Who's Next? Names on UT Recruiting Board

Here's a list of prospects that could fill the final few spots in the Texas football Class of 2012.

Johnathan Gray, RB, Aledo

Without question, the top remaining target on the board, and a player who some people believe is the best running back to come out of the state since Adrian Peterson. Gray has explosive speed, and could be a nightmare in space in Texas's offense, a big part of the reason he's such an important recruit. The Longhorns landed a premier power back in last year's class with Malcolm Brown. Grabbing Gray would ensure that they have a jet-quick back to pair with Brown, and would only enhance both runners' strong suits. Brown was arguably the top back in the 2011 class (he finished No. 2 in the Scout rankings), and Gray, who's a top-10 national recruit overall, has an argument for 2012.


2) Kennedy Estelle, OT, Pearland Dawson

Here's another example of highly rated player at a need position. Not only is Estelle the best tackle prospect in the state this year, he could be one of the best tackle prospects in recent years in the Lone Star State. The 6-foot-7, 305-pounder has ideal tackle measurables, and off-the-charts potential. Only a totally stacked class at tackle has kept Estelle from a higher rating than the No. 10 tackle nationally, but in terms of raw ability, Estelle might eclipse some of those players ahead of him. Even better, he's considered by many people to be a Texas lean. The Longhorns lost an offensive tackle late in the process when Christian Westerman elected to go to Auburn, then whiffed on a pair of attempts at 11th hour additions. Adding Estelle to Camrhon Hughes would be a great step to beefing up the tackle position.


3) Kendall Sanders, WR/CB, Athens

If the state is stacked in wide receiver prospects this year (it is), it's equally barren in terms of finding top cornerback prospects. And that gap is widened even more by the fact that Sanders, the state's top cornerback prospect, has said he wants to play wideout in college. That's all well and good, but the Longhorns already have two wide receivers in Cayleb Jones and Thomas Johnson, two of the top three in the state. Barring a surprise decision from Dorial Green-Beckham, the region's top player and the country's top wide receiver, the Longhorns are likely done at the position, especially after taking six wideouts in the last two classes. But Sanders's ability to play one of the toughest positions to evaluate makes him a must-take in this year's class, even on the chance that he doesn't make it to the defensive side of the ball. Sanders is listed as an Oklahoma State commitment, but has twice visited Texas since making his vow, including at last weekend's spring game. That has to be considered a good sign.


4) Andrus Peat, OT, Corona Del Sol (Ariz.) / Michael Starts, OG, Waco La Vega

Peat is a tough player to read, but he's an equally difficult player for defensive ends to beat off the blocks. That's why he's Scout.com's No. 2 offensive tackle and a top-five player nationally. With quarterback Connor Brewer serving as recruiter, there's a decent chance that the Longhorns will get a visit from the talented player, who doesn't appear to be leaning one way or another. That would wrap up an absolutely stellar tackle class. If Texas chose to go guard instead, Starts, who has a Longhorn offer, would seem to be a great selection. He's long and mobile enough to play tackle in a pinch, but he's an elite level guard, likely a top-five guard in the country (Scout.com has him at No. 3). If Texas gets Peat, they probably won't continue on with Starts, though a Starts commitment wouldn't necessarily rule out Peat.


5) Random haymaker, late addition

The aforementioned Green-Beckham would be a mammoth home run into the upper deck, and that's something that Texas should swing for with the final spot. The Longhorns will have filled most of their needs at that point, and could afford to take "the best player available," over settling for a specific position of need. That's another reason why Peat could still get play following a Starts commitment. Having said that, there are other places where the Longhorns could afford to get beefed up. LaDarrell McNeil is a wonderful safety prospect, while John McGee is arguably the top center in the league. Defensive ends also typically emerge late in Texas, as guys fill out their athletic frames. There's some rangy guy right now that we haven't heard of who's 6-foot-4 plus and will wind up looking like a brilliant pass rusher after adding 20 pounds from a year ago. Tight end is another possibility, pending attrition, and the Longhorns finding the right guy there. And never discount a so-called "jumbo athlete," a big guy who can run, and who could fit at any number of positions.


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