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Thursday, January 24, 2013
Oklahoma Sooners Class of 2009 review

By Brandon Chatmon

Oklahoma’s 2009 recruiting class had some hidden gems, including cornerback Demontre Hurst and center Gabe Ikard, but it had some disappointments as well, such as safety Kevin Brent and linebacker Gus Jones.

Ultimately the class should be considered sub-par. About half of the 24 signees became contributors, with Hurst, Ikard, defensive end Ronnell Lewis and tackle Lane Johnson highlighting the list as the only all-conference performers. OU’s class featured six ESPN 150 members but only Lewis learned All-Big 12 honors.

Gabe Ikard
Gabe Ikard started his OU career as a tight end before moving to the interior offensive line.
Here’s a closer look at how OU’s '09 signees performed:

Defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland: The No. 54 player in the ESPN 150 and No. 6 defensive tackle, McFarland stepped on campus with lofty expectations after a crazy recruiting battle between OU and Texas. He started 22 of 47 career games, with starts in each of his final three seasons. He finished his career with 81 tackles, including 17 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. McFarland never became the dominating force everyone expected, but he wasn’t a bust either.

Safety Gabe Lynn: The No. 80 player in the ESPN 150 and No. 8 safety, Lynn has since seen spot duty in the secondary throughout his career. He has started 12 of 30 career games and recorded 56 tackles, with zero interceptions, in three seasons. Heading into his final year, Lynn should be a major part of OU’s 2013 defense.

Defensive end Ronnell Lewis: The No. 83 player in ESPN 150 and No. 7 outside linebacker, Lewis was a special teams terror and All-Big 12 first-team pick before leaving for the NFL after his junior season. He had 59 tackles, including 13 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks, in his final season at OU. He now plays for the NFL’s Detroit Lions. Lewis was definitely one of the best evaluations of this class.

Linebacker Tom Wort: The No. 85 player in the ESPN 150 and No. 3 inside linebacker, Wort was a productive player during his three seasons. He started 33 of 37 career games, recording 190 tackles, including 17.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks, before leaving early for the NFL draft this month. Wort was another quality evaluation by the Sooners.

Defensive end Justin Chaisson: The No. 100 player in the ESPN 150 and No. 8 defensive end, Chaisson never made an impact on the program. He left the program before the 2010 season after redshirting during his first year on campus. His off-the-field troubles before he arrived in Norman are his lasting legacy. A major miss.

Safety Kevin Brent: The No. 105 player in the ESPN 150 and No. 13 safety, Brent never became a contributor in two years on campus. He redshirted in 2009, then provided depth in 2010 before transferring. Another miss.

Running back Jonathan Miller: The No. 29 running back, Miller played in seven games and recorded 18 carries for 130 yards and one touchdown. He left the program during the 2011 season and transferred to Illinois State. A miss.

Linebacker Gus Jones: The No. 8 inside linebacker, Jones never stepped on the field at OU, leaving after the 2009 season. A major miss.

Center Gabe Ikard: The No. 19 tight end, Ikard has been an anchor of the Sooners' offensive line for the past three seasons. He has started 37 of 39 career games, excelling at guard in 2010 before moving to center as a sophomore. He’s a two-time All-Big 12 first-team selection and will be one of the anchors of OU’s offense and a team leader as a senior in 2013. Clearly the best of the Sooners' evaluations in this class.

Safety Javon Harris: The No. 32 safety, Harris was a three-year contributor for the Sooners. He started 21 of 44 career games and recorded 162 tackles and nine interceptions. Harris leaves a legacy as a competitor who had his ups and downs as a Sooner but finished strong as a senior. A quality evaluation by OU.

Guard Tyler Evans: The No. 25 guard, Evans has been a major contributor during his OU career. He started 29 of 38 games before tearing his ACL before the 2012 season. He’s slated to return as a senior in 2013. One of the best evaluations of the class.

Linebacker Jaydan Bird: The No. 18 linebacker, Bird made an impact in all three phases during his career. He played in 52 career games but never started during his four-year career. He contributed in special teams coverage, as a fullback on offense and at linebacker on defense. A good evaluation because he contributed for four years despite his never starting a game.

Defensive end Terry Franklin: The No. 57 defensive end, Franklin didn’t qualify and never stepped on campus.

Guard Josh Aladenoye: The No. 82 guard, Aladenoye made a minimal impact before transferring after the 2011 season. He spent two seasons at OU before transferring to Illinois State. A sub-par evaluation.

Cornerback Marcus Trice: The No. 52 cornerback, Trice was a member of OU’s special teams for two seasons before transferring to North Texas. A sub-par evaluation.

Receiver Jaz Reynolds: The No. 113 receiver, Reynolds has had a roller-coaster career at OU. He’ll flash major playmaking ability on the field, then allow off-the-field decisions to sideline him. He has started six of 19 career games, recording 54 receptions for 971 yards and five touchdowns. Reynolds is working to return to the field in 2013. He would be an outstanding evaluation if on-the-field performance was the lone factor, but off-the-field issues are just as important. An average evaluation.

Quarterback Drew Allen: The No. 58 quarterback, Allen hasn’t made a major impact on the program in 12 career games. He served as Landry Jones' backup in 2011 but lost the backup job to Blake Bell in 2012. Allen might decide to transfer before his final season in 2013. Stuck behind Jones for the majority of his career, it’s tough to call Allen a poor evaluation. Nonetheless, his impact has been minimal.

Cornerback Demontre Hurst: The No. 58 cornerback, Hurst was one of the top evaluations in the class. He started every game in his final three seasons in Norman, earning second-team All-Big 12 honors as a senior. Hurst had 178 tackles including 10 tackles for loss, two sacks and two interceptions during his 53-game career.

Fullback Marshall Musil: The No. 21 fullback, Musil never made a major impact. He played in 19 career games on special teams and fullback. A poor evaluation.

Defensive end Jarrett Brown: An unranked defensive end, Brown spent two seasons in the program, never making an impact before transferring to Sam Houston State. A poor evaluation.

Receiver Cameron Kenney: The unranked junior college transfer had a decent career for the Sooners. He earned time at receiver during his two seasons, recording 55 receptions, 812 yards and five touchdowns in 23 games. A solid evaluation.

Defensive tackle Jeff Vinson: The unranked juco transfer never made a impact before leaving the program after the 2009 season. A poor evaluation.

Tackle Tavaris Jefferies: The unranked juco transfer started three games in 2009. He never became a core contributor. A sub-par evaluation.

Tackle Lane Johnson: Joins Hurst and Ikard as a top evaluation in the class. He was an unranked tight end out of junior college who became a second-team All-Big 12 tackle and is a probable high NFL draft pick.