The thought makes sense — while a defensive end might be No. 10 in his own class, he's not typically going to spend his career competing for playing time with many (or any) of the nine players ahead of him. Instead, once he makes his way onto a college campus, he's going to find himself fighting with whichever defensive ends his school continues to bring in.
Want a localized example? Texas has a commitment from John Bonney, a safety in the 2014 class. But the Longhorns are also recruiting safeties like Larry Pryor in 2015. If Texas lands Pryor, he could spend his career fighting with Bonney for playing time. At that point, class won't matter. Who's the better prospect? According to the Scout Ultimate 300, Pryor comes in at No. 125. In the same regardless-of-class ranking, Bonney sits at No. 198.
A number of Longhorn targets are sprinkled through the list, including three of the top 10 in Tony Brown (3), Malik Jefferson (8) and Jamal Adams (9). But we could spend a year looking at all of the Texas targets on this list. Instead, let's focus on the Longhorn commitments.
The top Texas commitment comes in at No. 54, with the Longhorns' commitment from 2015 offensive guard Maea Teuhema of Keller.
And while Teuhema was the only Longhorn pledge listed in the top 100, Texas had plenty of other commitments throughout the list. 2016 wideout Reggie Hemphill of Manvel was listed at No. 137, making him the state's top player in the 2016 class and the No. 6 overall player in the 2016 class. Defensive tackle Rashan Gary of Scott Plains, N.J., was the top 2016 player, coming in at No. 30 on the list. Four of the 2016 players listed ahead of Hemphill are defensive players. The only offensive player from 2016 ahead of Hemphill is New London, N.C. running back Antonio Williams, who came in just six spots higher at No. 131 on the Scout Ultimate 300.
Texas's top 2014 commitment came in 12 places after Hemphill, with Jerrod Heard landing the No. 149 spot. The Denton Guyer product has impressed with his dual-threat ability throughout his recruiting cycle. Houston Lamar's Bonney, coming in at No. 198, gave the Longhorns four commitments in the top 200.
The Longhorns finished strong, doubling their number of players in the Ultimate 300 with four players in the countdown's final 100 prospects. San Antonio Brennan defensive end Derick Roberson was next at No. 257, followed closely by Texas City wide receiver Armanti Foreman (269), Buda Hays offensive tackle Connor Lanfear (282) and Abilene Cooper wide receiver Lorenzo Joe (298).
The end result was that Texas had five 2014 commitments in the Ultimate 300, while two of the Longhorns' eight early 2015 commitments made the cut. And Texas's only commitment for the Class of 2016, Hemphill, was the second-ranked commitment on the list.