As soon as National Signing Day passes everyone wants to rank their class. Furthermore, many tend to believe their class is one of the best, if not the best in their respective conferences.
In reality the only way to truly evaluate a class is to evaluate them as juniors or seniors in college, and determine how they've developed. Today we look at the Class of 2005.
I will grade out by position, and come up with an average GPA at the end.
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Quarterback- The Broncos brought in two QB's in 2005. Tim Hiller and Canadian Caleb Clark. Hiller solidified his presence as a true freshmen and has never let go. To develop as a QB you have to play. Clark had a good set of wheels and had he been given a lot of reps he may have developed into a good QB. Regardless, the QB class of 2005 has proven it's worth. Hiller is ranked by some as a top 5 QB in the nation.
Running back- The Broncos brought in Kirk Ellsworth and James Jones out of Miami. Jones had some injuries and eventually left the program. Ellsworth was a high school superstar who broke several rushing records in the state. Kirk made his mark early as a punt blocker, and finished out his career as short yardage back who could pound for yardage and could catch the ball.
Bottom line, it wasn't a great class for running backs.
Tight End- The Broncos brought in two tight ends in Joe Gardner and Matt Stevens. Gardner showed early promise in fall camp, but had a career ending injury before camp ended. Matt Stevens has shown himself to be a reliable TE, and should have a solid senior year.
Offensive Line- Steve Ellingsen, Andy Laue, and Paul Wasikowski. All but Laue have contributed, but only Wasikowski has been a consistent starter.
Defensive Tackle- Cody Ceilinski, Grant Nemeth, John Russell, and James Randall.
Ceilinski has been an All-MAC performer, while Nemeth has seen his playing time diminsh. Randall left the program. Russell contributed a fair amount.
Linebacker- Austin Pritchard, Derrek Harris, Kevin Smith.
Pritchard is an all conference linebacker. Smith and Harris left the program.
Defensive End- Justin Braska and Greg Marshall. Both contributed significantly, although neither have shown themselves to be true edge guys.
Defensive backs- Louis Delmas, E.J. Biggers, Chauncy Thompkins, Robert Livingston, Brandon Henderson, Mark Metulynski. With two players being 4 year starters, as well as likely NFL selections, this group has to be ranked very high. Four of them left the program, but two made a huge mark.
Keep in mind that Bill Cubit assembled this class with less than 30 days on the job. He still came up with 5 All MAC players, and at least two NFL draft picks. If you're wondering why C.J. Wilson, Brandon Ledbetter, Jamarko Simmons, and London Fryar were not included, it's because they were 5th year seniors recruited under Gary Darnell.
The GPA for this class is 2.62 or around a B-. While this class had some exceptional talents, it lacked depth as many either did not develop or left the program.