Where were you in February 2008? Celebrating Iowa's victory over Ohio State in basketball and looking forward to the rest of the Todd Lickliter era? Or talking on your cool retro hamburger phone?
If you're Kirk Ferentz, you were putting the finishing touches on Iowa's 2008 recruiting class. In the comments below, I'd like to collect information on each member of that class, and then to rank them based on their contribution to the Hawkeyes. Here's the sort of information I'm 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?
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:
Program changers: guys who are acknowledged as among the best at their position nationally. Most would be high NFL draft picks, but not all. Brad Banks, Adrian 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. Ricky Stanzi, Micah Hyde.
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. Damian Sims, Mike Humpal.
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, Collin Sleeper.
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. Stephane Ngoumou, Joshua Brown. 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. Johnny Mullings, CJ Barkema.
We'll have to hash out how we want to handle guys who had some success in the program and then left (aka Marcus Coker), but I'm sure we can figure that out. I'd also be interested if anyone has access to the list of preferred walk-ons for the 2008 class-- feel free to add that as a separate comment.
Google some stuff and share your info in the threads for each player below, and rec this post so people see it. Onward!