The early signing period began today across the country. It is a pivotal day for the 13 FBS programs across the Lone Star State. We take a dive into an interesting number from each of those recruiting classes.
Note: The classes change throughout the cycle and will undoubtedly add or subtract players and rankings across the board. We used 247Sports Composite rankings for both teams and players.
That’s the number of five-star prospects who signed with the Longhorns on Wednesday. The headliners are quarterback Arch Manning and linebacker Anthony Hill. Manning, the nephew of Peyton and Eli, is the top-ranked player in the 2023 class and the heir apparent to the throne in Austin. Hill – a one-time Texas A&M pledge – is the most important defensive player the Longhorns have signed since Malik Jefferson. Fellow five stars – running back Cedric Baxter and wide receiver Johntay Cook – should be instant contributors.
That’s the number of spots that Texas A&M’s recruiting class dipped from 2022 to 2023. Taking a fall was inevitable considering that Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies signed the top-ranked recruiting class in the nation last season. No one expected them to go back-to-back but failing to sign a top-10 class on the heels of that momentum is a missed opportunity. The 5-7 regular season didn’t help. Over 30 percent of the roster must be replaced by the start of 2023 due to graduation and transfers.
That’s the number of four-star prospects pledged to the Horned Frogs, which is more than any class at TCU in the modern era. The 12-win season is already paying dividends for Sonny Dykes’ crew on the recruiting trail. The last 12-win season (2014) resulted in a 2015 recruiting class ranked 39th in the nation. The 2016 class checked in at 21st in the nation – the previous best at TCU – with eight four-star players. The 2023 group currently ranks 18th in the country. And that’s not mentioning that the four transfers so far are all from SEC programs.
That’s the number of national top-250 recruits that signed with Baylor in the 2023 class – a cycle that was aided by the Bears’ Big 12 championship and win in the Sugar Bowl. The highest-ranked prospect that signed with Baylor was Arlington Lamar offensive tackle Isaiah Robinson, who checked in at 255th in the 247Sports Composite ranking. He was the only signee within the top 400. Four-star quarterback Austin Novosad, who ranks 119th nationally, flipped to Oregon in the final days leading into the early signing period.
The Red Raiders signed four four-star prospects in Joey McGuire’s first full cycle at Texas Tech. It is the first class in which multiple four-star players signed in the same cycle since two in 2016. The classes from 2018 through 2022 combined to produce four four-star signees. McGuire did that in one swoop.
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That’s the rank of Houston’s 2023 recruiting class if we include each of the teams expected to play in the Big 12 during the 2024 season. The Cougars’ class currently ranks 66th in the country. Kansas, which ranks last in the current Big 12 landscape, sits at 61st. Only Cincinnati (81) and BYU (72) rank lower than Houston. The Bearcats have an excuse, however, as their former head coach just left for Wisconsin.
That’s how many spots SMU dropped in the rankings from the 2022 cycle to the current 2023 cycle. The Mustangs’ 2022 class ranked 49th in the nation, according to the 247Sports Composite. The 2023 class currently sits at 60th. That’s not a huge issue for Rhett Lashlee’s crew because the transfer portal is popping in Dallas. The Mustangs already hold nine incoming transfers.
That’s the rank for UTSA’s 2023 recruiting class. For fans of some programs, that won’t seem like a high number. For G5 fans, it is an impressive accomplishment. The only other recruiting class for UTSA to break into the top 75 before Jeff Traylor’s arrival was the 75th-ranked group from 2017 that included Frank Harris and Tariq Woolen. The 2022 class finished at 74, which was the best in program history. The 2023 cycle blew that out of the water. Offensive tackle Daniel Ogundipe is the highest-rated signee in UTSA history. Three of the program’s five highest-ranked recruits are signing in the 2023 class. Nine of the top 10 players to sign with UTSA were either in the 2022 or 2023 classes.
That's the number of high school recruits signed by North Texas. Coaching changes make recruiting tough because of the early signing period. New head coaches used to get six to eight weeks to salvage a class. Nowadays, over 80 percent of the talent pool is signed to a school by Christmas. That’s the reality facing Eric Morris. He’ll scrap together a class by February and lean hard on the portal in year one.
That’s the average recruiting rank for Rice in the previous four cycles dating back to 2019 when the Owls signed the 113th-best class in the nation. The 2022 class checked in at 116th nationally. The best finish in that span was 95th in 2021. But a flip switched in 2023 thanks to a renewed investment into the recruiting staff. The current class ranks 79th in the nation, which is third in Conference USA behind UTSA and Florida Atlantic. The class ranks ahead of future AAC competition such as East Carolina, USF, and Navy.
That’s the number of commitments at UTEP on the first day of the early signing period. Of those eight, only two of them are prep products. The rest are JUCO exports. Expect the Miners to load up on more JUCO talent by the first Wednesday of February with Dimel following the Kansas State model to success he learned under Bill Snyder.
Texas State only signed two high school prospects in the entire 2022 class – offensive lineman David Hensley (North Richland Hills) and cornerback Bernock Iya (Azle). That number grew to four in the 2023 cycle and that’s with new head coach G.J. Kinne only receiving a few weeks to cobble a class together. The Bobcats will no longer ignore the wealth of talent provided by the Lone Star State.
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Sam Houston landed two of its three highest-ranked recruits to ever sign with the program on Wednesday as the Bearkats transition to the FBS ranks and a C-USA schedule in 2023. Waco Connally safety Jamarie Wiggins checks in as the top-rated recruit in program history, while Corpus Christi Miller wide receiver Lonnie Adkism ranks third all time. The top six players signed in program history were part of the 2023 or 2022 class.
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