The 2016 recruiting cycle had some ups and downs no question, my friends. However, if you stop and think about it for a second, who did Texas miss out on? Not very many recruits in my mind. The strength overall is the guys in the trenches, and I think we can all agree on that point. Below I share just about every single detail I can remember. I answered the questions as best I can remember.
This is NOT a time to ask more questions lol. This is me CLOSING THE DOOR 100% on 2015. This is all there is I can share with you. Read it, take it in and soak it all up. I hope you enjoy this piece.
Two things I wanted to talk about before you take this journey. I hope, and I truly mean this from the bottom of my heart. I hope I NEVER have to read again about Charlie Strong not having good relationships with the TXHSHC again, and I mean ever again. They signed the top-ranked class once again in the Big 12, 2nd year in a row. As long as Charlie Strong is coaching at Texas they will have the No 1 ranked class in the Big 12. There is nothing TCU, Baylor or Oklahoma can do about it in my opinion. I will always expect this to be the result.
The second thing I wanted to touch on is simple. This staff knows how to recruit. They showed their abilities last season with the way they closed. I understand most people thought there was no way Texas could accomplish what they did after winning five games. Let's talk about the three most important factors for all recruits again. I am pretty sure you have heard me say this before. The order may change for some, but these are the three single most important factors in my mind and its been proven since the beginning of time.
Yes, Texas or any other program for that matter don't have a 100% hit rate in recruiting. However, if these two years have shown anything, I HOPE it has shown all Texas fans you don’t need to worry about recruiting.
I look forward to bigger and better things in the class of 2017. I am now 100% officially closing the door on the class of 2016, I hope you enjoy. ANYONE that takes this to another board WILL NOT be allowed back on this board.
Thursday, February 5th, 2015:
Today was the day the story broke about Coach Rumph going to Florida. The story broke and reported by numerous media outlets UF hires next DL coach away from Texas.
Coach Rumph was offered the UF DL job on Monday the 2nd. It was unfortunate the way it went down, but so close to NSD this was the only way it would happen. He has not accepted the position however and is thinking it over with his wife and 16&8-year-old children. The decision is very tough on him and his family but one he will ultimately make for Florida.
He has family in the South Carolina area as does his wife and they would be much closer to the families if they moved to Florida vs. Staying in Austin. Coach Strong has only one guy in mind to replace him, and that is Brick Haley.
Also, this was the day I had a lengthy conversation with Matthew Merrick. Lots of schools are coming at him with Florida and Virginia. All the kid wants to do is go to Texas but feels a little like they don’t want him because they have two ships open and still have yet to offer him a spot continuing to tell him grey shirt.
Later today, Texas will reach out and check on DT Kendell Jones.
Wednesday, February 11th, 2015:
Jeffrey McCulloch is and has started to align himself with Dontavious Jackson saying they want to play together.
The day they informed Matthew Merrick they were not going to change the GS to an offer.
Tuesday, February 24th, 2015:
The day after Shane Buechele went public. He was already starting to recruit or talk with players such as Tren’Davian Dickson, Devway Whaley, Deontay Anderson and Trayveon Williams. I was also told on this day Texas would offer DB Eric Cuffee at the Saturday junior day which will be the 28th of February. Collin Johnson has been recruiting Jeffrey McCulloch for about two or so weeks.
Wednesday, February 26th, 2015:
From Merrick—“Everything’s good it’s just that Florida wants me to sign with them, and Texas did not give me a 2015 scholarship, and I was wondering what the likelihood of me getting a Texas ship is? So I turned down Florida hoping I would get into Texas, but I didn’t get into Texas, and now Florida is calling again. This is the hardest decision.”
Sunday, March 15th, 2015:
Christian Wallace did try and pull the trigger at Texas junior day, but they were not ready to take him. If they saw the same Christian Wallace during his film during junior season as they saw at UTL last summer they would have taken him in a second but now they want to wait a bit. Junior film not very impressive. Donte Coleman and Alton Roberson are two kids they are going to look into.
Monday, March 23rd, 2015:
Texas likes Dillon Sterling-Cole, he is not as polished as Buechele and Shane outperformed him in camp, but DSC has a high ceiling. Tristen Wallace is an athlete all the way.
Wednesday, March 25th, 2015:
I was told Erik Fowler was all in even before the Texas Junior day. Mom is all in, two coaches on staff that are all in with Texas. His one position coach is from Louisiana, and the kid is visiting LSU this weekend –LSU will be in the mix for sure, but this should end up Texas all the way on NSD.
