Re-ranking 2011 recruiting classes based on actual production

Thursday February 13th, 2014
Kelvin Benjamin had 15 touchdown catches for a Florida State team that won the BCS title last season.
Louis Lopez/CSM/Landov

You've probably noticed that Texas was in the original top 10 of Rivals.com's 2011 recruiting rankings, but that it did not make this list. The inclusion of the Cardinals should give Longhorns fans hope that Texas will appear here in the future. This was Charlie Strong's second recruiting class at Louisville, meaning that it was the first class in which he had an entire recruiting cycle to work. It included a program-hoisting quarterback (Bridgewater), a dynamo of a safety (Pryor) and the guy who would lead the team in receiving last season (Parker). It also featured plenty of other building blocks. Led by this group, the Cardinals won the Big East and the Sugar Bowl in the '12 season, and went 12-1 in '13.

In three seasons at Clemson, Sammy Watkins had 3,391 receiving yards and scored 28 TDs.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Rivals.com original 2011 recruiting class rankings
Rank Team Analysis
1 Alabama Spot on: This class kept Alabama playing at an elite level.
2 Florida State Spot on: The class of 2010 provided the foundation for the '13 national title, but the class of '11 provided the manpower.
3 Texas Way off: Running backs Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron are good, but this class just hasn't won enough games.
4 USC Off, but could improve: Wide receiver Marqise Lee was as good as advertised, but the rest of this group hasn't lived up to the hype. A coaching switch could change that.
5 Georgia Off: The "Dream Team" has produced some good players (WR Chris Conley, DE Ray Drew, LB Amarlo Herrera), but it hasn't brought an SEC title -- unless you count the one signee Nick Marshall helped Auburn win in 2013.
6 LSU Spot on: The Tigers are great at reloading and avoiding major year-to-year drop-offs.
7 Auburn Spot on: Though we wouldn't have guessed it at this time last year.
8 Clemson Spot on: The Tigers' hyped recruits have generated wins.
9 Oregon Spot on: Just imagine if Johnny Football had stayed in this class.
10 Notre Dame Spot on: Brian Kelly's second class laid a nice foundation.
11 Ohio State Spot on: After a tough first year, this group would go on to win a ton of games.
12 Florida Way off: Cornerbacks Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson will play on Sundays, but there were no offensive weapons or standout linemen to help class member Jeff Driskel.
13 Tennessee Way off: Offensive tackle Tiny Richardson and linebacker A.J. Johnson were excellent, but the majority of this class has struggled to make an impact in the SEC. (Though dismissed tight end Cam Clear may do it all at Texas A&M in 2014.)
14 Oklahoma Off: The Sooners signed only 17 players in this class, and while the program has remained in great shape, this group didn't help as much as its ranking suggested. Five-star running back Brandon Williams transferred to Texas A&M, and dismissed former five-star receiver Trey Metoyer continues to have legal issues.
15 Nebraska Off: This class included running back Ameer Abdullah, so it gets major points just for him. But beyond Abdullah, linebacker David Santos and linebacker Jamal Turner, the Cornhuskers haven't received huge contributions from this class. The star of this group was quarterback Bubba Starling, who was always a longshot to report to campus. Starling was selected with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2011 MLB draft.
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