The Scoop on UT's 2015 Recruiting Adventures

The inside scoop on what really happened as Texas tried to put its 2015 recruiting class together. This was originally posted on HornsDigest's premium message board "Horns House" on Feb. 5.

Everyone has waited for the Kyler Murray situation so I will address this first and then move accordingly throughout the stories I felt most interesting.

Before I get right into that, I want to hit on some things that are fresh in everyone's minds, some of which play into the Murray situation. A lot of this stuff is somewhat tied together.

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On February 2nd, I had a lengthy conversation with Demarco Boyd. Kris Boyd, when he ran into Demarco that morning, told his younger brother he was really thinking about Texas A&M. It was a threat for sure, which is why I reported it was a real threat and not some fly by rumor being put out by various media outlets that have become accustomed to doing that very thing.

As you noticed in the boards, I maintained Kris Boyd was saying and doing all the right things as far as the Texas coaching staff was concerned. Many questioned this statement wondering why I would continue to maintain A&M was a real threat. The reason is simple: At that time I had more faith in what Kris was telling his brother vs. what he was telling the staff. The thought process was simple; he was telling his brother there was an issue or some second-guessing. The Texas staff was two steps ahead of everything the Aggies tried and he inked with the Longhorns.

The Aggies tried to do everything they could to get Boyd to sign the fax and have the mother ink it before anyone knew what was going on. Texas was well aware of everything going on with the situation and would not allow it to get sideways. Kris does not live with his mother or father, neither does Demarco from what I understand, but they don't live with each other. No one in Gilmer wanted to see either brother end up anywhere other than Texas. Texas A&M countered the entire time on the recruiting trail with why play for a program with discipline, core values and accountability. If you are a young man, that has more of an interest in parties, girls and going and coming as you please that lifestyle could become appealing to you. That was the whole sales pitch from what various recruits have said.

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Holton Hill and Kris Boyd were always going to Texas. While there was some late drama, Texas was well aware of what was going on and in complete control with these two and everything that was going on. Everyone needs to understand at the end of the day you will appear like you are on a roller coaster. That is just the nature of the beast.

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February 2nd was a big swing day for me. It was the same day that Daylon Mack informed the coaching staff thanks but no thanks. What makes this a bit strange is 15 minutes prior to him informing the coaching staff of that decision he spoke with all the coaches, and he was great with them as was the family. Going back a bit in time during the Malik announcement and weeks leading up to the announcement, Mack said nothing other than if MJ is in I am in as well. This was a big reason there was some optimism on my part. Mack was all Aggies, then all UF and said he was going to UF, etc. He switched more times than anyone I can care to remember. Then he shuts it down, no contact with Texas and seems once again firm with the Aggies.

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Then what I had alluded to forever - the OV by Murray and Lodge.

Yes, the reason they could not come back for an OV is because that visit was the OV. Most of you in the boards caught onto this fact based on how I was reporting. There was a bit of confusion (36 hours) where it appeared that maybe Lodge could come back for an OV. It was quickly discovered the Wednesday trip was, in fact, the OV.

Lodge was going to return for an OV but had no clue that ended up being his OV. He simply came along for the ride with the Murray family. Had Lodge made a return trip to Austin for another 48-hours the results may have been different but no telling. He was so locked in on Ole Miss for SO long it may not have mattered in the end. He was never going to A&M because Sumlin lied to him about the WR situation and that was that he bounced and never looked back.

While this was going on Mack was still thinking heavily about Texas and reached out to Murray to tell him “Lets visit Texas this upcoming weekend.” Murray told him that Lodge, and he were in Austin. This is how secretive this thing had become; Daylon Mack - a close friend - had no idea that Murray and Lodge were making a trip to Austin. Mack quickly set up his OV that very same day with the Texas coaching staff. Mack came on his OV and did nothing but rave about the trip, staff and facilities. He also was recruiting his TAIL off with Murray and Lodge the entire time he was in Austin. He left Austin telling people he was going to Texas, and it STAYED that way until February 2nd.

At the drop of the hat, he was back off with Texas and inked with A&M. The fact of the matter is the kids can come out now and say whatever the want but the Aggies had him, they lost him, he was all Texas, then they flipped him back all behind closed doors. He in no way, shape or fashion would have visited Texas if he were back all in with them. He in no way, shape or fashion would have spent the entire weekend recruiting Kyler to come to Texas with him if he were back all in with them.

