Texas Stampede Roundup

Five notes to catch you up on Saturday's Texas Stampede.

1) Texas lands two?

One commitment — South Grand Prairie defensive back Jason Hall — is definitely in the bag. A former Nebraska commitment, Hall stood out at Texas's June 9 camp, earning an offer pretty much right afterward. He's a 6-foot-3 player with the cover skills to play some cornerback and the physicality to plug in at safety. He's a big-time talent who flew under the radar for awhile (though he chose Texas over offers from Oklahoma and Texas, among others), and he's trained by the same trainer who works with Jamal Adams.

The question here is whether the Longhorns pulled in a second one. Sources have indicated to LonghornDigest.com that 2015 Euless Trinity guard Patrick Vahe also committed to the Longhorns, but 1) his parents weren't in attendance and 2) we were unable to find any confirmation that came directly from Vahe, his parents, or his coaches. It seems like the commitment was likely a done deal, but Vahe may need to take other steps, like to talk about the decision with his parents, before making the decision final. Vahe is arguably the No. 2 offensive lineman in the in-state class, and would join an excellent offensive line group that includes Maea Teuhema, Connor Lanfear and Aaron Garza.

2) Texas offers three … but not necessarily the three expected

One offer went out to dynamic 2015 running back JaMycal Hasty of Longview. Hasty is a big-time talent who could provide a great speed element to the Longhorn offense.

But the Longhorns didn't extend an offer to DeSoto product Nick Orr, a 2014 all-round defensive back who figured to earn one after visiting Texas despite his commitment to TCU. That offer didn't come, though the Texas staff told Orr they would continue to evaluate him through his senior season.

And Texas continued its method of early recruiting by telling 2016 Manvel stars Reggie Hemphill and Deontay Anderson that they were approved for offers. Both players were standouts at Texas's summer camps, and Hemphill currently appears to be one of the top players in the state of Texas for his class. Hemphill is a 6-foot wide receiver, while Anderson is a 6-1 defensive back.

3) Some big names make it, and others miss

It's not unusual for the confirmed guest list for an event like Texas Stampede to turn out much differently than the list of players who actually attended the event. And key players like Tony Brown, Sotonye Jamabo and Edwin Freeman weren't able to make the trip in for various reasons. But that shouldn't affect the Longhorns' chances with any of those players. Some others who were expected, but who didn't make it in included 2015 Cedar Hill wideout DaMarkus Lodge and Gilmer cornerback Kris Boyd, who had car trouble.

On the flip side, Texas was able to bring in the top two in-state players in the Class of 2015 in Daylon Mack and Malik Jefferson, and the Longhorns also snuck in a last-minute visit from 2014 all-purpose back Kevin Shorter, who is making his college decision in about a week, and John Bonney, one of the team's top remaining targets in 2014.

Add in that those players were surrounded by a number of Texas commitments and players — and a former player, as Longhorn legend Earl Campbell was the keynote speaker at the BBQ dinner — and it could only be seen as a major positive.

4) Making up ground

Texas made a strong impression on those players in attendance. Shorter said that the Longhorns have made it a three-team decision between Texas, Texas A&M and Arkansas. Hasty, who many people felt didn't like Texas heading into the visit, said the Longhorns were now in the mix. 2015 Ennis defensive end James Lockhart, arguably the top end in the state, said Texas A&M still led for his services, but said that Texas really closed the margin, and that the Longhorns were recruiting him the hardest.

And some of the best news came from 2015 quarterback offer JW Ketchum of Fort Bend Marshall, who said that the Longhorns had moved into the lead. Ketchum is a top-15 type player in-state, and an absolutely explosive playmaker with the ball in his hands.

5) Going bowling

Of course, the event featured the usual Junior Day-type fare, with tours of the campus and a big meal together. But the highlight for most of the prospects in attendance seemed to be bowling with the coaches and current players. Texas 2014 wide receiver Lorenzo Joe said that the players were typically split into their position groups, and added that Jake Oliver was the best bowler out of the wide receivers, followed closely by fellow freshman Jacorey Warrick.

So, what about the coaches? Ketchum said that Major Applewhite was the best bowler of the coaching staff (it's never a bad thing to compliment your potential future position coach), while adding that the worst was "probably [running backs] Coach [Larry] Porter."

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