Everybody loves to throw stars and rankings on recruits before they play a down of college football. But, in reality, the more accurate way to assess is a class is after it has been on campus for at least a year and the players have had a chance to show some of what they can do in games or in practice.
Before Tennessee puts the finishing touches on the 2016 class, I thought it’d be interesting, with a year of hindsight, to go back and rerank last year’s class – seeing who was potentially overrated and who has surpassed their rankings thus far. These guys will continue to develop, so their outlooks can and will change, but we have a much better idea what kind of potential they have after a year in the program now.
We took all initial rankings from the 247Sports Composite, which 247Sports describes as “a proprietary algorithm that compiles prospect ‘rankings’ and ‘ratings’ listed in the public domain by the major media recruiting services.” It isn’t a perfectly-balanced ranking across ESPN, Scout, Rivals and 247Sports rankings, but it gives a more consensus look than simply choosing one recruiting service as a base.
For the purpose of this article, we won’t include Zach Stewart, Joc Bruce or Kyle Oliver – guys who never saw the practice field for various reasons.