Despite Texas’ 5–7 record last season, there wasn’t exactly a dearth of talent on the 40 Acres. The Longhorns sported top-20 recruiting classes each year from 2014–16 according to 247Sports, totaling 30 four-or-five-star prospects. Here is who the burnt orange need to replace — and who will take their place — heading into 2017.
Connor Williams hasn’t always been considered the best offensive tackle in college football.
Two years ago, when Williams arrived on the 40 Acres as a freshman, he didn’t do so as a four or five-star recruit. The junior offensive tackle was just the No. 75 ranked tackle in the nation, per 247sports.
Tom Herman’s main mission this offseason has been to reverse Texas’ culture. He’s used the buzzword time and again through spring practice and summer workouts, aiming to change the mindset of a team that had lost 21 games over the past three seasons.
A forgotten water bottle in the players’ lounge one evening during summer practice originally appeared to be little more than a harmless mistake by junior cornerback P.J. Locke III. But he quickly learned to never make it again.
Follow a lackluster transition period in 2017 in which the Longhorns ended up with the nation’s No. 26 recruiting class, head coach Tom Herman has been hot on the recruiting trail for 2018. Texas’ 2018 class currently ranks No. 6 in the country per 247sports, and No. 1 in the Big 12.
Head coach Tom Herman held his first meeting with the Longhorns in December, and asked how many players on the team had experienced a winning season in their time with the burnt orange. Just three raised their hands.