The Texas Longhorns did something unprecedented over the weekend, hosting the program’s first-ever Sophomore Day, inviting some of the top Class of 2015 talent from around the state to the Forty Acres to visit.
Traditionally, the focus of off-season recruiting efforts is on the multiple Junior Days held in Austin, but forces both internal and external made hosting a Sophomore Day at Texas a necessity this spring — the question is, however, is it a sign of flexibility on the Longhorns’ part or just desperation, that eight offers were made last Saturday?
A case can be made for either.
In the constantly more-pressured and uber-competitive world of college football recruiting, where coaches must do everything in their power to not only identify, but secure the best talent they can reasonably attract, giving commitable offers to high school sophomores isn’t all that strange, but it’s definitely an anomaly for a Texas program that has always prided itself on “choosing” rather than “recruiting” in the traditional sense.
It can be argued that in issuing commitable offers to eight sophomores a few days ago was Mack Brown‘s way of hedging his bets — of making sure these young men are aware that Texas is a viable, if not a primary option for them well before any of the school’s competitors come calling — and come calling, they will.
On the flipside, it can also be argued that making offers to sophomores is a sign of desperation, a manifestation of a program that some argue is in a full-on tailspin after marginal success over the past few seasons.
In reality, it’s probably a hybrid of both and is just as affected by some of the program’s in-state rivals — especially the TCU Horned Frogs and Texas A&M Aggies — who are gaining some serious traction on the recruiting trails as their programs continue to be successful on the field.
While it’s reasonable to raise an eyebrow at Texas’ tactics in regards to the 2015 class, it may not be reasonable to outright decry them. Things have changed substantially since Mack Brown arrived on the Forty Acres in 1998, and he has no choice but to affect the situation or be affected.
Simple enough really.