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.

Talk about it in our forum and, if there's a recruit out there you'd like to hear more from, let us know.

Read The Heard after the jump:

Nation's top PG talks Texas

Turner closing out his process

All Cleare for Shaq?

2015 center likes Red River rivals

2016 TE Guinn has Texas in top four

2017 OL ready for Saturday

Nation's top PG talks Texas

When the Longhorns offered five-star combo guard Justin Simon (Temecula, Calif./Valley) last week, it wasn't clear if he'd give Texas much consideration since he'd told's Josh Gershon his top 10 on March 10.

Those 10 were Arizona, Colorado, Creighton, Kansas, Louisville, New Mexico, San Diego State, Santa Clara, USC and Washington.

But Simon gave Rick Barnes and the rest of Texas' coaching staff a bit of good news on Thursday when he told LonghornDigest he was seriously interested in UT.

"Yes I am [interested] because of their style of play and the conference they play in," said Simon, the top point guard in 2015.

The 6-foot-5 guard, who recently picked up an invite to USA training camp, also said that he would love to visit Texas in the near future.

"I'm not sure when but hopefully soon," he said.

Here are some highlights of Simon:


Turner closing out his process

We'll have a decision from top Texas recruit Myles Turner now by the end of the month. Sources close to Turner's recruitment have put Texas in a slight lead, but don't count out Kansas, which has an in-home visit with Turner on Sunday.

Of course, getting anything concrete out of Turner, or Turner's camp, is nearly impossible at this point. Turner has been busy on the all-star game circuit, so naturally at every all-star game there pop up stories about how he's being recruited by Top Recruit X to come join him at Basketball School Z. At this point, I think he still ends up at Texas, and here's why:

1) Turner admittedly grew up a Texas fan.

2) Turner's favorite player is Kevin Durant, and he met Durant while visiting Texas this summer.

3) He has a great relationship with the coaches.

4) The coaches have done an outstanding job of selling him on a doable role in the frontcourt playing starter minutes alongside Jonathan Holmes and Cameron Ridley.

5) What has been undersold is the relationship that he has with the Texas players.

Recruiting Turner has been a true team effort, and he's developed strong relationships with players like Ridley that will make it difficult for him to pick against the home-state Longhorns. Could he surprise and go somewhere else? Sure. But if you've been following here on, I've been calling Turner to Texas since this past summer, and I haven't wavered from that.

There's never a sure thing in recruiting. The Kansas staff, for instance, thought it had a better shot at Julius Randle than with Andrew Wiggins, and we all know how that turned out. And things could certainly change.

If the things I hear do change, I'll be sure to fill you in as they happen. But for now, I think that Turner will pick Texas when he makes his decision on April 30. (Flaherty)

All Cleare for Shaq?

As reported by, the Longhorns are closing in on landing a big-time transfer in former four-star prospect Shaquille Cleare, a Texas recruit, but Maryland signee, from the Class of 2012. In fact, had the Longhorns not landed Ridley in that class in the first place, it's pretty likely that Cleare would have started off his career as a Longhorn.

Right now, Texas is in the process of reviewing his transcripts, but according to multiple sources, Cleare is expected to come out of the process a Longhorn.

What does it mean? Texas went in search of impact transfers after the season, potentially hoping to add another wing scorer to the mix. But multiple factors led instead to the 6-foot-9, 265-pound (that may be kind) Cleare. First, Martez Walker came on at the end of the season, averaging 15 points and five rebounds per game in Texas's two NCAA Tournament contests, despite playing just an average of 23 minutes.

Second, with the way that Cameron Ridley developed this season, there's legitimate thought that Texas could lose the monster center after his junior year to the NBA. Add in the fact that Texas might not get Myles Turner, and certainly might not get Myles Turner for multiple years, and the Longhorns were looking at the possibility of heading into the 2015-2016 season with just Connor Lammert and Prince Ibeh (and a potential 2015 recruit) down low.

That's where Cleare comes in. Because he'll sit out this upcoming season, then have two years to play two, the Longhorns have some cover in case the sky does fall.

From a body standpoint, Cleare is very much like Ridley, a long 6-foot-9 player with a bulky body that can push around lighter players. Also like Ridley, he has soft hands and does an outstanding job of rebounding his area. In fact, Cleare could be considered something of a poor-man's Ridley … he has a bit better scoring touch around the basket, but Ridley is a better rebounder and a significantly better defender and shot-blocker.

Expect Cleare's process to play out before Turner makes his decision, and should he wind up at Texas, they don't expect that it will affect Turner's judgment. After all, Turner sees himself as a one-and-done, and even if he isn't, he would likely play over Cleare in '15-16. (Flaherty)

2015 center likes Red River rivals

At 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds, speed isn't exactly the first thing you'd expect three-star center Tyler Moore (Galena Park, Texas/North Shore) to list about himself as a reason why he is getting so much attention from college coaches these days.

Guess that's why you don't judge a book by its cover.

"I'm the quickest 300-pounder you will ever see," said Moore, who holds a 3.8 grade-point average. "From side-to-side with my lateral movement I will outrun a freaking defensive back. I've got this quick twitch that all the coaches seem to like. And they do like that I have a little size to be able to anchor the line too."

Moore said he runs between a 4.4- and 4.5-second 20-yard shuttle.

"For being this big that's kind of remarkable," he said.

That quick twitch, and his size of course, have helped him garner interest from a host of programs, including Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Kansas State, Arizona State, Arkansas, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.

While he only has one offer from Louisiana Tech to date, Moore is confident that more will come this spring. That optimism is included with the Longhorns since he and UT offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Joe Wickline have been in contact since the beginning of his sophomore season.

