Monday, April 1, 2013
2015 (I know, right?) recruiting season is on
By David Ubben
So, how's your 2015 recruiting class looking? You know, the one with all the players who will sign their letters of intent about 22 months from now, a full two high school football seasons from now?
If you're a fan of a Big 12 team other than Texas, you probably don't have an answer. In the final week of March, Texas logged three commitments, with a pair coming over the weekend while Texas hosted recruits.
The Longhorns begin April with a major head start on the recruiting cycle in 2015 while most of the Big 12 is merely getting the wheels turning on the 2014 class. Here's our last update on that class.
No other Big 12 team has a commitment for 2015, but the Longhorns' three prompts an interesting look at a somewhat controversial practice of securing early commitments from players who still have a whole lot of high school ball to play.
Offensive guard Aaron Garza became the Longhorns' first commitment on March 23rd, telling the Dallas Morning News that he wanted to "be a part of their next national championship team."
"I was just surprised and overwhelmed when Coach [Mack] Brown offered me,” Garza told the paper. “I was really happy and knew that I wanted to commit. Everything from the academics to the stadium was awesome. I think it’s a great place for me.”
Defensive tackle Bryce English followed suit on Friday. The DeSoto, Texas, native already checks in at 5-foot-11 and 305 pounds. It'll be interesting to see how he looks when he finally makes it to campus.
Saturday, cornerback Jalen Campbell became No. 3. HornsNation reported that it was the Corpus Christi, Texas, native's first offer, and he used it to commit.
Texas is stuck in an odd position with these kinds of situations. It's got to balance a deluge of young players who love Texas and want to be Longhorns, and get ahead of the competition in developing relationships ahead of competition from programs like Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
In the same breath, though, it can't get ahead of some of these players' careers and has to assume that two years from now, they'll be just as good and just as dominant. If that's not the case, pulling a scholarship is a great way to burn a bridge from a fruitful high school to Texas' campus in Austin. The Longhorns have to also make sure players who commit that early are determined to work just as hard and prove themselves with the same ferocity as before Texas made a scholarship offer official.
That's not easy.
What do you make of the Longhorns' early recruiting practices?