clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

5-star Texas A&M QB signee Kyler Murray was "pretty close" to flipping to Texas

New, 63 comments

The monster finish to the Longhorns recruiting class nearly happened.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

With only the slightest of drama, Texas A&M Aggies legacy Kyler Murray signed with the Texas A&M Aggies on Wednesday.

Once he sent the fax, he spoke candidly for the first time about how close he was to flipping to the Texas Longhorns after his ground-shaking visit on January 21 when at 3:17 p.m. he decided to send out one of the most consequential tweets in the history of college football recruiting on social media.

In the modern day of excessive scrutiny of every aspect of a prospect's Twitter account, Murray admitted that the tweet was rather spur of the moment, a result of his immediate impressions of the Texas program:

"I liked it. I went and visited and had a good time. I loved it there. Everybody was freaking out, but that's just how it goes."

"I loved it there."

The son of one of the most legendary quarterbacks in the school's history took a mostly unexpected unofficial visit to Austin late in the recruiting process despite so many reasons to end up in College Station and loved it in Austin.

Enough to set fire to his world.

To set he and his father in opposition to the environment that one called his home and the other was set to call his home:

Kevin Murray called social media a "vehicle for dummies to open their mouths ... I don't even know if criticized is the right word. I like to use the word attacks. When you start calling people's character in question when you don't even know them, I have a problem with that."

While, um, judgements about the nature of the Texas A&M fanbase and why such a reaction might come about in the peculiar environment that is College Station, Texas aren't the purpose of this particular excursion into what nearly happened, the apparently excessive alienation for visiting the sips probably didn't help head coach Kevin Sumlin in his efforts to retain Murray.

But the crucial in-home visit from Sumlin proved effective enough to keep Murray from allowing Texas head coach Charlie Strong the same planned opportunity the following evening.

It was over.

Even though the Texas A&M legacy always looked so likely to sign with the Aggies, he said he was "pretty close" to picking the Longhorns.

The deciding factor?

As the younger Murray tells it, the decision came down to depth charts. Not the quarterback depth chart, the one that looked so favorable to Texas even though Texas A&M has exactly one scholarship quarterback on campus in incumbent starter Kyle Allen, but the respective depth charts at wide receiver.

There's little question that the Aggies have a deeper pool of returning talent that had a higher level of production last season -- only one of the 12 wide receivers who caught a pass last season graduated and high-level talent like Josh Reynolds, Ricky Seals-Jones, Speedy Noil, Edward Pope, and Frank Iheanacho should continue to blossom in 2015.

In the 2015 class, Texas A&M already has Murray's close friend Christian Kirk on campus. He was one of the top slot receivers in the country and could be an instant-impact contributor.

Texas, meanwhile, lost its top two receivers and though the 2015 group is talented with prospects like John Burt, DeAndre McNeal, Gilbert Johnson, and Ryan Newsome all signed, the talent currently on campus can't compare. The top returner receiver, senior Marcus Johnson, was inconsistent during a disappointing junior season

Had Murray flipped, he likely would have been the final domino needed to land other top prospects connected to Murray like four-star wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge, five-star running back Soso Jamabo, and five-star defensive tackle Daylon Mack, a group that would have lifted the 2015 Texas class into the stratosphere.

What's the point of talking about something that didn't happen?

It illustrates how the relentlessness of Strong and his staff nearly rocked the college football world. With the benefit of a longer period of time to build relationships, maybe it happens in 2016.

The Texas coaches certainly won't take no for an answer until the first Wednesday of next February.