Texas and second-year coach Chris Beard pulled a big name out of the transfer portal in a major recruiting coup on Friday, securing a commitment from star Iowa State guard Tyrese Hunter. Hunter, who won Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors with the Cyclones last season, entered the portal last month and considered several high-major programs before landing with the Longhorns.
Beard has been one of the most aggressive and successful recruiters out of the transfer portal dating back to his time at Texas Tech where he built the Red Raiders into a Big 12 force. Hunter is just the second transfer to commit to the program in the 2022 cycle, though, perhaps a slight course-correction for Beard and his staff after a transfer-heavy roster last season never quite connected. Texas finished the season 22-12, earned a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament but failed to make the second weekend.
Hunter as a freshman at Iowa State last season was one of the best perimeter defenders in the Big 12 and easily one of the most underrated point guards in the country. He averaged a team-high 4.9 assists and 2.0 steals per game to go with his 11.0 points per game for the Cyclones, emerging as a potential first-round pick just months after finishing his high school career as the No. 37 overall player in the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Hunter’s arrival at Texas signals a significant talent boost for its backcourt next season and comes just weeks after Marcus Carr, the team’s assist leader and second-leading scorer a season ago, announced he was returning to Texas for the 2022-23 season. With guard Devin Askew transferring to Cal and guard Courtney Ramey testing the draft, Texas appears to have recovered — and possibly upgraded — its talent level at the guard position with Carr and Hunter in the fold.
Texas also has a top-five incoming recruiting class led by two five-stars in wing Dillon Mitchell and point guard Arterio Morris and rounded out by four-star guard Rowan Brumbaugh and three-star forward Alex Anamekwe. Sir-Jabari Rice from New Mexico State should also add important backcourt depth.
Hunter ranked No. 3 on David Cobb’s transfer rankings this cycle after keying Iowa State’s unlikely run to the Sweet 16 in March following a 2-22 season in 2020-21. Having already been a reliable contributor to a tourney team out of the Big 12, he should be ready to step in as a starter right away on a Texas team likely to make a leap into possible conference contender status.