Class Rewind: Mack Brown's 2007 class 

January, 26, 2012
1/26/12
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Top prospects flame out all the time in recruiting.

Either the spotlight is too bright, or the idea of being an athlete and student is too difficult to grasp, Or the environment is too much to handle.

Then there is Tray Allen. The studious, hard-working, dedicated offensive lineman was the jewel of Texas’ 2007 recruiting class. He was a Parade All-American who had been a starter on both side of the line in high school. Allen was the top player at his position in high school, according to ESPNU and a top 25 player overall.

Tray Allen was never in trouble, was an exemplary student, a team leader and started all of six games at Texas. Those came in his fifth year. He was replaced by a true freshman.

So goes the inexact science of recruiting: Sometimes when the character is right the talent is not. And sometimes when the talent is right the character is not.

[+] EnlargeSam Acho
AP Photo/Darren AbateBy the end of his Texas career, no one was questioning if Sam Acho's athleticism could translate to Big 12 competition.
For example the 2007 class had 24 signees. Almost half the class, 11 players, did not complete their eligibility at Texas, be it due to transfers, arrests or injuries. (Not counted in that number is Earl Thomas because he elected to leave for the NFL.)
But the class did provide Texas with 13 players who contributed, some of which became starters and stars.

Most underrated: Sam Acho
The 2007 class of defensive ends was top heavy. And Acho was not listed in the single digits. He was considered a better athlete than most he went up against while at St. Mark’s. While that can be good for some, many were not convinced his superior athleticism would hold up in the college game.

Looking back there is no doubt about it.

Acho started his last 26 games at Texas. The first 14 were at defensive end where he had 14 tackles for loss and 10 sacks in 2009. The next season he was moved around on the line and played at defensive tackle, but once again was productive, rolling up 17 tackles for loss and nine sacks. In those final two years Acho recovered nine fumbles. The five in 2010 set a Texas record and led the nation.

Acho was drafted with the sixth pick in the fourth round (103rd overall) by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2011 NFL Draft.

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