The Longhorns have long been in the mix for the brutally strong defensive tackle from Waco High, along with Baylor and TCU. And he plans to announce his decision between the three schools on David Smoak's radio show on ESPN Radio-Central Texas this afternoon. The Longhorns originally recruited Billings as an offensive line prospect, but when it appeared that putting him there was harming his recruitment, Texas told him he could play defensive tackle on the 40 Acres. At that point, it appeared the Longhorns had the lead. But a lot has happened since then, including a reportedly great in-home visit with Gary Patterson, a canceled invitation to play in the International Bowl in Austin and another Longhorn in-home at the Billings house. Billings is notoriously hard to read, so this one is tough to pick. One thing about Billings: with A'Shawn Robinson now off the board, he's all the Longhorns really have as far as defensive tackle targets in the 2013 class.
Texas had its possession guy in Jake Oliver and its smaller slot receiver in Jacorey Warrick. But the Longhorns' attempts to land an 'X' receiver who can stretch the field fell short more often than not in 2013. That is until Darrell Wyatt helped corral a sleeper from Amarillo Palo Duro in Meander, a former Washington State commitment. Meander is raw, but he brings 6-foot-3 size and big-time speed to the mix. In fact, his 21.55 200-meter time at regionals last spring qualified for state just behind the time of another long-time Texas target: Robbie Rhodes. While Meander certainly has work to do, and he has to fill out, it's tough to teach that kind of size-speed combination.
The second of Texas's three weekend visitors, Wilson shocked nobody when he swapped his Oregon commitment to Chip Kelly — now gone to the NFL — for a commitment to Ohio State and coach Urban Meyer. While Wilson was on the Texas board seemingly as long as any other recruit in the 2013 class, as a testament to his fantastic speed and playmaking ability, the running back seemed to always have a desire to leave the state. And that desire was augmented by two coaches — first Kelly, then Meyer — who had systems proven to get the ball to their diminutive speedsters.
The final visitor of the three to make their way to the 40 Acres this past weekend, Herron always seemed like a bit of a Hail Mary. Texas wasn't really on Scout.com's No. 5 defensive end, and Herron had been committed to LSU for eight months before he made his Texas visit. Herron had 14 sacks this past year, and would have been a great way to soften the blow of Robinson leaving for Alabama, given that Herron was another top-five defensive lineman, and at a position of more need (and in a year when the in-state options at the position were limited). Alas, this marriage was not to be, as Herron announced he was keeping his pledge with the Tigers. Still, it was a nice effort from new running backs coach Larry Porter, who remains an intriguing guy to watch heading into his first full class with the Longhorns.