Ohio State Football: The Final Verdict on the Buckeyes' Recruiting Class of 2008

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Ohio State Football: The Final Verdict on the Buckeyes' Recruiting Class of 2008
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Earlier this summer, I had a chance to look back at the surprising success of the Ohio State recruiting class of 2010 as well as the massive disappointment of the class of 2009.

To round out this miniseries, we'll go back to the infamous Brew Crew class of 2008 to decide once and for all whether or not it succeeded or if its sins make it a disaster.

The list of names in the Class of 2008 was a who's who of the top high school prospects not just in Ohio or the Midwest, but in the country as well: Mike Adams, DeVier Posey, Etienne Sabino, Mike Brewster, JB Shugarts, Jake Stoneburner and a quarterback from a small high school in Pennsylvania named Terrelle Pryor.

This class did plenty of good things on the field as it led the Buckeyes to three straight Big Ten championships and two consecutive BCS bowl wins. However, its members, namely Pryor, Adams and Posey, were responsible for a tattoo scandal that cost OSU a year of postseason play and 12 wins from the 2010 season.

It also was the end of Jim Tressel, who resigned on Memorial Day of 2011. A year and a half later, however, Urban Meyer stepped in to take the head coaching job.

Only three of the 20 signees were drafted—Pryor by Oakland in the supplemental draft, and Adams and Posey in the 2012 NFL draft.

Because Pryor left Ohio State before his senior season, we never got to see the final product of the hype that he had coming out of high school.

That alone makes him a minor failure, especially considering he was the main focus of the tattoo scandal, which crippled the program for the last two years.

It's also unclear whether he can make something of himself in the NFL, although his competition in Oakland is Matt Flynn and rookie Matt McGloin. He'll have a chance to prove he can play in the pros.

On paper, it's tough to consider this class as anything but a failure. But the reality is they were never going to live up to their own expectations of themselves.

This class had the most collective hype around it since the legendary class of 2002 and was coming into a group which had played in consecutive BCS National Championship Games.

Expecting anyone to live up to that pressure right out of high school is asking quite a lot, regardless of how good they were.

Pryor fell victim to this hype worse than anyone in this class. Maybe worse than any player OSU has recruited in the modern era.

He was expected to be the next Vince Young: a next-generation athlete who, at 6'6", 230-plus pounds and a 40-time in the 4.3-range, was supposed to redefine the QB position and win at least one national championship.

Pryor fell short of both, never even playing in a national championship game or finishing in the top five of the Heisman Trophy voting.

Oddly enough, his best performance came not only in his last game in the 2011 Allstate Sugar Bowl, but in a game that the official record books say never happened.

Terrelle Pryor is the ultimate symbol of the 2008 Ohio State football recruiting class. It came in with such hype and showed plenty, but just left you wanting more.

It came in with all sorts of promise, but left with most of that promise unfulfilled.

 

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

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