No matter how bad things were, no matter how many games the Longhorns lost, they always found a way to win on the recruiting trail.
But Texas may finally be reaping the consequences of a 21-17 record since earning a berth in the 2009 BCS National Championship, including a 11-15 mark in Big 12 play.
Arlington Martin running back Kyle Hicks, who verbally committed to play for the Longhorns in February, decommitted from Texas and pledged to play for TCU on Monday. The four-star prospect becomes the second highly-touted high schooler to decommit from Texas this year, joining Sealy wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones.
“It was really one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life,” Hicks said. “It’s been something that I’ve been thinking about for a while now. They’re two great schools that I like a lot. When it came down to it, my heart was just telling me TCU.”
Hicks said that he wanted to be closer to home and that TCU beating Texas this Thanksgiving, 20-13, had nothing to do with his decision. He’s even optimistic that the Longhorns can right the ship soon.
“Texas is a great school. It’s been my dream school since I was a little boy,” Hicks said. “I can see them being a Top 10 team in the next year. I’m really excited to play against them beacuse you like to play in big games like that. It brings the best out of you.”
The Longhorns aren’t waiting around to fill the spot left vacant by Hicks. Multiple reports, the first by Hookem.com, say that co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin visited with junior college quarterback Tanner McEvoy on Monday.
Similar reports emerged this January about Bo Wallace, also a junior college product, before Wallace signed with Ole Miss, where he started all 12 games this year and led the Rebels, who fell to Texas, 66-31, in September, to their first bowl game since 2009.
And if Texas can’t rely on routinely signing large groups of blue-chip prospects anymore, Scott might be right.
It’s one thing to bring in some of the best players coming out of high school at virtually every position and see many of them not live up to lofty expectations. It’s one thing to miss out on in-state prospects like Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Michael Crabtree, LaMichael James and Johnny Manziel.
But it’s an entirely different thing to miss out on most of the blue-chippers altogether.
After going 5-7 in 2010, Texas signed the third-best recruiting class in the country, according to rivals.com. Despite losing five games last year, the Longhorns brought in the nation’s second-best recruiting class. But following an 8-4 regular season this year, Texas’ 2013 recruiting class doesn’t crack the top 10.
Mack Brown has dealt with plenty of problems during his 15-year tenure as the Longhorns’ head football coach. Lack of talent has never been one of them. The man once dubbed “Mr. February” has always hauled in some of the nation’s best recruiting classes. But things on the recruiting trail aren’t heading in the right direction.
While Texas will return the vast majority of its starters next year, the Longhorns’ long-term future could be bleak.
Printed on Tuesday, December 4, 2012 as: Longhorns' recruiting hold on Texas is slipping