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Re-grading the Big 12 classes of 2011

The only fair way to judge a recruiting class is waiting four years, right? Last week, we broke down how the Big 12's top signees of 2011 panned out. Today, we're re-ranking those classes and handing out new letter grades.

1. Kansas State Wildcats

2011 grade: C+

2015 grade: B+

Top signees: WR Tyler Lockett, OT Cody Whitehair, DE Meshak Williams, S Dante Barnett, WR Curry Sexton

Breakdown: Lockett became an all-time K-State great, and Bill Snyder's staff developed a lot of standout players from this class. Lockett and Whitehair were two-stars who'll finish as four-year starters. Don't forget that Williams was the Big 12's Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2012. KSU did count transfers Arthur Brown and Bryce Brown toward this class, too, and Arthur did earn conference Newcomer of the Year honors.

2. TCU Horned Frogs

2011 grade: N/A

2015 grade: B+

Top signees: CB Jason Verrett, QB Trevone Boykin, S Chris Hackett, DT Davion Pierson, DT Chucky Hunter

Breakdown: Not bad for a Mountain West class, eh? The class that inked a month after TCU's Rose Bowl victory produced a Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year in Boykin and a Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in Verrett. While they became stars, four-star WRs LaDarius Brown and Brandon Carter were kicked off the team and 11 more members of this 24-man class ended up leaving TCU.

3. Texas Longhorns

2011 grade: A

2015 grade: B

Top signees: DB Quandre Diggs, RB Malcolm Brown, DE Cedric Reed, WR Jaxon Shipley, LB Steve Edmond

Breakdown: ESPN's No. 5-ranked class did not meet those lofty expectations, but 17 of the Longhorns' 22 signees have started at least one game and it's possible a dozen will end up starting multiple seasons. There weren't many bad busts among this group, nor were there many All-Big 12 players. Losing QB David Ash and OT Josh Cochran to career-ending injuries was a difficult blow.

4. Texas Tech Red Raiders

2011 grade: B-

2015 grade: B

Top signees: TE Jace Amaro, OT Le'Raven Clark, WR Jakeem Grant, LB Pete Robertson, RB DeAndre Washington

Breakdown: There's a lot to like about this group. Amaro became a second-round NFL draft pick and 10 other signees from this class ended up being quality starters in 2014. All but two were three-star finds. The only reason why this class isn't a solid B+ is its 12-24 record in Big 12 games.

5. Baylor Bears

2011 grade: C+

2015 grade: B

Top signees: OT Spencer Drango, DT Beau Blackshear, CB K.J. Morton, P Spencer Roth, OG Desmine Hilliard

Breakdown: Drango became an All-American in 2014 and is back for more. Blackshear will be a three-year starter, and Morton was a juco find who became a critical piece to the 2013 defense. Don't sleep on WR Jay Lee, either. The only concern with this group is Baylor signed a smaller class of 19 and at least seven haven't panned out. Plus, Shawn Oakman signed with Penn State as a three-star recruit in 2011. If we counted him in, the letter grade certainly improves.

6. Oklahoma State Cowboys

2011 grade: B

2015 grade: B-

Top signees: DE James Castleman, LB Ryan Simmons, WR Josh Stewart, RB Desmond Roland, QB J.W. Walsh

Breakdown: The prized gem of this No. 23-ranked class, RB Hershel Sims, did not last long in Stillwater. But the rest of the class Mike Gundy and his staff assembled included some major contributors, led on defense by Castleman, Simmons and DE Jimmy Bean. Stewart went pro a year too early. Walsh and OT Devin Davis have been plagued by injuries but can make comebacks in 2015.

7. Kansas Jayhawks

2011 grade: B-

2015 grade: C-

Top signees: LB Ben Heeney, CB JaCorey Shepherd, WR/RB Tony Pierson, DE Michael Reynolds, LB Jake Love

Breakdown: Four-star signees QB Brock Berglund and RB Darrian Miller both transferred (Berglund is on his fourth school now), but Heeney was an absolute gem as a two-star. KU signed 28, found about eight decent starters and a lot more who haven't made much of an impact. We'll see if Michael Cummings, who's started 12 games over two seasons, is the answer at quarterback.

8. West Virginia Mountaineers

2011 grade: C+

2015 grade: C-

Top signees: LB Nick Kwiatkoski, CB Terrell Chestnut, LB Isaiah Bruce, DT Shaq Rowell, RB Andrew Buie

Breakdown: Remember, this class was secured while West Virginia was still in the Big East. Their recruiting has certainly improved since joining the Big 12. Kwiatkoski and Bruce have combined for 44 starts, and Chestnut emerged this season. WVU still hasn't gotten a whole lot from its skill position takes in 2011, and QB Paul Millard's stint as a starter was brief.

9. Oklahoma Sooners

2011 grade: B+

2015 grade: D+

Top signees: DT Jordan Phillips, LB Frank Shannon, OG Nila Kasitati, DT Jordan Wade, LB P.L. Lindley

Breakdown: This class, ranked No. 11 by ESPN, was a total mess. Half of the 18 signees ended up transferring, two elected to give up football and prized WR Trey Metoyer was kicked off the team. With Phillips going pro early, only five members of the class are still on campus. And that includes Shannon, who was suspended for the 2014 season. At least transfers Brandon Williams (Texas A&M) and Kendal Thompson (Utah) are doing OK elsewhere.

10. Iowa State Cyclones

2011 grade: C-

2015 grade: D+

Top signees: QB Sam B. Richardson, WR Quenton Bundrage, CB Sam E. Richardson, LB Jevohn Miller, OG Jamison Lalk

Breakdown: This is not the easiest group to evaluate. The highest-rated signees, RB DeVondrick Nealy and WR Tad Ecby, were dismissed from the program last week. Bundrage might be the best of the bunch when he recovers from his torn ACL. ISU found a handful of starters from this 2011 class, but most of them still have a lot to prove.