Not so long ago, the Ohio State Buckeyes were the leader for South Grand Prairie safety Jeffrey Okudah, a consensus top-10 prospect nationally. Even more recently, the Texas Longhorns weren't among the top 10 teams on his list.
But now the Longhorns are set to receive a key Junior Day visit from Okudah this coming weekend, according to the Football Brainiacs and his 247Sports profile. So what happened to vault Texas back into the mix with the 6'2, 194-pounder?
Simply put, the 2016 Longhorns recruiting class.
"That recruiting class that coach Strong brought in really made me rethink things with regard to Texas...it gives you reason to believe that things are moving in the right direction," Okudah told the Football Brainiacs.
Charlie Strong certainly feels that way.
As a consensus five-star prospect ranked No. 8 nationally, first among safeties, and second among all player in the state of Texas, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Okudah is an even more elite prospect by those rankings than 2016 safety signee Brandon Jones, who looks like a potential future superstar himself and was the top-ranking safety in his entire class.
So, all of a sudden, with the addition of Jones on National Signing Day exactly three weeks ago and the relatively unexpected surge that helped create with Okudah, the long-term outlook for the safety position at Texas is significantly improved, especially since Manvel safety Derrick Tucker, who will also visit for the Junior Day this weekend, looks increasingly like a Longhorns lean.
If Texas can land Tucker, the consensus No. 5 safety nationally, and continue to make up ground with Okudah, who would then become a luxury take, the Longhorns would seemingly be set at safety for years to come after landing PJ Locke and DeShon Elliott in 2015. That's a best-case scenario, but it looks much more possible than it did five months ago.