The Longhorns are set to host a mixture of several key commitments and targets, including UT 2015 QB pledge Zach Gentry (Albuquerque, NM/El Dorado), 2015 TE Devonaire Clarington (Hialeah, Fla./Champagnat Catholic) 2015 Tennessee LB Cecil Cherry (Lakeland, Fla./Victory Christian), 2015 cornerback Davante Davis (Miami, Fla./Booker T. Washington), 2015 Alabama safety commitment Ronnie Harrison (Tallahassee, Fla./Florida State University High), 2015 athlete DeAndre McNeal (Mesquite, Texas/Poteet), and 2015 DB Tim Irvin (Westminster, Fla./Christian).
So not only will the coaches feel the pressure of trying to defeat their first Top 25 team on Saturday (Texas is 0-4 this season and WVU comes in No. 20 in the CFB Playoff Rankings), but they’ll also have to juggle hosting several recruits that they hope can one day get them into those rankings.
Strong talked about that balancing act on Monday.
“It's really tough to bring in official visits during the season, because on Friday you're with the team and then Saturday you play the game,” he said. “So you don't get much time with them.”
The most important thing Strong said he can do to impress these recruits is to go out and get that much-needed victory, which would put Texas at 5-5 with two games remaining, one win from becoming bowl eligible.
“The first impression is to go win the football game and give them something where they can go see us play well,” he said. “… The first thing we need to do is go out and play well and give them something to talk about.”
Given all that will be going on with the staff, they’ll rely heavily on those players acting as hosts for the recruits to be the best salesmen they can be.
“They're going to have to do a really good job of just selling the program and selling what it's all about,” Strong said.
One of those hosts could be senior linebacker Steve Edmond, who would know exactly what he’d pitch to these recruits.
“You come to Texas and it's a life-changing event,” he said. “You can go to another school and have the nice uniforms, the flashy uniforms, but it really doesn't mean anything. Here, you have tradition. You'll be proud of what you're doing other than how you look. So I feel like if you come here, you'll get something more than how you look. You're going to get a great education, a great experience, and great head coach here, Coach Strong.”
Edmond went on to say that before Strong got to Texas he really didn’t care about school.
“Ever since he got here my grades have been coming up,” he said. “He made me feel like more of a man than a kid. So Coach Strong will make you grow up, make you accountable, and he's going to make sure you do everything right.”
Senior receiver John Harris echoed Edmonds’ sentiments.
“I think you should come play for Coach Strong,” Harris said. “I don't think there is any place else that you should be. If you want to go be a physical defense, and dominate on defense, come play here. If you want a chance to play on offense, come play here. There are opportunities all over the board right now. There are chances for kids who come here and live their dream out to play football for Texas and change the program and make a statement here for your name and your family. So I think coming to play for Coach Strong would be tremendous for those kids he's recruiting, and I think it will be a great deal for them.”
Although this will be a huge recruiting weekend it won’t be the last one that Texas has to try and sway 2015 recruits.
The Longhorns will surely have some big names come in on Thanksgiving Day when they host TCU as well as the first weekend of December, which is shaping up to be the biggest recruiting weekend on the calendar.
*****Longhorns 2015 QB commitment Zach Gentry's junior highlights
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