Tom Herman's old recruiting classes are making very little impact on NFL Draft weekend.Photo by Jack Gorman
When Tom Herman arrived at the University of Texas in late 2016, he arrived with a ton of bravado and big promises of national championships. He backed it up in recruiting, with top three classes in 2018 and 2019, on the heels of his first two seasons on the Forty Acres. All seemed to be well in early 2019 with that recruiting juggernaut being the chaser for a win in the Sugar Bowl. Hell, some folks even thought Texas was back!
Well, SPOILER ALERT, the Longhorns were NOT back. not even close. This Sugar Bowl win to close out the 2018 season was followed by a couple more seasons of uneven performance, and eventually Tom Herman was fired and replaced by Steve Sarkisian.
Sark has been functioning largely with Herman recruits since arriving in Austin, so the book is still wide open on where things go during the Sarkisian Era, but the book is closing on the Herman Era with each NFL Draft that the league says "No thanks" on Herman recruits, and in the most recent NFL Draft, the league spoke loudly with a billboard-sized "NO THANKS" on players from the University of Texas. In fact, here is the draft scoreboard from the colleges in the state of Texas:
NUMBER OF PLAYERS DRAFTED in 2022 NFL DRAFT
4: Texas A&M
2: Texas Tech, SMU, UTSA
1: Sam Houston
I would imagine, if you're a Longhorn, it feels bad enough betting completely lapped in the draft by the Baylor Bears and the Texas A&M Aggies, not to mention the Houston Coogs, but wow — two other Group of Five schools and an FCS school? Damn.
As if that wasn't bad enough, here are the five most embarrassing schools to "out draft" the University of Texas Longhorns in the 2022 NFL Draft. Each of these schools had one player drafted:
UNIVERSITY of CONNECTICUT
PLAYER DRAFTED: Travis Jones, DT, 3/76 to BAL Look, I grew up in Connecticut, so I can say this — it is the most butter-soft state in the entire nation, with an awful pipeline of football players for the next level. The University of Connecticut's program was one of the biggest jokes in college football last season. UConn is a school bets known for three things — its men's basketball, its women's basketball, and having more players chosen in the 2022 NFL Draft than Texas.
PLAYER DRAFTED: Christian Benford, CB, 6/185 to BUF
Another basketball school slaps around the University of Texas, and this one is located in Philadelphia — like Connecticut, not exactly a football hotbed — and this school isn't even an FBS football school. Villanova plays FCS level competition.
PLAYER DRAFTED: Cole Strange, G, 1/29 to NE OK, be honest. Did you even know that Chattanooga had a college football team? Be honest again. Did you even know Chattanooga had a college? Ok, be honest one more time. If they paid you a thousand dollars, could you even find Chattanooga on a map? Do you even know Chattanooga for anything other than this song?
And they not only had more players drafted than Texas, but their player was a FIRST ROUND PICK!
OUACHITA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY
PLAYER DRAFTED: Gregory Junior, CB, 6/197 to JAC OK, now we are getting deep in the weeds. Ouachita Baptist is such a nondescript Division II school that the name of the school shows up as a misspelled word in the portal I use to type these blog posts. Way to go, Herman!
PLAYER DRAFTED: Dareke Young, WR, 7/233 to SEA If we were playing a game of "Museum or college?", I would guess MUSEUM for this school, and yet they had more players drafted than the University of Texas! They also have the softest sounding fight song of all time!
Worth noting, Texas joins the SEC at some point in the next few seasons. If they don't get the "talent development" thing straightened out, it's going to be a rough life for Longhorn fans.
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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.