The Texas Longhorns should no longer be the hands down favorite to win elite college football recruits from the state of Texas.
It is still a great, historic program with a lot to offer to Texas recruits, but the days of the Longhorns being the premium destination in their state are long gone.
The rest of the state's programs have simply caught up, and other out-of-state programs are looking a lot better than the Longhorns right now.
Let's focus on the in-state competition first.
With schools like Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor and TCU all building and establishing reputable football programs, the Longhorns now have a ton of competition for in-state recruits.
Texas A&M is a talented program that now has a huge draw in the fact that they play in the SEC. Texas Tech has always played an exciting brand of football, and head coach Tommy Tuberville is doing a great job of building a competitive program. Baylor is going to be a draw because of the success of Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III and TCU has been one of the bigger "small-name teams" in college football for the past few years.
It's no longer the Longhorns and everyone else in the state of Texas. In fact, they aren't even the best team in their own state currently.
After their brutal loss to Oklahoma, the Longhorns fell to the last spot, No. 25, on the AP Poll. Meanwhile, TCU is No. 23, and Texas A&M and Texas Tech are 18 and 17 respectively.
Texas is even behind from a current recruiting standpoint. A&M is ahead of Texas with 28 recruits to the Longhorns' 15. Twenty one of the Aggies commitments are from the state of Texas. There's still plenty of time for things to change, but the numbers show that the Longhorns are getting a ton of in-state competition for recruits.
Out of the 38 4-star recruits Rivals has listed from Texas, only nine have committed to the Longhorns. Eight have committed to Texas A&M, and programs like Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, USC, Ohio State and even Oregon have grabbed some of Texas' best players.
There are so many great in-state options for elite Texas recruits—and that doesn't even count out-of-state programs that have an interest in such players. The Longhorns simply can't out-pitch them anymore, especially with their on-field product not being dominant.
Even last year, Texas was only able to sign two out of the four 5-stars in its state. Texas A&M and Florida State picked up the other two.
There's a reason Texas has struggled as of late—and this is it. They aren't getting enough elite recruits from their own state. It used to be a given, but now the Longhorns are one of many great options.
They should still be considered a recruiting power, but to call them to the No. 1 destination in the state would be foolish. One could argue that Texas A&M has the better recruiting draw being an SEC program, and after their 63-21 loss to Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry game, the Longhorns can't feel too optimistic that their program will remain a premier landing spot for top high school prospects.
If I'm a 4- or 5-star player from Texas, why would I not check out other programs in state? They have shown themselves to be just as formidable as the Longhorns, and certainly opting for USC, Michigan, Alabama, LSU, Oregon or other out of state power over Texas would be a no-brainer if distance wasn't an issue.
The Longhorns just don't have that dominant reputation anymore, so unless a recruit grows up as a die-hard fan, other options are going to end up looking better if Texas can't turn it around.
They should no longer be considered the best school to go to for elite recruits in the state of Texas.