In the first year of the Joey McGuire era of Texas Tech football, a new culture and identity was established as the Red Raiders struggled with numerous injuries (especially at QB) and one of the toughest schedules in the country to finish 8-5 on the season, surpassing any pre-season forecast.
For the McGuire era to reach the next stratosphere, however, the magnetic head coach will have to increase the talent that enters his locker room. Given McGuire’s reputation among Texas football coaches and his undeniable people skills, Red Raider fans are now dreaming of what he could do on the recruiting trail, and this offseason those hopes are centered on the wide receiver recruit. 5 stars Micah Hudson. , which seems to have reduced his picks to Texas Tech and Texas.
While no official announcement of the final two schools has come from the Hudson camp, multiple media outlets are reporting that their choice will come down to one of two future former conference rivals. Recently, On3 Recruits tweeted that the Lake Belton, Texas product will be making an official visit to Tech on June 9th and Tech on June 23rd. Meanwhile, other sources report that Hudson’s visit to Lubbock will come at the end of the month, but still before his trip to Austin.
Ideally, Tech would love to have Hudson on campus after his visit to Lubbock. However, just the fact that such a major player is visiting is noteworthy. After all, Tech never got a 5 star high school recruit in football and Hudson’s opinion players almost never think of the Red Raiders.
That’s likely to change with McGuire at the helm, however. Given the fact that virtually every high school coach in the state admires McGuire for working his way up from the prep ranks to becoming a Big 12 head coach, the Red Raider’s sophomore leader is capable of getting ahead of the caliber of players that no other coach in the history of the program ever had.
That access to top talent was evident in McGuire’s first recruiting cycle, when he guided Tech to the 46th overall high school class in the nation (according to 247Sports.com), despite only being in the job for two months when the first hiring period started. That class has been the highest ranked on the program since 2016, but many in South Plains believe McGuire’s future classes will rank much higher now that he has built a strong foundation for his program.
For example, his 2023 high school draft finished 37th nationally and 5th in the conference. Now, McGuire’s team is hard at work compiling the Class of 2024, and while it’s early in the process, Tech is ranked 22nd in the country and tops the Big 12 thanks to nine current commitments.
With all due respect, none of the players McGuire has ever landed in this class compare to Hudson in the eyes of the drafting services. The 6-foot, 190-pound wide receiver is the #5 player in the nation and the #2 player in Texas, as well as the #2 receiver in the U.S., according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
In addition to Tech and UT, he has offers from some of the most prestigious programs in the game such as Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Tennessee. So, of course, no one outside of Texas Tech circles really believes Hudson will end up in Lubbock.
The national bias towards Texas is understandable given the recruiting prowess of the two programs in the battle. However, this isn’t Matt Wells or Kliff Kingsbury leading the charge for technology. It’s Joey McGuire, who happens to be one of the most dynamic and personable coaches in the country. What’s more, Texas coach Steve Sarkisian isn’t necessarily considered the next Mack Brown when it comes to personality and charm.
Still, Texas has a reputation and prestige that outshines nearly every program in the country. However, the shine on the horns is not as bright as it once was, due to nearly a decade of mediocrity on the 40 acres where the ditches are littered with former 5-star recruits who failed to live up to their potential.
Meanwhile, thanks to recent first-round NFL Draft picks such as Patrick Mahomes, Jordyn Brooks and Tyree Wilson, Tech is starting to be recognized as a program that can help players achieve their career goals just like any other program. . Perhaps this realization will help influence Hudson’s decision.
We must also consider the impending NIL battle which will no doubt be a factor in this recruitment saga. Will the money brokers behind the Red Raiders’ NIL efforts be willing to step up and be competitive with what we can assume will be a lucrative opportunity for Hudson in Austin? This played a big factor in December 2021 when current UT quarterback Quinn Ewers chose UT over Tech after visiting both programs upon leaving Ohio State where he signed as a 5-star player at South Lake, Texas.
jugs is estimated for some having pocketed something close to $1 million in NIL deals in Austin shortly after a $1.4 million deal he signed right out of high school. These are waters that Tech was never willing or able to swim in. But with McGuire having the full backing of Tech’s biggest financial drivers, that story could change.
Of course, it seems unlikely that a receiver, even one as sought after as Hudson, would require the kind of financial commitment that an Ewers-recognition and celebrity QB requires. Still, this will not be a recruiting effort that Tech will be able to succeed without stepping up to compete in the NIL arena.
How the hunt for Hudson ultimately plays out will tell us a lot about McGuire’s recruiting skills. If the technology shocked the rest of the country and secured Hudson’s services, it would make waves across the college and high school football world and could open the door to even more top prospects for the technology. And the thought of Joey McGuire coaching a team of All-Americans must scare the rest of the NCAA.