HD Roundtable

What is the one thing that really stood out to you from Texas' "Under The Lights" camp?


Jason Higdon’s take

The overall talent on the field is what stood out for me the most. This was the first time this event was held under the Charlie Strong era and it was a success. Texas had big-time prospects Friday night including defensive linemen Du’Vonta Lampkin, Darrion Daniels, Mike Williams, Charles Omenihu, Louis Brown and Marvin Wilson to name a few.

I have a tough time deciding what was more impressive between the DL group and QB group. It is very close for me personally. At the quarterback position you had two headliners with Zach Gentry and Kai Locksley for 2015.

The 2016 class is where things become interesting with players such as Brennen Wooten, Jalen Hurts, Logan Bonner and Shane Buechele. That is 12 top-of-the-line players, six on offense and six on defense, and I did not even talk about Kris Boyd, Holton Hill or Ryan Newsome. I thought the overall talent level at this camp year one was fantastic.





William Wilkerson’s take

There were a few things that I really took note of, including the amount of young talent at the camp that really came away with an improved outlook of what UT is about.

But the thing that I came away really thinking twice about were a few players that didn’t workout at all, namely 2016 RB/LB Demarco Boyd (Gilmer, Texas) and 2015 ATH/QB J.W. Ketchum (Houston/Lamar).

I’m not sure whose choice it really was for Boyd not to workout – his, his coaches, his brothers – but I thought it would have been a wise move for him to. I completely understand that there is a season right around the corner to keep in mind but our feeling at HD was that Boyd was in line for an offer if he would have worked out for the coaches.

Not only did it hurt his chances in that regard but it might have hurt UT’s chances of landing his brother, four-star DB Kris Boyd, who was there and didn’t work out either (completely get why he wouldn’t).

Ketchum was another player I thought should have worked out instead of standing on the sidelines. His recruitment has really slowed down lately and I figured a good performance at QB, which is where he said the staff was still looking at him as, could have reignited the flame between he and UT.





Chip Brown’s take

In addition to the intense coaching recruits continue to get at Texas football camps - which continued Friday - I was struck by the comments from 2015 QBs Zach Gentry and Kai Locksley.

There was concern that Gentry might be deterred about the possibility of Locksley also picking Texas. Gentry told HD's William Wilkerson that he's OK with Locksley possibly choosing Texas.

Locksley told our own Jason Higdon that he and Gentry played AAU basketball together and have a good relationship.

There they were on Friday in DKR and both looked really sharp. It sounds like the possibility of signing both of these QBs could work - against all odds in most situations like this.





Gabe Brooks’ take

What really stood out to me was the intensity of the camp. Part of that was probably because I spent a good portion of the camp watching the defensive line group, which was getting instruction from assistant head coach for defense/defensive line coach Chris Rumph, who did not hesitate to get his points across emphatically.

But part of what stood out about this was the players' reactions to this type of instruction at an elite recruit camp. All five of the guys I spoke with individually after the camp talked positively of the aggressive tone the coaches set. Rockwall 2015 DT Jaylen Veasley said "Texas probably has the most intense coaching" of the camps he's attended this summer. Tyler John Tyler 2015 CB Isaac Warren said he enjoyed the in-your-face approach because it reminded him of his instruction at John Tyler.

The younger recruits loved it, too.

Fort Bend Hightower 2016 DT Darius Anderson said he liked that Rumph "was coaching us and teaching us like we were his own kids." Alief Elsik 2016 S/CB Chris Brown called it a "great camp" and said "UT has great coaches." One of the youngest guys there, 2017 DT Marvin Wilson, said that Texas' coaches "wanted as close to perfection as they could get," and that brought out his competitive side.

I think the tone that the new staff wants to set on and off the field is one that recruits -- at least the ones I encountered following UTL -- enjoy and look forward to being a part of. Contrary to what a lot of people outside the realm of recruiting believe, the vast majority of players don't wanna be pampered and babied all the time. They feed off intensity and look for leadership, just like anybody else in any job or field.





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