1) Jamal Adams, S, Lewisville Hebron
Adams came out at NFTC and proved he was the top defensive back in attendance — Tony Brown earned defensive back MVP, but Adams was told that was just because he didn't run. And while Brown may be a slightly better prospect, Adams is the more polished player, somebody who could come in and play in a secondary immediately. In a Big 12 that routinely forces safeties to have to cover slot receivers one-on-one, Adams would be a near-perfect catch: somebody with the tremendous physical strength to pop and redirect receivers at the point of attack, or turn and run with them in coverage. But those are just his coverage skills … Adams is also a mashing hitter. In a year with a number of top defensive back prospects in-state, Adams may be the Longhorns' best chance to lure one to Austin.
2) Solomon Thomas, DE, Coppell
With the Longhorns failing to corral any defensive linemen in the 2013 class, it only placed a heavier emphasis on recruiting the trenches in 2014. And while the Longhorns are likely finished at defensive tackle with Trey Lealaimatafao and Courtney Garnett, Texas will probably take two more defensive ends to pair with commitments Derick Roberson and Jake McMillon. At the top of the wish list is Thomas, who showed out well at the recent NFTC camp. Thomas ran a respectable 4.95 electronic 40-yard dash, and he went unbeaten in his one-on-one drills, even beating Dallas Skyline talent Ty Barrett a few times. Thomas is probably a top-five overall player in the state, and while Arlington Martin's Myles Garrett has a few more tools, Thomas is the more productive player.
3) Kd Cannon, WR, Mount Pleasant
Darrell Wyatt has done an outstanding job of improving the depth of his wide receiver position over the past few years, but the Longhorns could use a superstar to plug in at the 'X' position. Lorenzo Joe has been better than advertised, and could eventually play there, but Cannon is exactly what Texas craves at the position: a speedy deep threat who can annihilate one-on-one coverage. The Longhorns couldn't pull that player in last year's class by missing out on Robbie Rhodes, and athlete Montrel Meander has the speed, but not necessarily the polish. Cannon is highly productive and would be ready to join the rotation, if not start, from the word 'go'.
4) Tony Brown, CB, Beaumont Ozen
A long shot? Maybe so. But Brown represents the top player in the in-state class, a 6-footer who was clocked at an ELECTRONIC 4.37 at the recent NFTC camp. That's not just fast, that's world-class fast, and comes as no surprise from a guy who ran the fastest 110-meter hurdles time in the country earlier this spring. Brown has all the tools to be a dominant corner — including an underrated work ethic — but perhaps most importantly, landing Brown would give the Longhorns the momentum of bringing in the top player in the state. It would be a pretty heavy haymaker in the direction of schools thinking that Texas has fallen off as a recruiting power.
5) Arrion Springs, CB/S, San Antonio
Springs narrowly edges out Darrion Johnson for this last spot. Johnson may be the superior talent, but Springs is the more versatile one, and he fits perfectly into Duane Akina's wheelhouse as a possible corner, safety or nickel back. Springs tested very well at NFTC, running a 4.49 on a day that saw a number of defensive backs either not run or scratch their times because they were slow. But in addition to that kind of speed, Springs is just a good all-around athlete who can run, cover and tackle. Springs wants to be a cornerback at the next level, and he could certainly play there — think a slightly faster Adrian Phillips. Considering how Akina loves to move his defensive backs around, Springs is a really good fit.