National Signing Day: How Did Texas Do?

They say it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog—but is the same true of recruiting classes?

Mack Brown believes so. Yesterday was national signing day—roughly equivalent to Christmas Day for diehard college football fans—and this year, Texas faithful ended up with fewer presents under the tree than they are used to.

But just like Christmas gifts, recruiting classes are as much about quality as they are quantity, and Brown is confident that the 15 signees of the 2013 class are a talented bunch. His optimism is grounded in reality—after all, the last time Texas’ recruiting class was this small (2005), it included Colt McCoy, Jamaal Charles, and Jermichael Finley, just to name a few.

Despite an uncharacteristically low 23rd Rivals.com class ranking, Texas’ 2013 class averages a 3.6 star ranking, the 9th-best such rating in the country this year. Coach Brown and company also appear to have addressed some major issues: five of the signees are highly-touted offensive linemen, spearheaded by Army All-American and national No. 3 OL Kent Perkins and JuCo transfer Desmond Harrison.

Other offensive standouts include wide receiver Jake Oliver and quarterback Tyrone Swoopes. Oliver is another Army All-American and four-star commit that spent his high school career setting records—in his senior season, he broke the state record for most career receptions (308), previously held by former Longhorn Jordan Shipley. Swoopes, the lone QB of the 2013 class, pledged himself to Texas in early 2012, and will take part in spring practices this year. At 6 feet 5 inches tall, 250 pounds (“his body fat is very little,” insists Mack Brown), the dual-threat quarterback has been compared to the near-incomparable Vince Young in size and physical ability.

This year’s defensive class is remarkably small, comprised of just two linebackers and two pure defensive backs. Army All-American Antwaun Davis highlights the defensive class with his reported 4.3 speed and physical play, and could be playing both cornerback and safety for the ‘Horns. Deoundrei Davis, a Rivals.com top 100 recruit, can play every linebacker position on the field, Coach Brown says.

The 2013 group is rounded out by a handful of fast, versatile athletes that could end up playing on either side of the ball, including Texans Chevoski Collins and Montrel Meander.

So, what’s the common denominator with the recruits of 2013?

One thing: speed. National signing day comes on the heels of Mack Brown’s announcement that Texas will be changing to a more up-tempo offense, and speed was clearly a prerequisite for membership in this year’s class. As Brown said of his own comments on the signees, “I know I’ve said ‘speed’ a lot in here, but that’s what we’re looking for. Our game has become speed in this league.”

Here is the 2013 recruiting class in its entirety:

Chevoski Collins, ATH
Antwaun Davis, DB
Deoundrei Davis, LB
Rami Hammad, OL
Desmond Harrison, OL
Naashon Hughes, LB
Erik Huhn, S
Darius James, OL
Montrel Meander, ATH
Jake Oliver, WR
Kent Perkins, OL
Jake Raulerson, OL/DE
Geoff Swaim, TE
Tyrone Swoopes, QB
Jacorey Warrick, WR

For in-depth bios of the 2013 class, click here.

For video of Mack Brown’s signing day press conference, click here.

Photo courtesy of  aaronisnotcool via Flickr Creative Commons.

 

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