With the last remnants of the Class of 2008 playing in their final regular season game as Texas Longhorns, lets take a look back at the players, what happened, and how things shook out for them. Be warned, this article is not a list of statistics, just a brief summary on each player and how their collegiate careers played out. Feel free to discuss this with our guys here at Horn Sports, and certainly give us your opinion.
The class of 21 was ranked 16th by Rivals and had as many hits as it did misses. Of the 21 signed, 14 were ranked in the top 25 of their position. 8 of those were ranked in the top ten. The class featured 12 four-star and 2 five-star recruits. Lets dig in:
4-Star – WR DJ Grant, Austin Johnson HS, Austin, TX
Grant moved to TE during his time with Texas, and was a guy who seemingly had all the tools but lacked the effort to be truly great. He did have his flashes, a big game against UCLA last year, and a monster grab on 4th down this year, but he always seemed to be content to just be a guy.
4-Star â€“ DB DJ Monroe, Angleton HS, Angleton, TX
What can you say here? Monroe scored on an 89 yard kick off return the first time he ever touched the ball in a game situation at Texas. Monroe is going to play on Sundays, and the torment of Texas fans for years has been wondering just how two different offensive staffs found ways to not get him the football. Monroe has made many spectacular plays for the Longhorns and should have been used much, much more.
4-Star â€“ WR DeSean Hales, Klein Oak HS, Spring, TX
Hales seemed to be destined for great things at Texas, and had good springs and fall camps…but they never translated into anything substantial. He quit football this year to be a student. Hales finished his career buried deep on the depth chart and never made a big impact in burnt orange.
4 Star â€“ LB Dravannti Johnson, Nederland HS, Nederland, TX
Johnson redshirted in 2008, didn’t play in 2009, and played in all 12 games in the 2010 season, including 5 starts. He had 23 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 tackles for loss. Johnson played in 7 games in 2011, making 4 tackles. He graduated and passed up his final year with Texas to transfer out seeking more playing time.
3-Star â€“ S Blake Gideon, Leander HS, Leander, TX
Gideon started over 50 games for Texas, and had a knack for bringing the big hit. Fans at Texas never seemed to take to Gideon like they should have.Â A guy that played like his ass was on fire was, rather, taken for granted. Gideon was a blue collar hard worker with a knack for making big plays, and his presence in the secondary is sorely missed. He was not selected in the 2012 NFL Draft and is currently on the Denver Broncos squad.
4-Star â€“ S Nolan Brewster, Mullen HS, Denver, CO
Brewster played in 27 games at Texas, mostly on special teams and filling in on defense. Brewster redshirted in 2010 and ultimately “called it a career” early in the 2011 season due to concussions and migraine headaches.
4-Star â€“ DT Jarvis Humphrey, Cedar Hill HS, Cedar Hill, TX
Humphrey redshirted in 2008 and seemed poised for big things with his combination of strength and agility. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with a kidney condition that held him out of spring workouts in 2009 and ultimately led to his withdrawal from school.
3-Star â€“ DT Kheeston Randall, Monsignor Kelly HS, Beaumont, TX
Randall was a guy who came along slowly at first, but grew into a serviceable DT who became a stalwart later in his senior year on the defensive line. Randall was a team leader, a hard worker, and like Gideon, a guy who is missed. He was selected in the 7th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins and starts on the defensive line.
3-Star â€“ RB Tre Newton, Carroll HS, Southlake, TX
Newton was another guy who seemed to be on his way to great things early in his career. In 2009 he ran for 552 yards and 6 scores, and had beaten out Cody Johnson for the RB job. Newton ran for 229 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2010, but several concussions finally caught up with him and he gave up football in November 2010, going on medical scholarship and continuing to pursue his degree.
3-Star â€“ WR Antoine Hicks, Mansfield Timberview HS, Arlington, TX
Hicks signed with Texas, but couldnâ€™t qualify because of poor grades and ended up at TCU, where he was a solid contributor his entire career. Currently works in Dallas in the private sector.
4-Star â€“ OT Luke Poehlmann, Brenham HS, Brenham, TX
Poehlmann has had an interesting career. He played in all 14 games his redshirt freshman year, and seemed to be on his way before tearing up his knee two games into the next year. Poehlmann overcame his injury, and saw time last year on the line and at tight end, where he caught a short touchdown pass versus Baylor. Poehlmann is/was a solid utility offensive lineman and spot starter when needed during his career.
