Texas Football Recruiting: Tom Herman vows to restore Texas “in short order”
New Texas Longhorns head coach Tom Herman said Longhorns Football will be restored to past glory “in short order.”
In Wednesday’s press conference to cap off National Signing Day, Tom Herman was grilled about the 2017 Texas Football recruiting class. Herman did not back down when asked about a perceived weak class. Instead, Herman stressed his approach to a “transition year” not to make the same mistakes he’s seen elsewhere.
The Longhorns finished outside of the Top 25 in the national recruiting rankings. But, Herman sounded like a coach very pleased with the analytical approach that his staff took to recruiting.
Herman stressed that Texas was not going to chase after stars or players they did not know. It was more important to Herman to build the core roster for the future. That meant finding players who fit their program and way of doing things.
Herman cited a statistic from Urban Meyer’s first year at Ohio State that only three of the recruits in a first-year Top 5 class played significant minutes for the Buckeyes. Herman said he did not want to fall into that same trap of going after every player available without knowing the players intimately.
Tom Herman Not Interested in Role Players
While at the University of Houston, Tom Herman was looking for a different type of player. Herman was able to grab a five-star recruit like Ed Oliver to play for the Cougars, but as Herman noted, that was more about the built-in relationship between Oliver and the coaching staff.
Herman said that at Texas he can find players who “can help win championships.” He said that at Texas, they are not “signing backups or role players.” Herman said after his staff evaluated all 18 players in the 2017 class, they determined the players fit a roster need and have the chops to compete for titles.
As for the recruiting rankings, Herman said he takes those numbers seriously. He cited metrics that to win a National Title, you need a Top 10 Recruiting Class. Herman said the difference between the people who rank players and coaches who evaluate players are the intangibles.
Herman said the ranking systems do not measure heart, work ethic, what their high school coaches say, and what type of person they are. “There are a lot of three and four-star guys undervalued because of intangibles,” he said. Texas’s recruiting class is full of those type of players who Herman says will be big contributors now and in the future.
Herman said the rankings and metrics are “real,” so he is not frowning on the numbers. But, he says Texas fans should not judge the success or failure of Herman’s first class by comparisons to other schools.
As for the 2018 top rankings, Herman said he believes the Longhorns will “absolutely be there next year” once his staff gets a full year to recruit high school juniors.
When Will Texas Football Get Back on the Map?
One of the big concerns facing the Texas Longhorns is how to keep the top high school players in the state of Texas. For the first time ESPN’s 12 years of recruiting tracking, the Longhorns did not land a single Top 10 Texas player.
Herman said his mission is to not let the top players in Texas leave the state. He said they are well underway to accomplish that by building relationships for next year.
The other big factor is on-field performance. Herman put Texas Football in perspective that high school juniors and seniors have not seen a consistent, successful Texas product since they were 10-years-old.
Herman said it’s about re-educating Texas high school players that they should want to come to Texas. “We’re going to get it back in terms of recruiting the way Texas should – in very short order,” Herman promised.
But, in the 2017 “transition” recruiting cycle, Herman felt like he was back at Iowa State scratching and clawing for recruits. Why? Because he did not have relationships with key recruits and because of the on-field record the past seven years. “Will it always be that way? No. We’re Texas,” Herman said, looking ahead to future success.
Tom Herman Orchestrating Facility Upgrade
Texas Football had one of the top facilities at one time in college football. However, the “wow factor” is not there for some recruits who walk in the building.
Herman said the administration wants to be championship-quality, which means pushing through upgrades to all aspects of the football program. He said they are working full-speed to make upgrades that will help with 2018 recruiting and beyond.
“We are going to get Texas back to where it belongs really quick,” Herman said at the end of his press conference.
Overall, Texas Football fans walked away from National Signing Day feeling slightly down after missing on key recruits. But, Herman was optimistic that this crop of recruits will be the core of what Herman and his staff are building.
Herman never used the word “rebuilding,” as he feels Texas will be back to national relevance “in short order.” It just didn’t show up on the surface at National Signing Day. But, 2018 NSD could be much different.
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