Consequences of New Orleans (Los Angeles) Isidore Newman’s June 23 commitment to Arc Manning – dubbed the Arc Effect – helped cause Texas Longhorns Rushing into the program’s unprecedented recruiting process in the modern era, it landed 12 commitments the following month and moved up to fifth in the 247Sports Composite team recruiting rankings.
But the momentum slowed in recent days as Longhorns lost three notable targets. on Saturday, Texas A&M He won a massive head-to-head battle against the Texans, earning a pledge from Denton linebacker Ryan Anthony Hill, the nation’s best player in his position and number 15 player overall. Then, on Monday, Austin Westlake’s Colton Vasek continued his trip to Norman over the weekend with his Oklahoma commitment, and former high school classmate Judge Finkley, top 150 prospective Hunter Osborne, added his name to the Alabama employment class.
Here’s what happened, what those decisions say about the current state of recruiting under Texas defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski, and how the Longhorns are progressing in a bid to find the line-makers on this side of the ball.
Denton Ryan linebacker Anthony Hill
Although he was late with Hill for most of his enlistment, Texas moved into a serious feud after hosting the elite linebacker on an official visit the day after Manning’s commitment. Shortly thereafter, Hill officially fell to the Longhorns and Aggies with some increased confidence in Austin thanks to Manning’s pledge and the presence of two former teammates – tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders and defensive back Austin Jordan – on the Texans roster.
In the end, an informal visit to College Station for a Texas A&M pool party was enough to solidify Hill’s decision.
cardamom Tell On3, largely a nod to the 2022 recruiting class. Ranked first overall, four of the top five signers were defensive linemen, all five-star contenders, as well as two of the top 60 teams along the defensive line.
Austin Westlake Edge Colton Vasek
A Texan legacy whose father played a defensive role in Texas in the 1990s. District producer who attends the Pipeline School with several former classmates on the roster. For Vasek, relationships with the Longhorns have always been strong, but after rushing into the recruiting scene with a big junior season, Vasek seemed intent on carving his own path.
Oregon hosted him on an official visit in June and loomed like a potential leader for some time. Clemson also received serious study and made an official visit in June. Texans have tried to get back into the fray, with Manning aiding the recruiting effort last week during a rally party on forty acres, but a later unofficial visit to Oklahoma won Vasek.
Oklahoma coach Brent Venables’ reputation as one of the most effective defensive minds in college football has played a big role.
Trussville (Ala) Hewitt Trussville defensive line Hunter Osborne
Landing Finkley in the 2022 recruiting class offered some hope that Texas could once again draw a defensive lineman from Alabama and the Horns managed to get their 6’4, 260-pounder on campus for an official visit in June.
However, after Alabama missed nine highly-rated players, Osborne had a place in the class and Crimson Tide was able to close the deal. In an unsurprising twist, Bama’s continued success was played out by a recruiter who grew up watching the bloodline of coach Nick Saban from an hour away from Tuscaloosa.
What do those decisions say about Texas?
Rebuilding operations are difficult. It wasn’t until some late-recruiting momentum in the 2022 recruiting class that the Longhorns were able to get a number of influential players overall and weren’t easy to reach defensively – only one of the top four potential players caught on the course was a defender. In the 2023 class, all of the top three defensive undertakings play out in the secondary.
Therefore, the trio of defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski, linebacker coach Bo Davis, and linebacker coach Jeff Chuat, have struggled to recruit the defensive elite since joining Steve Sarkissian’s staff. Bad results on the field in 2021 certainly didn’t help.
The way success in recruitment tends to yield more success in recruiting, Texas A&M used last year’s stunning class in defensive trenches to convince Hill his bright future lies in playing behind five-star prospects that can keep him clean flowing into football.
After Kwiatkowski spent most of his career coaching in the Northwest in Boise State And Washington, he’s a hypothetical entity in the collective consciousness of high school defenders and he didn’t do anything positive last season to convince him of his competence. Brent Venables, having assisted Clemson in six consecutive college playoffs and two national championships, has become a well-known entity—players like Vasek have watched him constantly wander on the sidelines in college football playoffs coaching top-level defenses for most of their formative years.
And playing Nick Saban? Well, Alabama is just Alabama, one of the greatest dynasties in the history of college football.
Even Special Assistant to Head Coach Gary Patterson is of limited use to Texas in many of these appointments. The opportunity to continue receiving training from Patterson wasn’t enough to help the Texans go down before TCU Leading edge Auchaun Mathis. And Patterson is unlikely to stay at Forty Acres for several seasons or, in a worst-case scenario for Kwiatkowski, he may have to replace Kwiatkowski if the Longhorns defense struggles again in 2022.
Right now, Manning’s presence in the class hasn’t been enough to overcome some of the flaws the Texans are recruiting against exiting the 5-7 season and he has spent more than nearly a decade in the college football wilderness.
Recruiting fouls increases pressure on Kwiatkowski to put a significantly improved defense on the field this fall – for an attack-minded coach like Sarkissian, the defensive coordinator is the most important assignment, and Sarkissian chose to do after putting on. The rest of the defense system together. Suffice it to say that Kwiatkowski’s failure, even with Patterson’s insurance scheme now on staff, would be Sarkissian’s first major setback that would significantly reduce the margin of error going forward.
In the recruitment path is Friendswood edge Braylan Shelby Currently heading towards USC before Saturday’s decision. If Shelby sticks with the Trojans, it could ensure the Longhorns fail to get a high-level chance in the class—other targets, like Damon Wilson in Florida or Tausili Akana of Utah, are long shots for Texas.
Several other key decisions could come soon, including from Baton Rouge (No.) linebacker Jordan Matthews and Tig Derion Gullit. Both recruits favor the Horns, with the looming Goulette appearing as more important after Hale’s loss.
With the state’s best defensive prospect, DJ Hicks, and linebacker Katie Paito, likely to end up in Oklahoma or Texas A&M, Arlington Martin’s cornerback Javien Taviano is likely the only top-10-ranked defender in the State with a chance to join the South Oak Cliff team. Malik Muhammad is in Texas class.
The bottom line is that the Longhorns are still in a solid position overall for the top five enlistment classes and could fill some remaining needs through the NCAA transfer gate, but the past few days of enlistment have spoiled how far they’ve come The bow effect can’t fix some unfortunate recruiting realities in defense.
Now it’s up to Kwiatkowski, Patterson and the defense lacking any obvious stars to start turning that reality better in the direction of Forty Acres. Otherwise, rebuilding Sarkissian will become more difficult with the SEC’s move on the horizon.