Texas Tech beats Texas for 5-star WR Micah Hudson: What does this mean for Joey McGuire?

Five-star receiver Micah Hudson, the No. 9 recruit in the 2024 class in the 247Sports Composite, has committed to Texas Tech. Hudson, a 6-foot, 190-pound receiver from Lake Belton High in Temple, Texas, announced the decision on social media on Monday evening. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Hudson is the No. 2 prospect in Texas and the No. 2 receiver in the country.
  • If Hudson signs with the Red Raiders in December, he will be the first five-star prospect and highest-ranked recruit Texas Tech has landed in the modern recruiting era.
  • Hudson also had offers from Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Texas and Texas A&M, among others. Texas Tech emerged as the top contender to land Hudson after his official visit in July.
  • Hudson’s father, Desmond Royal, played defensive line for Texas Tech from 1985 to 1988.
  • Texas Tech’s recruiting class ranks No. 22 nationally in the 247Sports Composite.

How big a deal is this?

Huge. Texas Tech has landed some good players in the internet rankings era, but it has never been a destination for top-10-caliber recruits. Even if the Red Raiders have gotten traction with five-star recruits at times in the past, typically it has been only a matter of time before those prospects shifted their attention to programs higher in the college football food chain.

But for those who closely followed Hudson’s recruitment, this isn’t a complete surprise. He was been upfront this summer about his affinity for the Tech coaching staff and the relationships he has built with them. It became a Texas-Texas Tech battle in the summer and both schools heavily courted Hudson. He visited both campuses multiple times this spring, and before his official visit to Texas Tech on June 16, he stopped by Texas for an unofficial visit on June 15.

His visit to Tech went well enough that he opted to cancel an originally scheduled official visit to Texas the following weekend. His participation with his Lake Belton team in the Texas state 7-on-7 championships also factored into that decision. But it became clear at that point that Tech took the lead in this battle.

There was heavy speculation that Hudson would commit to Texas Tech in late July, but an announcement never sprouted. In a recent interview with Rivals, Hudson mentioned the possibility of visiting Alabama, Texas A&M and Texas this season and suggested he might take his announcement “all the way to signing day.” With the Red Raiders off to a disappointing 0-2 start, it was worth wondering if they lost ground with Hudson. But the Texas Tech staff maintained constant communication with Hudson since his visit and remained confident it would eventually land him.

What does this mean for Texas Tech?

For now, it further legitimizes Texas Tech’s recruiting efforts under coach Joey McGuire. Being able to land a prospect of this caliber against name brand and perennial power programs speaks volumes of how much McGuire, his staff and his team are changing the program’s image in recruiting circles. Last season they signed a class that ranked in the top 30 nationally, a first for Texas Tech in more than a decade. But that class was largely built on players Tech identified early and recruited aggressively before they rose in the rankings.

Getting a five-star everybody wanted, like Hudson, is a tougher task. The Red Raiders would love to generate some momentum off of this. Commitments from recruits like Hudson have a way of opening eyeballs among others in a class.

Because verbal commitments are nonbinding and nothing is official until Hudson signs a letter of intent in December, Texas Tech coaches know they’ll have to work to keep him in the class. The Red Raiders learned that the hard way in the 2023 cycle when they gained a commitment from four-star cornerback Calvin Simpson-Hunt. Tech did everything right in that recruitment, but Ohio State still swooped in later in the process and pried him out of the Lone Star State.

If Hudson does sign and joins the Red Raiders in 2024, he’ll be an instant impact player. He has the speed and explosiveness to be an immediate factor in coordinator Zach Kittley’s up-tempo offense.

What is Tech getting in Hudson?

Hudson is a threat to score whenever touching the ball. He’s fast, shifty and versatile. At Lake Belton High, he’s a deep-ball threat, is a catch-and-run dynamo over the middle of the field, has spent time in the backfield both as a receiving and running game option and is also an effective return specialist. He played four sports last year at Lake Belton and his coach there, Brian Cope, called him “ultra competitive.”

In Texas Tech’s offense, it’s easy to envision Hudson lining up in the slot and developing into a receiver who catches 70-100 passes for the Red Raiders.

Required reading

(Photo courtesy of Lake Belton High School)

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