WR Jake Oliver, Dallas Jesuit
Oliver received his offer last week, just before he took his trip to Oklahoma's Junior Day. He's arguably the Longhorns' top target at wide receiver (more on this in a bit), and though he was at one time considered to be a Texas A&M lean, Oliver has been pretty encouraging toward the Texas staff's recruitment efforts. I'm not saying that Oliver commits on Junior Day I, as I think he may weigh his options (which are considerable) a bit more. But he's certainly somebody to watch, both on Sunday and in the days afterward.
LOCKS FOR OFFERS
QB Tyrone Swoopes, Whitewright
Swoopes is one of the most interesting players to watch on Sunday, largely because of Wichita Falls Rider quarterback J.T. Barrett. Barrett has been invited to Junior Day II, has accepted, and is generally though to be a lock to commit if he were to get an offer. The most likely scenario that would make Barrett a Longhorn would be if Swoopes drags his feet. In a smaller class, it's unlikely (though not impossible) that Texas will take two quarterbacks. So Swoopes should be on commitment watch. Because if he doesn't commit quickly, Texas might just go out and get a quarterback who will.
WR Ricky Seals-Jones, Sealy
Seals-Jones is one of the top overall targets in the class, and is being recruited as a wide receiver, where the Texas staff feels like he can use his 6-foot-5 size and freakish athleticism to be a matchup nightmare. Seals-Jones came in a day early, and he figures to be somebody to watch as a potential JDI commitment. That would be a huge win for the Longhorns, as one of the top overall athletes in the state for this class.
RB Dontre Wilson, DeSoto
One of the misconceptions about Longhorn offers is that players don't know that they'll be offered until Junior Day. Many have basically been receiving versions of verbal offers for months (see Mack Brown's summer camp comment to Jake Raulerson "We just hope (you play) at Texas."). Count Wilson in that category. At Texas State 7-on-7, Wilson said the Longhorns told him he would be offered at JDI. That day is here now, though the Longhorns taking Daje Johnson could lessen just how much of an offer lock Wilson is in a small class. Wilson doesn't figure to commit immediately, as he's somebody who has been up-front about liking other schools.
OL Kent Perkins, Lake Highlands
If Texas wants to take an offensive tackle in this class, Perkins stands out as a mortal lock. He's the state's best at that position, and arguably the state's best overall player. That makes him a definite choice. Whether he'll take it is another story, especially right away. I wouldn't be shocked to see him on Sunday's commitment list, and I wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't.
OL Darius James, Harker Heights
The Longhorns WILL be taking an interior lineman in this class, and James is not only the best in this Lone Star State class, but he could be the best in the past few years. That's high praise considering the past two years have produced Curtis Riser and Sedrick Flowers, but neither have James's combination of elite size and athleticism. James has said he wants to visit other schools, but he's also considered a UT lean. One to watch.
KEEP AN EYE ON
RB Kyle Hicks, Arlington Martin
Hicks was a bit of a surprise as the JDI running back invitation, given that Texas seemed to be so thoroughly enamored with Keith Ford. But Ford might not return that attention, and Hicks would probably pull the trigger Sunday if offered. Whether he is or not remains to be seen, and could give an indication as to just how much the Longhorns like him at the position, or whether they want to weigh their options>
WR Ra'Shaad Samples, Dallas Skyline
Samples is just barely below the above column. I expect him to pick up an offer Sunday, as he's the top slot receiver in an in-state class that doesn't have a bunch of them. And the Longhorns could use another one after Thomas Johnson spurned them so late in the process. So don't be surprised if he picks up an offer, and don't be surprised if he winds up taking it right away.
TE Durham Smythe, Belton
Smythe's stock is red-hot right now, the tight end equivalent of what happened last year with Dominique Wheeler at about this time. Don't forget that Wheeler received a JDI offer, and Smythe will likely do the same. He really runs well for the position and is an outstanding pass-catcher. Texas will likely take two tight ends in this class, and Smythe is the best receiver of the bunch. What he'll choose to do with that offer is unknown.
OL A'Shawn Robinson, Arlington Heights
Most would argue that Robinson belongs in the category just above, and I wouldn't necessarily disagree, except that it could depend on what happens with Perkins and James. Texas already has an offer out to Josh Thomas of Evangel (La.) Christian, who is coming to JD2, as is Dallas Bishop Dunne OL Ishmael Wilson. I think Robinson is a definite take among that group, but if Perkins and James come into the office first, and if they both commit, Texas would have to make some choices on the last few spots.