The class that said "We're Back!" I'm a little more unsettled with these picks probably due to the fact that I started compiling this list while most of these guys where in the middle of their college playing days.
Again, this ranking is based on their college performance compared with Scout's star ranking (in parenthis) for recruits. Feel free to recommend revisions by making a case for or against a particular player rating. Here's where I rate them:
5 stars, These are the guys that would have started on any top 5 team in the country, Most are All-Americans or 1st team Big Ten.
Sean Lee (3) and Derrick Williams (5). I may be a little generous here but I believe Lee never returned to 100% after the knee injury, one more year and he would be up there with Poz and Connor. As for Williams, his versatility made him special. Def. Coordinators made sure he was accounted for on every play including kicks. Deon Butler and Jordan Norwood reaped huge benefits from this.
4 stars: Top level D1-A Ballers, A notch down from the 5 stars but if you filled your team with these guys you'd bring home the BCS-MNC, most of these made All Conference teams and some AA consideration.
3 stars: Quality D1-A starters
Lydell Sargeant (4), Anthony Scirrotto (2), Jerome Hayes (4), Mickey Shuler (2) and Dennis Landolt (3). I actually moved Landolt down after his senior season. Things got a lot tougher for him without Shipley, Ohrnberger and Cadogan.
2 stars: Quality backups because you've got to have depth
1 star: Depth Chart/practice squad fodder
Washouts: This may be a harsh tag for some due to injuries or other extenuating circumstances but a lot of them didn't have the work ethic to stick it out.
Matt Lowry (2), Willie Harriott (3) and Chris Baker (3)
The count is 10 quality D1-A players out of 19. This class gets a lot of credit for bringing us out of the dark years due to the high profile guys like Williams and King but the previous class was better in quality and quantity.
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