The recruiting process was hardly over for the Texas Longhorns after a monumental National Signing Day that included seven pledges, as the addition of four former Baylor Bears signees over the summer pushed the ‘Horns from No. 11 in the final 247Sports composite team rankings to No. 7 in the enrolled composite team rankings put out by the service.
Texas finished only 1.34 points from tying the Michigan Wolverines for No. 5 on the list, so there wasn’t much separation between the Longhorns, Wolverines, and Ole Miss Rebels, the program that slotted sixth.
The boost for the 'Horns was mostly due to the impact of landing No. 2 offensive guard Patrick Hudson and No. 4 wide receiver Devin Duvernay, though consensus four-star offensive tackle JP Urquidez was hardly a slouch himself after finishing as the No. 244 player overall in the class.
Even defensive back Donovan Duvernay served a critical role in the class, however, as he was part of the package deal with his more highly-rated twin brother.
Head coach Charlie Strong commented before fall camp that he was able to fill three needs that became apparent during spring practice thanks to Duvernay and Hudson joining the class, along with graduate transfer kicker Trent Domingue, who adds some extremely important value to the class not factored into the equation by 247Sports.
Just how talented are Duvernay and Hudson? Former Baylor head coach Art Briles called the former the fastest player in the country and the latter the strongest. Both contentions bear weight and both look like potential contributors this season -- Duvernay has the better shot after already securing a spot in the rotation and impressing coaches and teammates.
The ‘Horns were also able to finish in such a high position in the enrollment rankings because there weren’t any academic casualties this season, as Duncanville defensive tackle Marcel Southall and Manor linebacker Erick Fowler were both able to qualify, though Fowler had to take summer school classes to do so.
The 2015 class, which ended up losing tight end Devonaire Clarington and wide receiver Gilbert Johnson to grade issues and defensive tackle Du’Vonta Lampkin to admittance problems, finished at No. 10 nationally in the composite team rankings, but dropped to No. 12 by enrollment time.
In addition to losing Clarington, Johnson, and Lampkin, Texas also lost linebacker Cecil Cherry to transfer after only three practices.
So especially when compared to last season, the time between National Signing Day and the start of classes at Texas was been nothing but an unqualified success for the ‘Horns.