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Read Digest'Em after the jump:
Strong checks in on Gragg
UT losing ground
Quick note on Proche
Strong checks in on Gragg
When you've amassed more offers (40) than anyone in Arkansas State history like four-star tight end Will Gragg (Pine Bluff, Ark.), you're going to solicit attention that not all recruits get.
Like, say, the head coach of the University of Texas Skyping with you.
That's what happened on Thursday when Charlie Strong set aside a few minutes to talk with the 6-foot-4, 247-pound Gragg.
"We talk about once a week," Gragg said. "They are in a great place with me and I'm in a great place with them.
"We were really talking about things outside of football, relationships in life and things like that. Then we got into football."
It's not often that head coaches from out-of-state programs show recruits that type of attention, but it's happened on more than a few occasions with Gragg. He had Nick Saban attend one of his basketball games. Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema has obviously also been by Pine Bluff HS.
"You don't get used to stuff like that," he said. "It makes people around me look at me a little different because you look in the coaches office and there goes Charlie Strong."
All this attention could do more harm than good if you let it get to your head. Luckily for Gragg, he's got a great support system that is keeping things in check.
"It's really humbling knowing that I've set the state record [for most offers by an Arkansas prospect], but I've got a good family around me that is keeping me grounded so I don't get too big-headed," he said.
The No. 144 prospect in the country, Gragg said Texas is definitely in the mix for his commitment. He's shown how serious he is about UT already by taking a multi-day unofficial visit at the end of March. He's also set on an official visit for Texas' home game against BYU on Sept. 6.
Gragg said that despite knowing his official visits, he's far from being able to narrow things down.
"Just talking it over with my family, we haven't started to settle down and narrow things down just yet," he said. "Once the school year is over we will cut things down. I definitely want to get out and see some schools that I haven't seen yet. Then we will just go from there."
When talking about Texas' top defensive tackle targets, Daron Payne's name isn't always brought up. But maybe it should be.
The five-star recruit from Irondale (AL) Shades Valley is growing to like the Longhorns more and more because of the relationship he's had, and is building, with UT defensive line coach Chris Rumph.
"I like Texas," Payne said. "I like them because of the relationship I have with Coach [Chris] Rumph. I like the discipline the new coach [Charlie Strong] is instilling into the team."
He told HornsDigest on Sunday that he'd visit the Longhorns sometime this summer.
Payne is the man in the middle you look to build your defense around. He can really anchor the defensive line and cause teams to double-team him. He is very strong at the point of attack and he can move well side-to-side. He is more of a bull rush guy right now and can help collapse the pocket up the middle. He needs to refine his game as a pass rusher and his overall technique. A strong and big body in the middle. - Chad Simmons
UT losing ground?
Five-star defensive tackle Daylon Mack (Gladewater, Texas) is looking around. Yes, he's committed to Texas A&M and has been since Oct. 21. But he's taking a bit of a step back to make sure that College Station is the place for him.
He told HornsDigest a few weeks ago that he was keeping his options open and that one of those schools he mentioned was Texas. Defensive line coach Chris Rumph is doing what he can to sway the 6-foot-1, 306-pound Mack.
However, when asked what visits he had planned the No. 9 player in the country said he'd go to LSU on May 31 and Alabama from June 13-14. He did not know if he'd visit Texas or not.
Obviously, that's not good news for UT, who appears to be behind three SEC teams for his services. But the Longhorns will keep trying and are in good shape with several other DTs in case they don't hit the lottery with Mack.
Quick note on Proche
Three-star wide receiver James Proche (Dallas/Prime Prep) has caught plenty of balls and plenty of looks from programs around the country, but he's yet to fully capture the attention of Texas' coaching staff.
Proche told HornsDigest on Sunday that he hasn't heard from the Longhorns in a long time. This comes despite him being one of the top receivers at the Dallas NFTC.
The 6-foot, 180-pound Proche has offers from Arkansas State, Colorado State, Houston, Louisville, Maryland, North Texas, SMU, TCU, and Tulsa. He said Mississippi State is coming after him the hardest right now.