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February 2nd gets even better. It was the day Texas found out Soso Jamabo was going to UCLA. Soso entire family including the father wanted his son at Texas. Soso always liked Texas and he also loved his OV January 24th. When Texas was dealing with the SoSo family things were fine. Enter the trainer. The trainer who went to Michigan is great friends with the RB coach at UCLA. He continued to push Soso to UCLA for the length of the recruiting process, and it was simply too much to overcome. Having said that, as recently as late, late, late Tuesday night Soso was having serious second thoughts about UCLA and at 1:30 am he was Texas bound. He woke up and had more conversations with the trainer ended up picking UCLA. The trainer was in the actual shot when he announced on TV and thanked the trainer I believe.

Multiple players at Texas felt Soso was leaning to Texas, and that was before he even found out that Newsome was coming to Texas. When Texas picked up Newsome the players only strengthened how they felt about landing Soso but he ended up picking UCLA at the end of the day. One thing to note is something I live by. If a kid takes ONE trip, and only one trip to your school, that being the OV, you DON'T get that kid. Soso, Lodge, Mack and Murray all fit the bill. At the same time, Johnson, Davis, Cherry and Clarington also only made one trip that being the OV, and they signed with Texas. I would never expect to see that happen again while this staff is in place at Texas. This first season, for the first full season, was a bit different.

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Kyler Murray. Where do I even begin? I talked about a reason, something that would happen, and when it did you would understand what I was talking about. The thing everyone must understand is this: The Murray family pursued Texas, not the other way around. Some people might not believe that, but that is not my opinion. They were chasing Texas well before the high school playoffs even started. They maintained to Texas that as soon as the playoff run was over he was going to take an OV to Texas and decommit.

Well, guess what, they kept winning in the most incredible fashions I might add. After they had won the state title they were so close to UA week, there was no way they would decommit during that week with all the media, etc. They told Texas as soon as that week was over they would decommit, and they did not. Mid-January, Texas grew very tired of listening to the Murray tale of OV's and decommitting so they made a decision. They informed Kevin Murray they were done, and they were going in a different direction and that was over. Immediately upon hearing Texas was done even recruiting this kid the father called and wanted to meet with Texas the next morning, and they did.

See the theme of this deal? Murray family was chasing Texas, not the other way around. This is when Murray told Texas they would make the Wednesday visit, and they did. On Thursday, the day before the Texas in-home visit, out of the blue Murray tweets he is going with his heart. So once again they were done with Murray… or so they thought.

No less than 72 hours later, Kyler Murray reaches out to Texas again and asks if they could send him a Texas NLI. This was a brain vs. heart deal, which I mentioned in the boards at that time. He knows he is not playing at that school for maybe two years with the QB situation they have. At the end of the day he and Mack ended up going where everyone thought they were going. This deal was very strange. HS coach who is an A&M guy and on January 14th he told Texas that Murray was not going to play for Sumlin. He told them there was no need to keep anything on the down low and to recruit him out in the open publicly. At the end of the day this was not some troll job but as much as the parents understood Kyler was set on the “freedom” of the Aggies.

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The Ryan Newsome deal was just about as strange. He was doing nothing other than recruiting as many people as he possibly could to come to Texas with him. He and his family were recruiting LB Darrin Kirkland for a LONG time on every OV they made together as the families became very close. During the OU, OV Newsome was at the house of Bob Stoops and doing nothing other than recruiting Kirkland to go to Texas with him. Which made the PC one of the strangest PC's I have ever watched? He did not officially call or tell Charlie Strong he was committing until 130am the night before the PC and then less than 9 hours later sits in front of 500 people and picked UCLA. I predicted Texas for Newsome and he ended up Texas so do I get a mulligan from you guys? I kid I kid.

The truth of the matter is simple, the second the PC was over the family was dazed and confused. They could not believe what just went down. That morning they were in the mall loading up on Texas gear so to say they were surprised was an understatement, to say the least. It worked out for Ryan as they had room, and they decided to go ahead and take him in the class. I think he is where he was supposed to be all along.

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Questions:

1. You may have answered this, but you mentioned that it was important that Charles home visit went well...why???

That visit was important because what came out of it was simple. The Omenihu family and Jamabo family was close. Omenihu family told the staff that night that they would also speak with the Soso family because the families are from the same area. The crazy thing about this whole deal is they didn't even need to do it because the parents wanted him at Texas. What was a bit surprising is the dad was not more in the mix with Soso and his final decision?

2. Did Warren really come down to a coin flip or was that a show?

It was a show, from everything I know he was always going to Texas. Now, it did get a bit interesting because the talk was his mother who runs the show would not allow her son to go to Texas if Soso were in. I do not think it was by accident they announced after Soso.

