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Monday, February 11, 2013
Booms and busts of 2009 recruiting class

By David Ubben

Colleague Jake Trotter ran down some big surprises and busts in the Big 12 recruiting class of 2008 last week, but let's take a closer look at the class of 2009 this morning.

We'll take a look at the top half of the Big 12 now, and the bottom half later today.

Baylor 

Best surprise: OL Danny Watkins (British Columbia)

The Canadian firefighter was new to football, but Baylor gave him a shot after a strong juco career in Canada. How did Watkins repay them? He was a productive two-year starter at left tackle who the Philadelphia Eagles made a first-round pick in the 2011 NFL draft.

Biggest bust: WR Skyler Scott (Lancaster, Texas) 

Scott, the nation's No. 53 receiver and the class' No. 3 overall signee, was arrested on gun possession charges in early 2010 and had little impact for the Bears.

Iowa State

Best surprise: LB A.J. Klein (Kimberly, Wisc.)

Klein was the nation's No. 116 linebacker and more highly rated than just four of Iowa State's four-year signees. He matured into a strong three-year starter and won the Big 12's Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2011.

Biggest bust: OL Aaron Moore (Frisco, Texas)

Moore was the class' top signee and the nation's No. 41 offensive tackle. He redshirted his freshman year, played three games in 2010 and left the team the following spring.

Kansas 

Best surprise: CB Tyler Patmon (Cedar Park, Texas)

Patmon left the team in December, so it's hard to really laud him too much as a Jayhawk, but you can't ignore his contributions, despite being unranked at his position coming out of high school. He redshirted in 2009 but was a three-year starter in the secondary and one of the better players for KU's struggling defense in each of those seasons. He had three interceptions in 2012.

Biggest bust: LB Prinz Kande (Euless, Texas)

Kande was the class' top signee, but has yet to make a big impact heading into his senior season. He's been a reserve on the Jayhawks defense before finally emerging to make his first start last season in a loss to Rice. In that loss, though, he suffered a season-ending injury. He's had fewer tackles in every season since taking the field at KU.

Kansas State

Best surprise: S Ty Zimmerman (Junction City, Kan.)

Zimmerman was unranked coming out of high school but made an immediate impact and earned Freshman All-American honors in 2010 after redshirting. He's been a starter since and was one of three K-State defenders with five interceptions this season.

Biggest bust: S Thomas Ferguson (Grand Prairie, Texas) 

Ferguson was the class' highest-ranked signee and was the nation's No. 23 safety but failed to notch double-digit tackles in any season on campus. He played in six games this year and had just six tackles.

Oklahoma

Best surprise: OT Lane Johnson (Groveton, Texas)

Johnson was a junior college quarterback who moved to tight end and came to Oklahoma where he promptly put on almost 40 pounds and became a tackle after a stop at defensive end in 2010, too. He earned All-Big 12 honors in 2012 and now has earned some hype as a possible first-round pick for the Sooners in April.

Biggest bust: DE Justin Chaisson (Las Vegas, Nev.)

Chaisson was one of a handful of players who signed with the Sooners out of Las Vegas, joining players like Ryan Reynolds and DeMarco Murray for the Sooners. Chaisson was plagued by legal issues, though, and the nation's No. 8 defensive end and No. 100 player overall in the class left the team before the 2010 season after redshirting in 2009.