Texas Longhorns: Peter Jinks
February, 4, 2013
By Carter Strickland | ESPN.com
AUSTIN, Texas -- The last time Mack Brown took the witness stand -- aka the podium -- to justify Texas' latest class of recruits, he spoke of an ongoing change in the evaluation process as well as accountability among his staff of recruiters, therefore allowing for a better quality product upon enrollment at Texas and eventually a better product on the field.
Given that this mantra of change is a well-trod path that Brown has blindly stomped down, those in the jury -- aka anyone who covers the program as well as those who care for Texas football -- were skeptical. Additionally, there was that Mount Bonnell-sized pile of evidence blocking the optimistic panorama Brown continued to paint without the aid of numbers:
The 2009 class was a mess and has only further deteriorated. Just six players in a class that was supposed to be the backbone of 2011 and 2012 exhausted their eligibility at Texas. The 2010 class had hits -- Carrington Byndom, Jackson Jeffcoat and others -- as well as several big misses: Darius White and Taylor Bible to name a few.
Brendan Maloney/USA TODAY SportsAfter a disastrous recruiting class in 2009, Texas and coach Mack Brown have rebounded with stellar classes in 2011 and 2012.
Those two classes, in which 45 players were signed, provided just 11 regular or 2013 projected starters. That’s a 24 percent rate of return. The number most programs like to hit is about 60 percent. Not surprisingly, Texas’ recruiting misses have led to sub-par performances on the field.
But there was Brown on Feb. 1, 2012, saying the proper changes in recruiting had been made for the right changes to happen on the field.
"Because we took more time and watched five videos of [each recruit], and not just the ones with the highlight films, we did a better job of going back and evaluating every step," he said. "I think we know these kids better than maybe we did the last couple of years."