The dust has settled on Early Signing Day 2019.
The Texas Longhorns finished the day with a loot of impressive athletes — elite running back Bijan Robinson, quarterbacks Hudson Card and Ja’Quinden Jackson, safety Jerrin Thompson, and 12 other signees. Unlike the previous two cycles, none of the committed prospects opted to wait until February to sign.
Pledged recruits officially inking their National Letters of Intent today left Texas with a No. 10 ranking nationally in the 247Sports Composite team ranking and a No. 2 ranking in the Big 12 Conference, just behind Oklahoma despite the flip of consensus five-star running back Jase McClellan from Oklahoma to Alabama.
That’s a good ranking for Texas. By some standards, it’s great.
But let’s count our blessings another time — instead, let’s concentrate on the could’ve, should’ve, would’ve, and talk about where the Longhorns might stand had they not lost several key commitments among recruits.
Those recruits included wide receiver Quentin Johnston, who switched his commitment to TCU amid the Texas coaching changes; cornerback Joshua Eaton, who opted to hold off until February to decide which school he’ll attend; cornerback Ethan Pouncey, who decommitted following his brother sophomore wide receiver Jordan Pouncey’s announcement that he would transfer away from Texas; defensive end Van Fillinger and athlete Ty Jordan, both of whom also opted to decommit following the Texas coaching commotion; and defensive end Princely Unmanmielen, who is still uncommitted.
All of those recruits were valued members of the #cloUT2020 class, but losing Johnston, the nation’s No. 69 prospect, was a big blow. Pouncey is a top-10 cornerback and Fillinger is a top-250 player nationally. Those losses hurt, especially since Texas still has needs at all three of those positions as a result.
Had the Longhorns managed to hold onto the six aforementioned players, their projected team score of 256 with the 16 signees they did manage to land would have jumped to 281, according to 247Sports class calculator. In fact, had Texas landed all 22 original commits, it would have rocketed the Longhorns class ranking from No. 10 to No. 6 nationally — ahead of Texas A&M and just behind LSU.
In the grand scheme of the rankings, it would have made a significant difference.
Instead, Texas will try to find replacements for those prospects as head coach Tom Herman continues to look for coaches who can develop the recruits that the Longhorns signed on Wednesday and will reel in a few weeks from now.
After all, the rankings lose a lot of meaning if Texas can’t maximize the talent of those players once they reach campus.