As most would agree, the Big 12 conference as a whole has harnessed the negativity and backlash with the “One True Championship” snafu, and fueled every team to make sure that type of embarrassment never happens again.
But for the Texas Longhorns, a program that appeared to be on the rise several years ago, to restore its once formidable ‘Darrell K Royal glory days’, a solid 2015 recruiting class was imperative to establish coach Charlie Strong, and the foundation for his own legacy.
Despite some late flips, the Longhorns’ staff was unrelenting in its recruiting tactics, so Texas still managed to finish No. 11 nationally, and 1st in the Big XII — its best finish since 2012.
And just in case anyone needed a refresher on who was part of Texas’s 2012 class, the top three names that come to mind are five-star defensive tackle Malcom Brown, five-star running back Johnathan Grey, and three-star defensive back Kenny Vacarro, who was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 2013 as a first-round pick.
Here’s how Texas finished in 247Sports.com’s composite rankings in the national picture:
Now compare it to the Big XII:
The Longhorns were able to haul in a total of 14 players on the ESPN 300 list, as opposed to 20, collectively, the Big XII.
The past few seasons have been nerve racking for Texas Longhorns’ fans, and with good reason. Any coaching transition can be intimidating, but couple that with Strong trimming the roster down for those who wouldn’t take direction from his moral compass, plus the administrative issues Texas has been facing, this signing day class is a breath of fresh air for those who embraced the “Let’s Ride” mantra.
It’s a good time for Big XII football as a whole, and it’s going to be exciting to see how each school and its recruits pan out over the next few years — especially considering the contrast between the youth movement and brilliant but traditional legends such as Bill Snyder.
*Section Photo credit to Erich Schlegel, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Eric Gay, Associated Press