The number 1 recruit that year was Garrett Gilbert. Obvious bust.
But Alex Okafor was in that top 10 as well as Mason Walters.
Notable Top 30 recruits in 2009: Rex Burkhead (Nebraska), Tom Wort (Oklahoma), and Michael Brockers (LSU)
Now if we go even further down the list, you will find Stephan Taylor of Stanford at #73, Marquis Goodwin at #75 and Ryan Swope at #80. All the way down at #92 is Glasco Martin of Baylor, who rushed for 791 yards and 12 touchdowns this year.
The point is, there is enough talent inside the state of Texas to get great players. Mack Brown one thing has always been recruiting. He doesn’t do a ton of development, and that is an issue when you keep getting busts like Garrett Gilbert or Thomas Ashcraft who came into Texas highly recruited but hasn’t won a starting job. You have to develop talent and get them to play on another level. I doubt we see Mack change on that anytime soon.
But there is one thing that Texas A&M doesn’t have: National Brand Recognition.
As great as this season has been for Texas A&M, they still aren’t number 1 in merchandise sales and their logo isn’t as nationally recognized as the Longhorns logo is. That brand of football, that tradition that lives in Austin, Texas is still going to attract top talent.
Look at Notre Dame.
Two key senior pieces on the Notre Dame squad, Manti Te’o and Kyle Rudolph. Both are award winning player on their team this year and both committed to play for Notre Dame when they went 7-6 and 3-9 respectively. Both were highly rated recruits as well.
The Texas Longhorns will still get very good recruits, they might be in a few more battles with Texas A&M but they will get some very good prospects. It might also take a coach willing to develop those good prospects into a championship winning football team.