Longhorn Digest Top 25, 21-25

If we were the Texas coaches, which 25 players would we recruit? All players are in-state, and are gauged both by ability and by the Longhorns' positional needs.

21) George Baltimore, S, Mansfield

Baltimore is a playmaking safety who gets every last drop out of his talent. Need him to cover a slot guy? No problem. Need him to play center field? He can do that too. And he might be at his best in run support, where he throws himself around with little regard for his body. The reason he's not a top, top prospect in the state is that he's a bit smaller and doesn't have the growth potential you'd like out of the position. But it would be hard to find a better combination of what you look for from a safety.


22) Ra'Shaad Samples, WR, Dallas Skyline

Samples is on this list for one reason, and one reason alone: the kid can flat-out run. And while the rest of the wide receivers on this list are big, outside types, you can throw Samples in the slot and have him turn short plays into big ones. He catches the ball well, but it's his speed and quickness after the catch that you have to account for. And those Skyline players always seem like they're ready to step right in and make an impact pretty quickly.


23) Jordan Sterns, LB/S, Cibolo Steele

It could be argued that Sterns is both too high, and too low on this list. On one hand, there are other safeties you could consider, like Kameron Miles of West Mesquite. But Sterns offers both scheme versatility and vast potential. Consider this: the 2011 high school season was Sterns' first at the position. As a sophomore, he actually served as Malcolm Brown's fullback. So liking contact isn't a problem. And Sterns has shown an ability to make big plays, and demonstrated impressive ball skills for somebody new on the job. He's being recruited by most teams as a hybrid linebacker/safety, like Demarco Cobbs, and the Longhorns could use another one of those.


24) Christian Morgan, TE, Prestonwood Christian

Morgan isn't a guy that blows your socks off on film, but he does everything pretty well. And that's a huge plus for an offense that has been looking for a do-it-all tight end all year. Instead, the Longhorn tight ends are a mishmash of receivers and blockers, with a number of the former and very few of the latter. Morgan has a fantastic frame to add weight and strength, and while he won't win any track titles, he runs well enough to get open, catches the ball well and shows potential as an in-line blocker.


25) Laquvionte Gonzalez, ATH, Cedar Hill

Pure luxury here. I thought about taking a second defensive end, but the state's best ends likely have yet to emerge. And a second cornerback, possibly Antwuan Davis of Bastrop, was another possibility. But while Davis has the size/speed combination, there are enough question marks there to cause me to go the Orlando Thomas route. What's that, you say? It's about grabbing a 5-foot-10 plus guy with great speed and the ability to flip his hips. If he can cover, great, you have a cornerback. If not, the offense just gained another big-play threat, somebody who can also help out in the return game.


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