– With the commitment of Brayden Liebrock, Texas’ 2019 class is 50% out-of-state with three in-state and three out-of-state. Furthermore, Liebrock definitely won’t be the end of the out-of-state commitments for Texas, as Texas could rack up anywhere from two more to seven more commitments from out-of-state prospects. This got me thinking about the fact that the Longhorns seem to be more willing to go out-of-state to get players than in years past. Since 2012, the Longhorns have averaged 5.57 players in their class who do not hail from Texas. If we bring that into the last two coaching staffs, it’s pretty obvious that there is a larger focus out of state than earlier this century, as more than 26% of each class over the past five years has been from out-of-state with 2015 being the peak at 10 players from out-of-state. Compare this to the Mack Brown years where he averaged 2 out-of-staters per class.
However, was this due to Mack just being in love with Texas recruits and Texas recruits alone? It appears to have more to do more with necessity. When you compare the Longhorns previous three years’ total win percentage vs the percent of talent from out-of-state in that year’s class the point becomes much more clear. For example: the combined winning percentage of 2003, 2004, and 2005 was 89% and the percentage of OOS talent in the 2006 class was 9%, whilst the combined winning percentage of 2012, 2013, and 2014 was 59% and the percentage of OOS talent in the 2015 class was 34%.
There are plenty of other factors at play and the following graph is far from statistically sound, but I still feel it provides a good tool to visualize the correlation between the perceived trajectory of the program and the reliance on out-of-state talent.
Even under Mack Brown, he had to start off by taking a good number of guys from out-of-state until he secured the results to lock down the state.
Now, two questions remain…
“No-hahaha-no. This isn’t going to be forever…” But it probably won’t go away entirely either.
As you can see above, when Texas is at it’s peak, there is minimal need to go out-of-state. However, Texas still had about 2-4 guys from out-of-state a year. If Tom Herman were to ever get to that point, Texas would probably see a similar dominance in-state, yet Herman has shown a willingness and ability to step outside the border and take some talent. We’ll see just how great that willingness is after this season, but it’s there.
The second question is, “Can Tom Herman go out-of-state without ruffling the feathers of the easily angered Texas High School Football Coaching community?”
We saw Charlie Strong get in trouble for going out-of-state for recruits at times. What makes Tom Herman any different?
I think @Unofficial Longhorn put it best:
Herman has the existing equity to make OOS moves, whereas Strong was borrowing with no existing credit history.
When Charlie Strong went out and got the “Florida 5” and the other five out-of-state recruits, he was a guy going immediately out-of-state without having built prior relationships with teh Texas High School Coaching community. This gave them the idea that he wasn’t interested in Texas kids. And Charlie wasn’t good at being buddy-buddy or politicking, so whether or not the claims were valid didn’t matter. Add to this the fact that Strong came into a dysfunctional athletic department with a front office and donor-base that wasn’t exactly a fan of the hire (not because he was black), and high school coaches who weren’t a huge fan of the hire as well. Charlie Strong took a step forward to ensure he got some (seemingly) great talent when he had stood himself at the edge of the TXHSFB cliff.
Tom Herman may not originally be from Texas, but he may as well be. Herman has coached fifteen out of his twenty-one year-long career in the Lone Star State. He has built up strong relationships with the high school staffs around the state and continues to keep them steady by allowing them free access to the practices and flexible access around the facilities. He knows the correct people to know in these circles and has built those relationships out. He has played this game correctly all the way down the line, and for that he’s given himself plenty of wiggle room to play around with going out-of-state and meeting 7on7 coaches. – (Will)
May 8th Shhh:
– Two hours after the news of Brayden Liebrock broke, we were graced with some more good news.
— Bʀʏᴀɴ Cᴀʀʀɪɴɢᴛᴏɴ🤫 (@BCarringtonUT) May 9, 2018
The player connected with the most recent shhh, I’m told, has moved his timeline up and may actually announce late May/early June.
So, look for something to potentially drop in the next three weeks but we’ll continue to follow it. – (Super K)
– Elijah Higgins: For a while it seemed like Elijah Higgins ending up at Texas was a matter of when, not if. Over the past month, we’ve heard that this was no longer the case.
I spoke with a source earlier today who tells me that Texas is actually behind both Texas A&M and Stanford and that Higgins is set to visit Stanford this month.
It’s hard to know whether this will hold up. Fortunately, Texas is within striking distance on a couple big wide receivers in Makiya Tongue and Bru McCoy. I plan on speaking with Makiya in the very near future. – (Super K)
– One of my favorite Wide Receiver’s I’ve seen in 2019 is Notre Dame Prep (AZ) Jake Smith. Smith cut his list down to two recently, with Texas and USC as the lone schools remaining,
Thank you to every Coach that has recruited/offered me. You have all made my dreams come true. My final 2 schools are:
The University of Texas🤘🏼 The University of Southern California✌🏼 Huge S/O to @979SportsEditz pic.twitter.com/3Maz9SlWuY
— Jake Smith (@jakesmith27) May 8, 2018
While it isn’t surprising to see Texas and USC as the finalists for him (I’ll break them down in a second) I wasn’t sure if he was going to narrow it down this soon. I say that because some other schools were trying to get him to extend the process a little bit. Schools like Texas A&M, Ohio State, and Notre Dame were wanting to get him on campus this summer for official visits. But, now it just looks like he will take the two officials to USC and Texas.
This is an interesting one to predict. As I know Texas fans hate the term “dream school” as a lot of recruits call Texas their dream school, and end up picking other schools. But, USC was the school Smith dreamed of playing at while growing up. And, Texas is the school that really opened his eyes on the visit and is giving him a ton to think about. It’s usually the opposite with the Longhorns.
Smith would like to make a decision this summer. And it sounds like he just about has his official visit dates locked in for USC and Texas. The official visit to USC will be May 19th, and Texas will their shot on June 2nd. Right now I feel good about Texas’ chances and the fact that he was willing to narrow his choices down to two this early in the process makes me feel like he somewhat knows what he wants to do. But this one isn’t over yet, and will likely come down to the official visits. – (Andrew)
– Jalen Catalon just dropped his top 8. As we have stated in the past, Texas is one of the front runners here, so they obviously made the top 8
— Jalen Catalon (@jcatalon27) May 11, 2018
Jalen Catalon will be committing January 31st, so don’t expect anything to happen anytime in-between then an now. However Texas is still in a very good position here. – (Will)