The Heard

Welcome to The Heard, LonghornDigest's weekly in-depth look inside the never-ending world of Longhorns recruiting with news, notes and interesting tidbits on the latest happenings around the program. We'll release this every Friday.

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Read The Heard after the jump:

Newsome enters Texas Relays with hot feet

2015 CB visiting Texas today

2016 DB in town for weekend

DFW OT on Texas' radar

Weathersby hard at work

Tidbits: UT in contact with Mack?

Newsome enters Texas Relays with hot feet

It's no secret that Aledo wide receiver and top Texas target Ryan Newsome is one of the state's fastest players. And it didn't take him long this year to put up a time to prove it. At the Aledo Bearcat Relays this year, Newsome ripped off a smoking-fast 10.59 100-meter dash, the seventh-fastest time in the state to date and the fastest time for a top football prospect in the state.

"I'm feeling pretty good," Newsome said. "I've gotten back into shape and had some good times. Weather hasn't been on my side, but that's really just an excuse. I'm going to give it everything I've got and run as fast as I can.

"It's a pretty cool deal [to have such a fast time]," Newsome said. "I haven't peaked yet."

That's the scary part: so few have. With a wild-weather spring, there hasn't exactly been the kind of atmosphere that would lend to fast times, making Newsome's sub-10.6 run so impressive. And this weekend, he's returning to a track on which he's had plenty of success. Newsome ran at the Texas Relays last year as a sophomore, then went to state, where he competed with Tony Brown, KD Cannon and others. Texas is known for having a bit of a fast track; a number of athletes put up their PR times in Austin, making the prospect of seeing Newsome this weekend pretty exciting. Make no mistake: sub-10.6 is moving, and it's faster than all of Newsome's sophomore times, per ESPN's DyeStat. Can he go further and hit the 10.4s though?

"It's a great track, really well done," Newsome said. "I'm excited to get out there."

Despite a body, frame and explosiveness that seems an ideal fit for the long jump — Newsome is 5-foot-9 with a 6-0 wingspan — he's participating in all the sprints, running the 100 open, the 4x100 and the 4x200 this weekend.

He also said that he's excited to swing by the football complex during some of his free time.

"Definitely, there's no doubt about that," Newsome said. "I actually talked to Coach Strong last night and Coach Watson and Coach Koenning earlier this week. I pretty much talk to the whole staff; Coach Robinson and I are really close and I've known him forever. I've talked to Coach Jean-Mary recently too, and they're all excited.

"I talked to them [multiple times this week] and yesterday, I got about 20 letters from them about be coming down there," Newsome said.

Newsome said he's looking forward to continuing to develop relationships with the coaches.

"I already really like the staff; that's pretty much an understatement," Newsome said. "I want to see my boy Johnathan [Gray], see how he's progressing and see a practice. They practice on Saturday, it's their first live scrimmage, so it's a perfect time for me to come down there.

"Everything really fell into place, and I can kill two birds with one stone," Newsome said. "I'm looking forward to running, but I think I'm moreso looking forward to that unofficial visit and seeing everybody again, chopping it up with Johnathan and chopping it up with the coaches. I'm pretty excited." (Flaherty)

2016 DB in town for weekend

Sophomore cornerback Jared Mayden (Sachse, Texas/Sachse) isn't participating in the Texas Relays, but he is using the weekend to get a better feel for the Longhorns.

Mayden picked up his offer from Texas on his way out of Texas' second junior day on March 1, so he'll come to Austin with a different objective this time.

"I'm trying to see the coaches in their natural environment with the players and see the different styles that they coach with," Mayden said. "I've heard the practices have been really intense. So I expect it to be like that for the scrimmage on Saturday."

Longhorns defensive backs coach Chris Vaughn will be one of the main points of interest for Mayden on Saturday. He's heard good things outside of what he saw during his junior day visit.

But will he be the type of coach Mayden prefers? Only time will tell, but Mayden does want someone that will get after him when he needs to be put in place.

"I want a coach that is relaxed but that will tell me if I've messed up when I do mess up," he said. "I want someone that will light a fire under me and explain things to me to make me better."

Mayden said he's kept in contact with Texas' staff in the weeks since his offer. He likes the fact that the conversations extend outside of football.

"I like that because I won't just be playing football in college," he said.

Mayden, who also holds offers from Baylor and Texas A&M, isn't ready to name a leader. But he did hint at what schools is closest to the top.

"I like all three schools right now but you could make the argument that Texas is the favorite," he said.

Mayden will visit Texas A&M on April 5. It will be his first time in College Station since he attended a camp there his freshman year.

"Right now everything I'm doing, with the visits and summer camps, is all leading to my decision," he said. "I'd like to make my decision sometime my junior year after signing day." (Wilkerson)

2015 CB visiting Texas today

Four-star cornerback Holton Hill (Houston/Lamar) will spend the next few days in Austin as a participant in the Texas Relays. But he'll make a point to go rub elbows with Texas' coaches at some point.

