If the Texas Longhorns fail to take the next step in 2018, it won’t be due to a lack of talent.
Coming off a 7-6 season and a Texas Bowl victory over Missouri, which marked the Longhorns’ first bowl win since 2012 and first winning season since 2013, the Longhorns are aiming to take yet another step forward in 2018.
To help turn those aspirations into reality, Tom Herman and Texas had the nation’s No. 3 recruiting class and the No. 1 class in the Big 12, courtesy of a pair of 5-star newcomers and 17 4-star recruits. With such an abundance of talent bound for Austin, Texas boasts what Allen Kenney of Athlon Sports ranked as the second-best roster in the Big 12 ahead of the 2018 season, trailing only Oklahoma.
“The Sooners and Longhorns almost always enjoy a massive recruiting advantage over the rest of the Big 12. It shows in this season’s roster rankings,” Kenney said.
“Tom Herman lived up to billing on the recruiting trail in his first full cycle. The Longhorns’ 2018 class was ranked third nationally after coming in 26th a year earlier. Herman and his coaching staff now need to make good on all that promise by fielding a team that can challenge for a conference crown in the fall.”
Furthermore, along with boasting a level of talent capable of competing against elite opponents, as Texas did last season with 3 losses to top-12 opponents (USC, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State) by a combined 11 points, the Longhorns will also feature a more experienced unit in 2017. As part of an injury-plagued year, numerous true freshmen and sophomores were forced into action last season, some prematurely, including key contributors such as Sam Ehlinger, Daniel Young and Toneil Carter, along with numerous offensive linemen.
Whether or not the heightened experience level and abundance of high-level athletes will prove to be enough to emerge as a threat in the Big 12 remains to be seen, but if not, it won’t be due to a lack talent.