Over the last decade, Oklahoma has padded its winning résumé. Each year, its offense seems to get more explosive, its quarterbacks are frequently in Heisman contention, and conference championships as well as playoff appearances have become common. In a college football landscape dominated by the SEC and Clemson, the Sooners have been the pride of the Big 12. But as it currently stands, Oklahoma is not the top destination in the conference for the class of 2020 recruits. That title would belong to its rival — Texas.
Texas on the come up
One of the main storylines of the last two college football seasons is based on one question: Is Texas back? The Longhorns’ 0–1 start against Maryland the last two seasons said “no.” Texas’ upset of Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl and its 7–2 record against Big 12 competition last season said “maybe.” But then, the Longhorns’ loss to the Sooners in the Big 12 Championship Game last December said “not yet.”
However, Texas’ win over SEC powerhouse Georgia in the 2019 Sugar Bowl indicated an upward trend. The future looked bright for the Longhorns, who seemingly needed only a couple more strong recruiting classes before they could make their ascent back to the top of college football. For now, Texas’ future is in great shape.
Who’s coming to Texas in 2020?
Texas is winning the recruiting battle against Oklahoma, and it’s not all that close. So far, 20 players have chosen Austin as their home for next season. Of this group, 16 are four or five-star recruits, which is good enough for a No. 1 class ranking in the Big 12 and a No. 4 ranking in the country.
Texas’ sole five-star commit so far is running back Bijan Robinson out of Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, Arizona. Robinson committed to Texas in August and had a monster game shortly after. The dominant back rushed for 496 yards and six touchdowns Sept. 6 in his team’s 68-34 victory over Cactus High School. Robinson, who only played three quarters, broke school records for rushing yards and touchdowns in a game. Three weeks later, he became Southern Arizona’s all-time leading rusher after four touchdowns of 47, 60, 50 and 92 yards in the first half. Texas’ current running back room is paper-thin due to injuries. But next year, Robinson should help the Longhorns dominate out of the backfield.
Other notable Texas commits include four-star dual-threat quarterbacks Hudson Card out of Lake Travis and Ja’Quinden Jackson out of Duncanville, four-star wide receiver Quentin Johnston out of Temple, and Vernon Broughton, a 6-foot-5 defensive tackle out of Cy Ridge in Houston.
Who’s going to Oklahoma?
So far, 18 players have committed to playing in Norman for the 2020 season. With the number of four and five-star recruits tallying at 11, Oklahoma’s recruiting class ranks second in the Big 12 and 13th in the country.
The Sooners’ top, and only, five-star recruit is also a running back — Jase McClellan out of Aledo, Texas. McClellan committed to Oklahoma in July 2017, establishing the star back as the team’s longest-tenured commit. However, McClellan expressed interest in Alabama and Texas as recent as July 2019. If he did switch over to Texas, the Longhorns would have the No. 5 running back in the nation in addition to the No. 3 back Robinson. But as it stands, both teams have strong prospects at running back, which could potentially create fierce ground battles in the future.
At quarterback, Oklahoma has secured a dual-threat player of its own in Michael Henderson out of Carrollton, Texas. But Henderson, a four-star recruit, is a lower-rated prospect than the quarterbacks Texas has picked up
What does this mean?
Oklahoma is still king in the Big 12 for now, but Texas is on the rise with an increasing number of talented players committing to the burnt orange and white. The Golden Hat may still be up for grabs this weekend, but in the recruiting battle so far, Texas is victorious heading into the future.