Ohio State Football: How the 2010 Recruiting Class Overcame Low Expectations

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Ohio State Football: How the 2010 Recruiting Class Overcame Low Expectations
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The old rule of evaluating how teams do in the NFL draft is to look back after three years and then put a grade on it.

By the same token, it's also a good barometer to look back and see how a recruiting class has panned out or not panned out as expected.

Looking back at the 2010 class, the group was expected to be small and was overshadowed by striking out on many top out-of-state prospects including Lamarcus Joyner and Sharrif Floyd.

Add in the hype from the classes of 2008 and 2009 that looked amazing on paper, and the 2010 class seemed to not hold a candle. By Scout.com's ranking system, Ohio State's 2010 recruiting class was only No. 20, third-best in the Big Ten. In comparison, the previous two classes were ranked in the top-five, including No. 1 in 2009.

Of course, the reality is that the 2008 class was hit-and-miss and the 2009 class was a major disappointment considering its hype.

2010, however, is a different story.

This class featured several hidden gems that have panned out in a big way, particularly on the defensive side where Rival prospects Johnathan Hankins and Bradley Roby turned into stars and key components of the Buckeyes defense.

Hankins went from an underrated 3-star prospect with some impressive offers to a second-round pick of the New York Giants in last month's draft.

Likewise, Roby was another 3-star prospect, except he redshirted in 2010. Now coming into his redshirt junior year, Roby is among the best returning defensive backs in all of college football known for his shutdown ability at corner.

The 2010 class also featured Christian Bryant, who has had an impact throughout his entire Buckeye career despite his struggles last season starting at safety.

Offensively, some of OSU's best leaders come from this group, particularly Corey "Philly" Brown, Carlos Hyde and Andrew Norwell. The trio is expected to carry the banner of leadership on offense as each had good years in 2012, particularly Hyde, who fell just short of a 1,000-yard season but scored 16 touchdowns in only 10 games played.

Backup running back Rod Smith has also made an impact on the offense despite his inconsistency with ball security. He came in highly-touted and has shown plenty of flashes of what he can be.

However, this class, like any other, had its fair share of letdowns.

None is more heartbreaking than what happened to defensive end Jamel Turner, who enrolled at Fork Union Military College in Virginia to boost his grades before signing with Ohio State.

Unfortunately, he never made it onto the football field for the Buckeyes as he was shot twice in his hometown of Youngstown in April of 2010, a few months before he would come to OSU.

Thankfully, this story does have a happy ending because Turner found his way onto the field as a member of the Akron Zips last season. He recorded his first career sack on Oct. 13 last season in the Zips' 34-28 loss to Ohio.

But looking back on this 2010 class, it's amazing to see how this small class has panned out despite minimal hype going in. The class has proven that the "star system" is still an inexact science as evidenced by the great careers of Roby and Hankins.

In fact, it's proven to be a better class as a whole than the "Brew Crew" class of 2008.

 

Follow me on Twitter @bielik_tim for the latest college football news and updates.

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