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Reassessing How OSU’s 2016 Recruiting Class *Actually* Ranks Four Years Later

Re-ranking OSU’s 2016 class with the benefit of hindsight.

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Sometimes an idea or invention is so obvious it makes my brain hurt after realizing I wasn’t smart enough to come up with it first. Like, for instance, the snuggie. Or chia pets. Or a pet rock.

Man, people really love their fake pets, I guess. (Shouts to the chia pet owners of old, by the way. Those things took dedication and patience.)

Anyway, what The Athletic’s Max Olson did this week in a four-year lookback and re-examination of 2016 recruiting classes falls into that category. It’s both a simple idea but captivating. So full disclosure here: I am stealing his criteria and doing the exact same thing for OSU on a more granular level.

Here’s how he reassessed the class with his own star rankings criteria, which I will be lifting and peeling to apply to OSU’s 2016 class:

5 points: All-American, award winner, top-50 NFL draft pick
4: Multiyear starter, all-conference honors
3: One-year starter or key reserve
2: Career backup
0: Left the program, minor or no contribution

Olson’s criteria was that OSU’s class — ranked 45th nationally by 247Sports — actually ranked 19th using the above criteria. What was OSU’s lowest-ranked recruiting class of the decade actually ranked comfortably in the top 25 of Olson’s assessment. Here’s what he wrote:

19. Oklahoma State

Adjusted average: 2.70
Hit rate: 85%
Class rank in 2016: 45th
Four-year record: 35-17
Top signees: RB Justice Hill, CB A.J. Green, OL Teven Jenkins, WR Dillon Stoner, LB Amen Ogbongbemiga

This was actually Oklahoma State’s lowest-ranked recruiting class of the decade, according to the 247Sports Composite team rankings. It doesn’t seem too bad today. This class did not experience much attrition and produced a long list of valuable contributors. Hill quickly emerged as one of the best players in the Big 12 and was the gem of a strong in-state class, and the Cowboys found lots of key players on defense in this group including Green, Ogbongbemiga, Calvin Bundage, DeQuinton Osborne and Rodarius Williams. And if they hadn’t signed Ogbongbemiga out of Canada, the Cowboys could have missed out on Chuba Hubbard.

Best of all, these guys aren’t done yet. Eight or more of these signees will be senior starters on a 2020 squad that’s aiming for a Big 12 title. [The Athletic]

Hit rate: 85%.

85%!

Mike Gundy Are You Not Entertained GIF - MikeGundy AreYouNotEntertained OklahomaState GIFs

OK let’s get to the meat and potatoes of this thing: the re-starring. I’ll sort by position group to make this thing easier to navigate and sum it all up at the bottom.

Linebackers
Calvin Bundage, OLB
  • Initial rank: 🌟🌟🌟
  • Updated rank: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Despite missing all of the 2019 season with an injury, Bundage in his first three seasons made 20 starts and appeared in all but four games. He’s expected to return in 2020 after a gap year.

Amen Ogbongbemiga, OLB
  • Initial rank: 🌟🌟🌟
  • Updated rank: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Amen was the third-lowest ranked recruit in OSU’s 2016 class. Lulz. In 2019 he was a Second-Team All-Big 12 performer and emerged as an irreplaceable piece of OSU’s defense. Might be an All-American in 2020.

Devin Harper, ATH
  • Initial rank: 🌟🌟🌟
  • Updated rank: 🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Has been a solid rotation player, logging nearly 30 games of action during his career — mostly as a backup.


Receivers
Tyrell Alexander, ATH
  • Initial rank: 🌟🌟🌟
  • Updated rank: 🌟

Synopsis: Despite being the third-highest ranked recruit in this class, Alexander never quite found his spot, switching from offense to defense and twice back again before ultimately finding the transfer portal. He leaves having made two tackles and caught two passes for 68 yards.

Dillon Stoner, S
  • Initial rank: 🌟🌟🌟
  • Updated rank: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: You read that right — Stoner was listed as a safety when he signed with OSU. (To be fair, he played 38 positions at Jenks.) Nonetheless, he was the biggest receiver hit of the class. He was All-Big 12 honorable mention this past season and has been a multi-year starter. Four-stars it is.


Offensive line
Larry Williams, OG
  • Initial rank: 🌟🌟🌟
  • Updated rank: 🌟🌟

Synopsis: Injuries derailed an otherwise promising career for Williams. Nonetheless, he made five starts in 2016. He got hurt in 2017 just before the season and never played again.

Tramonda Moore, OT
  • Initial rank: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
  • Updated rank: Zero

Synopsis: [grimace face emoji]

Shane Richards, OT
  • Initial rank: 🌟🌟🌟
  • Updated rank: 🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Played 12 total games at Oklahoma State, mostly in spot duty. I’m giving him three-stars because of his contributions and because he went on to be the No. 1 pick of the CFL draft.

