Texas National Signing Day: 5 Takeaways from Longhorns' 2014 Class

Jonathan Woo@woo_jonathanwooCorrespondent IFebruary 6, 2014

Texas National Signing Day: 5 Takeaways from Longhorns' 2014 Class

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    Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

    National signing day is over for the Texas Longhorns, and although head coach Charlie Strong has only been on campus for a month, he has worked hard to retain a core group of players in his initial recruiting class in Austin.

    The 'Horns picked up 23 commitments Wednesday, highlighted by a potential star at quarterback and a receivers haul that stacks up with the best in the country.

    January 5, the day Strong was hired at Texas, was the start of a new era in Longhorns football.

    February 5 is the official start of Strong's movement.

    Here are five takeaways from Texas' 2014 recruiting class.

A Torn, but Talented Class

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    The coaching transition at Texas put tremendous pressure on Strong and his staff to keep the 2014 class together.

    Decommitments were expected, and they hit Texas pretty hard at various positions.

    But Strong was able to put a little bit of his own flavor on the haul by adding a number of late commitments.

    Alex Anderson, Edwin Freeman, Blake Whiteley, Elijah Rodriguez, Poona Ford and Chris Nelson all committed under Strong's early tenure, filling holes at critical need positions and those vacated by decommitments.

    247Sports has Texas with the No. 17 class in 2014.


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    Of Texas' 23 commitments, 13 of them project to play on offense, leaving the last 10 to join a defense that has been far from respectable over the past two seasons.

    The Longhorns are adding five wide receivers to the mix and will also welcome four defensive backs to a secondary that loses Carrington Byndom and Adrian Phillips.

    A few weeks ago, Texas wasn't looking so hot with its recruiting in the trenches. After three decommitments from defensive tackles, the Longhorns were looking at a single offensive line commit to go with no pledges from interior defensive linemen.

    But with Ford and Nelson giving word to Texas on national signing day, the Longhorns went from one commit to five between the two position groups.

    The Longhorns were able to fill their needs at the end of the day, but it may be a little while before the results from this group begin to show.

Potential Stars

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    Jerrod Heard has the makeup of a star quarterback, and if the results don't begin to show for either David Ash or Tyrone Swoopes, one would have to believe that Heard will be given every chance to win the job, if it's there.

    Texas pulled in a big group at wide receiver, but keep an eye on Armanti Foreman and Lorenzo Joe, both of whom bring an extra dynamic and great speed to the offensive side of the football.

    The Longhorns may be known as "DBU," but gauging from the talent pouring out of the defensive end position, "DEU" may be the more accurate moniker for now.

    Derick Roberson is Texas' highest-rated recruit in its 2014 class, according to 247Sports, and he has the size, speed and motor to get early snaps.

Dangerous Wide Receiver Haul

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    The Longhorns haven't brought in a receivers group as diverse and dynamic as this in a while.

    Foreman and Joe are flat-out playmakers with the ball in their hands and are the clear headliners of the class.

    Roderick Bernard is a home run threat anytime he touches the ball, but he is also one of the smallest players in Texas' haul.

    Garrett Gray and Dorian Leonard add much-needed size to Texas' receivers corps. At 6'4.5" and 6'4", respectively, the two will have an opportunity to become red-zone threats immediately.

    If Texas can get some consistency at quarterback, then this group may be the one to watch down the road.

Short End of the Stick

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    Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

    Give credit to Strong and his staff for their efforts in maintaining the core of this group.

    Texas had decommitments from three defensive tackles, two linebackers, a wide receiver, a running back and an offensive lineman over the course of the 2014 recruiting process, six of them coming after the coaching change.

    Meanwhile, Texas had used up 17 official visits during the weekend that Mack Brown resigned, leaving Strong with limited ammunition to close the deal on critical recruits, perhaps some that wound up flipping their commitments.

    But with 23 new players, the first 23 who will be a part of the Strong Era, Texas' new head coach did a respectable job in the 30 days he had to close out this class.