While Lucier-South's recruitment will be a big deal in itself — he's considered by FoxSportsNEXT National Recruiting Analyst Greg Biggins to be a top-50 type player in 2015 — it's also an important indicator that the Longhorns are taking an important, and needed, step in the right direction in terms of out-of-state recruiting.
For one thing, the expanded reach is needed. Texas is only a self-sustaining recruiting state if you're landing a bulk of the top players. And right now, the state is wide open for top guys, with Texas A&M, Texas and even out-of-state schools like LSU and Alabama combing through the consensus top players. That means that the Longhorns, while still competing for the top players in-state, have to widen their vision, not just to nearby states — remember that two years in a row, Texas grabbed the top player in Oklahoma, while the Longhorns have done a better job in Louisiana as well.
But the Longhorn staff could still stand to branch out more, and according to Biggins, the West — as it once was for explorers and those looking for a better life — now serves as the last open frontier for college recruiters. With neither UCLA nor USC exerting a chokehold on the state of California's top talent, and with Oregon going across the nation for players to fit a specific system, states like California and Arizona are often open to outsiders, particularly those with the name recognition like Texas.
Just ask the Longhorns' primary rival. Right around when Oklahoma's recruiting influence in Texas began to fall, the Sooners stretched out West to try and fill in the gaps. Most people remember Oklahoma's 2010 class that included five-star players Brennan Clay and Kenny Stills, along with four-star Tony Jefferson, all from California. But the Sooners didn't stop with a temporary talent grab. In each of the 2012 and 2013 classes, Oklahoma grabbed six players from California and Arizona, and the Sooners have one California commitment for 2014 as well.
That would seem to indicate Biggins's theory that California kids — and West kids in general — are more likely to travel out-of-region than players in the East, Midwest, Southeast or South. And that gives a school with recruiting cache, like Texas, another area to tap into for top-notch kids.