Ronisha Major was ready to make a name for herself on Texas' women's basketball team when she arrived on scholarship in 2011. She had a great chance of doing just that as one of the top prep forwards in the state out of Huntsville.
Sadly, it lasted all of 20 games after a knee injury during a team trip to Europe the summer of her freshman season resulted in her moving to medical scholarship, effectively ending her playing career.
While her days in a Texas uniform have come to an end, Major is doing everything she can to make sure that a siblings career in burnt orange comes to fruition. So far she's on track to do so as her kid brother, Ronnie Major, flipped his verbal pledge from Baylor to the Longhorns during Texas' junior day on Feb. 22.
"I kind of had a little persuasion in it," Ronisha, a junior at UT, says with a hint of laughter. "He wanted to come here so whenever I found out they offered him I was like ‘yeah you are going to Texas' just because I'm going to stay here after I graduate so he'll have someone down here with him. We were all smiles when Coach Strong offered him."
When the three-star offensive tackle made the flip to Charlie Strong he effectively became the third member of his family to become a Longhorn, joining senior defensive end Cedric Reed, who is a cousin through their fathers.
Assuring Ronnie, or Buck as he is also known, would commit to Texas didn't seem hard to Ronisha once he was offered by Strong on junior day. But getting him to Texas wasn't always the plan thanks to sibling rivalries.
I didn't think we'd go to the same school a few years ago because whenever I first committed here he loved TCU," Ronisha said. "Me and my brother have always had this competition thing so he told me he wasn't going to Texas and was going to go to TCU. But I knew he would come here if they offered."
Those are words Ronnie (6-foot-6, 290 pounds) couldn't have said better himself. Go figure.
"I grew up loving Texas but then I fell off a bit," he said. "I kind of thought I would commit at the end though."
That was the feeling Ronnie traveled to Austin with two weekends ago, something he told his sister about.
"I spoke to him before he went down for junior day and asked him if he'd commit if they offer," she said. "He said he'd probably commit. When they offered I asked him if it was a decision he was going to be happy with and not something he made just because I was going to be down there with him. I just wanted to make sure it was something he wanted to do. I've never seen him smile so much."
Ronnie had been on campus before visiting his sister. But Mack Brown's staff didn't recruit him, so the ins and outs of the football department were all foreign ground to him.
It didn't take long for him to feel right at home though.
"I had been to Texas before but this time I went I had seen some things that I'd never seen before," he said. "Like on campus, it was really cool. Plus I have family down there."
Ronnie said that Strong and offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Joe Wickline made him feel like family too.
"When they talked to me personally they were telling me that I could help make the team much better over the next couple of years," he said. "They just really talked about the future a lot."
When Ronnie received his offer from Strong in Strong's office, Texas' head coach made sure to point out the unique family ties he had to the 40 Acres.
"He said that having a cousin and a sister on campus is something that not a lot of people have," he said. "It would make me feel at home."
Ronnie wasted little time and committed on the spot.
"It was great. [Strong] was happy," Ronnie said. "He called Coach Wickline in there and told him that I'd committed. It was amazing. I remember when Mack Brown was there they never really looked at me. But Coach Strong gave me the chance and I'm really happy about it."
In the midst of celebration, though, Ronnie was dreading having to relay the news to Baylor, a school he'd been committed to since August.
"It was real hard because I fell in love with Baylor," he said. "I called the coaching staff and they told me they were disappointed but thought that I was planning on going to Texas and committing there."
With a sister and cousin already on campus, it seemed inevitable if an offer from UT was presented. Once it was Ronisha had him hooked.