Horns back to College World Series
It wasn't easy, but the Longhorns buckled down to take care of Arizona State to earn a trip back to the College World Series following a one-year absence.
The hallmark of this year's squad has been pitching, and the Longhorns allowed just six runs over three games to a team averaging nearly 6.5 runs per game. The Sun Devil bats, which came in hitting .305, never were able to truly get on track, thanks to an effort that extended through the whole staff.
Now the Longhorns will have to get their own bats untracked — Texas scored 10 runs over the series — to advance further in the College World Series. But if championships are truly won by defense, the Longhorns would appear to be in great shape.
First, the Longhorns hosted Florida product Nelson Agholor, a talented 2012 athlete who could fit either on offense or defense. Then, on Sunday, Texas's camp saw a visit from fellow Floridian Marcell Harris, an elite 2013 safety prospect.
The staff talked with Agholor, a tall athlete with great speed, about playing on both sides of the ball, a Charles Woodson-type role. Agholor, who plays his cards close to his vest, has a recruitment expected to last a while, but the Longhorns made a great impression.
As for Harris, the best impression might have been that he made the trip to camp in the first place. It's rare for Texas to pick up an out-of-state camp visitor after the player's sophomore year, and rarer still to garner one from such a highly regarded prospect half a country away.
And the Longhorns also picked up a visit this weekend from Louisiana pass rusher Torshiro Davis, who pushed back his original visit date.
Thrice as nice
Swoopes is a dual-threat quarterback who is more a danger with his legs at this point, and who at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds has a Vince Young-type frame. He rushed and passed for more than 1,300 yards last year, despite Whitewright often wrapping up games well before the fourth quarter.
A'Shawn Robinson, who will fight with Darius James to be the top offensive line prospect in the state in 2013, also chose to take part in the three-day event. Robinson already has great size at 6-4 302, and he has the mobility and attitude to play on either side in college. His nastiness would be a boon on an offensive line where he could plug in at guard and serve as a mauler for Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray to run behind.
Cutting those numbers down
With the defection of wide receiver Greg Timmons this past week, the Longhorns are down to 86 scholarships for the 2011-2012 year. That puts them just one scholarship away from making the 85 limit.
But don't be surprised if there's more attrition coming. The Longhorns are planning on a class of around 20 or so players for the Class of 2012 (despite having just 13 seniors) and while they don't have to pare those numbers down for quite a while, it wouldn't be shocking to see a few more leave before the start of this next season to make that class easier to swallow.
Looking for candidates? Most people feel that one of the quarterbacks will probably leave, and the most likely candidate would seem to be Connor Wood, who hasn't been able to beat out fellow classmate Case McCoy, and who is in danger of getting caught by freshman David Ash.
The position seemingly best suited for attrition would be tight end, where the Longhorns have a bevy of bodies, but no real standout. Most teams have three to four scholarship tight ends, while the Longhorns have eight. Two of those players are seniors, and two of the most talented players — Darius Terrell and M.J. McFarland — are freshmen.
Daniels chooses UConn
The decision certainly came as a strange one. The Huskies return both wing starters from a year ago when they put together strong freshman seasons. Jeremy Lamb ended the season looking like a future star, while Roscoe Smith was actually a more highly regarded wing than Daniels coming out of high school. Smith was the No. 5 small forward prospect in the Class of 2010, while Daniels is the No. 7 small forward prospect in the Class of 2011. Add in Smith's extra year on campus, and it's easy to see why Daniels might not even start for the Huskies next year.
Additionally, UConn is stacked in the post, meaning that Daniels probably won't be able to steal minutes at the four, either.
In all, it was just a strange decision and a strange fit for a player to pick a school loaded at his position, and one that he's never visited on top of that.