Tom Herman had an instant impact at Houston. He did not have the same effect on the recruiting trail with Texas, judging by his initial class.
Herman did not close the way Charlie Strong did last year. The Longhorns whiffed on two big Texas prospects: DE K’Lavon Chaisson (LSU) and OT Stephen Zabie (UCLA). Losing to LSU is one thing. Losing an Austin native recruit to UCLA after a 4-8 season is another.
Texas’ class ranks just 25th in the 247 Composite. That’s the lowest in recent memory at Texas. It’s lower than Maryland, South Carolina, and Willie Taggart’s transition class at Oregon.
Herman was already on the defensive, both promising to get Texas back up the recruiting rankings and discrediting the recruiting rankings for not taking into account intangibles.
There’s probably not too much for Texas to be worried about. Transition classes are thrown together at the last minute. It’s difficult to catch up for top recruits in those classes. Texas recruiting is hyper-competitive. Current recruits were small children the last time Texas was a national title contender.
If the Longhorns come through with an excellent season in 2017, top recruits probably will want to play there.