Tyler Brown, OG
  • Initial rank: 🌟🌟🌟
  • Updated rank: Zero

Synopsis: Left Oklahoma State before ever playing in a game.

Teven Jenkins, OT
  • Initial rank: 🌟🌟🌟
  • Updated rank: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Already a two-year starter for Oklahoma State with a promising year ahead. Four-star in hindsight and a chance to become a five-star.

Dylan Galloway, OT
  • Initial rank: 🌟🌟🌟
  • Updated rank: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Played all but one game in 2017, started from week nine on in 2018, started nine games in 2019. Combine that, and I’m counting him as a multi-year starter: qualifications for a four-star on this list.

Matt Kegel, OG
  • Initial rank: 🌟🌟🌟
  • Updated rank: 🌟🌟

Synopsis: Solid player overall, but never more than a special teams contributor during his tenure so far. He played in 25 combined games the last two years and, to this point, is a career back-up for what he was recruited for.


 

Defensive back
Rodarius Williams, CB
  • Initial rank: 🌟🌟🌟
  • Updated rank: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Maybe the most underrated player of this class. Rodarius has been a starter for three years and heads into 2020 as the most reliable corner on the roster.

Madre Harper, CB
  • Initial rank: 🌟🌟🌟
  • Updated rank: Zero

Synopsis: Played in seven combined games at OSU, and was ultimately booted from the team in 2017 during the season. He falls just below career backup but technically left the program after a fight with Tyron Johnson during practice proved to be his third strike.

AJ Green, CB
  • Initial rank: 🌟🌟🌟
  • Updated rank: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Multi-year starter, All-Conference performer. He’ll be missed.

Malik Kearse, CB
  • Initial rank: 🌟🌟🌟
  • Updated rank: 🌟🌟

Synopsis: Played in 12 career games but made minimal impact during his time at OSU.


Running back
Justice Hill, RB
  • Initial rank: 🌟🌟🌟
  • Updated rank: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Freshman rushing leader, freshman All-American, two-time First Team All-Big 12, fourth round draft pick. All the stars!

LD Brown, APB
  • Initial rank: 🌟🌟🌟
  • Updated rank: 🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: A reminder that LD Brown was ranked as a higher prospect coming out of high school than Justice Hill. Still, he’s been solid for OSU, a career contributing backup with more than two dozen games played during his career. Qualifies as key reserve.


Defensive line
Cameron Murray, DT
  • Initial rank: 🌟🌟🌟
  • Updated rank: 🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Started every game in 2019, played in every game in 2018. On his way to earning four-star status with another solid campaign in 2020 on the horizon.

Tralund Webber, DE
  • Initial rank: 🌟🌟🌟
  • Updated rank: 🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Was a reserve in 2017, ranked second on the team in sacks in 2016.

DeQuinton Osborne, DT
  • Initial rank: 🌟🌟🌟
  • Updated rank: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: First Team All-Big 12 (!) in 2017. Yep! Remember him being a force, don’t remember him being that good.


Quarterback
Keondre Wudtee, QB
  • Initial rank: 🌟🌟🌟
  • Updated rank: 🌟

Synopsis: Played sparingly in four total games before leaving the program to go down to the FCS level.


Re-ranked Oklahoma State Recruiting Class of 2016
Player Pos. Initial Ranking Retro ranking
Justice Hill RB 🌟🌟🌟 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Calvin Bundage LB 🌟🌟🌟 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Rodarius Williams CB 🌟🌟🌟 🌟🌟🌟🌟
AJ Green CB 🌟🌟🌟 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Teven Jenkins OL 🌟🌟🌟 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Dillon Stoner WR 🌟🌟🌟 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Amen Ogbongbemiga LB 🌟🌟🌟 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Dylan Galloway OL 🌟🌟🌟 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Dequinton Osborne DT 🌟🌟🌟 🌟🌟🌟🌟
LD Brown RB 🌟🌟🌟 🌟🌟🌟
Cam Murray DT 🌟🌟🌟 🌟🌟🌟
Tralund Webber DE 🌟🌟🌟 🌟🌟🌟
Devin Harper LB 🌟🌟🌟 🌟🌟🌟
Shane Richards OL 🌟🌟🌟 🌟🌟🌟
Larry Williams OL 🌟🌟🌟 🌟🌟
Matt Kegel OL 🌟🌟🌟 🌟🌟
Malik Kearse CB 🌟🌟🌟 🌟🌟
Tyrell Alexander ATH 🌟🌟🌟 🌟
Tramonda Moore OL 🌟🌟🌟🌟 😬
Tyler Brown OL 🌟🌟🌟 😬
Keondre Wudtee QB 🌟🌟🌟 😖
Madre Brown CB 🌟🌟🌟 🥊

 

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