As of the evening of Aug. 1, the 2023 Texas football recruiting class is starting to see momentum stall on the trail for the first time this summer. Texas really caught fire on the recruiting trail in the 2023 class a couple of months ago when head coach Steve Sarkisian and quarterbacks coach AJ Milwee landed a commitment from the elite five-star Isidore Newman quarterback Arch Manning.
Sark and the Longhorns staff more than tripled the size of the 2023 class since mid-June, largely thanks to the commitment from Arch back on June 23. But the last few days finally saw that momentum stall a bit for the Longhorns 2023 class down the stretch this summer.
On Aug. 1, Texas missed a priority target in the 2023 class in the local product and four-star Austin-Westlake edge rusher Colton Vasek. The blue-chip edge recruit picked new head coach Brent Venables and the Oklahoma Sooners on this day.
Texas also saw the top defensive target in the 2023 class and elite five-star Denton-Ryan linebacker Anthony Hill give his commitment to the rival Texas A&M Aggies over the Longhorns over the weekend.
Losing out on both Vasek and Hill means that the Longhorns will start needing to look elsewhere to fill out some of the top positional needs in the 2023 class heading into the fall. But that picture could change too with some of the upcoming decisions for key targets of the Longhorns on the trail.
Gauging looming decisions from top Texas football recruits committing soon
Here’s a look at three key Longhorns recruits with looming decisions to watch in the next couple of months.
Jalen Hale, WR
This could be a wild ride down the stretch for new wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator Brennan Marion and the Longhorns as we approach the Sep. 22 decision for the highly touted four-star Longview wide receiver Jalen Hale. For the last few weeks, Texas looked like the potential school to beat for Hale ahead of his fall decision in September.
But that narrative could seemingly change multiple times over as the turbulence started over the weekend in the race to land a commitment from Hale. A couple of unofficial visits that Hale took to College Station and Tuscaloosa to see Texas A&M and the Alabama Crimson Tide, respectively, definitely stirred the pot a bit in this recruitment.
At first, the unofficial visit Hale took to Texas A&M got the Texas faithful talking. Given some of the momentum that head coach Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies found over the weekend on the recruiting trail by landing the likes of Hill and touted four-star Shiner (TX) athlete Dalton Brooks, it was figured that someone like Hale could get caught up in the wave.
Yet, it wound up being the unofficial visit that Hale took to see Alabama that could be the most impactful over the long haul in this recruitment. We even got one analyst forecast over the weekend projecting Hale’s commitment to the Crimson Tide over Texas and the Georgia Bulldogs.
Coming out of his weekend visit to Tuscaloosa, all we could hear about was the relationship that he had formed with Alabama wide receivers coach Holmon Wiggins and the priority that the Crimson Tide are giving his recruitment. But that won’t slow down Marion and the Longhorns heading into the fall.
It continues to look as if multiple Texas commits are putting their fair share of the effort into recruiting Hale. And the coaching staff is going to continue to go all out in the race to land a commitment from Hale a little more than one month from his decision day.
At this point of the offseason, I do believe that Alabama could’ve made a move to at least pull even with Texas among Hale’s top schools. But there is still room for Georgia to gain ground or for Texas to seal the deal heading into the fall.
Sit tight with Hale’s recruitment as it looks like it could be one of the wildest of any Texas targets early in the fall.