Four-star running back Kyle Hicks out of Arlington, Texas has decided to flip his commitment from the Texas Longhorns to the TCU Horned Frogs.
William Wilkerson of ESPN.com reports on the flip to TCU:
Hicks called Texas co-recruiting coordinator Bruce Chambers and told him he had decided to switch commitments from the Longhorns to TCU.
“One, I get to play for an outstanding football team,” Hicks said. “Two, I get a good education from a private school, and three, it is 15 minutes from home.”
This is a disappointing decommitment for Mack Brown and his 2013 class, especially considering that Hicks was his only running back commitment so far. Not only that, but Hicks is considered to be the No.15 overall running back in the nation according to the 247Sports composite rankings, so there's no doubting the fact that Texas has lost out on a very good player.
As is the case with any commitment, it's easy to get fixated on the negatives, so let's take a look at the positives for a moment and examine the Longhorns options from here on out.
If there is anything Texas fans can take solace in, it's the fact that running back isn't necessarily a huge need for the program at the moment. In fact, Texas is looking very good in the backfield.
Joe Bergeron is a sophomore, and he's had a fantastic year, rushing for 565 yards and 16 touchdowns on 122 attempts. Johnathan Gray, on the other hand, is just a freshman, and he's also been very impressive, running for 683 yards and three touchdowns on 142 attempts.
Those two alone should be able to handle the running back duties admirably for the next few seasons at least, and when you consider that sophomore Malcom Brown also pitched in for 316 yards and four touchdowns on just 57 carries, it seems as if the Longhorns are set at running back for the time being.
Losing a talented running back like Hicks certainly hurts, but it's a loss that Brown and the Longhorns can overcome.
As far as recruiting is concerned, the Longhorns may be best served turning their attention to other positions in an effort to land a few more elite recruits. They're in the top five for two JUCO four-star recruits in weak-side defensive end Za'Darius Smith and offensive tackle Desmond Harrison, so focusing on those two recruits should be a priority.
Depth is huge at the running back position, so Texas shouldn't abandon its search for a 2013 back altogether (and I doubt they will), but at least for the time being, they can afford to focus on other positions.
Frankly, there's a plethora of three-star running backs from the state of Texas that would be more than talented enough to play a role on the depth chart, and their lower star rating doesn't necessarily equate to lower potential or production.
Either way you look at it, the Longhorns will be just fine after this decommitment.