Where do the Bears come from? More specifically, which recruiting classes do the Bears starters and 2-deep contributors come from? It is a simple question, but one that can show the ebbs and flows of recruiting hits and misses. The Bears have starters or contributors from 6-classes, thanks to a particular grey-shirt from the 2009 class that is still hanging around.
We will use the current 2-deep and add any injured players (like Desmine Hilliard, Terrence Singleton, Troy Baker, etc) that would normally be in the 2-deep for this as well. The Bears oldest contributors are from the Class of 2010, except for one key player from the 2009 class. They currently have just 16 seniors on the roster overall, but just 6 of those guys are four year scholarship players.
So, this is a pretty important one. The 2009 class as a whole was a solid one for the Bears, bringing in mulit-year starters like Terrance Lloyd, Jarod Monk, Mike Hicks, Chris McCallister, Chance Casey, Danny Watkins (JUCO), Ivory Wade, Cyril Richardson, Tevin Reese, Stefan Huber, Glasco Martin, and Phillip Blake. The most talented player in that class might have been WR Josh Gordon, who was kicked off the team, but has found great success in the NFL. If you want to point out a class that turned the Bears into a Big 12 champion in 2013, this is the one.
Just four starters remain from the 2010 class, though guys like Ahmad Dixon, Sam Holl, and Robert Griffin (JUCO) were key starters that have graduated. The Bears missed out on a large amount of players in this class, with double digit players that did not finish their career with the Bears from this one class.
Junior College players like Joe Williams and K. J. Morton were key starters in the secondary the past few seasons as well. This was another class that was hit a bit by attrition, though more players remain from this class, just farther down the depth chart. This has been a solid class for the Bears, with one without any true stars.
Class of 2012 – (14 - 10) Orion Stewart (S), Seth Russell (QB), Rashodrick Linwood (RB), Javonte Magee (DT), Kyle Fuller (C), Ryan Reid (CB), Devin Chafin (RB), Trevon Armstead (TE), Terrence Singleton (CB), Terrell Burt (S), Aiavion Edwards (LB), Lynx Hawthorne (WR), Corey Coleman (WR), Jamal Palmer (DE)
This class has the next best chance to replicate that 2009 class. It is a monster one, even with the loss of a few star recruits already. This class is mainly redshirt sophomores with a few juniors mixed in, so they have two more years after the 2014 season to make an impact. This could be the next big class for the Bears.
Class of 2013 – (13 - 3)Andrew Billings (DT), Taylor Young (LB), Chris Callahan (K), Tyler Edwards (OL), Gus Penning (TE), Alfred Pullom (S), Taion Sells (S), Chris Johnson (QB), Kevin Smith (DE), Bryon Bonds (DT), Quan Jones (WR), Travon Blanchard (NB), Tanner Thrift (LT)
For this class to already have a few starters as redshirt freshmen or sophomore is already a big step. Andrew Billings is a star in the making, with guys like Taylor Young, Kevin Smith, Chris Callahan and Johnny Jefferson taking on larger roles. There has already been a bit of attrition on this class, headlined by Robbie Rhodes and both high school offensive guards.
Class of 2014 – (5 - 2) Grant Campbell(LB), Chance Waz (S), KD Cannon (WR), Jarell Broxton (RG), Davion Hall (WR)
With this class being in its first year, already having 3 true freshmen getting meaningful snaps is huge for the Bears. Campbell and Broxton are both junior college players who have been put into large roles this year, but the bulk of this class is using a redshirt year.
Transfers – (5 - 2) Shawn Oakman (DE), Blake Muir (LG), Clay Fuller (WR), Jason Osei (RT), Ishmael Wilson (RG)
The Bears have hit HUGE on some transfers or late signees in recent seasons, and this year is no exception. Hawn Oakman is one of the Bears biggest stars while Muir has been a much needed player on the offensive line.