Oklahoma State missing out on a four-star target such as Demariyon Houston, who chose Saturday to announce he will take his talents to Austin rather than Stillwater, isn’t a major surprise. Four-star prospects spurn Stillwater all the time.
But not every four-star OSU is in the mix for is truly as close to being OSU-bound in the same way the Millwood High School standout was. The Cowboys were considered one of the favorites to land him for months, but couldn’t close the deal in the end. Ultimately, Houston opted for burnt orange pastures on the Forty Acres.
Fortunately, OSU will recover. If there is any position on the roster the staff can afford to miss on a four-star prospect at, it’s probably wide receiver. The position is loaded with talent and youth, the likes of which include Tylan Wallace, Jonathan Shepherd and LC Greenwood, among others.
Still yet, it’s hard to deny that Houston’s commitment could have a domino effect on some of the remainder of OSU’s 2019 class — including a major target still on the board for OSU in Daxton Hill.
So, let’s talk this out, shall we?
Why Houston’s commitment could impact Dax Hill
Daxton Hill, the No. 1 prospect in Oklahoma, 100 percent noticed Houston, the No. 2 prospect in the state, committing to Texas over Oklahoma State. He retweeted it, even.
Regardless of what you may allow yourself to believe, recruiting matters — especially to recruits. Great players want to play with other great players. So when a blue-chip recruit sees another blue-chipper spurn a school like Houston did with OSU, he no doubt takes notice … and surely noticed it was for a blueblood school, too.
How much Houston’s commitment to the Horns will impact Hill’s decision is yet to be determined in the coming weeks (or months), but OSU losing Houston is a two-for-one whiff on a chance to land a top-flight receiver from its backyard and also on a chance to prove to Hill that they have other similarly-regarded incoming talent as he nears a decision. Having another in-state standout committed in Grayson Boomer helps, but it’s definitely something that could play a role in his final decision.
Why Houston’s commitment to UT might not affect Dax Hill
Top prospects exist in a world all their own. The 247Sports composite lists 34 five-star guys in total for the 2019 cycle — and Dax is the eighth-ranked on that list. The other five-stars on that list who have already committed have chose almost exclusively blueblood schools — Georgia, Auburn, Ohio State, Clemson, LSU, Alabama and OU, to name a few. So the odds are high that Hill, from that scope, will follow suit.
But Dax himself told The Oklahoman recently that he cares not about who is, or isn’t committed to the school he ultimately decides to attend. That seems to bode well for the Pokes and isn’t necessarily an attitude exclusive to Hill.
“That’s really just how I feel about [OSU,]” Dax said of including the program inside his final schools. “It don’t matter who’s committed there or who’s already there.”
I don’t totally buy that. Maybe I should take what he says at face value, but I read that quote with my head tilted a tick to the left knowing he is being civil with hopes of trying not to bedowngrade the program his brother is the face of.
Because when it comes down to it, recruiting similar, or comparable, talent matters. The greats want to be tested against the greats, want to prove themselves against the best competition and want to shine. Seeing another in-state standout choose another Big 12 program could give Dax an out to do the same, and that might be a worst-case scenario that could soon come to fruition if OSU is unable to close it with Hill as it did with Houston.
Dax the LeBron of OSU?
A lasting thought on the Houston-to-Texas stuff came to me Sunday when thinking of trying to equate the situation in terms of the NBA landscape. So bear with me while I make a big reaaaaach with an analogy between Dax Hill and … LeBron James.
Allow me to indulge myself.
Ahead of LeBron’s free agency decision that came on July 1, there were reports that he would only commit to leaving Cleveland for L.A. if the Lakers were able to secure Kawhi in a trade before free agency.
That turned out to be bogus. LeBron became the first star to pick the Lakers regardless of current star power on the roster. So in the same way, Dax could eventually decide to be the LeBron of OSU. Regardless of Houston leaving for Texas, Hill could be confident enough in himself to believe he can thrive in any situation — and he could believe, ultimately, that OSU is the best fit for him.
That’s a stretch. I’m not comparing Dax to LeBron, but I do think, should he commit to OSU, that the situation in terms of him deciding he wants to be the first major star at OSU, would be at least comparable.
Only time will tell if I get to actually write a Dax-LeBron comparison column in three years, or if this paragraph gets posted on a Sooner message board to much chagrin.