As Maryland convened more than four years ago for the 2006 season, it was coming off consecutive losing seasons and had added a 17-man freshman class in Dave Sollazzo's first year as recruiting coordinator.
Only one of those players --- fullback Cory Jackson --- was a contributor on Maryland's Champs Sports Bowl team. Many of those players didn't see the field at all. And a few guys --- transfer Antwine Perez and walk-on Paul Pinegar --- joined the team within months.
As much as fans salivate over recruiting rankings, few bother to look back at a recruiting class and see how it really worked out in the long run. Of course, that's only possible once everyone has passed through a program.
The time to assess the '06 class in its totality is now, when their accomplishments are still fresh in mind. This isn't an analysis of pure talent, per se, so much as it is as close to an objective assessment of production over the course of a career as is possible.
Prep school products like Bruce Campbell, Quintin McCree and Ronnie Tyler --- all of whom signed in 2006 but didn't enroll until 2007 --- are pushed into the next class. Same goes for Jamarr Robinson, who grayshirted and didn't come to College Park until '07.
In any case, here's the tiering system:
5 stars: All-America performer or high NFL Draft selection
4 stars: Multi-year starter at a high level
3 stars: Multi-year starter or strong one-year starter
2 stars: One-year starter or organizational player who contributed for much of his career
1 star: Organizational player with modest on-field contributions
0 stars: Never played
Of the 19 players evaluated (and 17 members of the original class), nine contributed nothing or very little on the field. As a whole, it was one of Ralph Friedgen's least efficient recruiting classes, and there's no doubt it led to the holes that fostered the Terps' 2-10 nosedive in 2010 2009. But there were still good pieces in that class, as you can see after the jump.