Now that we have an idea of what kind of numbers the staff is working with for the Class of 2020, let’s take another look at the current names pinging the radar the hardest.
With the 2019 cycle comfortably in the rear-view, let’s re-familiarize ourselves with the numbers (Part I), names (Part II), and approach (Part III) for the 2020 cycle.
In Part I, we learned that 0/12 of the best linebackers in the Big 12 last year were blue chip high school recruits.
That’s the output part of the equation.
I’m not sure you could have drawn up a more taxing cycle in which a team still finishes inside the top-five. A lot was initially going wrong for the staff within the borders, not all of it their own fault, so Tom Herman made the calculating decision to be ultra-aggressive out West.
One of the most impressive changes instituted by Tom Herman at the University of Texas has been the reinvigoration and advancement of the Texas preferred walk-on program. Perhaps in no small part because he was tasked with working with the walk-ons as a Texas GA under Mack Brown and he sees the opportunity for found money.
The 2019 class is going to go down as a game-changing group for the Texas football program. As we’re already seeing in the early stages of the 2020 cycle, Texas is clearly going to continue to answer Horace Greeley’s call to “go west” in order to find top prospects. Oklahoma leaned heavily on that strategy this decade while they were getting pushed out of Texas after bringing Mike Stoops and Tim Kish in fresh off their stint in Arizona. It yielded mixed results for them, regularly bringing in blue chip talent but some of which flamed out and some of which drove their success
Linebacker is one of the hardest positions to project from high school to college. The position requires agility, short area quickness, recognition, instincts, physicality and the ability to “play fast” (which is about the head as much as the legs). Those traits are then paired with technical and fundamental requirements that sometimes even gifted athletes can never quite master. Some linebackers are born, some are manufactured, but as offenses and rules change, the position itself is being redefined.
I caught up with my boy Andrew Spivey at Gator Country to get his thoughts on some guys in the Southeast region who hold Texas offers. We haven’t heard much about or discussed some of them, but one never truly knows who the staff is working on behind the scenes.
Also, notes on some of the newest West Coast targets and guys at the top of the board in the state of Texas.
With the exodus of Cameron Rising and Shane Buechele in the NCAA Transfer Portal, there’s all the more impetus on the 2020 class to bring more talent to the quarterback position. For the 2019 and 2020 seasons Texas currently figures to have Sam Ehlinger starting. Then in 2021 there’d presumably be a battle between RS junior Casey Thompson, RS sophomore Roschon Johnson, and RS freshman Hudson Card. Of course with the way things go today perhaps only one or two of those names would still be around to take the torch from Ehlinger.
Just a few tidbits until we open this for the recruiting Q&A.