Grading Power Four 2024 Recruiting Classes in Texas

Original photo from Kelce Harwood

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National signing day in February isn’t the same thanks to the early signing period, the growing number of early enrollees, and the transfer portal. Still, there are things to glean from each recruiting class across Texas. Which programs still rely on the high school ranks and which teams are portal dependent? Which teams are recruiting above or below their five-year average? 

We grade each of the 2024 recruiting classes for each of seven Power Four programs in Texas (welcome SMU!) below. We ranked portal classes last month here. We used 247Sports for team rankings. 


2024 Rank: 6
Five-year recruiting average rank: 7.4
Grade: A
Top signees: Edge Colin Simmons, WR Ryan Wingo, OT Brandon Baker

Texas is one of the programs capable of building with high school talent. Steve Sarkisian continued down that path with another top-10 class in America. The Longhorns signed the third-best class in the SEC behind Georgia and Alabama. They signed two five-star players in Simmons and Wingo. The class consists of three linemen on each side of the ball and talented secondary prospects in cornerback Kobe Black and safety Xavier Filsaime. 


2024 Rank: 19
Five-year Recruiting Average Rank: 9.2
Grade: B+
Top signees: ATH Terry Bussey, OT Blake Ivy, Edge Solomon Williams

All things considered, Mike Elko and his new staff knocked the 2024 class out of the ballpark. He arrived in College Station in December and immediately began keeping together the 2024 recruiting class and as much as the roster as possible. Locking in Bussey on national signing day was a huge statement of intent. The five-star from Timpson was wanted by every program in America. He’ll start as a cornerback, but Elko said in his press conference that Bussey will get chances with the ball. 


2024 Rank: 24
Five-year Recruiting Average Rank: 43
Grade: A
Top Signees: WR Micah Hudson, OT Ellis Davis, QB Will Hammond 

Take away the transition class of 2021 when McGuire took over the job in the middle of the season and his Red Raiders have signed two classes with an average national ranking of 26. The two cycles prior to McGuire’s arrival – 2019 and 2020 – had an average national ranking of 54. Hudson is the first five-star signee in the history of Texas Tech. The entire class is littered with high upside potential. Will Hammond posted video game numbers as the quarterback at Hutto. 


2024 Rank: 34
Five-year Recruiting Average Rank: 35.2
Grade: B-
Top Signees: QB Hauss Hejny, Edge Travis Jackson, RB Nate Palmer 

Only Texas Tech signed a better class in the Big 12 than the Horned Frogs despite a down season in 2023. Hejny, a state champion quarterback at nearby Aledo, is the jewel of the class and a national top-200 prospect. Eighteen of the 20 signees played high school football in Texas. The class consists of six offensive linemen and at least three prospects at receiver, defensive line, and defensive back. 


2024 Rank: 61
Five-year Recruiting Average Rank: 66.2
Grade: C+ 
Top Signees: RB J’Marion Burnette, ATH Jayshon Ridgle, S Maurice Williams Jr.  

Like Elko, new Houston head coach Willie Fritz was forced to make lemonade out of lemons with his first class in charge of the Cougars. The current calendar makes it impossible for newly hired coaches to close with a bang like back in the old days. Still, the former Tulane head man used previous connections to bring in some out-of-state talent into the mix like Ridgle and Burnette. Houston also added 18 players in the transfer market. 


2024 Rank: 67
Five-year Recruiting Average Rank: 45.2
Grade: C
Top Signees: S Joshua Lair, RB Joseph Dodds, ATH Jadon Porter 

A late add at safety with Fort Bend Marshall’s Joshua Lair, a former Washington pledge, was a big addition for the Bears on defense. Ten of the 14 signatures came from Texas high school football players. The Bears also added nine players from the transfer portal in a pivotal year for head coach Dave Aranda. Nine of the 14 high school additions play defense. Edge prospect and Mississippi native Alex Foster was the team’s highest rated signee. 


2024 Rank: 105
Five-year Recruiting Average Rank: 74.4
Top Signees: RB Derrick McFall, LB Brandon Booker, S Ka’Davion Dotson 

SMU is counting on the transfer portal and a select few high school prospects to keep the momentum rolling on the Hilltop. The Mustangs’ 2024 recruiting class is the lowest ranked in the ACC, largely due to only signing 10 high school prospects. Four-star McFall could make an instant impact at running back. The transfer portal class ranks 35th nationally and consists of 12 players. 

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