5.9 Diboll, TX
Oh, what could have been. One of the best pure athletes to ever play the TE position at Texas would have been mentioned in the same breath as Gresham, Coffman, and Pettigrew had he stuck around. He'd drop a ball or two on you, but his ability to use a LB in space or outjump a safety in the end zone made for a reasonable trade off.
Chris Brown LB 6-3 210 4.45 5.8 Texarkana, TX
He never made it on campus. We parted ways with Chris after he was accused of a felony. Oklahoma State took him in. My bad. That was CHRIS COLLINS.
Chris Brown didn't pan and transferred out as a sophomore.
Aaron Lewis DE 6-3 265 4.6 5.8 Albuquerque, NM
A solid starter at DE who lost his job to Henry Melton and gave us great depth at DT in his senior year. He didn't put up gaudy statistics, but he was a very solid program guy for us. Still made one of the best open field tackles on
DeMarco Murray back in '07 Adrian Peterson in '06 that I've seen.
Ishie Oduegwu DB 5-10 185 4.5 5.8 Denton, TX
The beginning of a string of bizarre DB evaluations by Duane Akina & Mack Brown. He started some games for us and played hard, but injuries took him down.
Quan Cosby ATH 5-11 200 4.4 - Mart, TX
What can you say? Arguably the toughest, guttiest talent maximizer we've had under Brown. His productivity as a senior was through the roof and he did it against the best teams on our schedule. A complete football player in every respect. A great Longhorn in every sense.
Michael Houston RB 6-0 220 4.6 5.7 Denver, CO
Played a year here and transferred to Washington. Then he was kicked off of the team after he stole a taxi in front of a strip club. Absolutely fantastic, IMO. A lot of people believed that he would have been a player had he kept his head on straight. No idea of what became of him after that.
Roddrick Muckelroy LB 6-2 215 4.5 5.7 Hallsville, TX
A very good LB who will play his best year in '09. He cleans up the trash, he likes to hit, and he made Beanie Wells cry Uncle in the 3rd quarter of the Fiesta Bowl. He'll leave here as two-time 2nd team all-conference guy and for a LB at Texas over the last twenty years, that's roughly comparable to being an All-American DL.
Jerrell Wilkerson RB 5-7 170 4.41 5.7 San Antonio, TX
Wow. Gave up his scholarship in order to pursue a career at Taco Bueno and be with his girlfriend. Teenagers have such awesome perspective on life.
Chris Hall OL 6-5 285 5 5.6 Irving, TX
The human Swiss Army knife isn't a great player, but any Texas center that doesn't play on rollerskates gets my blessing. He certainly has done whatever the program has asked of him and he's a high effort guy.
Colt McCoy QB 6-1 180 4.72 5.6 Tuscola, TX
Ah, the lowly Colt McCoy - he of a feeble 5.6 Rivals score and barely three stars. I remember actively defending him as a take by comparing him to former Westlake QB Adam Hall (you remember him back in '99, transferred to SDSU and played well) - a serviceable college QB with some mobility and a little touch on the ball. Even in defending McCoy, I mocked his ability.
There are three QBs in Texas football that belong on the platform of demi-gods: Layne, Young, McCoy. And spare me your mewling and mindless James Street retort drilled into you by Texas mythology. I'm talking about greatness.
Charlie Tanner OL 6-4 268 5.03 5.6 Austin, TX
A two year starter. Like Hall, he has not been a great player, but he is a legitimate candidate for a senior surprise. They can't all be Justin Blalock.
Trevor Gerland K 6-1 190 4.42 - Katy, TX
Never did get to see that sprinter's speed on a fake punt, Trevor.
When you consider that we really only took 13 guys - excluding Collins - who never made it on campus - and the punter Gerland, who is a goddamn kicker - the class ended up with an extraordinary number of good and great players. 10 of 13 panned out to varying degrees. 6/7 of the 13 turned out to be straight up studs. Pretty much unheard of.
Hard to find a class that can hang with that on a per capita basis.