HD Roundtable: Big Recruiting Weekend for UT

Question: Pretend that you're a Texas coach and pick a recruit that is coming to visit Texas this weekend (WR Ryan Newsome, LB Darrin Kirkland, LB Malik Jefferson to name a few). What would your sales pitch be for that recruit as to why they should come to UT?

Jason Higdon’s Take

Right now it appears Texas will host five official visitors this weekend. They will bring in three players that have already announced their intentions to play for the Longhorns with Connor Williams, Garrett Thomas and Tristan Nickelson. The two uncommitted players visiting this weekend are wide receiver Ryan Newsome and linebacker Darrin Kirkland.

My sales pitch would be to both Ryan and Darrin. The two have become very close on the recruiting trail as have their families. The foundation of what the Texas coaching staff has built with both players and their families is sound. Ryan is the in-state player and the one you simply cannot miss on and Texas will not. Location, playing time and academics are the three main factors with any recruit, and Texas hits a home run with all three for Newsome. I would continue to showcase his abilities and what the Texas offense is lacking. Ryan understands what this offense needs, and he knows better than anyone what he brings to the table.

The path is just as simple on the defensive side of the ball for Kirkland. If your goal is to get to the next level and play in the NFL how could you not play for Charlie Strong and the Texas Longhorns.

Annabel Stephan’s Take

As a UT coach, the player I'd choose to pitch would be Ryan Newsome.

The pitch would begin with the traditional "we are THE University of Texas" talk and discuss how the program would provide some of the best education in the state.

Newsome has been pretty vocal on Twitter about his Texas pride, and first step would be to reinforce that. Football wise, the staff should tell him he has an opportunity to compete for time immediately. John Harris and Jaxon Shipley are gone. The staff should reiterate that the program is looking for more speed, and to take a look at the last two games where true freshman Armanti Foreman blew up.

It's important to express Texas' need for more players like that and that coaches will put Newsome on the field if he proves he can play. He would also have an immediate opportunity on special teams, as both punt return and kick return were lackluster in 2014.

Finally, the staff should tell him that Texas is close to getting the program turned around, and that Newsome could be a key piece in doing that and helping the team reclaim the Big 12 Title.

Greg Powers’ Take

I think Texas has a lot of things to pitch at Ryan Newsome.

First off I think that being the lone in-state program on his list will be a possible huge selling point. If he is dead set on leaving the state then there is just not much you can do about it. You cannot pick your campus up and move it somewhere else. So making the location be a positive should be a natural sell.

After that I think Texas has the opportunity to show Newsome he has the opportunity to come in and make a very early impact, Texas has a clear need to get speed on the field and will have openings in the return game, something that the scout four-star excels in.

Showing how they plan to use him is also paramount. You have to make sure a prospect of his level understands how he can and will be featured. He seems to have been at the top of the wide receiver board for a while now, so it is an important visit.

William Wilkerson’s Take

Before I start my pitch for Malik Jefferson I’d make sure that he and his family walk around on nothing but red carpet, feathers, and/or gets a piggy-back ride from Pat Moorer.

Once that’s settled then I’d have him sit down in a room for a Q&A with Jordan Hicks and let Texas’ All-American candidate tell him exactly what it’s like to play for the defensive minds that are Charlie Strong, Vance Bedford and Bran Jean-Mary, and how much fun he’d have filling in Hicks’ shoes next season.

While MJ is sitting there I’d have highlights of Hicks on loop from this season, though, he had so many you’d probably only need one play-through. I’d also make sure MJ had a copy of Hicks’ stats from this season: team-high 138 tackles, 13 tackles-for-loss, 3.5 sacks, 2 INTs, 2 pass break ups, 4 pass deflections and 4 QB hurries.

Then I’d lead him to Bedford’s office where Bedford can show the name plate with “defensive coordinator” on either his door or desk, and ask him if he wants to play trivia. When he says yes then I’d ask him to name Texas A&M’s current defensive coordinator. When he’s unable to, I’d smile, then move the visit to the 50-yard line at DKR.

While he and his family are there I’d have a highlight reel up on the Jumbotron of Hicks, Derick Johnson, and other recent LB greats to play at Texas and let him envision being the next one.

Once that’s over I’d feed him some BBQ, take him to go watch the Longhorns volleyball team, let him have a night out with Texas’ players and call it a day.

Then I’d call him first thing Sunday morning and do it all over again.


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