Orlando Brown Jr. (6-8 340) is the son of the late Orlando Brown, who played offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns. That's where he gets his size from, with dad listed at 6-7 360 when he was in the NFL. Orlando Jr. has offers from top schools like Alabama, Florida and Ohio State, and while it's unclear just how in Texas can get with the out-of-stater — he is planning to visit campus at least, potentially for a Junior Day — his offer signifies three things for the Longhorns.
First, that Texas needs offensive linemen. This isn't a surprise. The Longhorns are still recruiting linemen like Andrew Billings and Caleb Benenoch in 2013, and they already have a commitment from Demetrius Knox in 2014. But Texas has just 13 linemen slated to be on scholarship in 2014 (counting the 2013 commitments and Knox), meaning they'll have to land at least five more between the 2013 and 2014 classes to get back up to their 2013 roster number of 18. And that's without any attrition at all. Simply put, offensive line is Texas's biggest need in the 2014 class, even if the Longhorns land both Billings and Benenoch.
And that's where point No. 2 comes in: as of right now, the state appears weak at the top of the offensive line class. Could that change? Absolutely, especially we see more of guys like Tyus Barrett, Jovan Pruitt and Austin Schlottmann, or as a guy like Koda Martin's body develops. But I count two offensive linemen in my top 30 players in the 2014 in-state class, and both are guards: Knox and Galena North Shore's Trevon Tate. So if Texas wants to fill its needs at offensive tackle, the Longhorns are going to have to 1) hope that somebody develops in-state, 2) head to the JUCOs or 3) head outside of the state to fill those needs.
Which brings us back to No. 3: the Longhorns are casting their offensive line nets wide outside of the state of Texas to try and lure the numbers and talent to make up for points one and two. Texas offered three linemen early: Knox and top out-of-state talents Cameron Robinson of Louisiana and Braden Smith of Kansas. Both have to be considered somewhat of a longshot at this point, but it's unclear what options Texas really has at this point.
Brown has a chance to be as good, if not better than, any tackle currently in the Texas class, and it makes sense for the Longhorns to extend an offer there. But as much as this offer was about tapping into Brown's talent, it's at least worth mentioning the undertones of a major need position, and the inability (at this point) of the state's crop to fill said need.