A down 2017 Texas football recruiting class had two key wide receiver misses between four-star Texas natives Jalen Reagor and CeeDee Lamb.
The 2017 Texas football recruiting class was saw a head coach that was one year away from reaching true prominence. Head Texas football coach Tom Herman is now entering his third-year on the Forty Acres. Back during the 2017 recruiting cycle, he was coming off a brief but successful stint as the head coach of the Houston Cougars.
At one point, Herman and the Cougars were vying for College Football Playoff contention out of the Group of Five conferences. Yet, that didn’t matter for Herman once was he hired to be the next head coach for the Texas Longhorns football program once the Charlie Strong-era ended.
Most of the 2017 recruiting cycle for the Longhorns was commanded by Strong. His recruiting efforts could’ve doomed Texas to missing out on the two star wide receivers I’m focusing on in this piece that are well-recognized names around the Big 12 entering the 2019 regular season.
According to the 247Sports Team Composite Rankings, the 2017 Texas football recruiting class ranked at No. 25 in the nation with just 18 commitments. Texas signed seven four-star prospects and 11 three-stars. Two of the key four-star recruits that the Longhorns missed out on were Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and TCU Horned Frogs versatile wideout threat Jalen Reagor.
Coming out of Waxahachie High School around the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Reagor was rated as a four-star wide receiver and a top 100 2017 high school prospect in the nation. Lamb was also rated as a top 100 high school prospect in the nation for the 2017 recruiting cycle.
However, Reagor stuck out as the bigger recruiting target for the Longhorns originally. Most of the attention Reagor received during his recruitment was from Big 12 programs. His final set of 247Sports Crystal Ball Predictions before he announced his commitment to Oklahoma and/or TCU involved the Horned Frogs along with the Sooners and Texas Tech Red Raiders.
But the Longhorns offered Reagor well before he committed to TCU and signed his National Letter of Intent to play for head coach Gary Patterson. He was recruited by current Texas wide receiver coach Drew Mehringer too. But what made the recruitment of Reagor so interesting was the back and forth as he originally committed to Oklahoma and then decommitted and pledged to TCU.
Texas sparked the flame of the Red River Showdown on the recruiting trail by offering Reagor after he was already committed to Oklahoma. Reagor legitimately considered Texas it seemed at one point. But his final commitment decision really boiled down to two schools, TCU and Oklahoma.
But landing a commitment from Lamb helped Oklahoma and head coach Lincoln Riley better deal with the decommitment of Reagor. Lamb could be one of the nation’s brightest stars among wide receivers this fall.
The recruiting battle to land Lamb’s pledge really came down to the Red River rivals. Oklahoma out-dueled Strong and the Longhorns to land Lamb when it was all said and done. But an offer from the Longhorns in early December 2016 nearly swung Lamb to play on the Forty Acres. He had multiple visits with both Texas and Oklahoma.
Lamb was a 6-foot-3 standout wide receiver coming out of Richmond High School in Richmond, TX, when the Longhorns were recruiting him. He is one of the biggest wide receiver signings in recent memory for Riley and the Sooners. But Texas nearly got him on the Forty Acres, along with Reagor.