Print and Go Back On The Trail: Midlands Region [Print without images]

Monday, January 6, 2014
Early Offer: Strong a solid recruiting hire

By Jeremy Crabtree

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: Texas’ hire of Charlie Strong could help the Longhorns open up new recruiting territories, but it will also be important for him to hire assistants who have ties to the Lone Star State. Louisville’s top 25 class is very much in flux after Strong’s departure.
Strong could open up Southeast for Horns
In the Mack Brown era, Texas only sparingly recruited outside of the Lone Star State, but expect that to change some under new coach Charlie Strong. He has too many ties to the Southeast -- especially in Florida -- for Texas not to go after elite prospects there. The competition will be tough but Strong has proven to be more than capable against some of the SEC and ACC heavy hitters. Plus, now he will have the Texas brand. That’s awfully appealing to recruits.

Texas will still be important for Horns
Just because Strong has robust Southeast ties, it doesn’t mean Texas will become less of a priority. Strong is an extremely intelligent recruiter and knows he will have to win battles in Dallas, Houston and other parts of the state to be successful . To do that, it’s going to be important for him to hire assistants who have ties to the Lone Star State. It’ll be interesting to see who he retains from Brown’s staff. Oscar Giles, Larry Porter and Darrell Wyatt are three of the best recruiters in the business and keeping them around would be a good idea if they want to do well in Texas. Also, expect Strong’s no nonsense, man-of-your-word approach will be a hit with Texas high school football coaches.

Louisville’s class in flux
Strong had taken Louisville recruiting to new heights. The Cardinals’ class is No. 23 in the country and is the best in the American, but without a head coach the Cardinals’ class is already starting to crumble. Four-star defensive tackle Poona Ford (Hilton Head, S.C./Hilton Head), No. 271 in the ESPN 300 and the Cardinals’ top-rated commitment, will listen to other schools with Strong gone. No. 38 receiver and ESPN 300 prospect Isaiah Ford (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian) decommitted on Sunday. Trinity Christian four-star offensive tackle Kavaris Harkless was already on Louisville’s campus and was slated to start class on Monday, but with Strong’s departure he is now on his way to Gainesville, Fla., to become a Gator.