Longhorns must pursue those not already wanting to come to Texas more aggressively

Christian Corona

The last time Texas signed a recruiting class this small was in 2005.

Current NFL players Colt McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Quan Cosby and Jermichael Finley were among the 15 players that signed with the Longhorns less than a month after they captured the program’s fourth national title.

That was then, this is now. Texas isn’t coming off a national title. It’s coming off a 9-4 season, having lost 16 games over the past three years. And there’s no McCoy in this year’s 15-member recruiting class. The only quarterback in the class, Tyrone Swoopes, completed just 42 percent of his passes for 1-9 Whitewright last year.

Five guys decommitted from Texas over the past eight months — exactly as many as committed to it during that span. But if you ask Longhorns head coach Mack Brown, his team is better off without them.

“I don’t want anybody here that doesn’t want to be here,” Brown said. “If you’re committed to us, be committed. If you look around, we’ll look around … You want people that want to be at your school. If someone backs out on you, you’ve got to look for somebody else. That’s what happens in this world.”

If you’re searching for what’s wrong with the Longhorns’ recruiting philosophy, you don’t have to look very long anymore. When Sealy receiver Ricky Seals-Jones, one of the nation’s best wideout prospects, decommitted from Texas in June, the Longhorns stopped going after him.

Texas A&M, which also picked up former Texas commit Daeshon Hall on Wednesday, ended up signing Seals-Jones.

“Texas is very, very picky,” rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell said. “They dropped Ricky Seals-Jones. They stopped recruiting him. In past years, that wouldn’t be a concern. But now Texas A&M is the one in the Top 10 and Texas is outside of the Top 10 nationally I think that’s something you wouldn’t have seen a few years ago when Texas was a BCS title contender and things were going really good.”

Texas has let far too many highly touted players slip through its fingers because of misplaced pride and a harmful desire to take only those who are dying to come to the 40 Acres.

It’s why Belton tight end Durham Smythe, a former high school teammate of David Ash, decommitted from the Longhorns and signed with Notre Dame. It’s why Arlington Martin running back Kyle Hicks decommitted from Texas for TCU. It’s why Fort Worth Arlington Heights defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson, a five-star prospect, according to rivals.com, decommitted from Texas and signed with Alabama on Wednesday, leaving the Longhorns without any defensive lineman in their 2013 recruiting class.

It’s why — if Brown doesn’t swallow his pride and start fighting for players that are “looking around” — it will be a while before Texas is nationally relevant again.