- Carter Strickland, Reporter, HornsNation
The class of 2010 was built on defense.
Jackson Jeffcoat was the top-rated defensive end in the country.
Jordan Hicks was rated the top linebacker in the country.
Throw in guys like Taylor Bible -- No. 2 defensive tackle --- Demarco Cobbs -- No. 3 athlete -- Ashton Dorsey -- No. 4 defensive tackle -- and Texas appeared to be loading up on the defensive side of the ball.
This year, 2012, people will find out if that is true.
Sure some of these players have already made an impact. Jeffcoat has been steady with flashes of spectacular play at defensive end. Dorsey is pushing for more playing time in the middle.
But there are still a lot of question marks surrounding the class of 2010 and the defensive side of the ball. Hicks and Cobbs would be the top two questions. Both are expected to be starters at linebacker this year, taking over the dominant role on the defense from Emmanuel Acho and Keenan Robinson.
As of the class, it largely remains intact with Darius White being a notable exception. The wide receiver was supposed to impress at the college level because of his athleticism. He rarely touched the field and wound up transferring to Texas A&M this offseason.
Biggest Get: Jordan Hicks
True Hicks has not lived up to the billing just yet. But the linebacker suffered through some hamstring injuries in his sophomore season that held him back.
Still what getting Hicks proved to those in the recruiting world is that Texas can still reach out beyond the state and compete for the top players at any position.
And it is not as if Hicks has been a slouch on the field. Despite the hamstring during the season and missing the 2011 spring due to injury, Hicks played in every game in 2011 and started nine. He had 65 tackles, four tackles for loss, one sack, one fumble recovery, four pass breakups and one pressure.
Most underrated: Carrington Byndom
There are a lot of players in the 2010 class that could fit here. Dom Espinosa has been a huge surprise at center. Adrian Phillips has been a steady contributor in the secondary. Even an argument could be made for Case McCoy on the basis that he won the most important game of 2011 against Texas A&M.
But when it comes to steady production from a player who maybe wasn’t supposed to produce until later in his career, Bryndom has excelled like no other.
The cornerback was pressed into action following the departures of Chykie Brown and Curtis Brown.
In his first year as a starter, Byndom was named to the All-Big 12 first team. He tied for the team lead with 15 pass breakups to go along with 58 tackles, eight TFL, two interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He also ranked tied for 12th in the NCAA with 17 passes defended.
Biggest Bust: Connor Wood
Another year, another bust at quarterback. Wood was not the highest rated quarterback on the board in 2010. But he was still significantly higher rated than the other one taken in the 2010 class, Case McCoy.
Texas decided to redshirt Wood. Give him a year and some separation between him and 2010 starter Garrett Gilbert. When Gilbert failed and the competition was thrown open in the spring of 2011, Wood was given the chance to beat out Gilbert, McCoy and true freshman David Ash. He couldn’t, was listed last on the depth chart and promptly transferred to Colorado.
The class of 2010 was built on defense.Jackson Jeffcoat was the top-rated defensive end in the country.Jordan Hicks was rated the top linebacker in the country.