Analyst Talks Rankings

Five questions with National Recruiting Analyst Greg Powers about the final rankings and the Longhorn recruiting class.

1) Jerrod Heard finished as a five-star prospect and the No. 2 quarterback in the nation. What stood out about him through the recruiting process?

Greg Powers — He's one of the top zone read guys that we've scouted recently. In that respect, he compares to a guy like (Ohio State QB) Braxton Miller. Heard was somebody we were able to evaluate at the Army Bowl practices, once again at the game, and he won back-to-back state championships. I think he could go to college and compete anywhere with his well-rounded skill set. We actually had him rated higher than any other quarterbacks, except for (Texas A&M commitment) Kyle Allen.

2) Texas typically has multiple-to-several five-star recruits in its classes. But in 2014, the Longhorns have only landed one. Who was the next-closest to five-star status, and how short did he fall?

Powers —Defensive end Derick Roberson finished in the top-10 players in the Midlands, and he was pretty close to Heard. He's a great edge-rusher, a kid who can come in and put pressure on the quarterback consistently and be a difference-maker in that regard. He was probably the closest after (Heard). He was four spots away (in the Midlands). The last five-star guy was the sixth-rated guy in the region … Roberson was No. 10.

3) What stands out to you about Texas's class?

Powers — If you're just talking about talent, then it's the wide receiver position as a group. They're very diversified; there's a lot of different kinds of guys there. I don't know how it will end up, as they have a couple guys still looking around, but that group should really restock the roster a little bit. The second thing is the difference that we see recruiting-wise from Mack Brown to the early results from Charlie Strong. A lot of coaches want to come in and have more time to evaluate and find their guys and not sign a bunch of guys when they come in late. That's something that you see with a lot of coaches, like Kevin Sumlin and Kliff Kingsbury, and it's a strategy when your coach starts so late in the process. That's something that sticks out to me.

4) Who do you see as a potential sleeper in this class?

Powers — Dorian Leonard is a guy that, for me, I had a chance to watch him twice with my own two eyes, and I really liked him. Both times, he wasn't just bigger than the competition, but was also so much more physical, and he runs better routes than people give him credit for. He's a big receiver who has those prototype long fingers and big hands, and he has that look about him … he's a physically impressive dude. He's somebody that could potentially jump over some of the more highly rated receivers in this Texas class and eventually earn a starting position.

5) Enough about 2014. Coaches' stories are usually told by their first full recruiting classes. What can we expect from the 2015 class?

Powers — I think it's going to be a pretty solid class. Coming out of 2014, you had a class with elite defensive talent, and in 2015, the top three guys in the state may all be defensive guys in Malik Jefferson, Kendall Sheffield and Daylon Mack. Sheffield may be the key to Texas's class, especially when, in a year of great defensive backs (2014), a lot of those guys chose to play outside of the state. Sheffield is also a guy that both Texas and Texas A&M are recruiting, so he could be a big one. Malik Jefferson too, I'd put him in that same boat. There's going to be a lot of comparing Texas to Texas A&M in the future, and Jefferson is another key recruit in the Charlie Strong vs. Kevin Sumlin battles that we're going to see.

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