Friday, March 27th, 2015:
Any player coming to Austin with his team for the Texas Relays is not even allowed to have contact with the coaching staff. Only players that come to Austin for the purpose of visiting Texas for a football practice…the players that fall in this category are Eric Cuffee, Tren’Davian Dickson, Mark Jackson, Dee Anderson and Jordan Elliott.
Monday, March 30th, 2015:
The three HS QB’s they are on the most in this order are Xavier Gaines, Woody Barrett, and Tristen Wallace. In-state its Tristen Wallace OR Dillon Sterling-Cole maybe and maybe Jalen Hurts. Woody and Gaines out of state. The spread is hurting chances with Dwayne Haskins. Both Hurts and DSC should be offered the first week of April.
Monday, April 27th, 2015:
The first day the staff hit the road.
Texas went to visit Mark Jackson; the soe did as well. Also went to see Colby Kizzie from Conroe H.S. Today the Anderson Twins announced for the soe. These were kids the staff was torn on regarding offering by the way. They were not unanimous offers for Texas but were offered nonetheless. Jean Delance had an incredible conversation with Coach BJ today. This was the first day I believed Delance would end up at Texas. Delance loves Coach Strong so does his mother, and they will play for Coach Strong. They love Peyton Aucoin. He could stay at TE or even grow into the offensive tackle position. Donte Coleman will not be the guy they go after at the TE position moving forward. Coach BJ also went to see Eric Cuffee today. The first day I found out that Patrick Hudson had a real interest in Texas. Mark Henry and Patrick Hudson will visit over the summer.
Wednesday, April 28th, 2015:
Texas went to see Kaden Smith. H.S. coach said the parents would prefer to see Kaden in Austin. Texas also visited with Brandon Bowen and Kellen Diesch. Two pretty good looking kids.
Thursday, April 30th, 2015:
Texas is going to offer the DT at Duncanville, Marcel Southall. He is a 6-foot-3, 270-pound defensive tackle who added four offers this week.
Wednesday, May 6th, 2015:
Jeffrey McCulloch and Texas (Face-Time) for about 45-minutes went great. The way this is going should be no issues regarding him landing at Texas.
Thursday, May 7th, 2015:
Just talked to Coach Traylor here at Kilgore. Said he loves my film and should have an offer after they DC and CB coach watch my film today. Told me to stay in touch. I've met him [Strong ] years back but anxious to meet him now that he's interested in me coming to play for him. Man, to be honest that [offer] might be the icing on the cake. I wanted to stay in Texas from the start. Yeah, I'm hoping that coach strong likes me enough to offer me today. Won't know about the offer until I talk to him later on. But if I get the offer, might be seeing #1 JUCO CB in Burnt Orange come to December.---J’Marcus Rhodes.
Texas went to Wichita Falls, Jordan Elliott, Dontavious Jackson and Benjie Franklin. Texas is at Lakeview Centennial, Dallas Christian, Rockwell Christian, Heritage Christian, Rockwell, and Rockwell-Heath. Next week they will see Collin Johnson, Dee Anderson, and Tren’Davian Dickson. Also looking at some 2017 kids to keep an eye on.
Thursday, May 14th, 2015:
The staff was on the road Mon-Wed. They are in meetings the rest of the week. One visitor this weekend should be Brandon Jones. Today was the day it was leaked Kendell Jones committed to Bama. The father did not even go on the trip to Alabama with him, the only time KJ has even visited Alabama. Texas was on the phone all day with the HS coach who told them Bo Davis visited the school three times last week alone one of those trips spent several hours with the father at the school.
Also, Dee Anderson issues at his HS and looks like LSU might try and get him to move somewhere near Louisiana to go to HS next season so they can keep him in their grasp so to speak.
Texas feels great about Eric Cuffee. They want Lil’Jordan Humphrey. Things continue to great with McCulloch.
Monday, May 18th, 2015:
Texas is seeing two DL today from Denton, 2016 DE named Ken McLaurin and 2017 DE Javaris Steward also going to watch OL Jack Anderson practice later today. Also (H. Jones) sent me a picture of Strong, Hezekiah Jones and his dad from this past Sunday’s visit to Texas. On the 17th. Texas coaches are seeing Kellen Diesch today.
Texas went to Louisiana Brother Martin HS to see Irvin Smith and Peyton Aucoin. Also went to Colorado and saw Jack Stoll went really good, and he should visit again this month and says he is going to pop in June
Texas landed in Miami today, going to Booker T Washington, Norland, Central, and Jackson HS. Texas is supposed to check in on Trayvon Mullen. Texas went to see Woody Barrett and is also going to see Xavier Gaines. Gaines is all Vols? And Barrett is all Auburn? Texas will see J. McCulloch on Tuesday am. They will also see Kaden Smith on Tuesday.
