To be successful in college football, you have to be successful in recruiting, the true lifeblood of the sport.
The newest members of the college football landscape have arrived at their respect programs, with them a fresh batch of intrigue.
The Texas Longhorns welcome 15 players to their historic program. And in a 2013 season where Texas is among the favorites to win the Big 12, these newcomers could be the first group to inherit the loftiest of standards as second-year players next year.
Of those 15 incomers, some figure to have an impact sooner, rather than later. For that reason, let's run through a power ranking of Texas' 2013 recruiting class, with the emphasis on impact and need.
(1) Desmond Harrison is one of two JUCO players in the class and will follow in the footsteps of Donald Hawkins, who arrived in Austin via the JUCO ranks last year.
Harrison is expected to bring immediate depth to a Texas offensive line that has needed it in recent seasons.
With Harrison fitted for the left tackle spot, it allows Hawkins to slide inside or to right tackle—a scenario that could push a Josh Cochran or a Dom Espinosa into a reserve role that solidifies the two-deep more than at any point in the past three years.
Don't look now, but the Longhorns might already have their next big asset at quarterback in (2) Tyrone Swoopes.
The Whitewright, Texas product enrolled in the spring and has already flashed running potential that could draw some comparisons to a certain No. 10.
Swoopes put his stamp on the No. 3 spot on the quarterback depth chart during the spring, and with senior Case McCoy out for the summer on a 10-week mission trip, Swoopes will get the extra reps. Advantage Texas.
In the seemingly endless string of defensive backs to come out of Duane Akina's "DBU" factory, (3) Antwuan Davis has to be atop the list of incoming defensive players who could make an early splash.
Davis is blessed with good size, length and track speed. Although Texas figures to be fairly deep at cornerback, Akina has never been shy about giving a young player his shot if he has earned it.
Offensive linemen (4) Darius James and (5) Kent Perkins are interchangeable as far as promise and hype at a need position.
Both were ranked in the top 65 players in the country, according to Rivals.com, and represent a two of the top offensive linemen in the Lone Star State. The Longhorn should expect to replace at least two linemen in 2014, and James and Perkins could be a part of that conversation.
(6) Deoundrei Davis comes into the fold with a linebackers corps that really struggled last season with injuries and straight-up newness.
Texas returns every linebacker to its roster for 2013, meaning it could be a while before Davis cracks the two-deep.
Kendall Thompson, Peter Jinkens and Steve Edmond have all been young, significant contributors and appear to be heavy fixtures at the position in the near future, as will Tevin Jackson and maybe even Dalton Santos.
But with the length, size and speed with which Davis can patrol the field, it will e hard to ignore his seemingly good fit against the fast offenses in the Big 12. File that one away when holes inevitably open up.
Perhaps one of the best glue guys among the 15 newcomers is (7) Jake Raulerson, who can play on either side of the line of scrimmage and will start his career in Austin on offense.
(8) Rami Hammad, a late addition to the Longhorns class, is another offensive lineman who can add depth if developed.
The wide receivers need all the help they can get, especially since those not named Shipley or Davis have yet to step up as consistent producers.
(9) Jacorey Warrick and (10) Jake Oliver are two of three new wide outs to enter the mix in the passing game. Both bring good routes and hands to the mix, but we have heard that song before. Will they eventually be singing a different tune?
(11) Geoff Swaim, Texas' second JUCO player in its 2013 class, appeared to be an immediate fix to a tight end position that has been lost since 2007, the last year in Jermichael Finley's career in Austin. Swaim has seemingly fallen behind in favor of M.J. McFarland, but at this point, the Longhorns may need all the options they can get, especially if McFarland lags behind again.
A candidate for a potential position switch has to be (12) Erik Huhn. The 6'2", 215-pound safety is sitting well down the depth chart, and with his brand of contact and speed, he might trickle down to linebacker if the shoe fits.
(13) Chevoski Collins, (14) Montrel Meander—the last to commit to the 2013 class—and (15) Naashon Hughes make up the final three pledges in the power rankings, but none are likely the have big impacts this season. Special teams is the most likely scenario for the three, unless they take a redshirt. And given the numbers are their positions, a redshirt year seems probable.
The Bottom Line
The Longhorns missed dearly along the defensive line, but they did manage to stockpile a number of talented prospects at positions that will need help within the next one or two seasons.
Fortunately for most of the 2013 class, they will have a chance to acclimate fully into the Texas program before undertaking the pressures of performing for a Longhorns team that is on the cusp of a legitimate resurgence.
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