4-Star â€“ OT Mark Buchanan, Austin HS, Austin, TX
Buchanan was a spot player at Texas on offense and special teams. Good kid, just never really panned out.
2-Star â€“ PK Justin Tucker, Westlake HS, Austin, TX
A man that needs no introduction. All Tucker did at Texas was make clutch kick after clutch kick, including the biggest kick in Texas history, beating Texas A&M 27-25 on a last second FG at Kyle Field to end the rivalry. Tucker went undrafted in 2012 and signed with the Baltimore Ravens, where he won the job and is the current kicker.
3-Star â€“ CB Brock Fitzhenry, Giddings HS, Giddings, TX
Fitzhenry was an option quarterback at Giddings and came to Texas in more of the â€œathleteâ€ mold than anything else. He did nothing of note at Texas and ended up leaving the team. I never understood why this scholarship was extended.
3-Star â€“ LB Emmanuel Acho, St Mark’s School of Texas, Dallas, TX
Another man who needs no introduction, Acho played in 48 games at Texas, including 26 starts, and was a 1st team All Big 12 LB his senior season. What Acho allegedly lacked in athleticism, he made up for with a high football IQ, strong team leadership, and instinctive play. Acho earned several academic honors at Texas. He tallied nearly 300 career tackles for the Longhorns along with forcing 9 turnovers, and was a 6th round pick of the Cleveland Browns in the 2012 NFL Draft.
4-Star â€“ RB Jeremy Hills, Alief Elsik HS, Houston, TX
Hills redshirted as a junior in 2010, but was a solid contributor all four playing seasons at Texas, before a broken leg on an 8 yard TD run ended his career against TCU this year. Hills was the kind of RB every team needs, a guy who got the job done in key situations and did everything asked of him. Hills is a guy whose value didnâ€™t show up in the stat sheets, but his mark on the program during the hard times the last two seasons is clear.
4-Star â€“ LB Ryan Roberson, Brenham HS, Brenham, TX
Roberson moved to offense after his redshirt freshman year and has contributed as a RB, FB, and special teams guy. He has caught a couple ofÂ touchdowns through the years and has been a solid contributor, but nothing too spectacular.
5-Star â€“ WR Dan Buckner, Allen HS, Allen, TX
Buckner played in all 12 games as a freshman, catching 5 passes for 84 yards and 2 touchdowns. He built upon this with a decent sophomore year, catching 45 passes and for 4 touchdowns and a 2 point conversion in the Longhorns’ eventual loss to Alabama. Buckner was arrested by College Station PD for trespassing soon after the BCS title game and left the program on January 14, 2010. He transferred to Arizona, sitting out 2010 and playing in 12 games in 2011 with one start. Buckner hauled in 59 passes and 5 scores this year as the Wildcats second leading receiver. Definitely a guy Texas could have used.
5-Star â€“ CB Aaron Williams, McNeil HS, Round Rock, TX
I’ll keep it simple with this player. Williams played in 37 games at Texas, starting 23, and was second team all Big 12 his final season. Williams was at times a dominant corner, and also returned punts. He made plays all over the field and left the program after his junior season. He was selected in the 2nd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills.
4-Star â€“ OG David Snow, Gilmer HS, Gilmer, TX
Snow played in 52 games with 30 starts at guard and center during his Texas career. He was an all Big 12 performer his senior season and won several team awards during his time at Texas. Snow was a steady presence on the line at a time when leadership was needed, and is another guy Texas really could have used for one more year had he been able to redshirt earlier in his career. Snow went undrafted in 2012, and ended up with the Buffalo Bills, where he is currently on the active roster.
At a time in 2012 where many are clamoring for Texas to recruit players instead of stars, its interesting how all of the 3-star guys in this class panned out here or at TCU with the exception of Fitzhenry. One also sees just how difficult recruiting can be, and how the misses in this class really hurt later on.
For the sake of discussion, Ill close with a few of the in state guys off the 2008 Rivals Top 100 Texas did not get or go after in this class:
Blaine Gabbert â€“ 5-Star QB who went to Missouri and is currently in the NFL with Jacksonville
Stephen Good â€“ 5-Star OL who ended up being a decent utility lineman at Oklahoma
Darryl Stonum â€“ 5-Star WR who ended up at Michigan
Andrew Luck â€“ 4-Star QB who went to Stanford. Heard good things about him since
If nothing else, while you are thinking this article over or discussing it, remember this. We didnâ€™t give or get any of the four guys mentioned above, all who could have been tremendous contributors to this program. We did manage to give a scholarship to Brock Fitzhenry though…….
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