3. Can you tell us which QB's reached out to Texas after the news of Gentry switching to Michigan?

Nathan Elliott I believe his name is going to UNC last I checked and Ryan Mills I think is the other name. Mills was the No 1 QB in Kansas. Good players but I think both Merrick and Kai are better players and options.

4. What happened with the Gentry recruitment?

There was no secret with Gentry. I told this story as much as I could when it went down. The truth of the matter is simple. Gentry lost faith in Texas and had cold feet regarding the offense. This is a bit surprising from a QB because those guys are supposed to believe they are the answer. Texas was always and I mean ALWAYS honest with him and his father about what Texas was doing. This had nothing to do about Texas or Murray/Kai and more to do about Gentry not having confidence in the coaching staff. Texas was loyal and honest with him for a year or longer. He was looking for an excuse, and when one presented itself with the Murray news starting to circulate he took the chance and ran.

5. Why did he pick Michigan after being committed to Texas for so long? What were his specific concerns?

Addressed above.

6. Locke flip?

P.J. is a great story, and a player that I believe in time could be one of the true gems of this class. I like Jamile Johnson, but Texas caught a break with this situation. As they were unfortunate with the Gentry deal, they were very fortunate in this deal. They were on the phone with him and offered him soon after the Johnson news broke. The other commits did an outstanding job of reaching out to him and trying to welcome him into the program while he was still deciding. His mother wanted him at Texas, so that was a big help as well. On Tuesday NSD, even Oregon came back hard at him and offered his girlfriend a basketball scholarship. That is how badly Oregon wanted to hold onto James Locke.

7. Davante Davis wavering till the last minute?

He was for sure right after the departure of Tim Irvin. The crazy part about this deal is everyone said/felt he was going where Tim went, and he stood firm and stayed with Texas, but this one was in serious doubt. I felt it was over, and no way would he stick. He is a HUGE commit and a player of need at a position of need. Big, long and lean and physical. He has a chance to be a special player for Texas.

8. What happened with Keivon Ramsey? He just disappeared. What are his plans now?

He was one that Texas was ok with simply letting go. I have no clue what his plans are or where he ended up.

9. Aite, since you're taking care of the big 4, I'll ask a similar but related question. Were we ever in talks with any other top 300 recruit that never really materialized? I can imagine that if the staff sent out something like 120 offers there must have been some story lines behind the scenes that we weren't aware of.

It happened very late, but four-star corner Marcus Lewis wanted to come to Texas badly! His mother would not allow him and made him stick with FSU a team he gave a silent verbal to previously.

10. Also, any news on the McGuire hire?

From what I have been told he has not interviewed with Charlie and that may happen on Monday. CS will Interview two coaches for the vacant TE/ST job opening.

11. What's next for the Horns at the QB position? Surely can't be finished with just adding Locksley.

I touched on this in HD only on Wednesday as did Chip and William.

12. Who was the recruit that the staff coveted the most that they were not able to get?

I would say Mack because of his position, DT.

13. Who were some of the recruits that were calling in to see if there were any spots available in the class?

The QB's I mentioned above were two. The soe has a couple kids that wanted to come to Texas, but Texas said thanks but no thanks. Not wanting to throw an egg on their face so no point in pointing them out. Besides all that would happen is someone would ask them about it, and they would deny it. I felt it was ok for me to mention the two QB's bc they were calling more about checking on the situation at Texas vs. trying to commit.

Can you list the recruits that, at some time or another, were considered "silent commits" to Texas (and why that eventually changed, if it did)?

Lots of kids such as Warren, Malik, Hill, Boyd, Vasser, Newsome late and PJ late.

14. What caused us to fall three short other than the obvious big 5 choosing other schools? Will they be filled next year?

Well, I did not truly anticipate losing Gentry and certainly did not see the Weathersby or Jamile Johnson deal going down. However, Jamile doesn't count bc he was replaced but Louis Brown was not replaced, and that's three players right there which gives Texas 25 I believe on the day if those three stayed.

15. Jason you mentioned I believe yesterday in a thread that, you thought there could have been a recruit who could flip to Texas, but didn't think the mom would allow that. Who was the recruit?

Marcus Lewis for sure.

16. With the success of getting this Top 10 class this year, do you feel the staff will start going after the #1-in-the-nation guys (i.e., Cowart) next year? I am fully convinced this staff can recruit with the best of them now (Meyer, Saban).

I still think they will be calculated because they are taking back the state of Texas in my mind no question. For some kids such as QB and maybe running back they will go wherever to get those guys I believe. Look at the kids the Aggies wanted and offered as well as Texas.