Because he'll arrive in Austin with an offer in hand, Hill will use this time to take a more in-depth look at what the Longhorns have to offer.

"Just to see which place feels home to me, where I fit in the most, and where I can get the most playing time," Hill said when asked what he'll look for this weekend.

Hill actually speaks to UT's staff at least once a week or, at worst, every two weeks. He talks to defensive coordinator Vance Bedford and defensive back coach Chris Vaughn the most. Hill really likes what he's seen from Vaughn so far.

"Coach Vaughn is a cool guy," Hill said. "He makes sure everything is OK with you and pushes you a lot. He's very approachable too."

The Longhorns also have the luxury of one of Hill's teammates recruiting for them in 2014 safety John Bonney, who signed with Texas. The two have played together on the same team and been classmates forever.

"We have been playing together since we were young," Hill said. "He wants me to be their with him. But I have to decide what's best for me. He wants me to go to UT with him but he isn't forcing me to go. He's wanting me to do my own thing."

In addition to Texas, Hill has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, Colorado, Houston, LSU, Maryland, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Notre Dame, SMU, TCU, Texas A&M and Texas Tech.

He said all of them are staying in contact for the time being.

"All the schools are coming at me trying to get me to come to their spring games, and come to practices," he said. "So it's not really one specific school that is coming after me the hardest. I'm in contact with them all right now."

Hill said it's a blessing to have these many offers and to be able to realize that his dream of playing college football is in reach.

"I've got to thank God first," he said. "It just shows you that working hard can get you a long way. I'll continue to do that and see how far it gets me."

Given his size (6-foot-2, 175 pounds), speed and the physical nature he plays with, the sky's the limit.

"Most of the coaches like that I am tall because the receivers are getting taller and they need tall people to cover them," he said. "I've got the speed to go with it. There's nothing more that you can ask for." (Wilkerson)

DFW OT on Texas' radar

Madison Akamnonu (Arlington, Texa/Bowie) had never played a sport up until seventh grade because his parents didn't want him getting hurt.

"But after months of begging and pleading they saw it my way," he said.

And it's a good thing they did.

Akamnonu is making quite the name for himself as one of the fastest rising 2015 offensive tackles in the state. The 6-foot-5, 270-pound bookend already has offers from Arkansas State, Colorado State, Kansas State, North Texas, Texas State, Texas Tech and Wake Forest.

He has several other schools that have yet to offer but are showing him plenty of interest. That includes the Longhorns, which asked him to come down for their practice on Saturday.

"I liked the practice and the intensity they had," he said. "I spoke to Coach [Joe] Wickline. He told me that they were going to keep recruiting me hard but not offer me right now. He said he would come down this spring and see me, and said that I was high on their radar."

The Longhorns already have two tackle commitments in Toby Weathersby and Ronnie Major. But Akamnonu is a prospect they could take a flyer on because, similar to Major, he hasn't scratched the surface for how good he can be.

Akamnonu is definitely interested in Texas, especially because of the addition of Joe Wickline as offensive line coach.

"I liked how he was just straight forward with me right now," he said. "He talked to me like a man, like this is how he saw things going. He was a real person."

Akamnonu was at a loss for words when asked to describe what it's like to have this interest from the Longhorns.

"I can't explain it. It's a good feeling," he said. "It's surreal to think that it's been a dream of mine to play college ball and now is my opportunity. To play college ball for Texas, and the Big 12, wow."

What is it about Akamnonu that has Texas, and plenty others, showing interest?

"Some of the coaches have told me they like my intensity and that I'm very athletic," he said. "They said my weight is going to catch up to me in college and as long as I keep my speed up, I can go far."

In addition to Texas and those that have offered, Akamnonu said he is also hearing from Missouri, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Kansas State. (Wilkerson)

Weathersby hard at work

Longhorns offensive line commitment Toby Weathersby (Houston/Westfield) has been working hard on some big recruits ever since he committed last week. He tells LonghornDigest the two recruits he is talking to UT the most about are five-star LB Malik Jefferson (Mesquite, Texas/Poteet) and four-star quarterback Kyler Murray (Allen, Texas/Allen).

Asked what they have to say, Weathersby responded: "They don't talk bad about them."

Weathersby said that since he committed to the Longhorns, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Texas Tech have been in contact with him. (Wilkerson)

Tidbits: UT in contact with Mack?

In case you were wondering if the Longhorns have contacted five-star defensive lineman, and Texas A&M commitment, Daylon Mack, they have not. Mack said he hasn't heard from Charlie Strong's staff since he came over.

Also, three- star WR James Proche (Dallas/Prime Prep) said that he hasn't heard from Texas' staff since he left UT's junior day on March 1. (Wilkerson)


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