"I kind of got caught in transition in the Texas thing otherwise I think I would have gotten the offer," Moore said. "I feel like it is very close. I feel like that an OU too."

Moore said that Texas head coach Charlie Strong told him he was going to visit Texas personally this spring, which was "pretty encouraging." He'd really like the Texas offer and said some things could move really quickly if he gets it.

"I've always loved the Longhorns," he said. "I have a thing for the Red River Rivalry and feel like if OU or Texas offered it would be between them and no one else.

"I feel like if Texas offered I'd commit but if OU offered I'd commit there to. I'd have to sit and ponder. [New UT commitment and teammate] Tristan [Houston] was leaning more Texas and I feel like I'm more OU."

Moore said he's leaning toward the Sooners right now because he's visited their campus, and because he has a lot of family in the state. But he'll get a first-hand look at Texas this weekend when he comes to town for the spring game.

That will help Texas' cause just as it will having Houston at North Shore to talk up the program should UT extend an offer.

"Me, Tristian and [2015 defensive end] Dorance Armstrong have this thing that if Texas offered us three we'd all commit if they offered all three of us so we could keep it close knit over there," he said.

Moore said a lot of schools want him at center but he'll be playing left guard this fall. (Wilkerson)

2016 TE Guinn has Texas in top four

With over 100 players expected to attend Texas' spring game, it's going to be hard for individuals to stand out. One that might be able to could also be one of the youngest there.

Class of 2016 tight end Marquise Guinn (Carthage, Texas/Carthage), who stands 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, is one of the state's top players in his class. And he really likes the Longhorns.

"My top four are Texas, Oklahoma State, Arkansas and Texas Tech," he said. He, for one, is a big fan of the Charlie Strong hire.

"I really like the hire," he said. "I really think he's going to have a big impact on this season. I really like what he's doing this offseason and stuff. And Pat Moorer, the conditioning coach, is really getting those guys in shape."

It won't be Guinn's first trip to campus. He grew up attending Longhorns games with his uncle.

"When I was growing up my uncle was a big fan of Texas," he said. "There was a receiver he liked back then but I can't remember his name. He took me to a few games when I was younger so I just fell in love with the team."

Guinn shouldn't have that deer-in-headlights look on his face when he steps foot inside Darrel K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium since he was at Texas A&M last week.

And he's got a checklist for what he's looking for.

"I like to see how the tight ends work, what the facilities are like, what the atmosphere around the coaches is," he said. "I want a program I can fit in, that I will feel comfortable in. Not like a big SEC school or something. I want to be comfortable. Academics too. I was always brought up that if you don't pass you don't play. So that's very important to me."

Texas coaches should have a checklist for Guinn too, consisting of one key ingredient: build a relationship with him.

Guinn caught 25 passes for 310 yards and four touchdowns as one of only two non-senior starters for a Carthage team that won its fourth Texas 3A state championship in six seasons. He was the only non-senior starter on offense.

If that doesn't speak to his abilities, then what does?

"I'm dependable," he said. "Third downs you can come to me anytime. I can get open, create space, and my speed is getting there. I'm not the fastest. I'm at a 4.7 right now but looking to get down to 4.6 by the summer. But I've been in the weight room lately since the coaches want to put a little weight on me. They want me at 235."

Guinn should pick up a considerable amount of attention when it's all said and done. But he did say he'd like to stay in Texas. (Wilkerson).

2017 OL ready for Saturday

It's never too early to recruit in this day of college football, which is why the Longhorns will be hosting one of the state's top 2017 prospects at their spring game on Saturday.

Center Jack Anderson (Frisco, Texas), who stands 6-feet-4 and 280 pounds, will make his way to Austin for the game. Because he's so young, it took a little work on his end to get noticed. But it didn't take long for Texas to reciprocate.

"I reached out to one of the coaches on Twitter and said that I was interested in the program and he mentioned the spring game visit, so that's where I stand," Anderson said. "I'm really excited. I'm looking forward to meeting Coach [Charlie] Strong and getting the recruiting process started. I want to talk to Coach [Joe] Wickline too."

Anderson's interest level in Texas might not have been that high "growing up" with his father having graduated from Texas Tech and his sister, Braden Anderson, currently a student there. But he's past that now that he's beginning to talk with the Longhorns.

"My interest level in Texas is very high," he said. "I mean I'd say Texas is one of the top programs in the nation looking up to. My dad went to Texas Tech and my sister goes there so I've always grown up not liking Texas. But I have the respect for it now if I have the chance to play there."

This won't be Anderson's first rodeo. In fact, the young offensive lineman has been busy making the rounds across the state with visits to Texas Tech, TCU, and Oklahoma.

"I think they all have their advantages," he said. "Tech has the family ties. TCU, I really like the smaller school vibe. But OU blew me away with their fan base and how I was accepted there."

Anderson believes there is mutual interest with these schools in part because of his size and also because of how well he played in starting every game at center for Frisco's varsity team in 2013.

"Started from Day 1," he said. "My coach asked me one day if I wanted to start the first game. So I did and it went well. I thought I played better than I even expected."

Anderson also attributes his rise in popularity to his ability in using his feet as a lineman.

"I think my feet are real good for my age," he said. "I've heard that from a lot of my coaches at my school. And I think I'm real smart for my age. I don't think a lot of kids could handle what I went through as a freshman."

All of this attention has certainly changed Anderson's outlook on a whole lot of things, but he's taking it in stride.

"I've got people on Twitter saying they can't wait for me to be a Longhorn, or ‘Boomer Sooner,'" he said. "It's just a lot to be going through. But I like the attention for sure."

In addition to the schools mentioned, Anderson said he's eager to hear from SEC schools but thought the Big Ten best suited his style of play since Frisco runs the ball "85 percent of the time." (Wilkerson)

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