Texas Lands Blue-Chip Hurdle Recruit Tyra Wilson

Tyra Wilson never felt nervous about her decision to commit to a program sight unseen. 

In fact, the Rock Bridge (MO) High School senior knew as far back as a month and a half ago where her future lied. 

And on Friday, the elite hurdle recruit committed to the University of Texas, giving the Longhorns their third top-level recruit in the Class of 2021 and their first outside the state of Texas. Wilson is ranked No. 6 on MileSplit's most recent list of the top recruits in the Class of 2021, and finished her sophomore season in 2019 ranked No. 1 in the 100mH and 300mH and No. 2 in the 400mH. 

"I really chose Texas because I really wanted to go to a coaching staff that was well developed and had a history of progression with their athletes," Wilson said. "(Coach Floreal's) program really stood out to me." 

The Longhorns are getting arguably the top female high hurdler in the class. As a sophomore, Wilson secured a career best, wind-legal 100mH time of 13.39 seconds at the USATF U20 Championships, a time that was part of five sub-14 performances on the year and finished the season at US No. 4.

But Wilson's real strength lies in her ability to sustain elite-level speed at longer distances, and just as impressive was her US No. 2 mark of 40.79 seconds in the 300mH and her US No. 4 time of 58.33 in the 400mH.

The latter time, in fact, was one of two efforts under 60 seconds at the USATF U20 Championships. 

It was clear when Edrick Floreal was hired at the University of Texas in June of 2018 that the Longhorns would benefit from his experience coaching and working with world-class hurdlers, including the likes of Kori Carter, Keni Harrison and Sydney McLaughlin

Read: The Top 50 Girls Recruits In The Class of 2021 

But in his three years since arriving on Forty Acres, Floreal and his staff have also landed each year at least one major hurdle recruit. 

Perhaps that's where the true test of Floreal's impact will reveal itself soon enough. 

In 2019, Texas landed 400mH specialist and IAAF U20 qualifier Brooke Jaworski; in 2019, the Longhorns signed Oak Park's Aasia Laurencin and St. Thomas Aquinas' Emelia Chatfield and saw a big-time transfer come through with Tara Davis, a blue-chip high school recruit who broke 13 seconds as a senior; and so far this recruiting period, the Longhorns have landed one of the class' top athletes in Wilson. 

And now Wilson will add much firepower to a roster that will have more than enough young hurdle talents to challenge one another. 

* In 2018, MileSplit sat down with Floreal to talk recruiting

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Wilson took her time to determine her home, she said, but it was a certainly difficult process. 

"It was a very hectic recruiting," she said. "I would say a lot of Zoom calls and just trying to talk to all the coaches. They were trying to show me their campuses thorugh the phone. It wasn't the ideal experience I was hoping for. But I was able to do a lot of online research." 

Wilson did not want to disclose what other schools she considered before picking Texas, but she did admit that with no official visits, the process became harder overall. 

Still, she has no reservations about leaving her home and traveling to Austin, Texas, for her next chapter. 

"I'm not nervous at all," she said. "I've been ready to leave for a long time. It is intimidating, but I've been mentally prepared for awhile. I'm ready to go." 

Wilson said one of the biggest selling points for Texas was Floreal himself. Of those she talked to, she said, the reviews were exemplary. 

"A lot of girls just said he was very grounded had very good character," Wilson said. "They said 'He'll always keep it real for you' and that 'he lives for the sport.' ... he wants to be there for you and he's in it for you." 

 By then, Wilson said, she was leaning Texas' way. 

As for her long-term future, there's much to be optimistic about. Wilson isn't going to wait long to get her collegiate career started. 

In fact, her last high school race came in 2019. In January, Wilson will enroll with Texas and begin her new journey at Forty Acres.  

Wilson's goals in 2021 are two-fold: To qualify for the NCAA Championships, and the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. 

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