The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

February 8, 2013

Rating recruiting classes already? Not so fast, friend

ENID, Okla. — Be careful when analyzing the rankings of recruiting classes.

There’s a good chance half of those who signed Wednesday won’t be around four years later.

Today’s five-star recruit might find himself on the bench four years later. The kid who was overlooked might be the All-American.

Recruiting is an inexact science, since you’re dealing with 17- and 18-year-olds.

Remember one respected analysis of the 2009 Oklahoma recruiting class said defense “is where the true talent of this class lies?’’

That couldn’t be said four years later.

Defensive ends Jarrett Brown of Bowie, Texas, and Terry Franklin of Mansfield, Texas, were called by one metropolitan newspaper “athletic and look like good long-term prospects.’’ The same newspaper called Justin Chaisson of Las Vegas  able to contribute immediately.

None of them were around in 2012, and it wasn’t because they were playing in the National Football League.

Linebackers Jayden Bird, Gus Jones and Tom Wort, the Tulsa World reported, “all seem like solid athletes with uncommon toughness in the Rocky Calmus/Ryan Reynolds mold.’’

Wort, who is skipping his redshirt senior year, was hampered by injuries. If he did come back in 2013, he might be playing behind Frank Shannon, who was pushing him for playing time.

Bird was a serviceable backup with nine solo and 10 assisted tackles. He was solid on special teams and did well as a fullback in certain packages.

Jones was not around for his senior year.

The class had three five-star recruits, according to recruiting services — defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland, cornerback Gabe Lynn and linebacker Ronnell Lewis.

McFarland, at least, played all four seasons. He had 15 solo and 14 assisted tackles. The World’s analysis had him not as strong as Tommie Harris, or as big as DeMarcus Granger or as quick as Gerald McCoy, but had the attributes of all three.

That was the last he was compared to those three. Former OU coach Barry Switzer was talking about McFarland when he said the Sooners didn’t have a Tommie Harris or Gerald McCoy on the defensive line.

Lynn had a good redshirt junior season, but fans may not forget he was the one being burnt when the Sooners were upset by Texas Tech 41-38 in 2011.

Lewis is now with the Detroit Lions. He had his moments, especially on special teams. However, he had academic problems and was encouraged to enter the pro draft early.

Some others you might have wondered what happened to:

• Offensive lineman Josh Aladenoye, ranked the No. 54 player by Super Prep in the Southwest Region. Wasn’t around for his senior year.

• Defensive back Kevin Brent, the No. 11 player in Rivals’ Texas 100 and No. 67 nationally by Max Emfinger. Not around as a senior.

• Running back Jonathan Miller, ranked by Super Prep as the No. 42 player in the Southwest Region. A crowded field at running back caused him to transfer.

Judge the 2013 class in 2016.

Campbell is a News & Eagle sports writer.

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