Texas Longhorns Football Class of 2013 Breakdown

Michael Marks

Texas may have officially closed out another recruiting cycle
yesterday, but the story isn’t over for the class of 2013. Here’s a quick look at Mack Brown’s group of 15.

Strongest position

Offensive line

“We got some speed that we needed, but the highlight is the offensive line,” coach Mack Brown said at Wednesday’s signing day press conference. Rami Hammad, Kent Perkins, Darius James, Jake Raulerson and Desmond Harrison comprise one of the best offensive line classes in the country. Though they may not all see the field immediately, the 2013 linemen are sure to have left their mark on Texas by the time they’re through.

Biggest need left unfilled

Defensive tackle

What was formerly a strength of the class turned into a glaring deficiency once A’Shawn Robinson decommitted. Texas simply did not have enough time to replace Robinson and Waco defensive tackle Andrew Billings poured salt in the wound by picking Baylor on Tuesday. Alhough Brown claimed Wednesday that defensive tackle “wasn’t a position of need,” it still hurts to miss out on such highly-touted prospects.

Most likely to play early

Jake Oliver

(wide receiver, Dallas Jesuit)

Besides junior college recruits Geoff Swaim and Desmond Harrison (who will assuredly play right away), wide receiver Jake Oliver, who caught a state-record 308 balls in high school for 4,567 yards receiving and 56 touchdowns, has the best chance of any incoming freshman to see thefield immediately.  

 Most likely to redshirt

Tyrone Swoopes

(quarterback, Whitewright)

Swoopes is a lock to sit out the 2013 season. The Whitewright product needs to become a more polished passer, and with five quarterbacks on the roster, Texas can afford to give him a year just to learn. Swoopes’ only chance to play this year is an injury epidemic or in a gadget package, neither of which are likely. Swoopes should come into the 2014 season ready to compete for the backup job.

 When considering the 2013 recruiting cycle in totality, there’s plenty to like, quality-wise. However, one can’t help but wonder what could have been. Five decommitments hurt, but so does losing recruiting battles to Baylor and Texas A&M.

“It’s really important that the guys who commit to us stay committed to us,” Brown said.

In large part, they did. But because of those who didn’t, Brown’s program is at a crossroads. Texas has already jumped out to a historic start for 2014, with seven current high school juniors on board. If on-field success can yield success on the recruiting trail, the Longhorns should have no problem adding to that tally. If not, underwhelming years like 2013 will start to become the rule, and not the exception.