What Can We Take From the Junior Day Invites?

Looking at the invitations to Junior Day 1 can allow us to draw inferences about the themes of the 2013 class. Here are what those invitations are telling us.

1) Cornerback isn't a big need. And why should it be? Texas signed what appeared to be a great class in 2011 with Quandre Diggs, Josh Turner and Leroy Scott, all of whom saw the two-deep as true freshmen. And Diggs was a starter. When you add in the 2012 crop, which includes Bryson Echols and Orlando Thomas (and potentially Kendall Sanders later on), it stands to reason that the Longhorns are pretty set at the position for a bit. And that's why only one cornerback — Dallas Skyline's Will Barrows — was invited to the first Junior Day. In what should be a smaller class, the Longhorns just have bigger needs.

2) Like the offensive line. They say that you recruit offensive linemen to be able to play in three years, and nine of the offensive linemen set to be on scholarship in 2012 are sophomores or older. Seven are juniors or older. That means Texas needs to grab three or four linemen in this class. And it's a strong class for that, with players like Darius James, A'Shawn Robinson, Ishmael Wilson and Kent Perkins available (and Jake Raulerson, who could also play there). But Texas isn't just tied into the in-state guys, also inviting Josh Thomas of Louisiana power Evangel Christian. That's a good combination of inside guys and outside guys, and when added to the special 2012 class, could form the backbone of an excellent Texas line in the years to come.

3) Rangy outside linebackers could also be the trend. Texas grabbed two downhill, heady linebackers in Alex De La Torre and Timothy Cole in 2012, along with a freak athlete in Peter Jinkens. With an offer out to Dalton Santos, Texas could be pulling in a mammoth middle as well. The only two types not represented there are the pass rusher and the long-framed outside backer. And what two types are on the Longhorns' Junior Day list? You've got it. Deon Hollins Jr. might be the best pure pass rusher in the state. And Naashon Hughes fits the latter bill, an athletic, long-armed 6-3 player who should fill out well. Both players could help give Texas a number of situational parts to play with.

4) Three out-of-state invites: who makes it? Texas extended invitations to Thomas (mentioned above), Marcell Harris, a talented safety out of South Lake (Fla.) and D.J. Ward, a defensive end out of Lawton, Okla. The Longhorns don't typically step outside the state except at positions where 1) the state is low on talent and 2) the players are national-type recruits. All three would fit that bill. While it's a great class for offensive linemen in-state, players like James and Robinson project better as inside players, rather than tackles. Safety is a deep position, but not necessarily one with the top-end talent Texas covets. And defensive end is (along with cornerback, potentially), possibly the worst position in-state. Right now, Thomas is in, while Harris won't make the trip. Ward is undecided.

5) Tyrone Swoopes gets right of first refusal. Swoopes earned an offer to the first Junior Day, which means that he'll likely get the first offer extended to a quarterback in the 2013 class. But the Longhorns also have options at the position, and could extend an offer to someone like J.T. Barrett to Junior Day 2 should Swoopes elect to sit on his decision. In fact, some have speculated that Barrett is already in line for an invitation to JD2. But if Swoopes decides to commit, that situation could become moot … unless the Longhorns feel like quarterback attrition could be coming.

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