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National Signing Day 2016: Charlie Strong Has Banner Day for Texas


There is no real way to determine which school won National Signing Day, but it would be hard to argue that anyone made a bigger impact than Texas.

Coach Charlie Strong's incoming recruiting class was a top-40-cellar-dweller before Wednesday, which is to say it was solid but unspectacular. Now, in many publications' NSD wrap-ups, Strong's group is almost a consensus top 10.

Various rankings:

ESPN: 10

Rivals: 13

Bleacher Report: 11

247 Sports (which is a composite of numerous scores and rankings): 11

In addition to its slow, sometimes painful rebuild, Texas is dealing with the Big 12's apparent resistance to change. The conference is only now considering implementing a football championship game, and is reportedly entertaining the idea of expansion. Overall, the Big 12 trailed the other Power 5 conferences on the recruiting trail, but Texas stood out.

Still, Texas does not have to search beyond its own campus to place blame. The Longhorns stopped winning and were recruiting more and more poorly in its own state, losing recruits to SEC schools and Big 12 newcomers like TCU and Baylor.

Texas still did not do well in-state this recruiting cycle, ESPN noted its own NSD wrap-up, though that makes Strong's efforts a little more impressive. If Texas can return to its winning ways, this year's recruiting class could be the start of the team's upswing.

Strong was able to close the deal on major areas of weakness, like wide receiver and quarterback, ESPN noted, giving the incoming class an "A" grade. Strong also added depth at several defensive positions with ESPN 300 prospects ranked among the best at their respective positions.

Among those commitments were three four-star defensive linemen that chose Texas over the likes of Oklahoma, Texas A&M, LSU, and Michigan.

It would be impossible to crown Texas, or any program, the NSD "winner," but if Strong can restore the prestige that has long been associated with the Burnt Orange he could soon be competing for the highest rated recruiting class.

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