As the cliche goes, recruiting is an inexact science.
An two-star prospect can turn into an all-conference player. A five-star guy can flame out.
It’s always fascinating to look back at recruiting rankings once the players in that class have finished their respective careers. So let’s do that with the bunch Mike Gundy and Co. signed five years ago in 2008.
This is a group that featured a dynamite kicker/punter in Quinn Sharp and a workhorse on the offensive line in Lane Taylor. There were also several other solid contributors like Brodrick Brown, Chris Donaldson, Donald Booker, Lucien Antoine, Nigel Nicholas, Cooper Bassett and Isaiah Anderson.
Here are a few superlatives:
Biggest breakout: Justin Blackmon
Fair to say his OSU career turned out OK. The three-star prospect from Ardmore developed into an absolute beast while teaming up with Brandon Weeden in the Cowboys’ Air Raid spread offense, winning two consecutive Biletnikoff Awards in 2010 and 2011 and finishing second in school history in career receiving yards (3,564). He was selected fifth overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Biggest bust: Maurice Gray
Gray, along with Beau Johnson and Swanson Miller, was part of the a trio of four-star transfers from Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kan. that was expected to help OSU right away. Gray provided depth at cornerback and played heavily on special teams, but he was not the impact player fans expect when four starts are attached to a name. He finished with 17 tackles, four pass breakups and one fumble recovery in his two-year career in Stillwater.
Lived up to the hype: Markelle Martin
The four-star prospect out of Wichita Falls, Texas became a starter at strong safety as a sophomore, a ferocious hitter in the secondary and one of the biggest leaders of OSU’s 2011 Big 12 championship squad. He finished his senior season with 74 tackles, 11 pass breakups, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery and was named an All-American by the American Football Coaches Association and an All-Big 12 selection. He was taken by the Tennessee Titans in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Special hat tip: Kye Staley
Staley was considered a gem of this class before a horrific knee injury probably should have ended his football career. But he revamped himself into a fullback and has become a steady contributor as a blocker and pass-catcher. He’ll be back in 2013 after the NCAA granted him a sixth year of eligibility.
Here’s the complete 2008 recruiting class, broken down by Rivals’ star rankings: