Texas Commits in the Scout Rankings

Some quick hits on the 2012 Texas recruiting class and individual players' spots in the new freshly minted Scout rankings.

The Longhorns are putting together another stellar class. Out of Texas's 15 commitments, 11 are listed in the Scout.com Top 300. Additionally, the Longhorns have commitments from two of the top 20 players nationally, and sit well with a third, Johnathan Gray of Aledo, who is a top 10 national prospect. Should Texas add Gray, they'll not only have three of the top 20 prospects nationally, they'll also have three of the state's top four in Gray (No. 2), Austin's Cayleb Jones (No. 3) and Brenham's Malcolm Brown (No. 4). Even without Gray, the Longhorns have five of the top 95 prospects according to Scout, and sit in a position to snag multiple others (more on this in a minute).

That brings us to our next point: in-state, the Longhorns are largely getting who they want yet again. Texas has offers out to 10 of the state's top 14 players, and stand a good chance at grabbing eight of those players. Mario Edwards Jr. is the lone real miss among those 10, choosing Florida State over the Longhorns. The other likely miss is Javonte Magee, if only because Texas already has a wealth of defensive tackles (including two of the state's top three) and might not choose to pursue another one. Texas could also choose to take just one of the Kennedy Estelle-Michael Starts pairing, though the Longhorns could use both. Getting Estelle (Texas's top choice), would give the Longhorns both of the state's top two tackles. As for the four the Longhorns haven't offered, one is a running back (the Longhorns would prefer Gray), one is a quarterback (Texas already landed Connor Brewer from out of state),one is a wide receiver (Texas filled up in-state with two of the top three), and one is a safety Texas could still pursue (more later). Should the Longhorns somehow pull Kendall Sanders out of the hat, there's an outside chance that Texas could get nine of the state's top 15 and feel like it didn't miss any of its top targets.

As far as position ratings, the Longhorns are getting it done. Out of the 15 commitments, 11 are ranked in the top 15 of their respective positions. Three prospects: Jones (the No. 3 WR), Peter Jinkens (No. 3 OLB) and Brown (No. 4 DT) are ranked in the top five nationally. Brewer (No. 6 QB) and Bryson Echols (No. 7 CB) aren't far off. Just two players: Caleb Bluiett (No. 45 DE) and Hassan Ridgeway (No. 61 DE) aren't ranked in the top 26 at their positions. We'll go into each of those two a bit later on. But the point is that the Longhorns needed cornerbacks, and went out and landed two top-15 players. They needed defensive tackles and grabbed three of the top 26 guys in the country, including an elite top-four guy. Texas landed the top quarterback on its board, and pulled in two top-10 wide receivers. Each of the three linebackers Texas landed is a top-15 player either on the outside or in the middle. And Texas has one of the top 15 offensive tackles and one of the top 15 offensive guards committed already, with more top prospects to come at those positions. In short, if the Longhorns needed a boost at a position, they went out and grabbed a highly rated guy, or two, there.

Watch out for the "developmental" guys. While some might be glass half-full people, it's safe to say that many Texas fans will groan when looking at the rankings for some of the guys at the so-called bottom of the Longhorns' class. The Texas commitments not rated in the Scout 300 are three-stars Bluiett, Ridgeway, Alex De La Torre (No. 11 MLB) and Alex Norman (No. 26 DT). But it's important to note that some of those players weren't far off. Ten middle linebackers made the Scout 300. De La Torre was No. 11. Twenty-three defensive tackles made the list. Norman was rated No. 26. And 35 defensive ends were selected, leaving Bluiett just 10 spots off. Additionally, each of those four has his positives. De La Torre is a thumping hitter with great intangibles, who should fit into defensive coordinator Manny Diaz's scheme perfectly. Norman displays astounding agility for his size at times; he just needs to do it more often. And Bluiett doesn't have an ideal frame, and he's a bit raw, but the kid can get after the quarterback. Ridgeway is one of the more intriguing players in the class. He's a strength end with a nice frame and decent speed, but lacks great get-off. Still, he has the reach to be a force at that position. And if he doesn't work out at end, Ridgeway is also one of the state's top tight end prospects. So don't get too down on the kids who aren't there yet. Each could make a case by the end of the year.

There are several big boys still on the board. In addition to Gray, the Longhorns are shopping for linemen. They have scholarship offers out to top-five national prospect Andrus Peat, who may have interest in visiting Austin, as well as in-staters Kennedy Estelle (No. 42 nationally) and Michael Starts (No. 62), both top-10 statewide prospects and top-70 national prospects. The state's top safety is also still on the board in LaDarrell McNeil (No. 52 nationally), while the Longhorns were able to get a spring game visit from Athens product Kendall Sanders, a soft Oklahoma State commitment and the state's top cornerback prospect. Sanders checks in just outside the top 100 nationally at No. 107, though he's rated as the country's No. 6 cornerback prospect. Sanders can also play wide receiver. So if you're impressed with the class the Longhorns have put together already, wait a few months.

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