If you clicked on the "Football Recruiting" tab recently, and perused the list of Longhorn commitments, you might have scratched your head. Because for all the talk about the Longhorns' early dominance this class, there are only two five-star commitments — wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones and quarterback Tyrone Swoopes — listed out of the 14 players landed by the boys in burnt orange. And with spots running out on the roster, and relatively few "five-star" talents left on the board, it doesn't much fit with the usual talking point that the Longhorns have a class that's typically loaded at the top, but is without the overall numbers.
After all, in 2010, Texas wrangled six five-star signees. 2011 brought four more and the recently completed 2012 class, that one that ranked first in the entire country, had five five-star players.
But only two this year? The nerve! The intrigue! You can almost hear a lubed-up Bob Uecker hollering "that's all we got: two bleeping five-stars?" into his 'Major League' microphone. Except that I'm here to tell you that it's actually not a big deal.
In fact, if the recruiting season ended today … if today was National Signing Day … Texas would have at least five five-star players. I know what you're saying: Flaherty's trying to Jedi mind-trick me again, isn't he? But this isn't like that time that I told you these weren't the five-stars you're looking for, my friends.
Here's what I know:
1) Every year, Scout.com picks 50 players to be named five stars
2) This is another year
So what exactly does that mean? It means that, ranking update by ranking update, Scout.com continually updates the Scout 300. And as more players cement themselves as five-star talents, they're given those grades. But it will always be 50 players at the end of the season. No more, no less. And while those 50 players will move around some, and some players will move into or out of the top-50, it's safe enough to suggest that the top-50 players at any one time are under consideration for a five-star ranking. It's just that, right now, only 35 players have been named as such.
And here's the thing: Texas has three other commitments ranked between No. 36 and No. 50. So while Seals-Jones and Swoopes are obvious choices as No. 11 and No. 12 nationally, Darius James (38), A'Shawn Robinson (43) and Jake Raulerson (48) are all also in "five-star range."
And none of that counts Fort Worth Southwest wide receiver Robbie Rhodes, one of the top targets remaining on the Longhorn board, and somebody that Texas has a great shot at. He's also in five-star territory, just before Robinson at No. 42. Nor does it count Kent Perkins, currently outside of the top-50, but at No. 52, certainly within striking range of it. So the possibility exists that, if Rhodes picks the Longhorns, and Perkins moves up just two spots, Texas could finish with seven five-star players, including six of the 14 that are currently committed.
Even if that doesn't happen, Texas should be in a great spot to have five five-stars, the average number of five stars in the past three classes, all of which were ranked in the top-three nationally.