Texas Pulls in Colbert
When drawing up a safety, you'd like to have somebody with height, great speed, ball skills and a willingness to come up in run support. In Adrian Colbert, a late-emerging prospect from Mineral Wells, Texas landed all four of those traits.
Colbert said that his love for Texas stemmed from a vibe that he felt from the second he went into Austin, though he didn't commit until later on Saturday afternoon. And Texas only helped itself by teaming him with Marquise Goodwin and Adrian Phillips, the former who connected with Colbert through their track experiences, and the latter who talked safety play with him.
A former Baylor commitment, Colbert said that he broke the news to Baylor coach Art Briles, who wasn't happy with the development. Briles told Colbert that it was unfair to take an official visit to the Longhorns if he wasn't also going to give one to the Bears. Colbert countered that he had already visited Baylor three times on unofficial visits.
Briles went on to say that a pair of Baylor assistants would visit Colbert this week at Mineral Wells High School, but Colbert said it wouldn't matter.
"I'm done," Colbert said of recruiting. "It's a huge weight off."
When I talked with Kevin Vaccaro at the Texas State 7-on-7 this past summer, he joked with me that he was just waiting for his growth spurt to hit. At 5-foot-9, Vaccaro was four inches shorter than his older brother, Texas star safety Kenny Vaccaro. And Kevin, one of the more self-aware recruits I've talked to, freely conceded that — unless his growth spurt hit — he probably wasn't going to be able to join Kenny on the 40 Acres.
Well, Vaccaro didn't get taller (that I'm aware of), but the second part came true this weekend, with Vaccaro getting an offer to play cornerback for the Longhorns. Some will look at Vaccaro's size, or his star ranking — he's currently two stars on Scout.com — and instantly consider him a reach. But there are a few factors to consider here.
First, Vaccaro is actually an excellent football player. He can run and hits like a tank. In short (no pun intended), he's a shorter version of his brother.
And No. 2, therein lies the problem. If Kevin was 5-11, or even 6-foot, he'd have all the interest he wanted. He's just undersized. But if you think, and admittedly, this is a gamble, that his late growth spurt is still coming, you could be in for an absolute steal, somebody who would have been recruited by everyone in the region.
And then there's this to factor in: while it's still fairly early in the recruiting process, the defensive back class in the state appears to be pretty weak for 2013. So which is better, one of those 2013 prospects, or Vaccaro with an extra year to workout?
I see Vaccaro developing into a niche safety or a nickel back who isn't afraid to come up and drill people in the running game. And I fail to see the risk. If Texas is able to land its top remaining players in the class, the Longhorns can simply shift Vaccaro to a grayshirt role, an option they've already discussed with him. If they don't fill up, what's the harm in giving that last scholarship to a defensive back with the aggression and skill set that Duane Akina likes from his defensive backs?
To me, this is a low-risk, high-reward commitment. It might not be the one that gets 60-point type on the front of a newspaper, but it could be one that pays off down the road.
The TwitPic seen around the world
If you're on Twitter, undoubtedly your heart began to race when you saw a picture, put up by Texas quarterback commitment Connor Brewer, began making the rounds.
The photo, which featured every commitment in the Texas class at the Longhorn Network studio surrounding the anchor desk, was a nice touch. But Brewer asked viewers a trivia question: which player sat, in the middle of everyone, wearing a Longhorn helmet?
The answer was the state's top prospect and one of the top remaining targets on the board, Mario Edwards Jr. of Denton Ryan. Following pictures showed Edwards throwing the 'horns up' with the rest of the Longhorn commitments.
While it's easy for recruits to get caught up on their visits, Edwards' actions blend impeccably with what we've been hearing: that Edwards is coming around on potentially becoming a Longhorn.
Davis fits in
One of the most interesting sideplots of this weekend's official visit crop was how Torshiro Davis acted. That's not to say that he's hard to get along with. Far from it. He's about as nice of a kid as you'll meet.
But Davis is quiet, almost painfully so, and is pretty slow to open up. That's why it was great news to hear, from several Texas commitments, that Davis opened up on the trip and was cutting up with a lot of the players. Some of that comes from familiarity: Davis had seen players like Connor Brewer and Cayleb Jones on multiple other occasions.
Both Davis and his mother have said that they're looking for a home-away-from-home, and a family environment for Davis to land in. From all accounts, it appears that the Longhorns did their job of showing him a place where he could fit in.
With the commitments, Texas is up to 25 for the class, and the Longhorns are still pursuing a few top players, including Edwards, Davis and Dorial Green-Beckham, that could push their numbers even higher.
How is that possible? Well, Texas can take advantage of a rule that allows the Longhorns to roll back any enrollees — Connor Brewer, Brandon Moore, Camrhon Hughes, etc. — to last year's class. It's a recruiting class loophole that allows teams to sign more than the maximum allotted 25, basically because it's like Texas signed Brewer to the Class of 2011. Likewise, if Vaccaro does take a grayshirt, he'll count toward the Class of 2013, because he would enroll next spring.
Still, the other number to watch out for is the overall scholarship count. And according to the oft-updated LonghornDigest.com scholarship board, Texas had 65 scholarships projected to carry over until next year out of the 85 scholarship limit. That number is figured prior to adding the 2012 class, so right now, if Vaccaro enrolls this year, Texas is at 90 projected scholarships for the 2012 season, or five over the NCAA scholarship limit.
Typically, you would expect to see some attrition at the end of a season, and it isn't anything for a team to drop five players over the course of an offseason. And it's worth noting that Texas had to drop seven last offseason.
But with a few targets left, it will be interesting to keep an eye on the Longhorn scholarship numbers, as it should tell you just how many players from this year's team won't be back next year.