Nov 3, 2023 - Sports

The Longhorns are recruiting fewer Texas players

University of Texas <span style="padding: 5px; background: #E8E0C1;">in-state</span> and <span style="padding: 5px; background: #CC5501; color: white; opacity: 0.9">out-of-state</span> college football recruits
Data: cfbstats; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The era of hometown talent in college football may become a thing of the past.

State of play: The University of Texas and the Southern schools that won the past eight College Football Playoff National Championships have historically relied on in-state talent. But an Axios analysis of recruiting data shows that, across the country, college football programs are increasingly recruiting from out of state.

Why it matters: The growing professionalization and commercialization of college athletics is reshaping the recruiting landscape, Axios' Simran Parwani reports.

  • It used to be that the University of Texas could count simply on its relationship with the state's high school coaches to assure a pipeline of talent that would lead to conference and national championships. No longer.
  • With the changing transfer portal system and the emergence of Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) deals, college football programs are pressured to recruit and retain the best players regardless of academic year and geography.

What they're saying: "Recruiting in-state is really the ground level of starting a recruiting class and developing relationships with those important programs and players that you can get right down the road," Adam Gorney, national director of recruiting at Rivals, a sports recruiting information site, says.

  • In-state recruiting helps optimize a designated budget, he notes, and many players prefer staying close to home.

By the numbers: Recruiting data from the Power Five, the most prominent athletic conferences, shows that Texas schools — UT, University of Houston, TCU, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Baylor — boast the highest in-state share with 78% of their players coming from Texas.

Yes, but: The percentage of players at UT who hail from Texas has dropped.

  • The current 119-man roster sports 32 out-of-staters — or 27%.
  • By contrast: A decade ago, 10% of players on the Longhorns roster were from out of state.

Zoom out: From 2009 to 2022, the in-state share of Texas' Power Five schools dropped over 17 percentage points.

What's next: The Longhorns, ranked seventh nationally, host 6-2 Kansas State at 11am Saturday.

What we're watching: How many touchdowns UT's Californian starting quarterback — Maalik Murphy — tosses to the squad's star receiver, Xavier Worthy, also a Californian.

  • Also, if the team's ballyhooed backup passer, Arch Manning, gets any playing time.
  • He hails from Louisiana.

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