Texas wraps up 2014 class on National Signing Day

Drew Lieberman

National Signing Day is when all the effort coaches spend on recruiting culminates into binding commitments.

Usually the day is very predictable, but anything can happen until the last Letter of Intent is received.

Over the years, Texas has had its share of Signing Day surprises: both positive and negative. In 2005, highly touted quarterback Ryan Perrilloux flipped his commitment from Texas to LSU after being committed to the Longhorns since the previous summer. 

Despite committing to the Tigers for nearly a year, Shiro Davis flipped from LSU to the Longhorns in 2012.

The Longhorns’ 2014 class appears to have shaped up to be a solid, yet unspectacular, one. Texas has the 14th ranked class by ESPN, which tops the Big 12, but would only come in eighth or ninth in the SEC. Rivals has Texas ranked 17th, which puts them behind Oklahoma by three spots.

Of Texas’ 21-man class, ESPN ranked 10 commits as 4-star and 11 as 3-star recruits, while Rivals ranked only six of Texas’ commits as 4-star caliber. 

The average star rating for Texas’ class is only 3.19 on Rivals, which ranks behind Kentucky (3.29) and Oklahoma (3.22) for per player average.

Texas is suffering from the lack of familiarity between new head coach Charlie Strong and the commits, which is understandable and expected for a coach who didn’t previously recruit much in the state. Texas wasted official visits under Brown late in his tenure. Without official visits left in his arsenal, Strong is in an unfair battle for recruits. 

On Monday night, Texas landed its first true offensive tackle in Elijah Rodriguez, a former Colorado commit, who also held offers from Florida State and LSU. Rodriguez visited Austin over the weekend and should develop nicely in Joe Wickline’s system.

Also in Austin over that time were Longhorn commits quarterback Jerrod Heard and wide receiver Lorenzo Joe. These visits reaffirmed the commitments to the Longhorns.

Defensive back Arrion Springs, an Oregon commitment, also made a visit to Austin over the weekend, but he is expected to stick with the Ducks. Springs is rated as the 47th overall player by ESPN and would be a huge get for the Longhorns. 

Defensive tackle targets Poona Ford and Chris Nelson will both announce their decisions on Signing Day. Ford will be featured on ESPNU at 11:30 a.m., while Nelson will make his announcement at 1:15 p.m.

Both tackles seem to be leaning toward Texas, but the fact neither committed immediately following their visits could be a cause for concern. If Texas misses on one or both, they will need to go the JuCo route to fill the position.

Finally, defensive back John Bonney seems ready to sign with the Longhorns, but Baylor is still in the mix. Bonney would be a huge loss in an already fairly weak secondary class.