Tom Herman was the big actor on college football’s Black Sunday, firing his defensive coordinator and one of his offensive coordinators while demoting the other. After that, it only took a matter of hours to see a recruitment change.
Van Fillinger, a four-star defensive end from Corner Canyon High School (Draper, Utah) announced he was decommitting from Texas. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound All American Bowl player made his decision public shortly after word of Orlando’s firing became public.
Fillinger’s decommitment was the first domino to fall after Herman’s Bloody Sunday took out all three of the coordinators he hired when he arrived in Austin. While there may have been philosophical reasons behind their dismissal, there’s little question that Texas’ lackluster, 7-5 2019 regular season played a significant role in Herman’s decision to move on.
That could ultimately rejuvenate both Texas’ recruiting efforts and game planning on both sides of the ball, but in the immediate aftermath of the decision it threatens to undermine Texas’ Class of 2020. Despite four decommitments from the class since mid-October alone (the same number as Florida State, which actually fired its head coach), Texas’ class is still ranked among the nation’s top-10, with a chance to move back into the top-5 should the Longhorns close on a handful of key recruits.
Of course, all that assumes Texas is able to hold on to the pledges it currently has. Whether that’s easier or harder to do with virtually an entirely new coaching staff remains to be seen, but Herman apparently felt the program had to take that chance.