With seven commitments in less than three weeks, Texas is all of a sudden in a numbers crunch with its 2014 recruiting class.
The Horns are up to 19 total pledges, tied for the most of any school in the country at this point in the recruiting cycle, and they still have a lot of baited lines in the water with hopes of catching some pretty big fish by February.
While it can be considered a good thing to have 19 seniors-to-be already on board – especially given the product on the field over the last three seasons – it also leaves very little wiggle room for the next eight months.
Since the final days of May, the Longhorns have added seven players to their 2014 class – all three-star recruits – turning a 13-man class with a lot of flexibility into one that now needs deliberate moves from now until signing day.
The Horns are poised to start the 2013 season with 84 players on scholarship – the NCAA allows 85. Only 15 are seniors, meaning attrition from the roster will already be needed before fall 2014 to fit the class Mack Brown signs in February. And as the class grows so will the bind on scholarship numbers in the 2014 off-season.
The lack of a national top-70 recruit makes the number crunch even more noticeable. Even in last year’s relatively weak class (by Texas’ standards) the Longhorns signed two players – Darius James and Kent Perkins – ranked in the top 40 in the country. Texas’ highest-rated pledges in this class are quarterback Jerrod Heard and defensive end Derrick Roberson, ranked 74th and 78th, respectively, by 247Sports’ Composite Rankings. No other UT recruit is currently ranked in the top 160 in the country.
Big names like defensive end Solomon Thomas (Coppell) and safety Jamal Adams (Carrolton/Hebron) remain available and very high on Texas’ wish list, but now it must be careful of who it takes on to make sure there’s room at the end of the day for the truly elite prospects – all this while twins Armanti and D’Onta Foreman appear likely to pull the trigger on offers very soon.
The Longhorns are on pace to sign near the 25-player NCAA limit in this class. That number can be manipulated some by students enrolling early and counting toward the previous year’s total, but the fact remains UT must now toe a very careful line for the next eight months to make sure there’s room when and if the top-tier recruits take the Horns up on an offer.
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