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Texas Football: Building Something Special

Updated: Dec 23, 2023

Texas is in the four team College Football Playoff for the first time. The are playing to reach the National Championship game for the first time since the 2009 season.


Note- Updated with Aaron Butler data. Updated with Trey Moore data.


Whether they win or lose the in next two games, national signing day is validating that the Texas Longhorns Football team is building something very special in Austin not just in 2024 but for years to come.


I want to help you understand just how special the team is becoming even as at least nine are leaving the transfer portal and I expect fifteen others will declare for the draft.


As those players leave, I submit an equally strong and perhaps more talent group is arriving.


I had a theory that the projected talent level of the players arriving is higher than the players leaving but how much higher? How do these new players compare to the first-year players of last year and the year before.


To compare base talent levels, I am going to quote you the players 247Sports composite recruiting scores. First, a disclaimer- I KNOW that this is an imperfect comparison. I KNOW that the third-, fourth-, and fifth-year players leaving have improved on that recruiting score to the extent that it reflects their talent. I know. I do think doing this exercise does illuminate how far Texas has come to build an EXTREMELY talented team across the board.


You will see this color formatting to indicate how long a player has played and if he redshirted. I tried to color code each player for future track and questions about eligibility. The COVID year still makes some of this confusing. I am sure some of these are wrong, but I did my best. Here is my color legend.


I have conditionally formatted all of the composite recruiting scores with green being the lowest and blue being the highest (super blue chip if you will.)


Here are the scores for the players most likely to leave in the draft. There are rumors that of some players listed here might choose to stay.


Some of these players vastly outperformed their recruiting ratings. Some frankly underperformed their rankings as well.


Overall, the average rating of the offense players in the draft is 0.9300. Overall, the average rating of the defense players in the draft is 0.8784.







The scores for the players in the transfer portal are very similar.

Overall, the average rating of the offense players in the transfer portal is 0.8922. Overall, the average rating of the defense players in the transfer portal is 0.9080.


These numbers do not include the special teams specialists.


The average score for all 22 currently committed non-special teams recruits (not Foster, not Kern) is 0.9286. In addition, the three transfers were in the same range- Mukoba, Moore, and Golden. These two are included in their respective recruiting classes to show their relative experience.


Here is how the 2024 recruiting class compares the players from the previous years.

Overall, the players leaving are rated 0.9029. The players remaining are rated 0.9201. The players added in the 2024 class are rated 0.9286. At a high level this would indicate that the team gets BETTER with this class even with some great players leaving.

The full current 2024 Longhorns roster is shown at the end of this article.


As shown above as well, the last three classes are significantly better than the talent level that is leaving. Texas is indeed building something VERY special.


For these classes I have also translated the ratings to star ratings as they were assigned by the 247Sports composite ratings in their years with two adjustments.


  • Top ten prospects in a class are classified here as 5.5 stars. This was applied to Ewers and Manning.

  • Four Star Players who were in the top 100 of their class are classified as 4.5 stars. They are part of the super blue-chip prospects in the class. More about that later.


Here is a high-level comparison of star levels of each class.

So, the 2024 class has fewer super blue chips than 2023 (6 vs. 8), but also has fewer 3-stars (2 vs. 7). Again, this is only for the recruits and does not include the transfers.


In short, the 2023 and 2024 classes are both GREAT classes and the 2024 class might have more impact although lower four-star players are not fundamentally that different from many three-star players.


2024 Recruiting Class


Here is the detailed 2024 Class with their ratings and likely positions.

Let me take you through the offense, defense, and special teams and then the overall roster to compare this recruiting class and the years before it.


This class adds quality everywhere. Every position group is getting reinforcements and some top players that will get playing time as true freshman.


The offense has 3 super blue-chip composite ranked players. There are no offensive players with less than 4 stars among the 11 players.


The defense has 3 super blue-chip composite ranked players as well. There are six more 4 star rated players. The defense has only two 3 star rated players


Offense


The Longhorns added 11 recruits on offense. The average rating for this group is 0.9272. This makes it a better offense class on average BETTER than any of the past four classes. On average this is a 4.2-star class.


Wingo is very likely to have an immediately impact as at least the 2023 Cook backup receiver role. (Butler as well). Baker may develop into a key OT backup. There are so many players in this class that will make the 2024 Longhorns offense extremely deep.


Defense


The Longhorns added 11 players on defense. The average rating for this group is 0.9301 meaning it is incrementally even better than the offense class. This group only trails last year's defensive class in rating. On average this is a 4.0-star class.


I expect Simmons may be playing starter's reps by the end of the season. Black and Filsaime may push for PT early next season too. More players from this class will play critical depth roles in 2024 too.


The class also added a top 3-4 punter to the class that was needed.


Here is the overall class comparison (special teams left out.)

Conclusions


Texas is building something very very special that will last for many years. You can see how the talent coming in is starting their college football journeys at a higher level than the talent from earlier years. Steve Sarkesian is getting and developing high end talent.


Bud Elliott at 247Sports created the Blue-Chip ratio. Here was his 2023 article about it. Projecting forward, the Longhorns Blue Chip ratio goes up to 74% (from 70%) and could go higher. I would also add the Longhorns SUPER Blue-Chip ratio is now 24% as the 2024 team will have 20 Super Blue-Chip players. Remarkable!


Soon, I am going to share my preliminary and guaranteed to change depth chart for the 2024 Texas Longhorns with this excellent recruiting class integrated into it.


Data here is from Rivals.com, 247Sports.com, the official Texas Football roster site.


At the bottom I have provided the entire projected Texas 2024 roster sort by classes and ratings.


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