National Outlook

Like the past few years, Texas coach Mack Brown did not accept any commitments until their first Junior Day on February 7th. But once that day arrived, the 2010 commitments came pouring in. They currently have eleven commitments and one is looking to carry on a family tradition.

Quarterback Colt McCoy will be finishing his brilliant career next fall. In the fall of 2010, his brother will be battling to be his heir apparent. Case McCoy, a 6-foot-2, 170-pounder from Graham, Texas, is a two-time all-district performer that threw for 2,226 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2008. More than just Colt's little brother, Case had offers from Florida, Florida State, Auburn, and Texas A&M.

McCoy will have serious competition from a classmate when he arrives in Austin. Four-star prospect Connor Wood of Houston also recently committed to Texas. A member of Scout.com's initial Top 100 for 2010, the 6-foot-4, 203-pound Wood threw for 1,840 yards and 18 touchdowns in 10 regular season games last fall for Second Baptist School. He also made good use of his 311 rushing yards, reaching the end zone 13 times. Wood held offers from many national powers including Oklahoma, LSU, and Notre Dame.

Three other members of the Scout.com Top 100 will be wearing burnt orange during the 2010 season. 6-foot-4, 260-pound offensive tackle Trey Hopkins of Galena Park, Texas was the first junior to commit to the ‘Horns. He actually told the Texas staff that he would commit during a visit to campus the week before Junior Day. When he was formally offered on that Saturday, Hopkins immediately accepted. Stanford, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt were some of his other offers.

Safety Ahmad Dixon committed to Texas before returning to his Waco home during his Junior Day visit. The 6-foot-0, 190-pound Dixon is a hard-hitting, run support safety that also has the physical skills needed to excel in pass coverage. He earned second team all-state honors in 2008 after making 114 tackles and intercepting four passes. Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech had extended Dixon scholarship offers.

It is no surprise that Cedar Hill, Texas linebacker Aaron Benson committed early to Texas since he is the cousin of former Longhorn All-American Cedric Benson. Speed is the 6-foot-0, 207-pounder's greatest attribute. He is strong in both run support and pass coverage, though he will need to add some size and strength before seeing the field for Texas. LSU, Miami, and Oklahoma were other schools that made offers to Benson.

Scout.com has given 10 juniors a five-star rating and five of them have already made commitments. Two of them, offensive lineman Christian Lombard of Palantine, Ill. and defensive end Chris Martin from Oakland, committed to Notre Dame. The other three will suit up for home-state programs.

Defensive tackle Louis Nix of Jacksonville committed to Miami in late November, but his recruitment is far from over. He took a trip to Florida in late January and will take other visits. Nix has a very quick first step and at 6-foot-3, 310-pounds he is exceptionally strong. Along with Miami and Florida, expect Florida State to get involved.

New Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin had a strong close to this year's recruiting season and got a jump on 2010 with a commitment from Ooltewah, Tenn. five-star linebacker Jacques Smith. The 6-foot-2, 235-pounder had committed to the Volunteers last summer after attending a camp in Knoxville, but opened up his recruitment after the firing of head coach Phil Fulmer. Kiffin came in and smoothed things over, leading to a recent re-commitment. At his size, it is possible that Smith may grow into a defensive end, though he has the quickness to play linebacker in the SEC. Alabama, Georgia, and Kentucky were some of the schools that he considered before going back to the Vols.

Cincinnati offensive lineman Andrew Norwell has decided to go up to Columbus and play for the Buckeyes in 2010. Norwell is a very good athlete and at 6-foot-6, he will have great size for a tackle once he adds to his 255-pounds. His brother, Chris, played defensive tackle at Illinois. Andrew's offer list included schools like Notre Dame, Illinois, and Stanford.

Ohio State picked up two other Scout.com Top 100 commitments and they play for competing high school teams in Youngstown. 6-foot-2, 200-pound defensive end Jamel Turner attends Ursuline High School while 6-foot-3, 216-pound linebacker J.T. Moore goes to Boardman High School. Turner's other offers included Notre Dame, Wisconsin, and South Carolina while Moore's September commitment came so early that he had no other offers when he committed to Ohio State.

Three other power programs have received multiple commitments from Scout.com Top 100 members. USC landed running back D.J. Morgan from Woodland Hills, Calif. and Sand Diego wide receiver Dillon Baxter. Florida accepted commitments from Venice, Fla. quarterback Trey Burton and safety Matt Elam of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Penn State got pledges from quarterback Paul Jones of McKees Rock, Pa. and linebacker Mike Hull of Canonsburg, Pa.

Three members of Scout.com's 2009 Top 100 have still not signed with any school. Five-star tight end Orson Charles from Tampa will visit USC on February 20th and will choose either the Trojans, Tennessee, Georgia, or Florida shortly thereafter. Oklahoma City running back David Oku seems to be still considering Auburn, Syracuse, and Tennessee.

The most curious case is, of course, Bryce Brown. Scout.com's No. 1 overall player committed to Miami early in 2008, but he took several other visits and failed to sign with the Hurricanes on February 4th. The Wichita native has said that he wants to take another trip to Miami, where his brother is a freshman linebacker. But according to the Miami Herald, the Hurricane staff is considering not offering Brown a scholarship after his current letter of intent expires on Wednesday, February 18th. He has visited Oregon, Tennessee, Missouri, and Clemson and the New York Times quoted Brown's advisor, Brian Butler, as saying that playing in the CFL was an option. Butler has since denied making that assertion.


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