If you're looking to understand what went wrong this season, there is this nugget. The senior class of 2013 was gutted in his ability to help lead this team because it essentially didn't exist.
Here are the signees from the 2010 recruiting class:
- Demetre Baker (LB) - left school
- Brent Benedict (OT) - left school
- Michael Bennett (WR) - contributor
- Brandon Burrows (LB) - injured
- Marc Deas (DB) - non-factor defensively
- Jalen Fields (DE) - never arrived
- Kenarious Gates (OT) - contributor
- Kolton Houston (OT) - contributor (finally)
- Jakar Hamilton (DB) - left school
- Ken Malcome (RB) - left school
- Hutson Mason (QB) - contributor
- Dextor Morant (DE) - left school
- Alec Ogletree (LB) - contributor / NFL
- Zander Ogletree (FB) - left school
- Lonnie Outlaw (WR) - never enrolled
- Derek Owens (DB) - left school
- Garrison Smith (DL) - contributor
- TJ Stripling (LB) - oft injured non-factor defensively
- Mike Thornton (DT) - struggling to find consistent playing time
Of that group, those 19 kids only 5 of them (including Hutson Mason) have made any meaningful impact beyond kick coverage on the 2013 team. Combine that group with the undersigning of 2012 and the massive class in 2013, and you have a season where approximately 40 scholarship players had never played a snap before the season started.
- Is there a special teams problem? Yes.
- Is there a defensive problem? Yes.
- Is our Left Tackle recruiting/development/luck a problem? Yes.
- Is there a discipline problem? Yes.
But if you lose almost an entire recruiting class and undersign by 10 in another, you're going to pay for it later.
PS -- If you were wondering, the 2009 class had Murray, Lynch, Lee, Burnette and Wooten. Most of the leadership except for Garrison Smith and Bennett came from this group. Not 2010's seniors.