The Dotted Line: Texas’ Recruiting Wish List Highlights Top Targets At Each Position

Patrick Vahe (left) and Malik Jefferson (right) are two of the staggering 21 freshmen that helped carry the Longhorns in 2015.Patrick Vahe (left) and Malik Jefferson (right) are two of the staggering 21 freshmen that helped carry the Longhorns in 2015.Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Nine wins isn't good enough at Texas, especially after more than a half decade of similar mediocrity. But for this team, that many victories would show some obvious progress.

As SB Nation's Wescott Eberts points out, the situation has become pretty precarious for Strong in Austin. The hire hasn't produced immediate results, and the powers that be appear to be losing their patience with the third-year coach due to the offensive issues. (Keep in mind that the Texas boosters put up with Brown cycling through three offensive and three defensive coordinators over his last five years.)

That said, eight or nine wins would be an impressive showing by this team. Brown left this program in total disarray, which is why four true freshmen started every game in 2015 and seven started the final game against Baylor. In all, 11 different redshirt or true freshmen started for Texas in 2015, while 21 members of the 2015 class saw the field.

OG Patrick Vahe, LB Malik Jefferson, OT Connor Williams named >  True Freshman All-America

Embedded image permalink@Longhorn_FB, 17 Dec 2015

There's no doubt Strong did a great job with his first full class at Texas, but it's ridiculous that the Horns had to lean on that many young players. 

And in spite of that shocking lack of depth, the Longhorns were seven points away from beating three bowl teams en route to an 8-4 regular season. That's bad luck—what SB Nation's Bill Connelly would call "second order" losses.

In short, even in a season filled with some embarrassing defeats, the Horns were still good enough to win some big games. With all of those talented freshmen a year older and what should be a capable offense under Gilbert, nine wins is absolutely doable for this team.

If that happens, Strong should get the chance to keep building a program he doesn't get enough credit for keeping afloat.

Unless otherwise noted, all stats and information courtesy of, with recruiting information courtesy of

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