Two of the top uncommitted prospects in the state of Texas went off the board in the last few days: five-star wide receiver Micah Hudson and four-star defensive lineman Nigel Smith. Both of their announcements made loud statements on the recruiting trail.
But the loudest statement that was made by each was that relationships matter a ton in the recruiting process. Both Hudson and Smith talked extensively about how their connection and bond with the staff that earned their pledges played a significant role in where they opted to make their collegiate home.
For Hudson, his commitment gives head coach Joey McGuire and the Red Raiders some real momentum moving forward when recruiting the state of Texas. As for Smith, his pledge provides head coach Brent Venables and the Sooners with another marquee win in the trenches.
HUDSON GIVES MCGUIRE CREDIBILITY
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Joey McGuire has had a vision to build Texas Tech into a program that can compete for championships on the field and for elite talent on the trail since his opening press conference in Lubbock. It’s hard to do one without the other.
McGuire’s first season at the helm in West Texas resulted in the program’s first winning conference record in over a decade and a bowl win over Ole Miss. His second season has not gotten off to the best of starts after losing to Wyoming and failing to close out Oregon. But there’s new life after Micah Hudson announced his commitment on Monday evening.
The relationships that McGuire’s staff built with Hudson dating back to their time at Baylor paid off in a monumental way. Their efforts and tireless work has landed the program’s highest-rated recruit, sparking excitement in the process.
“They have my back and they’re going to keep it real with me at all times,” Hudson told Rivals.com. “They haven’t changed up. It’s been the same way since they first started recruiting me, so I know that I’d be in good hands.”
Now with Hudson in the boat, McGuire – who is a former successful Texas high school football coach – can sell his message with even more credibility. If Hudson can buy into the vision, it should only make things easier with other prospects. At least, that’s the hope in Lubbock.
“Their pitch has always just been real relationships,” Hudson told Rivals. “That’s really what it is. I don’t have to be Michael Crabtree. I don’t have to be Patrick Mahomes. I can just be me.”
SMITH PROVIDES VENABLES WITH ANOTHER DL WIN
Nigel Smith ended his recruitment on Friday evening as he announced his pledge to the Sooners prior to his team’s game with Rivals.com in the building. Smith opted for Oklahoma over serious pushes from Texas A&M, Penn State and Ohio State.
Smith specifically singled out Penn State afterwards when speaking with Rivals, noting how well the Nittany Lions recruited him throughout his recruitment. But it was his connection with OU assistants Todd Bates and Miguel Chavis that really sealed the deal for those in Norman.
Both Chavis and Bates were in attendance for Smith’s game last Friday as the two wore hats that read “Edge Men.” Smith told Rivals that he’s looking forward to the opportunity of playing for the two and making his own mark for the Sooners — even if he doesn’t have his own hat quite yet.
“The scheme, I fit perfectly in it, at the defensive end position,” said Smith. “The whole staff knows me. Every time that I go up there, I’m chilling because I’ve been up there so many times. DB coaches, offensive line coaches, all of them coming up to me and dapping me up.
“We have a great relationship. Coach Chavis and Bates, I’m obviously talking to both of them multiple times a week. Coach (Jay) Valai, I have a great relationship with him and he’s not even a defensive line coach. All of that was a big and key factor in everything.”
Smith joins five-star defensive lineman David Stone, four-star defensive tackle Jayden Jackson and three-stars Wyatt Gilmore and James Nesta up front for the Sooners in the 2024 haul. The relationships built on the trail has given Oklahoma a strong foundation in the trenches ahead of the program’s big move to the SEC.