Holton Hill, Kris Boyd, Malik Jefferson, Daylon Mack, Kyler Murray, DeAndre McNeal, Chris Warren, Soso, Lodge and don't forget they offered DeMarco Boyd VERY LATE. That is 10 players both teams offered and wanted. What did Texas wind up with going head to head with them, six players. The Aggies hit on two and two went out-of-state and Aggy lost Lodge don't forget. People will say yes but so what they got the QB. I would say they had to fight like hell to keep him, and the kid is an A&M legacy? That is not a good sign if you are a fan of that program in my mind, but time will tell.

17. Did UT really like Warren better, or was that revisionist history when they knew Soso was gone?

Chris was in for a long time behind closed doors. I mean did anyone really believe he was going to Washington over Texas? I think it's clear to everyone they had Warren and SoSo ranked over Brossette. They did not take the in-home visit, and that's all we needed to see. At the same time, and the staff was correct at the end of the day he was not going to leave his mother no matter how much he wanted to play for Charlie Strong.

18. Why did Charlie Strong NOT make the In-home visit with Brosette? With Soso gone to UCLA, and Warren a coin-flip decision...why NOT go after Brosette? Was this the kid who really wanted to play here, but momma wouldn't let him?

His mother signed off on Texas gave the kid her blessing. Many ppl believed the family would get run out of town had he picked Texas. I think Texas had a great idea of this situation and felt it was not important to make that last visit. It is VERY hard to get players out of that state IF LSU wants a kid.

19. Locke and Newsome were flips to Texas today. Who were the 3rd and 4th that you thought might flip to Texas as well? I suspect Soso was one.

Baker was the 3rd kid, and his father wanted Texas, but mom won out at the end of the day. I did not feel a 4th was real but with Murray asking for the NLI on Sunday you just never know.

20. You don't have to name names, but what can you tell us about some of the more "interesting" outside influencers that you've seen this year.

Trainers, high school coaches, doctors you name it they were coming out of the woodworks this cycle. This year has been one of the STRANGEST recruiting years in recent times for me.

21. What happened with Toby Weathersby?

Unfortunately for Toby he let people around him enter into the mix. Once you go down that road with Texas there is never going to be any turning back and he found that out as did two other people associated with him.

22. Did this class exceed expectations?

Well, I took a chance over two months ago and predicted top five. They will fall ONE player short of that accomplishment. With what they did, in their first full year recruiting that state and the kids they landed IMO was outstanding. Would they liked to have landed another DT or RB sure, but you cant fill every single need in one class, and this staff came damn close to actually doing it I thought. I think the class is fantastic sir.

23. I have seen reports that Daylon Mack's mother filed for ownership of the #WRTS slogan that they Aggies had already been using and were represented by Aggie attorneys in the filing of the paperwork (one of whom is apparently listed as an advisor for Johnny Manzeil). Is the representation of Daylon's mother an NCAA violation? If A&M pays the Macks a percentage of the sales, is this an NCAA violation?

Seems very fishy for sure but I am no attorney. I would be more curious to see how they are going to start this company to bring those items into assembly.

24. Do you know if CS had any contact with, or interest in, Devonte Fields (just chose Louisville)? I know that CS gave Dyer a chance.

I do not my friend.

25. I want to hear everything that went on behind closed doors in regard to Jefferson's recruitment.

I honestly felt as good or better with MJ than just about anyone in the class leading up to his announcement. Now, any time you get closer to the announcement it always seems to get dicey. It's natural to get a bit concerned and by you I mean I. I think there are so many people surrounding MJ that are constant reminders of his life it was simply a no brainier. I thought the drunk uncle routine worked against other teams. Texas played a brilliant move with MJ in my mind. His future position coach was the guy going to see him once a week. Malik built a HUGE relationship with Brian Jean-Mary. While everyone else had the HC being his primary recruiter they could not go frequent the school nearly as much so he could get tons of time with his future position coach. It worked out like a champ but I was never really ever worried with how Strong and company sold the opportunity Malik would have in his defense. If you compare what Strong has done with defensive players vs. Sumlin, there is ZERO comparison. Malik understands that in my mind. Just as importantly his family understood the importance of Discipline and core values.

26. Besides Mack, Lodge, Murray, and Soso, who was UT "close" to flipping that we DON'T KNOW ABOUT?

I can't think of anyone off the grid that fits this description I don’t think unless I forget someone completely.

27. Can you finally give us some names on who might be a transfer option at QB now?

I can’t. I talked about this in the HD Only on Wednesday. If they can find a guy, they believe can come in and compete and be a starter I think you will see them make that move. They will not, however, just go take another QB for the sake of taking a QB.

