Rounding Out the Class

How will Texas finish off its 2011 recruiting class? Two positions remain unfilled.

Defensive End: Perhaps no position has seen the is-he, isn't-he drama that has unfolded at defensive end. First, Cedric Reed looked around (though thankfully, he's back in the fold). Then Texas lost out on Jermauria Rasco because Will Muschamp left. A few weeks later, when they brought in Bo Davis from Alabama, the Longhorns found themselves back in the mix. It will be tough to make up ground on LSU, which has to be the favorite for his services, but Mack Brown met with Rasco earlier this week. Then there's Brandon Alexander, a Brenham product who surfaced late on the recruiting radar. That's the bad news: that Texas entered into his recruitment at a time when Alexander was considered a heavy Aggie lean. The good news is that the Longhorns appear to have caught up a bit, with Alexander visiting Austin last weekend.

Here's the bottom line: the Longhorns need another guy there, whether it's Rasco or Alexander. Texas is simply short on bodies at a spot that has a pair of true sophomores — Jackson Jeffcoat and Reggie Wilson — looking like the likely starters. With his great speed off the edge, Rasco is more ready right away, but Alexander also offers significant upside. Either way, another defensive end is a major need in the class.

Offensive Tackle: That Texas only lost one player when changing out six assistant coaches is nothing but remarkable. Having said that, the one defection — losing outstanding offensive lineman Christian Westerman to Auburn — absolutely hurt. Westerman was a versatile player who mauled the guy in front of him and would have added a layer of much-needed toughness to a group that has been somewhat soft of late. But the Longhorn coaches haven't wasted any time in searching for his replacement, looking into a pair of top-20 offensive tackles who are committed to other Big 12 schools. The coaches first met with Le'Raven Clark of Rockdale, and apparently didn't like what they heard from the Texas Tech commitment. Soon after, they were inquiring into Cedar Park tackle Spencer Drango, who is committed to Baylor.

So far, it's unclear what fruit this search will yield. Texas has five offensive linemen in the class, but at least three are destined for the interior. Texas could use a right tackle prospect to seal up the line class, somebody who can pave the way for Malcolm Brown and future Longhorn runners. This isn't a must-have as much as a luxury, especially with a strong 2012 offensive line class in the state. Texas isn't going to find another Westerman here. But if they can finish up with a top-notch tackle, that's an awfully good line class.

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