Counting down to national signing day on Feb. 1, HornsNation will look back at each of Mack Brown’s Texas recruiting classes.
Nobody was close in 2002.
Texas, far and away, had the nation’s top recruiting class.
At least that is the way all those who followed recruiting a decade ago saw it.
Looking back, it is hard to argue that they were wrong. The 2002 class formed the nucleus of what would be Texas’ best back-to-back season since the 1969-70. Texas went 24-1 in 2004-05. The quarterback of the 2002 class, Vince Young, led most of the way.
But he was not alone. The 2002 class had 15 All-Americans including Young, defensive lineman Rodrique Wright and offensive lineman Justin Blalock. This class coupled with the highly-productive 2001 class allowed Texas to dominate on both sides of the line.
Of course, like any other class there were misses, especially along the defensive line where Texas signed 10 players. Among those were Marco Martin and Brian Pickryl.
But when it was done, this class had eight NFL draft picks, four All-Americans and a national title.
Most underrated: Brian Robison
Robison was dominant in high school. The only problem was it was 3A. But he had size and speed, so Texas added him to a class that was already loaded with defensive linemen.
Maybe, the thought was, he could develop into something.
Robison became a full-time starter at defensive end in 2004-2005. In his junior season, 2005, Robison led the team in tackles for loss (15) and sacks (7) and finished his career with 181 tackles, 42 TFL, 50 pressures, 14 sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an INT. He also holds the Texas record for blocked kicks with six.
Biggest Get: Vince Young
Young shared the spotlight in 2002. Marcus Vick and James Banks were rated equally as high in the recruiting class, but by the end of Young’s junior season, he stood alone in the spotlight.
The Houston Madison product proved to be the best quarterback -- dual threat or otherwise -- in the class of 2002.
At Texas, Young became an unstoppable force once he took over for Chance Mock in 2004. In two years, he lost just one game -- 12-0 to Oklahoma in 2004. He finished as a Heisman runner up in 2005 and led Texas to its first national title in 35 years with a win over USC in the BCS title game.
Biggest Bust: Marquis Johnson
Pegged as one of if not the best wide receiver in the nation, Johnson spurned offers from everywhere, to come to Texas. The general consensus was Johnson would be the next Roy Williams, a big, fast wideout who is reliable inside the red zone but also has breakaway speed.
Johnson never qualified. He wound up at Texas Tech after some time at Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College. In 2005, he caught 13 passes for 74 yards and a touchdown with the Red Raiders but missed the Cotton Bowl due to a suspension.
He didn’t play his senior season. Johnson never played in the NFL, but spent time with the Lubbock Renegades of arenafootball2 in 2008.