28. Will the Staff tweak anything about their policy on verbals visiting other places? What will be your thought process in assembling the behind the scenes "tell all?"

At the end of the day you encourage mostly (sometimes demand) you don’t want your verbals taking OV’s to other schools. Charlie Strong would rather have you not commit and go public and THEN go take your visits and if you still feel Texas than so be it. He is not about kids making reservations, he is about kids making decisions and the kids trying to be held accountable for those decisions. At the same time Texas understands its part of the process and you try and navigate it as much as possible. I always tell as much as humanly possible without putting myself in jeopardy. I under no circumstances can allow myself to get stuck in between a rock and a hard place. Any surprise or secret visitor I ever bring up will be named. It might be during the recruiting season or after NSD but sooner or later you will know. You might not like the answer I give but you will know exactly which players I was talking about. I will never keep that stuff away from the board. Some things are better left until after the fact. Do you know the riot that would have taken place if I mentioned a word about that Kyler Murray stuff? It would have been complete and utter madness. Had I mentioned last night that Oregon swooped in and offered PJ’s girl a basketball scholarship? Lot of things I need to keep to myself until I can speak about them without it causing crazy madness for the players.

29. IF there was never a KM jersey tweet, do we end up with the exact same guys in this class?

I believe they would yes sir. Now, had Malik not been in the class it could have been a serious struggle.

30. Why did we offer Quincy Vasser?

They think he is physically mature to come make an early impact on the DL and they need some DL help.

31. What was the reason for your decision not to discuss specifics regarding the QB position for so long? Any why did you maintain that position even after KM officially reaffirmed his commitment to the Aggies?

I hear and find out all kind of things throughout a year-long recruiting cycle. As I mentioned above in question 30. Some things are better left quiet. What would be the reason for me to talk about that stuff prior to NSD. A&M felt great I am sure about him canceling the Texas visit. Putting out there what was going on at the time would not have been a smart move on my part. Waiting until NSD is always the best option with some of this stuff. That is how I have always done things and will continue to do so in the future. I maintained my stance because I knew what the family was saying and wanting and low and behold he asked Texas for a NLI. He didn’t pick Texas but that to me was very telling. Had I put that out on Sunday can you imagine what would have happened?

32. If Murray was the big surprise, what was the other big event you hinted at?

I think the first real surprise was when I said a big time WR that had not been previously talked about would emerge. That was Gilbert Johnson and brought him to the board as soon as I could. Another was the Anthony Wheeler prediction. Other than those I try to stay away from throwing out mystery recruits or big surprises. This year I think I only talked about those three unless I am forgetting something or someone else.

33. Seems something is up with Houston Westfield and Allen HS against Texas? What's that say about our chances with Ed Oliver and big OT(forgot name)?

I honestly don’t know enough about those staff from top to bottom to be able to speak about this. I do know Allen coaches or a coach is very, very pro-A&M and his son is a walk-on football player wit them.

34. Devonaire Clarington just tweeted "Braxton Miller to Texas" heard anything on this?

All indications, he would be a pretty big risk with his shoulder issues. He is an exceptional runner but so is Heard and Locksley. Not sure that is the answer. I think they will find a true passer if they take someone moving forward.

35. Have things changed in who the recruits thought would be in the class since the "fans are going to crap themselves on NSD" rhetoric?

They felt Soso and Mack were in. There was a time the recruits felt they would land all those kids. What do we say here at HD? You never ever get everyone you think you are going to get. You always lose someone you thought was solid AND you land someone out of the blue. Texas lost Gentry and others by the way, landed PJ Locke late out of the blue and did not land everyone that said they were coming for the most part.

36. How mad were you at me for trying to update the MEMBERS thread with analysis on each player but instead I derailed your MODERATOR thread this morning? (Apologies to Higs and EVERYONE!) After you specifically said (in the quote of the week): DON'T POST ON THIS THREAD UNLESS YOU ARE ME.

I actually laughed my tail off when I saw the picture of Chuck. Nothing wrong with a good Chuck animation, I loved it actually. It's all good brother things were crazy, and we did the best we could holding it down. Our first NSD together (1st of many) and we will be better prepared overall 12 months from now. I think our first run to NSD was AWESOME!

37. What happened to Dominic Reed?

He needed 3 A’s and 2 B’s to make it in. He has never done that to date and looks very slim he starts now. In-state school came calling late and he stays with Arky.

38. Who is your two favorite offensive lineman from this class?

Patrick Vahe and Connor Williams.

39. Who were you most surprised they ended up getting? Most surprised they didn't get?

I think I would have to say PJ Locke because it came in the 13th hour. Most surprised they didn’t get I think it would be Soso. With Texas being the in-state school, his parents wanting him at Texas, all his friends going to Texas and even Newsome flipping late to Texas were all things I felt would get him to Texas.

