Welcome to HD Only, HornsDigest’s most in-depth piece of content on Longhorns sports and recruiting news

We'll release Part 1 of 2 every Wednesday afternoon. Part 2 will be released Wednesday night.

If you read only one thing all week at HD (WE WANT YOU TO READ EVERYTHING!), make sure you read HD Only.

Without further delay, we present to you HD ONLY Part 1!


1.     Are you concerned about the shape we are in at DT commits? Why or why not?


This is a huge position of need, as was the case last year and things went sideways with D. Lampkin.  Having said that, I believe Texas must land three quality DT’s this cycle, with one having the ability to provide “some” minutes in 2016.  Texas has a verbal commitment from Gerald Wilbon and is on many others.  None more so bigger than D’Andre Christmas-Giles, who made his official visit to Texas this past weekend.  I know many are mentioning LSU and rightfully so, but I have heard TCU could be the dark horse.  IF that is truly the case [Not sure today] he is fully prepared to leave the state.  This could be further backed up by the fact he made this OOS OV to Texas.  If it’s between those two schools, I like the position Texas is sitting in.  I also like Strong having the in-home visit in January. 


Texas will have OV’s from other inside players such as Marcel Southall and Mike Wiliams.  I believe they will still be allowed to make the in-home with Jordan Elliott as some other kids take shape.  I believe Texas will carry some momentum as we get closer to NSD helping others get on board.  Looking at things for face value among these four players, Texas would need to land two of the group. Could be some emerge at this position that others are unaware of at this time.


2.     What recruits seem to be having the biggest positive reactions to the new offensive hires


It could be a little too early for me to answer this fully.  However, the position group I feel will most be impacted by the changes in a positive fashion is the offensive line.  That will come as a surprise to most, and I have no plans or desires to throw anyone under the bus by the way.  JP and Shackelford are two kids that come to mind right off the bat.  Texas truly has a “chance” to sign a high quality/quantity of OL for this 2016 cycle.


3.     Who is the first recruit Jeff Traylor will contact first after the dead period for UT?


One thing to remember is even during the dead period the staff is still allowed one phone call per week to prospective recruiting prospects in the class of 2016.  It’s not as they go from now until January 11th with zero contact.  He will continue to stay on all the top kids, just as the rest of the staff is doing.  Strong has much more of a combined recruiting efforts/cross recruiting, etc.  That all helps, in my opinion, having multiple relationships with not just the potential position coach but multiple coaches on staff.


4.    Who are the five most important recruits (Not currently committed to Texas) that Texas needs to land and why?


I think the reasons are obvious for the positions they play.  With that said my Fab 5 would be Brandon Jones, Jeffrey McCulloch, Patrick Hudson, Jean Delance and Devway Whaley.


5.    Who was your 1b??!!  1a Gilbert 1b???? 2 Cumbie 3 Franklin?


Now I said this was “Recruiting” only but you know I am never going to duck a question so I will tell you.  I had Sterlin Gilbert and Lashlee at the top with Cumbie as my top three guys.  Of the three I believe Sterlin was the guy that Strong wanted from the beginning but no need for me to get into all of the reasons why.  I will tell you the No 1 reason, though, and Sterlin said it in his presser, he has play calling experience.


6.    Where do we stand with Devwah Whaley?


I think Texas is in a good position, and he will make his official visit weekend the same weekend more than a few big time kids are coming.  I have not followed Texas recruiting nearly as long as you guys have. However, I can’t imagine too many times where Texas will have as many big timers as they will the weekend Whaley comes in town.  Or at least, I should say that is the plan today but those OV’s are still years away [really only a month or so] so we need to see what unfolds.  SO many things can change in the next four to five weeks, but I am very excited about one of these OV weekends Texas has remaining. Recruiting is about relationships, in my opinion, always will be, so staff changes impact recruits for sure.  He has good relations with Tommie and Vance as well as PJ Locke and Davion Curtis.  More than a few he is close within the Texas corner at this time. 


7.    Do you believe Charlie Strong has made any significant mistakes with regards to staff, football players receiving or not receiving playing time, game planning and in-game adjustments?


I don’t think it matters what I believe.  The only thing that matters is what I can say.  Some things, for me, are better left alone as far as the gritty details.  Yes, mistakes have been made, and that is evident with the most recent staff changes that had to be made.  I would like to leave it at that if that makes sense.  I hope you can understand where I sit on this question.


8.     The other shoe that we're waiting on to drop for McCullough.  Is that something inside the program or something with another program?


It pertains to only Texas, nothing to do with any other football program or prospect.


9.     A player you expect Texas to get that none of us are talking about?

I will give you two kids that I believe Texas has a great chance of landing at the same position, and both are committed to other programs in the same conference.  Zach Shackelford and JP Urquidez.  We have talked about Zach for a while now, but no one was talking about JP until two days ago I believe.  He is my “Blast from the Past” recruit.  Some others as well and the three I am thinking about at this time are all committed to other programs.  Texas has multiple things going on with multiple players that no one knows about.  It’s the way recruiting works, now will they all fall for Texas, certainly not but they should get some of them in my opinion.


10.    Do you still feel good about your original 20 recruits to be in this class? Of the remaining 5 when can we see the pieces put together? Especially the ones were unknown to the fans.


Of that group, the one who seems up in the air clearly with his public announcement is Jordan Elliott.  Even with that, I believe Texas will get the in-home visit, and it will not surprise me to see him take his Texas OV.  Those final five spots are not a big deal but not a group I am ready to come out and say look out for these guys and Texas.  Not right now. 


How may of these players sign with Texas on NSD


1.     Brandon Jones

2.     Jean Delance

3.     Jeff McCullough

4.     Devwah Whaley

5.     Dontavious Jackson

6.     Deandre Christmas Giles

7.     Eric Cuffee

8.     Patrick Hudson

9.     Chris Brown


a.     Less than two = horrible

b.     Three to four = 1/3rd would be average possibly and four = four really good players you just landed

c.    Five to six = Depending on the five, but five of that list would be REAL STRONG.  Six off that list would be outstanding

d.    Six or above = Fantastic Finish and you have closed more than likely stronger than anyone in the country.

e.    *****Some REAL good players, not on your list*****


Texas has gained lots, and I mean lots of ground on Brandon Jones.  JM is waiting on the shoe to drop for Texas.  I feel good with Whaley.  I feel good with Delance.  I feel good with Cuffee.  I believe Texas should land in the four + range off your list.  Still some things I am waiting for to go down for example with JM.  Some of those things have me in a wait and see approach with guys off “that” list at this time. 


11.    Does UT have an interest in Luke Wells from Utah State?


I am trying to stick with recruiting and you are making things very difficult on me my friend lol  I like Luke.


12.    What's Charlie's plan to retain Jeff Traylor?


This is up to Jeff Traylor.  He needs to decide where he wants to live and work.  If he wants to go coach with a friend of his at Missouri then what can you do?  Assistant coaches can't hold head coaches hostage, I mean they can't ask for the moon so to speak.  I am NOT suggesting that is the case, but this decision is not about Charlie Strong. I love Traylor; you will NEVER see my say a bad word about him by the way, and I hope it works where he decides to stay at Texas, a school he has always dreamed about coaching for.  Do you remember what I said about Coach Traylor the VERY first time you read reports he was getting job interview/offers?  He will get a raise and then he will need to decide if he is in or out. 


Horns Digest Top Stories