For the better part of a year, Manvel prospect Derrick Tucker looked poised to eventually become a member of the Texas Longhorns recruiting class, but in a surprising upset, the state's No. 3 safety committed to the Texas A&M Aggies on Friday:
The decision went against all conventional wisdom in the industry -- while LSU and TCU both had a single 247Sports Crystal Ball prediction to land Tucker, Texas held each of the eight other predictions (and the last eight overall), including one from an A&M recruiting analyst and three from national analysts.
The 6'2, 194-pounder was also a frequent visitor in Austin, picking up his offer after the Under the Lights camp last year, visiting during the football season, and traveling to campus once again for the Junior Day in late February. A&M didn't even officially enter his recruitment until just before that final visit.
In an interview with 247Sports, Tucker said that his relationship with running backs coach Clarence McKinney and defensive backs coach Terry Joseph played a big role in his decision, as did the fact that Texas A&M had two defensive backs selected in the 2016 NFL Draft.
However, it does seem likely that Tucker will remain a priority for head coach Charlie Strong and his staff moving forward because of his talent level and the fact that Texas isn't in the mix for the state's No. 2 safety, Grant Delpit, and has ground to make up with super blue-chip safety Jeffrey Okudah, the nation's top prospect at the position. The only other in-state safety with an offer from the 'Horns is Sooners commit Robert Barnes, an Oklahoma legacy.
In taking a wide-angle look at recruiting efforts at the position, then, the loss of Tucker is extremely significant since Texas seemingly had a better shot of landing his services than any of the other top safety prospects in the Lone Star State. The normal caveat of having plenty of time to recover still applies here, but this was a disappointing development for the Longhorns.