Charlie Strong capped off his third National Signing Day with the Texas Longhorns by setting off the biggest display of recruiting fireworks in the country. The result when all the smoke cleared was 24 recruits added and the nation's 11th-best recruiting class according to the 247Sports.com Composite team rankings.
Just how stunning was the turnaround? I started tracking Texas in the 247Sports Team rankings last Thursday when the Horns had 13 commits and were ranked 38th nationally (4th in the Big 12). Charlie and friends did all of that in seven days.
|Date||Time||Commits||National Ranking||Big 12 Ranking|
Late pushes by Auburn and Clemson pushed Texas back down to 11 from a peak at No. 9, but it was a helluva run by the Longhorns in the last week. The University of Texas is the only school from Big 12 or Texas in the top 15 according to 247Sports.
Longtime readers of BON and other sites that follow recruiting closely knew that Texas had massive recruiting weekends scheduled in January. Charlie Strong's team didn't have a great recruiting class in early January, but fortunately for him he had a month until National Signing Day.
Of course, most of the national media that only follows recruiting tangentially repeatedly missed the importance of patience for Charlie Strong's recruiting class.
"I would not expect them to be in the top 30 in recruiting with all Charlie Strong has had to overcome." - Bruce Feldman, January 19, 2016.
Texas fans keep telling me Charlie is going to close "Strong" but still sixth in Big 12 with only 14 verbals.— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) January 29, 2016
Why is everyone talking about A&M and Texas? I thought all the attention went to teams with Top 20 classes on NSD week.— Steven Godfrey (@38Godfrey) February 2, 2016
Heard a lot of chirping from Texas fans lately. They need to worry about their own program. Not everyone else's pic.twitter.com/3jeTKhLHwn— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) December 31, 2015
In the end, Texas finished the 2016 recruiting cycle with the Big 12's best class by a fair margin.
This recruiting class also marks the third straight year of improved recruiting under Charlie Strong and fourth straight year of improvement when counting Mack's last class. Texas ranked 11th nationally this year after also finishing 10th last year (with 6 more commits), and 16th the year before. Mack's last class in 2013 was ranked 17th, in large part because it only featured 15 signees, many of whom are no longer with the program.
Congratulations to Charlie Strong and the entire Texas football coaching staff. Time to get working on 2017.