After a somewhat lackluster 2013 recruiting cycle that featured more disappointments than victories, starting the 2014 cycle off on a strong note is going to be extremely important for Mack Brown and the Texas Longhorns.
There are few more wins on the recruiting trail more meaningful than being able to flip a recruit from your rival, and that statement is intensified when you consider the fervor of the Red River Rivalry.
Armanti Foreman is a big-time 4-star receiver recruit from the state of Texas. He's ranked as the No. 26 state of Texas recruit in the 2014 class, and the No. 23 overall wide receiver according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
He'd be an important in-state recruit for the Longhorns to land—especially considering the importance of winning the in-state recruiting battles now that Texas A&M is on the rise—but unfortunately for Texas, he is currently committed to their arch rival, Oklahoma.
The good news for Texas is that Foreman was recently in attendance for a junior day, and he was really impressed by the Longhorns, according to Bob Przybylo of ESPN.com:
Armanti Foreman has been committed to the Sooners since Oct. 1 but has yet to see the campus. The bar has been set as Foreman said he was extremely impressed with the facilities at Texas and considered the best of the day watching the team practice.
“Seeing the guys practice was definitely the highlight of the day,” Foreman said. “Watching them practice and just seeing that this is what they do on a normal basis. It was great to watch them work, and I loved how organized everything was.”
He also came away with an offer from the Longhorns, though he isn't quite yet thinking about flipping, per Pryzbylo:
Toward the end of the trip, Foreman and his family were taken to Brown’s office and that’s when the offer was handed out. Like a lot of other receiver offers, the promise of a new day for the Texas offense is what is being pitched.
“They talked about how they’ve been looking for a player like me and how they like what I bring to the table,” Foreman said. “They really want me to play for them.”
He said the offer is a blessing, but he never gave a thought about flipping his commitment from OU to Texas.
“No, I’m still riding with OU right now,” Foreman said. “I’m still open to a lot of schools so I’m not about to make an impulsive decision.”
Impulses aside, the Longhorns still do have a great chance to eventually get a flip out of Foreman.
Their most notable advantage as of right now is the fact that Foreman has never even been on to Oklahoma's campus (believe it or not) despite the fact that he's committed to the school. Przybylo did report that Foreman has been invited to Oklahoma's junior day in two weeks, but he's not sure if he will be able to go. He does want to visit though.
Still, for now that presents Texas with a huge advantage, which coupled with their in-state advantage could be enough to start swaying Foreman a bit in the Longhorn's direction.
Despite a down few years, there's a lot to like about Texas football. The Longhorns are still one of the marquee programs in the country, and if they can get back to winning meaningful games, that momentum could start building back up.
There's also a lot to like about Austin, Texas (so I hear, mind you) and I've heard nothing but good things about Texas' campus. That has to be a big draw for any elite in-state recruit, especially if there is a promise of a potential return to prominence.
This could all change on a dime if Foreman does eventually get to Norman (which one would assume that he will), and it's also worth noting that Texas A&M has just recently offered the talented wideout recruit. Note: Both the Aggies and Longhorns are listed a "warm interests" on Foreman's 247Sports interest list.
Foreman is indeed still committed to Oklahoma, but this is a situation that could be described as "fluid" at best. For all intents and purposes, Texas made a big push for the elite in-state recruit during the junior day, and if the Longhorns can sustain and build on that momentum, they could end up making a big recruiting splash in Big-12 region.
At the very least, Texas is in great position to do so.