Nelson Chenault (USA TODAY Sports)
On Tuesday night, news broke that the Longhorns had found their man for the vacant running back coach position and thereby ended the coaching changes on the staff heading towards Signing Day.
When Major Applewhite moved into the playcalling duties at Texas, it was clear that the Longhorns needed to land a rainmaker to hold down the running back coach position, despite the need to find a coach who could help out with special teams, a crucial but sometimes overlooked facet of the game.
Applewhite had resurrected recruiting at the running back position, playing a major role in landing Malcolm Brown, Johnathan Gray, and 2014 commit Donald Catalon. The Houston area was Applewhite's region and he did a strong job there, including vouching for Quandre Diggs when it seemed that Will Muschamp would not. Trey Hopkins, Sedrick Flowers, Jacorey Warrick, Deoundrei Davis and Desmond Jackson are other significant recruits Applewhite helped to secure.
Since Applewhite won't be able to have as active of a role on the recruiting trail and will now probably recruit central Texas, the region that departed co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin held down, the new running back coach had to be able to replicate Applewhite's impact or Texas would have been in danger of losing a step in recruiting. Throw in the fact that A&M has been making progress in Houston and that was an area where the 'Horns needed someone with ties to the area.
Houston is basically in the backyard of Texas A&M and with the SEC boost and the Johnny Manziel boost, Texas is in danger of losing ground there in the 2014 and 2015 classes.
Basically, Porter was the best-case scenario -- someone with the recruiting chops to match Applewhite's success (if not exceed it), someone who could seamlessly take over Applewhite's region due to his ties from recruiting Houston for LSU, and someone who could add the value of his relationships in Louisiana, a state that features one of the top 2014 offensive tackle prospects in the country in Cameron Robinson, a player Texas has already offered.
Throw in wide receiver Speedy Noil as another Louisiana prospect the 'Horns are recruiting in the 2014 class and suddenly Louisiana is important for Texas recruiting moving forward.
Porter may not be known as a special teams guru, the only final qualification that would push his hire into the ream of the perfect, but no other candidate could have brought the recruiting impact of Porter while still bringing serious special teams bona fides to the table, so that was always an area where Texas would have to find other answers.
The other qualifications were just that much more important. And Porter has all of them in spades.