Do you remember how good you felt about Iowa football in February 2009? Maybe this image will refresh your memory:
I'm sure Kirk Ferentz felt pretty good, too, as he parlayed Iowa's Outback Bowl success into the... uh... #47 recruiting class in the nation? Wut?
Before the season we graded out the 2006 (awesome), 2007 (awesome), and 2008 (epic disaster) recruiting classes, and now that the regular season is over we should be able to do the same for the '09ers. Here's the info we're looking for:
1. Pre-college information: Recruiting rating, size, geographical location, high school position, other offers, date of commitment, any other information that seems relevant.
2. Performance at Iowa: Statistics, honors, injury history, position changes, games started, etc. If they left prior to graduation, do we have any idea why?
3. Performance after Iowa: For the players who stayed in the program, did they go on to the NFL, the CFL, or arenaball? For those who left, did they have any success at their other schools, or did they fade away entirely? Obviously, this one will be a little tricky given that a couple of these guys are still in school, but we should have a decent enough idea to rank them.
After all the player threads, I'll post my rough sense of how we would re-rank these players based on hindsight. I'll use the following tiers (I'm including all of the guys previously ranked in the top three tiers for reference):
Program changers: guys who are acknowledged as among the best at their position nationally. Most would be high NFL draft picks, but not all. Bulaga, McNutt, Reiff, Clayborn.
All-conference/multi-year starters: guys who start and play well for multiple years, and/or guys who are recognized as among the best in the Big Ten when they do start. Sash, Ballard, Daniels, Prater, James Ferentz, DJK, Spievey, Klug, Stanzi, Vandervelde, Donahue, Edds.
Solid starters/pieces: Guys who earn significant playing time and perform well by the time they graduate. Fringe all-Big Ten types- think undrafted NFL free agents, in many cases. Binns, Gettis, Nielsen, Zuzevicks, Reisner, Bernstine, Adam Robinson, Hunter.
Contributors: Guys who clearly belong on a major college football roster but are basically replacement-level players. On good/great Iowa teams they contribute on special teams and in rotations, on poor teams they are asked to do more than that. Steve Bigach, James Vandenberg.
Special teams and garbage time They have recorded statistics but you might not know it. Jack Swanson, Joe Forgy.
No shows and/or complete misses: Guys who either never made it to campus or never made it past their second year in the program and didn't make noise at any other schools. The guys who make you say "who the hell is that?" when you look at old recruiting classes, i.e. Dezman Moses, Khalif Staten. Complete misses would be guys who stay with the program for a significant amount of time but are not able to get on the field in any real way.