Texas Football: The Good and the Bad of National Signing Day
The Texas Longhorns picked up 15 new players on national signing day, a small class by their standards, but by no means a sacrifice of quality.
Top commits like Kent Perkins and Darius James, in addition to JUCO transfers Geoff Swaim and Desmond Harrison, are the highlights of the class. But while this new group of Longhorns indeed will have those highlight players, no recruitment is without its lowlights.
The Longhorns have had a strenuous final few weeks leading up to NSD, facing a series of off-the-field events in addition to a number of recruiting whiffs that left many questioning just where Mack Brown's program is headed.
Let's breakdown the good, the bad and the ugly from Texas' latest haul of athletes.
Over the past handful of seasons, one position that has stood out among the rest has been the offensive line, mostly for the wrong reasons.
Lack of depth, inexperience and a failure to develop the talent on campus left the roster devoid of respectable results that could have allowed for a smoother offensive transition into what the Longhorns currently front.
At first glance, the Horns did a splendid job of securing four offensive linemen with the kind of size, feet and athleticism that offensive line coach Stacy Searels has been looking to develop since he arrived in 2011.
Who will emerge as the top player from Texas' 2013 class?
Perkins and James are two of the top linemen to come out of the state of Texas in this class. Late addition Rami Hammad brings great size as a late-bloomer out of Irving. Harrison enters the fold after establishing himself at Contra Costa C.C. in San Pablo, Calif. The 6'8" monstrosity could easily snag a starting job, a move that adds incredible depth to a Texas line that desperately needs it.
The 2011 class brought in immediate contributors and playmakers like David Ash, Malcolm Brown, Joe Bergeron, Jaxon Shipley and Quandre Diggs. The 2012 haul featured Johnathan Gray, Daje Johnson and Peter Jinkens.
Texas' 2013 class does not have a claim on those kind of standout game-changers, a testament to the kind of talent already assembled on campus. However, this is precisely the kind of situation that the Longhorns may favor as their young talent will have a chance to develop without the stress of early performance.
The decommitments, which got up to five, struck the Horns considerably hard.
Ricky Seals-Jones, Kyle Hicks, Daeshon Hall, Durham Smythe and A'Shawn Robinson were all top players in the Lone Star State who were once committed to Texas. But as the course of the recruiting period wore on, the Longhorns began losing pledges one by one, with Robinson, the top player in the state according to Rivals.com, coming just days before NSD.
The Longhorns will be without Brandon Moore and Alex Okafor next season after both declared for the NFL Draft.
Unfortunately, Texas will enter the season without any new defensive linemen as part of the incoming class.
Jake Raulerson, the Horns' first commit of the class, could get a look at defensive end, but he figures to begin his career at Texas on the other side of the ball.
Texas may not feel the brunt of this until a few seasons down the road, but fortunately there are a number of bodies along the defensive line that have shown promise.
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