40. You seemed very confident w/ Warren for a while. Did he tell the staff a while ago? Same with Boyd and Hill.

Yes, but that does not mean you can slip for a second or relax. No matter what kids say on the recruiting trail you really must continue to recruit them as if they are not committed regardless of being public or silent.

41. Which recruit was the biggest recruiter?

I think a few kids were working hard. Malik and Kai were two guys that are not afraid to hit the recruiting trail.

42. Who else was the staff trying to get that we did not know about?

I really don’t keep much of this kind of stuff secret. Really the only kid I never said Texas was recruiting was Kyler Murray. It will be interesting to see what path he takes with the Aggies and playing time. Will not shock me to see that kid sit the bench for two year’s.

43. Which guys do you think don't go to UT if not for Malik?

I think it may have impacted Boyd more than anyone.

44. Are we looking at any kickers/punters to walk on? Any specifics?

Not that I am aware of my friend.

45. Curious what this means for Merrick. Also, what is being discussed from the grad transfer or JUCO transfer route at QB or is the staff happy with a QB roster consisting of Swoopes, Heard, Locksley, and potentially Merrick?

It is not out of the question right now that Merrick gets a ship. That decision has not been made and doesn’t need to me made anytime soon. Talked about the QB transfer already. They have three kids plus Merrick will be in school and they will see who can bring what to the table. UF and Virginia are coming hard at him right now by the way.

46. Curious what exactly Burt's dad was saying to have him decommit at one time?

That was a very strange deal indeed. The mother has serious ties to the Austin area and wanted Burt nowhere other than Texas. Burt wanted to go nowhere other than Texas but his father who lives in Atlanta would not get out of the middle of this situation and really forced the kids hand convinced him to bail. The night I reported that was around 12am when he called Strong. The next morning he immediately called Charlie back and basically told him he was sorry he made a mistake. Strong kept him quiet to see if he was going to indeed do what he said he would do which was make the OV. It got to in home visit week and he could not take it any longer as Burt was dying to announce it again so Charlie let him go public. Burt was also working Kai the entire week of UA practices.

47. What are the realistic chances for our potential grade risks to make it in?

Some of them have some work they must take care of. As far as chances go I honestly do not know.

48. Who do you think Texas calls first in the 2016 class after today's matters are handled?

Kendell Jones

QB’s

RB’s

49. Who was the player we were holding a ship for on NSD?

They were holding a spot for Murray if he decided to come late because the kids parents and his HS coach kept telling Texas he was not going to play for the Aggies.

50. Which of the running backs is most likely to see action first this year?

Tough question. I think Warren and Johnson if I had to guess maybe.

51. Any thought of having Locksley as a receiver for his first year as opposed to a potential redshirt?

Texas brought in four really, really good WR’s this class. Locksley will not RS and will not play WR year one IMO at all. I would be stunned if that were to happen.

52. Which player was the closest to picking Texas, that didn't pick Texas?

I said Soso was the one I thought would more than likely come because of all the things that were pro-Texas, but Marcus Lewis wanted in badly he was coming if it were not for his mother.

53. According to Scout, we have the #5 class in the country. If it were broken down further by defensive signings and offensive signings where would the math rank us on each side of the ball?

Both UGA, UCLA and Notre Dame added players pushing their way ahead of Texas in the Scout team rankings. Texas is at No eight right now but if either Ohio State or Aggy add any more players they may slide ahead of Texas not sure if they are waiting on other players or not.

Texas has the No. 1 class in the Big 12 coming off a 6-7 season with a staff that has barely been together one year. They are No. 8 overall as I mentioned but that could change. The next closest class in the Big 12 is OU at No, 14 and there is not another team in the Big 12 even listed in the top 25 classes in the country. The Aggies who are No 10 currently have four teams in their conference that finished ahead of them. When you get beat out in recruiting by four teams in your own conference that is not a good sign. Texas was No 10 with the RB class, not in the top 15 with the OL class, not in the top 15 with the WR class namely because Johnson was a JUCO but I am not worried about those WR’s, Not in the top 15 in DL due to low numbers, No 1 LB group in America and No 5 in the country with the DB class. There are some teams who absolutely KILLED it with the DB class they brought in such as FSU, Bama, UGA etc…Texas is right there with them though at No 5.

54. Did they feel hampered in some way by the way recruiting was handled/possible this year?

Not hampered at all. The theory will always be about building relationships, and they landed numerous players that were being recruited by the biggest names in college football. They did this in year one coming off a 6-7 season. It spells a bright future in my mind.

