Anyway, let's first examine some of the positives from the class:
- We got two very good running backs (Gurley and Marshall) which is important because we don't exactly have the best luck keeping these guys. I would expect both of them to contribute immediately (especially Marshall).
- We got an elite -- arguably the best -- offensive lineman in the country (John Theus). Unfortunately, we also haven't had great luck keeping O-Linemen healthy and/or not suspended so I'm keeping my fingers crosses with Theus.
- We signed a true fullback (Quayvon Hicks), which is something we lacked this past season.
- We signed 7 D-linemen/outside LBs counting Josh Harvey-Clemons. Good job by Grantham/Garner. The size and strength of our front seven was a huge part of our defensive success in 2011.
- I think, although we didn't have the quantity of players of South Carolina, we ultimately had a better class than our intra-division rivals.
Now, the negatives:
- We only signed 19 players. The only SEC schools that signed fewer players were Ole Miss (who is undergoing a head coaching transition) and Missouri (who is undergoing a conference transition). With the new scholarship rules, we can only sign 25 players a year unless we convince some players to enroll early. We were already short of our 85 scholarship limit so now we will be forced to dump these extras off to even more walk-ons (not that I dislike walk-ons...but I'm just sayin'.)
- The area in which we needed help the most was offensive line. Although we got one big-timer (Theus), I felt we needed at least five offensive linemen in this class. We only inked three. Furthermore, we signed exactly ZERO from the state of Georgia and we pulled a big whiffer on Florida's Avery Young.
- Although hindsight is 20/20, we now find ourselves in dire straits as it pertains to our defensive backfield. We only signed one potential defensive back, Sheldon Dawson, who was a three-star athlete.
- Two of our 19 signees were kickers. Although we did need a new kicker, we were prepared to scholarship two kickers straight out of high school...really?
- Unlike the Cocks, Florida out-recruited us this season, somehow grabbing the #3 overall class.
Okay, I'll stop with the negatives. If I had to summarize our class in one word it would be: "meh".
I also think it's interesting to note that Vandy (#29 class) had what had to be their best class in my lifetime (and maybe ever). It will be interesting to see how/if the SEC recruiting landscape changes with the two new guys. The aforementioned Missouri signed a generally underwhelming class while Texas A&M got -- according to Rivals.com -- a top 15 class.