College Football National Signing Day: Ole Miss Signs This Year's Annual "WTF" Class
2006 NOTRE DAME (8th in Rivals rankings)
After nearly a decade of slightly above average recruiting from Bob Davie and program-killing recruiting by Tyrone Willingham, Charlie Weis secured the first top ten class of the Rivals.com era in South Bend on the strength of a 9-3 season in 2005 and a Fiesta Bowl berth. The program included two 5-star recruits: running back James Aldridge (wound up being a spot player in college with no NFL career) and offensive tackle Sam Young (started a shit-ton of games at Notre Dame but never really reached his potential and wound up as a mid-round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys). In the end, the class just wound up not really having any impact players and, not surprisingly, they were the senior class in place when Notre Dame fired Weis four years later.
2007 NOTRE DAME (8th in Rivals rankings)
Hey, we may as well look at Notre Dame's recruiting resurgence under Weis in a two-year window, because after his first two successful seasons in South Bend, the truck drove off the cliff and it was the crown jewel of this class driving the truck. Number one overall ranked player in the country Jimmy Clausen, with all of his spiky hair and ridiculous hype, led this 18-person class which ultimately wound up with only two other NFL players drafted (safety Harrison Smith and wide receiver Golden Tate, and Smith's career was saved by Weis' successor Brian Kelly).
2008 MIAMI (FL) (5th in Rivals rankings)
Honestly, I could put Notre Dame in this spot again (2nd-ranked class in 2008), but the point's been made there -- Charlie Weis was about as good at developing players as he was at developing solid eating habits. For 2008, we will focus in on the Miami Hurricanes, coming off of Year 1 of the Randy Shannon Era, a 5-7 stinker that included a 2-6 record in the ACC.
This 33-man class was going to be the foundation for the next great era of Hurricane football. Instead, it wound up being one of a handful of reasons Shannon was fired. The top player in the class, 5-star linebacker Arthur Brown, wound up starring for Kansas State in 2012.
2009 NORTH CAROLINA (9th in RIvals rankings)
This class was two years into the Butch Davis Era, which means we were two years into rampant cheating and alleged academic fraud. Good times! This class was supposed to take the Tar Heels to the next level after an 8-5 record in 2008. Instead, they wound up playing for three coaches in four years after Davis was cut loose amidst the aforementioned allegations. The best symbol of this class was its only 5-star recruit, defensive end Donte Paige-Moss, who entered 2011 forecasted to be a top pick in the NFL draft and then wound up in the Canadian league, a plummet fueled in part by a slew of inappropriate tweets he sent at the 2011 Independence Bowl.
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