Unless you’re Miami, Ohio State or LSU, you’re not recruiting at the level Tom Herman and his staff at Texas currently are.
Just months ago, Herman was receiving some initial criticism after being tasked with rebuilding a 2017 class from the pieces Charlie Strong left behind and finishing with the nation’s No. 26 class, which still ranked No. 2 in the Big 12, per 247Sports Composite.
Fast-forward to early June and Herman’s recruiting chops are no longer in question – Texas is arguably the hottest program on the recruiting trail right now.
To date, Texas’ 2018 class currently ranks No. 4 in the nation, consisting of 12 total pledges from around the nation.
- BJ Foster – 5-star S – Angleton
- Caden Sterns – 4-star S – Cibolo Steele
- Justin Watkins – 4-star WR – Clermont East Ridge (Fla.)
- Ron Tatum – 4-star SDE – Oklahoma City Putnam City (Okla.)
- DeMarvion Overshown – 4-star S – Arp
- Ayodele Adeoye – 4-star ILB – Saint Louis Ritenour (Mo.)
- Cameron Rising – 4-star QB – Newbury Park (Calif.)
- Casey Thompson – 4-star QB – Southmoore (Okla.)
- Keaontay Ingram – 4-star RB – Carthage
- Byron Hobbs – 3-star OLB – Fort Worth Eastern Hills
- Reese Moore – 3-star OT – Seminole
- Cameron Dicker – 3-star K – Lake Travis
As impressive of a recruiting haul as it currently is at this point, the process and the parts themselves are a more notable feat for Herman and his staff than the collective crop.
As noted, Texas may very well be the nation’s hottest program right now in regards to recent success on the recruiting trail. Throughout the past 10 days alone, the ‘Horns have landed four pledges from prospects ranked within the top 200 nationally, headlined by the nation’s top-ranked safety, BJ Foster
Prior to the recent surge of pledges, Texas built its class to respectability by way of flipping elite prospects from some of the nation’s premier powerhouses. The flip frenzy began at Texas’ junior day on February 25 with Justin Watkins flipping from Florida State during his visit. On April 22, Texas again earned a flip; this time in a move that took many by surprise with Oklahoma pledge Cameron Rising electing to side with Texas instead. Then, just over two weeks later, LSU commit Caden Sterns, who had been public about how solid his pledge was on multiple occasions, made a surprise visit to Austin and flipped to the Longhorns the following night. Furthermore, and while it’s not exactly a flip, Texas stole longtime Oklahoma lean Ron Tatum from right underneath the Sooners’ nose.
Looking at the pieces Herman currently has in place as part of what’s on pace to only be a portion of his final 2018 class, there’s plenty reason to believe in the staff’s ability to land elite talent at areas of need.
For starters, if you told the burnt orange nation prior to the season that Texas would take two quarterbacks in Casey Thompson and Cameron Rising, many would agree that’s close to an ideal haul. That’s certainly the case with the safety crop coming in with Foster, Caden Sterns and DeMarvion Overshown – three of the top four safety prospects in Texas.
Caden Sterns + Demarvion Overshown + B.J. Foster has to be one of the best recruiting hauls ever at safety. Three @scoutrecruiting Top 100s.
— Greg Powers 🏟 (@GPowersScout) June 5, 2017
As far as being able to reel in some of the top talent in the state and the nation is concerned, Herman and his staff are proving capable of doing just that.
Of the 12 players currently committed, five are ranked within the top five at their position – Foster, Sterns, Tatum, Ayodele Adeoye and Cameron Dicker. Justin Watkins, Overshown, Rising, Thompson and Keaontay Ingram are all slotted within the top 10, with Foster being pegged as the nation’s top safety, Dicker ranked as the nation’s top kicker and Ingram ranked as the best running back prospect in Texas.
That talent in place is fairly close to ideal at this point in the process, but Texas just needs to finish, which also includes finishing on the field in 2017. At this rate, with a winning season to build upon, the Longhorns appear to be on pace for a top three finish in the 2018 recruiting rankings with numerous prospects including Anthony Cook, Malcolm Epps, D’shawn Jamison, Al’vonte Woodard, Brennan Eagles, Jalen Green, Keondre Coburn and Jaylen Waddle still viable options, if not favorites, and that’s just in the Houston-area.
During his National Signing Day press conference in which Texas finished with the No. 26 class in the nation, Herman assured the Longhorns will “absolutely” finish with a top 10 class in 2018.
Considering the current outlook, there’s every reason to believe Herman’ promise will come to fruition.
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