Stop us if you’ve heard this before.
The Texas Longhorns target a talented prospect from the Lone Star State and appear to be in an excellent position. Then the Stanford Cardinal swoop in and steal that prospect away with the promise of a world-class education and the chance to live in Palo Alto.
The latest example of the yearly phenomenon, which last repeated itself with the pledge of Crandall center Branson Bragg during the summer, is the Tuesday evening pledge of Austin Bowie wide receiver Elijah Higgins to the Cardinal.
The 6’3, 214-pounder hadn’t released a final list of schools, but the perceived finalists are Florida, Stanford, and Texas.
After receiving an offer from the Longhorns in January following a breakout performance at the Army Combine, Higgins seemed like a Texas lean, a perception only heightened by his consistent presence on campus throughout the spring.
However, when Lake Travis wide receiver Garrett Wilson committed to Ohio State in late April and Higgins took a visit to Palo Alto in early May, the shape of the big wide receiver’s recruitment took a different shape. Since then, the Cardinal have emerged as the heavy favorite.
“The aroma of the whole Stanford program intrigues me,” Higgins told HookEm.com in early November. “My decision will come down to how I’ll be utilized and developed as a player, as well as the relationships I have at the school.”
The Texas staff has continued to push for a commitment from Higgins, hosting him for an official visit for the West Virginia and conducting a final in-home visit with him late last week:
A consensus four-star prospect, Higgins is ranked as the No. 97 player nationally, the No. 15 wide receiver, and the No. 18 player in the state of Texas, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
The inability of position coaches Drew Mehringer and Corby Meekins to land either Wilson or Higgins are disappointments, but there are mitigating factors — Higgins is a Florida native and Wilson spent time in Columbus growing up.
And Mehringer and Meekins have also had success recruiting other in-state prospects and out-of-state prospects at the wide receiver position, including Gatorade National Player of the Year Jake Smith and one-time five-star prospect Jordan Whittington.
Texas also remains in the mix to land the nation’s top athlete, Bru McCoy, a consensus five-star prospect who plans on playing wide receiver at the collegiate level. McCoy will announce his decision at the All-American Bowl on Jan. 5.