Huge 2014 DB Recruit To Visit
Just when it appeared that the Longhorns were going to whiff on the top defensive back prospects in the state with Fort Bend Travis's Nick Harvey unlikely to decommit, defensive coordinator Vance Bedford pulled a rabbit out of his hat. Texas will get an unofficial visit this weekend from Arrion Springs, a four-star cornerback ranked as the No. 9 corner in the country by Scout.com (Harvey is No. 10). Springs is still an Oregon commitment, and he chose the Ducks over the Longhorns in the first go-round on his recruitment. Will Texas be able to lure in Springs this weekend? It would go a long way toward giving the Longhorns a No. 1 cornerback in waiting among the young players.
Two other players committed to other schools will officially visit Texas this weekend — TCU commitment Emanuel Porter, a wide receiver, and Colorado commitment Elijah Rodriguez, an offensive lineman. By now, we're all familiar with Porter's story, and Texas gets the final visit from him before National Signing Day. Rodriguez is a three-star from Cypress Creek who had a big senior year, earning an offer from LSU as well in the process. Should Texas offer Rodriguez, he's expected to flip to the Longhorns. That would likely close off offensive line recruiting for the 2014 class.
Texas Checks In On Key 2015s
Every class, fans have favorite players that, for whatever reason, coaches don't seem to be as high on. And in every class, fans usually 1) gripe if their staff doesn't pay attention to those players or 2) let out a contented sigh when that attention does come. For Texas, two of those 2015s who don't have offers are McKinney North running back Ronald Jones II and Aledo dynamo Ryan Newsome.
Get ready to breathe that contented sigh because not only did Texas visit both players, but both have been invited to Longhorn Junior Days, where they will, in all likelihood, pick up offers.
Jones rushed for 2,406 yards and 39 touchdowns as a junior, leading to offers from schools like Arkansas, Baylor, Clemson, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas Tech, among others. His size (6-0 185), speed and running style lead to natural Jamaal Charles comparisons. Newsome (5-9 170) is one of the most dynamic offensive athletes in the state. He played a major part in an Aledo offense that set a national scoring record in 2013, averaging almost 10 yards per carry in rushing for 826 yards and eight touchdowns, while catching 21 more passes for 532 yards and 10 touchdowns. But his biggest impact might have been on special teams, where he tied the national high school record for punt return touchdowns in a season with seven. This one will likely come down to a Texas-Baylor battle, should the Longhorns offer.
Texas also checked in on some of the most important 2015s on the board, including Mesquite Poteet linebacker Malik Jefferson, Ennis defensive end James Lockhart, Plano West running back Sotonye Jamabo and Stephenville quarterback Jarrett Stidham.
Elite QB Keeps Texas Off List
The latter name of those 2015s might wind up being the most important, as Allen's Kyler Murray, likely the top quarterback in the state for the 2015 class, released his top five, a list without the Longhorns on it.
Long considered a Texas A&M lean, Murray and his father, former A&M signal-caller Kevin Murray, had insisted that they were legitimately interested in Texas. But his top five, released Thursday, included Clemson, Florida, Oregon, Texas A&M and Texas Tech.
With his accuracy, poise and outstanding mobility, Murray projects as an incredible spread quarterback, somewhat of a Todd Reesing with superior wheels type.
The good news? Now the Longhorns officially know where they stand and can move on to other top 2015 quarterback targets like Stidham. Had Murray dragged out his Texas interest, and his Texas recruitment, the possibility existed that Texas could have missed on both Murray and Stidham. That could still potentially happen, though the Longhorns now know which basket to put their eggs in.