1. We can't sugarcoat things. This recruiting class was a disappointing finish for those who had high hopes when Tom Herman was hired. Herman had close to no hope with the elites in state making early decisions (Walker Little, Anthony Hines, Baron Browning) but he did have a chance to close on guys like K'Lavon Chaisson, Stephan Zabie, and Grant Polley. Texas missed out on a top 10 player in the state according to the 247 composite rankings, and their highest ranking recruit was #20 (Sam Ehlinger). Schools that scored higher ranked players than #20 include Oklahoma State, Michigan, Stanford, USC, TCU, Alabama, Texas Tech, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, and Ohio State.

2. The state of Texas as a whole took a hit. Only one player in the 247 top 10 stayed in state (Anthony Hines - Texas A&M), and only 4 players in the top 20 chose to stay home. The top priority for this staff in 2018 should be to close the borders while still cherry picking from elite out of state options. It's a tough task for sure, but it's in the job description for the head coach at Texas.

3. This class was always going to be tough when the previous staff shut the recruiting operation down mid-season. A majority of the blame for losing out on top targets goes to them, but we have to point out the failings of the new staff. Chaisson himself told multiple people over the last two months that Texas is where he was headed, but LSU got in last minute and made an impact. Nothing matters except closing time.

4. All this said, I will still reserve judgement on the recruiting abilities until he has his first full class under him. In 2014 Charlie Strong lost a number of commitments and added Edwin Freeman, Poona Ford, Chris Nelson, Elijah Rodriguez, and Alex Anderson. As you know, Strong went on to put together two very good recruiting classes, so keep that in perspective. Herman was able to keep the majority of this class together, and he added some nice pieces including Gary Johnson, Marqez Bimage, Reese Leitao, Jordan Pouncey, and Toneil Carter among others.

5. Since we put some blame on the previous staff let's give them some praise. The one thing that can mitigate misses like Texas had in this class is the level of talent Charlie Strong assembled in the last two classes. If Herman and company can close a top 10 class in 2018 they shouldn't have many problems down the line as they look to build their roster.

6. Despite the disappointment of losing out on several highly rated players, Texas fans should feel good about many of the players the staff did land. Sam Ehlinger is thought by many to have a big future, and he'll continue to add quality talent to the quarterback position. Toneil Carter and Damion Miller are game breakers with big play ability. Derek Kerstetter looks like a steal on the offensive line, and the tight end position was addressed with a great duo in Reese Leitao and Cade Brewer. On the defensive side of the ball they were able to put together a strong secondary class with the trio of Kobe Boyce, Josh Thompson, and Montrell Estell. Gary Johnson is a guy who should play immediately, and Marqez Bimage looks to be one of the most underrated players in the state. The Longhorns also addressed the kicking position with JUCO kicker Joshua Rowland.

7. The early feedback from 2018 prospects is strong so far. Job 1 will be to hit the ground running in this class and get off to a fast start. Texas is high up early for several elite guys including BJ Foster (top player in the state), and if they can land someone early they should be able to get some momentum going.

8. Winning is the quickest fix to these issues. Charlie Strong was recruiting with the strength of Mack Brown's tenure at his back, and while Brown struggled in his final seasons he still was within a half of winning the Big 12 and a bowl game. Playing time was an easy sell, and a quick re-build wasn't out of the question. Fast forward to today, and all of those things look more difficult following 6-7, 5-7, 5-7. If Tom Herman can put together a good season in his first year he should be able to make some waves on the recruiting front.

9. I'd expect a very aggressive push starting on junior day for the next class. This staff understands the urgency at hand, and they will have a much different early recruiting approach than the previous regime.

10. Thank you to everyone who followed along this cycle. We're committed to bringing you the best recruiting information we can here, and our staff puts in a lot of hours to gather information for you. Recruiting never sleeps, so we'll be back on the grind tomorrow to introduce you to the newest Texas targets on the board.
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