Texas Recruiting Analysis, Part One

There's an old Chinese proverb: Consider the past and you shall know the future. In that vein, all week, we're going to take a look at the Texas Longhorns' last five recruiting classes, their individual player ratings and what those players have meant for the past success of Texas teams.

By looking at the more recent signees, you can also grab a look into the future to see which position groups the Longhorns will likely be strongest at.

Some general trends:

Texas has signed 115 players over the last five years, with each class boasting a multiple of five. The Longhorns brought in 25 players apiece in 2006, 2007 and 2010 and 20 players in 2008 and 2009. For 2011? Don't be surprised if that number is north of 20 yet again, as the Longhorns already have 20 commitments in the class and are pursuing several other players to finish out the class.

• The most obvious trend is the Longhorns' penchant for keeping recruiting south of the Red River. In the last five years, the Longhorns' haul has included 107 Texans, with Texas leaving the state for more than one recruit just twice (two out-of-staters in 2006 and three in 2010). Those out-of-state players have been spread across six states, with two coming from Colorado and one apiece from South Carolina, California, Arkansas, Louisiana, Ohio and Oklahoma. The Longhorns have just one out-of-state prospect committed for 2011, Arizona offensive tackle Christian Westerman.

• The Longhorns have shown exceptional balance in their signees. Fifty-nine (or 51.3 percent) have come on the defensive side of the ball, with 56 (48.7 percent) coming in as offensive prospects (note: these numbers are determined by the Scout.com positions). Out of those, the defensive line has seen the highest number of signees, with 23 (12 defensive ends and 11 defensive tackles). The next most populated group was at defensive back, where the Longhorns wrangled 21 prospects (12 cornerbacks and nine safeties). On offense, the biggest positions by number were the offensive line (18 players) and wide receiver (16 players).

• The Longhorns' recruiting dominance shows in the high number of elite players they've brought in according to Scout's star rating system. Texas has landed 80 four- or five-star players, compared to just 34 players rated three stars or below. One player was not rated. Out of the six two-star players signed by the Longhorns, three were kickers, a position group that doesn't typically garner a high rating.

• Wonder why the Longhorns have been so successful at shutting down opposing passing attacks? Texas's 12 cornerback signees have come with an average star rating of 4.2, the highest of any position group on the Texas roster. Wide receiver is just behind, with the Longhorns' wideouts boasting an average rating of 4.1.

• At the same time, rankings can be a bit deceiving at times. Texas has seen strong play from its defensive line of late, which comes at a direct contrast to Texas's rating of 3.5 at the defensive tackle position. Without including the kickers, defensive tackle makes up the second-lowest rating by group. Tight end is the lowest, with Texas's eight signees carrying a 3.3 average rating.

Last five years:

QB: Six players, 3.8 average rating
RB: Seven players, 3.7 average rating
FB: One player, 4.0 average rating
WR: 16 players, 4.1 average rating
TE: Eight players, 3.3 average rating
OL: 18 players, 3.7 average rating (one not rated)
DE: 12 players, 3.8 average rating
DT: 11 players, 3.5 average rating
LB: 12 players, 4.0 average rating
CB: 12 players, 4.2 average rating
S: Nine players, 3.9 average rating
K: Three players, 2.0 average rating
Overall breakdown: 115 players (20 5*, 60 4*, 28 3*, 6 2*, 1 NR), 3.82 average rating. 107 Texans (two CO and one SC, CA, AR, LA, OH, OK).
Part two of Texas's recruiting analysis will come later this week.

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