55. What about offers/commits from recruits that have not taken an OV?

Tons of kids will and always will land offers before they take OV’s. The plan is always going to be about learning the pressure points of the family, uncle, trainers, HS coaches, etc. To be as fully prepped as possible when they decide to recruit a player so there are no surprises late in the game.

56. Why did the staff fail to jump on someone like Soso or Locke earlier in the recruiting process to have a better chance of closing some recruits that have indicated a lean toward UT and longer engagement might have won them over?

Because those kids were told over and over and over not to visit Texas because they would not want to play for a coach that has core values and discipline. I kid you not that is not joke. You have the most powerful football brand in the world. A hot new staff comes in and you as the HC of Soso or Lodge or Mack or Murray do NOT feel obligated to bring your star players to Texas to meet this new coaching staff? In my opinion that falls squarely on the shoulders of the high school head coaches. The parents for the most part, maybe are split households and are not really ever going to take it upon themselves to simply jump in the car and drive to Austin. I thought the high school head coaches in the state of Texas did a horrible job of at least getting their star players and underclass kids in front of Charlie Strong.

57. Can you speak to specific changes you expect from the staff in recruiting 2016?

I believe they will be more calculated moving forward about when they allow kids to go public and circumstances they expect from the player once they do make the decision to go public.

58. What happened to Louis Brown on his OV?

This is not just with Texas but with anyone at any school. These kids are held to a higher standard because they represent the university itself wherever they go. Committing to Texas or any other school is a privilege and when that privilege is taken advantage of and you act in a way that the staff is not happy you are gone. That is the Charlie Strong way. He has certain beliefs and expectations from his staff, players and recruits, and if you don’t hold up your end of the deal it's over. I don’t want to get into details of what he did and make it seem like I am bashing the kid or making him look bad.

59. During his NSD presser today, Coach Strong said that he could "add one or two more players" to this class. Any insights as to who those two players might be. I guess at least one would be a QB, yes?

I am not sure you will see it unless it happens to be a QB. However, they might look at another OL or TE type of a player not exactly sure at the moment.

60. You have talked a lot about how much more mature Kai is than Heard. Can you go into detail on this and who you think starts against ND?

I am not sure I said the kid was more mature than Heard. I believe I said Kai is a very mature kid but don’t think I ever compared the maturity level between the two kids. Kai in my opinion is more mature from a football aspect because of who his father is. These kids will battle as well as anyone who might be brought into the program, and the best man for the job will start vs. Notre Dame roughly eight months from now.

61. Can a last-minute commitment who hasn't taken an official visit (e.g. PJ Locke) still take one after faxing in the LOI? Is that something that is done to give the incoming player a chance to tour the facilities and meet with coaches and players and so forth before they arrive in the Fall?

This is a GREAT question my friend and one that I think is actually going to take place. As far as I understand if he has OV’s left he can do this and that is the plan as of now unless Texas finds out he can’t.

62. Did any of the recruits express direct concern about the direction of the offense under Watson, and is that really why we are seeing a shift now? I know the obvious answer is that we have to score more points, but when Mack decided to go pro style it derailed this program, and I have to think these kids realize that. When Watson came in the talk was all about the pro style game. I think it seriously hurt our chances with some of the top offensive kids in Texas and curious if that was the feedback Coach Strong received, especially from Maguire.

No, the recruits did not express concern about the offense like that. You are going to see a shift because the players on the team that plays the QB position are not built for the I-formation pro-style game. If they landed a true passing type of a QB, they would have stuck with the offense. Now they are forced to run more zone read option type plays with two kids who are dynamic runners such as Heard and Locksley. It’s all about the QB and what is his skill set?

63. You shied away from talking about a few issues where you made me feel like you thought that there were some shady tactics being used, and I am hoping that you will share ALL the stuff that you heard like that.

I am hoping to hold onto my job a little while longer. In a perfect world, I would love to tell you the things I know went on because it would make your head spin, and it would make me look for a new job.

64. What's the real reason Strong didn't visit Brossette?

At the end of the day with his family situation it worked out the way I think it was supposed to work out. I am sure he felt he was sticking with LSU. The thing about LSU is if they want you it simply really doesn’t matter you are going to LSU. I think he viewed that as a risk reward type of a deal and he knew he had Warren locked up so another RB while nice was not a huge need and they were working Soso. Who by the way not sure if I wrote this above but as of 1am last night when he went to bed he was going to Texas then woke up and felt UCLA. That’s how close this deal was and that was off only ONE trip to Texas with this staff. Imagine what it will be like moving forward when they make these kids come to camp, junior days, UOV’s etc. This staff is just getting started in my opinion.

