Texas A&M Class of 2011 Grade Analysis

Aggie recruiting fans saw a dramatic turn in the 2011 class in the past 48 hours with the commitment of Brandon Alexander on Tuesday and the Signing Day switch of Louisiana cornerback Floyd Raven. Aggie Websider's David Sandhop grades out the entire recruiting class and what it means for the future of the Texas A&M football program

The signatures have been faxed and the drama of National Signing Day is over for another year. Just when we thought we've seen it all, 2011 signing day decided to give us a forgery storyline and a big gift handed to Aggie recruiting fans in the form of Floyd Raven. With the emotion of the day now gone, let's take an analytical look at Texas A&M's 2011 class. For the first time, not only am I grading each position, but I'm also assigning a numerical grade for each prospect based on the following grading scale.

A 90-100 Potential all-conference caliber performer
B 80-90 Potential to be 2+ year starter in career
C 70-80 Likely contributor as an upperclassman
D 60-70 Probable redshirt; needs development to be future contributor

To be clear, this system is not supposed to determine which signees will have the most impact in their careers at Texas A&M. That's something we simply don't know, because this analysis can't take into account the important factors involved in player development including work ethic, injury, ability to accept teaching, academics, and circumstances with the roster. This is simply a starting point and something to provide an analysis of the class versus the needs of the program.

I included with each position a needs figure. This is the minimum numbers the staff needed to take for the long term health and balance of the pipeline. In terms of this analysis, if you look at the linebacker position for example. The staff needed a minimum of four signees, so in calculating the position grade, I averaged the top four prospects and their individual grades to compute the linebacker position grade.

Overall, the grade on offense was much lower, with a grade of C+. By comparison, the defensive grade averaged out to a B+. All combined, the grade for the 2011 class is B-. This class will continue to improve the overall talent pipeline of this program. It also replaces Dennis Franchione's last full class. From this point forward, future classes must improve significantly to continue the talent pipeline trend to continue upward. Another B- class in 2012 will result in the first decline in the talent pipeline during Coach Sherman's tenure, and that will signal future problems on the field. However, if the staff can deliver a 2012 class graded out at B+/A- or higher, and the program's talent will continue to improve top-to-bottom.

Quarterback B

Needs (1)

85 Johnny Manziel

Running Back C-

Needs (2)

75 Will Randolph

Wide Receiver C-

Needs (2)

70 Michael Evans
70 Chance Nelson

Tight End Incomplete

Offensive Line B

Needs (2)

85 Joseph Cheek
80 Ben Compton
75 Nathan Gutekunst

Defensive Line B+

Needs (2)

90 LaMarc Strahan
85 Shayvion Hatten

Linebacker B

Needs (4)

90 Brandon Alexander
90 Shaun Ward
85 Tyrell Taylor
80 Steven Jenkins
70 Donnie Baggs
70 Darzil Washington

Defensive Back B+

Needs (3)

90 Howard Matthews
85 Floyd Raven
85 Devonta Burns
80 Johntel Franklin
75 Deshazor Everett

Specialists B+

Needs (2)

95 Drew Kaser
85 Taylor Bertolet

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