LonghornDigest.com: In your opinion, would it be safe to say that Texas has been the strongest recruiting team in the Big 12 in recent years?
Powers: I think they're in that battle with Oklahoma every year. If you look at the recruiting rankings, it's a pretty safe assumption. At the end of it all though, it comes down to results. And whether Texas has been the best recruiting team in the Big 12 will surface more in the 2012, and especially the 2013 seasons. Then we'll see if Texas's recruiting seasons are as special as all the pundits have said they were.
LD.com: Do you think Texas is recruiting at a national championship level?
Powers: I think that Texas has had championship-caliber players at most positions probably over the last decade. They've amassed some pretty talented players, but they haven't always had them in key positions, most notably at quarterback and on the offensive linemen. The guys that they've recruited have typically been highly rated, but they haven't always panned out, and that has left some holes at two very important spots. Whether they're able to get into the national championship hunt depends largely on whether those questions have been answered.
LD.com: Is there any one position that Texas has recruited especially well over the last few years?
Powers: Defensive back jumps out to me right away. They've done really well on the defensive line. And at the wide receiver position they've done well but some of the top end guys have yet to pan out. But I think I would have to definitely pick the defensive line. You can look at guys like Jackson Jeffcoat, Alex Okafor, Desmond Jackson, Malcom Brown and the list goes on and on.
LD.com: Is there any position that they haven't been as good at, in terms of recruiting?
Powers: I don't think the quarterback position has been that strong. Garrett Gilbert was a miss, and even if he bounces back at SMU, he was still a miss on the Texas end of things. They had to go with a freshman this past season. I don't think most talented Big 12 teams want to go through the season with a freshman quarterback starting. But maybe (David Ash) is what they're looking for if he can display some growth now that he's had a season on the field. The offensive line, they've missed on some guys, but they've also had guys get hurt and had some tough breaks that way. Sometimes, when guys don't work out for this reasons, that's just the way the breaks fall.
LD.com: People talk about "how easy Texas has it" with regard to recruiting. What do you feel is their biggest challenge on that front?
Powers: I actually think it's tough for them to go out-of-state and get in the game for a lot of the major prospects nationally. You hear about schools recruiting against Texas, telling them that they will always play the Texas kid over you if they have the opportunity. So that's definitely a hurdle Texas faces when they want to go for a national guy out-of-state.