Strong has his best day yet at Texas
Texas football is still miles away from where it needs to be in order to be a challenger each and every season for Big 12 and national championships, but head coach Charlie Strong understands that perhaps the biggest factor in gettting the program back to the top of the rankings is bringing in the best talent in the state.
Just a few days after Texas A&M landed star Arizona wide receiver Christian Kirk, the Aggies were unable to get a verbal commitment from outside linebacker Malik Jefferson, who is one of the top players in the country regardless of position. Instead, Jefferson chose to play for Texas, which also received a pledge from Jefferson's Poteet High School teammate, DeAndre McNeal, who is one of the better wide receivers in the state.
The pair from Mesquite, TX, gives the former Louisville head coach two quality players in the Class of 2015 and gives the program some much-needed momentum in a year that saw A&M clean up on the recruiting trail and in-state Baylor and TCU be in the College Football Playoff mix.
Texas won't be challenging Alabama for the top recruiting class in the country this cycle, but the 'Horns were able to land two key commitments that could help set the stage for more quality additions. While Strong has shown he can land solid players from out of state such as New Mexico quarterback Zach Gentry and Florida linebacker Cecil Cherry, the program unquestionably needs to keep as many of the best players in-state as possible. A player of Jefferson's caliber is huge for Strong as National Signing Day nears.
The 6-3, 220-pound Jefferson won the high school Butkus Award this season and recorded a 4.39 in the 40-yard dash at The Opening event this past summer. He should make an immediate impact in Austin.
McNeal, a 6-2, 200-pounder, played quarterback, wide receiver, running back, linebacker, safety and cornerback during the 2014 season, so his versatility is obvious.
Can the new Texas staff keep up the momentum and continue to rise up the national recruiting rankings?
Dave Miller, the college football editor for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.