It’s tempting to read this what-went-wrong article about Texas’ 2010 season and try to draw all sorts of parallels to the dysfunctional year we witnessed in Athens. Some of that, like the sense of creeping entitlement and the accompanying lack of dedication to offseason conditioning, certainly hits home, but something else cited there reminded me of another high-flying program that fell off the table:
… UT’s recruiters had overestimated the talent of incoming players, particularly on offense. Coaches had resorted more to watching tapes rather than scouring the 1,400 high schools in Texas for the type of players that brought the Longhorns nine straight 10-win seasons.
Shades of Larry Coker.
Just as with Miami, the results were predictable.
… More than one close observer pins the Longhorns’ decline to poor evaluation in recruiting and the pattern that Texas has fallen into of extending scholarship offers before players’ senior seasons, thus severely limiting the amount of data to evaluate.
“The biggest contributor, in my opinion, is they lost their talent advantage,” said one source with deep connections to Longhorns coaches. “There was no wide receiver worth a (expletive). They didn’t have an offensive line that was prepared because of poor development or evaluation.
“Name me a (Longhorns) running back that will play in the NFL. Look at every single running back Texas has. How many did Texas pass over who are going to be NFL running backs? Ten to 15? Would you rather have Kendall Hunter or Tré Newton? Would you rather have Cyrus Gray or Fozzy Whittaker? Christine Michael the next year? You just go down the list.”
So much for winning the recruiting rankings every season.
The upshot is that the Longhorns are changing their recruiting strategy.
A humbling 5-7 season has led to a different approach for Texas.
In recent years, the Longhorns have used their junior day weekends in February to secure most of their future recruiting class. This past weekend, however, only four players committed…
There are few things sadder than watching someone squander a great gift. Texas sits in a recruiting pocket that’s the richest in the country, when you count both quality and quantity. Pissing away an advantage like that is a good way to wind up unemployed, regardless of how well Brown does in other aspects of his job. The good thing is that with UT’s resources, it’s fixable. The bad thing, at least in the short run, is that it takes time to overcome two or three mediocre years of recruiting results, even at a place like Texas.