65. With, not taking a full class, those ships left over can count towards next year's numbers correct?

Yes and no. It will give them a few more spots to work with maybe. Remember, next year they on paper are only going to have room for 14 I think because they only have 14 seniors. So if we only see attrition of 14 players it does not matter how many kids they did not take this year they only have room for 14 kids. However, with counting back and attrition of who knows how many it will free up those three spots, I believe. It is very confusing, and I probably did not explain it very well.

66. How close was Davis to flipping?

This is a case where it is never safe to assume. I was convinced he was going to flip, but it was only in the case of him visiting Auburn, which did not happen. Once he did not attend that weekend Texas was solid. This kid is a VERY good player that is a great addition at a position of need.

67. Where would you rate this class in class' you've covered as in craziness and overall talent?

Top LB group in America, DB group top 5 in the country. I love the different backs and am curious to see how they push each other. I am very impressed with the WR group overall. It’s a great class that hit on a TON of needs in one class. 2016 will be about filling in the missing pieces so to speak. It would rank more than likely No 1 until you ask me about UF and what went on with that class. I can honestly say this. Between the Texas and the UF class I have never witnessed as much drama type BS behind the scenes as those two coaching staffs had to go through.

68. How will the offense change? (I condensed this question)

It will be about fewer options or decisions to be made by the QB I believe. 1-2 quick reads and take off. More zone running plays with some zone read type options for the QB’s. Spreading guys out in space and getting them the ball as fast as possible. I think that is what you will see, and it will be very similar to what Ohio Stat was doing this past season.

69. If Irvin had wanted to flip back to Texas on NSD (to play with Davante or for whatever other reason), would the coaching staff have accepted him back into the class?

To my knowledge, he was already enrolled at Auburn, If he were not enrolled at Auburn Texas would have more than likely taken him back I believe.

70. At the end of the day, what were the deciding factors for Baker sticking with UGA?

Mom and just a tad closer to home.

71. Using Soso as an example (though it could apply in pretty much any similar situation with recruits saying one thing and doing another) - working under the assumption that Soso told many of the recruits last night that he was going to pick Texas today (for whatever reason), how do/did the recruits take it when Soso picked UCLA today? In other words, what is a recruit's reaction/what do they do when they realize that one of their peers (and in the case of Soso, presumably one of their friends) essentially flat out lied to them?

You don’t want to know my friend trust me. They are 17-year old kids, and they would react probably exactly how you think they would react. It’s not good, and I will leave it at that.

72. Presumably, it will come out in your story related to Murray, but just in case, even though the interest in UT may have been very legitimate, was Kevin Murray essentially using that interest in Texas as leverage over Sumlin to get something from him? If so, what was he trying to get from Sumlin? And were he and/or Kyler ready to flip to Texas if Sumlin was not able to/did not provide the desired assurances?

I hit on the Murray deal starting out. I think everyone on this site is pretty smart, and the last thing you guys/gals need is me stirring the pot my friend.

73. What is the mindset of the Maryland fan base, when they don't land their OC's son? Are they on Locksley's dad?

I think it was always common knowledge that Kai was going away to school regardless of his father and the Terps. With that in mind, I believe the fan base was already prepared and truly more than likely knew that was never going to be an option at the end of the day.

74. Seems like most of the relevant topics have been covered, so I'll ask an outlier. Darrion Daniels ended up at OSU; he seems like a talented guy. What's the story on his recruitment? Thanks!

I only briefly was dealing with him because it seemed he was never into Texas for whatever reason. Good kid and good get for them for sure, but he never connected the dots with Texas as far as I could tell, but he is a good player they did offer. Texas is already so far ahead of where they were last year with building relationships with these 2016 kids it's not even funny. They have a MUCH better understanding of where they stand because they will have recruited the 2016 kids for just under two full years when they sign, and they had less than a year for the 2015 kids. As each year or class comes and goes the playing field levels DRASTICALLY. When that happens teams like the soe and bruins who come into Texas to recruit are going to find in much more difficult to get kids away from Texas. I mentioned this earlier about two kids with the Aggies wanting to be at Texas. I did a bit more checking because it did not sound right, and I was right it was not right. It was not two kids it was four Texas could have had if they wanted.

This was my 1st recruiting cycle covering Texas. I have a certain way I word things and say things. At times some people think its very hard to follow, but others who have been on the board for a longer period of time know exactly what I am saying. I hope things start to come across that way for all of you. It was a great year with the No 1 recruiting class in the Big 12 and they want it to be better in 2016.

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