Head coach Jimbo Fisher and the Texas A&M Aggies pulled off a major recruiting coup with the commitment of Beaumont West Brook safety Bryce Anderson over the Texas Longhorns on Friday.
Anderson is the No. 48 player overall, the No. 3 safety and the No. 12 player in the state of Texas, according to the 247Composite rankings. He was a highly-coveted player nationally, once committed to the LSU Tigers before reopening his commitment at the end of January. Anderson holds 40 total offers, including the Oklahoma Sooners, Alabama Crimson Tide and Ohio State Buckeyes.
Immediately following his decommitment, he was thought to be a Texas A&M lean, but Texas surged into contention for Anderson during the spring, setting up a back-and-forth battle late. While the Horns even landed a final visit from Anderson during last week’s pool party event, it wasn’t enough, as the 6’0, 190-pounder trended heavily towards the Aggies in the final days before announcing his decision.
Losing out on Anderson is a significant development for the 2022 recruiting class — the hopes of securing a top-five recruiting class already took big hits in recent weeks with misses on top prospects like Anderson and offensive tackle Kelvin Banks, as well as the decommitment of No. 151 prospect Jaylon Guilbeau, the Port Arthur Memorial cornerback. Anderson and Guilbeau have recently discussed becoming a package deal. At the least, Guilbeau looks more likely to pick TCU or Texas A&M than to rejoin the Texas recruiting class.
In the secondary, Texas has landed recent commitments from Denton Ryan’s Austin Jordan and New Orleans product Champ Lewis to pair with Aledo’s BJ Allen, but there’s now more pressure to land another elite prospect in the group, with all eyes turning to Galena Park North Shore standout Denver Harris, a consensus five-star prospect ranked among the top-10 players nationally.
Misses at defensive back and linebacker forced Texas to move down its recruiting board to take lower-ranked prospects like Lewis and California linebacker Eoghan Kerry, putting more pressure on the staff’s evaluations and ability to develop those players when they arrive on the Forty Acres.
So despite assembling a staff of strong recruiters, what seems clear is that new head coach Steve Sarkisian isn’t benefiting from the same first-year bump enjoyed by his predecessors — to land truly elite recruiting classes, Sarkisian and his staff will have to prove it on the field.