Sunday, May 31st, 2015:
This was the day reports swirled about Parrish Cobb and Baylor. Texas isn’t even really sure about taking Cobb at this point, and they aren’t pressing him. CB Lavert Hill and his coach have been calling Texas often. The kid is a PSU commit but wants a Texas offer. The coach told Texas after the opening they will find a way to visit Austin. Texas told the kid and the coach as soon as they step foot on campus and meets Charlie he will have a Texas offer. Also spent 20 minutes on the phone with Lampkin and that deal is 100% over.
Camp Session Day 1 – June 7th, 2015:
Kids I was told to focus on were Demarcus Acy and Innis Gaines, Mulbah Car, Cam Roane and Walker Little.
Thursday, June 11th, 2015:
This was the day that Major Tennison, Kevin Moore, and Gerald Wilbon visited.
Friday, June 12th, 2015:
Acy was very impressive in camp. Texas offered him; it was a conditional offer based on him getting his grades up over the summer months. Thursday night on 6-11-15 Acy put on Twitter he was announcing that night. At that time, it was not best for Texas.
Thursday, June 25th, 2015:
The Reggie Hemphill Tweet. He took to Twitter saying Texas was about to get another commitment and that it was an offensive player. The player he was talking about was RB Darius Anderson who earlier in the night named a top five of Houston, California, Texas and two other schools who escape me. Charlie Strong was not going to take that commitment. This was also the first day all the coaches hit the road for vacation. When the staff hits the road for vacation I mean they BOLT and most of the time its out of the country. Strong was out in LA when the Hemphill tweet went out, and the staff was in a bit of a scramble mode to make sure none of the assistant coaches took a commit Charlie wasn’t ready to take. He wants D. Whaley or Kyle Porter AND if it works in his favor would also take Kameron Martin. This was also the same day that OG Greg Eiland said he was offered by Texas. He told me the OL coach offered him, but no one on the staff even offered the kid. Texas offers are ONLY REAL when they come from the HC. This was also the day that Coach Jeff Traylor landed his first commitment in 2017 WR Damion Miller. This was something they tried to get to go down on Wednesday but were not able to hook up with Miller the previous day, so it took another 24-hours to happen. Huge pickup.
Thursday, July 2nd, 2015:
The big news from today was Kameron Martin informed Baylor (RB Coach) that he was not going to Baylor. He told him he was keeping his options open. Still considering Baylor but, in reality, had called Strong four times that day to let him know he had decommitted behind closed doors to Baylor and was coming to Texas. That is what Kameron told me. The original plan was for Martin to announce the news that night on Twitter (Which I Teased) but he decided not to do it. When KM attends UTL, I think ppl will start to see what the news was….Soon after he told Strong the news he took a multiple day visit back to Baylor and then went MIA with regards to Texas and had a huge Baylor tattoo and that was that…this is how fast things can turn….
Monday, July 6th, 2015:
Shemar Smith tried to call and commit to Charlie Strong…now is not the time to take him. Also, making sure I don’t get this confused or left out, but Jordan Elliott is trying to get Charlie Strong to take a commitment from DT Darrius Anderson. The two are close but no way Anderson can play at Texas..he is barely 6 feet tall…Texas will not take DT Darius Anderson.
Thursday, July 9th, 2015:
Things circulated yesterday that Okafor has TCU out in front. Okafor and Delance are two kids that CS simply cannot afford to miss out on. Charles Omenihu father is going to meet with Okafor father Friday, July 10th then will get back with CS on what's going on. Wickline is simply not getting it done at all right now, and they are getting killed in recruiting. Other coaches will need to get in the mix with these offensive line players.
Monday, July 20th, 2015:
Returned from UTL trip and not even sure where to begin regarding all the behind the scenes scoop. The biggest news of the day is Jordan Elliott as he committed to Charlie. He was going to go home talk to his parents and let them know. They both want him at Texas, so this one should be done. Derrick Tucker/Camron Buckley/Sam Ehlinger sure fire offers. Walker Little, Lagaryon Carson, Marvin Wilson, Erik Fowler, J. McCulloch, Camron Buckley, Jamal Pettigrew, Jordan Elliott and Dee Anderson got the red carpet treatment with Charlie and coaching staff behind closed doors. So did Sam Ehlinger and Cam Roane. Also, that morning CS spoke with the trainer from Georgia Nathan Oneil, who bleeds burnt orange. Now in Georgia, he is bringing the wknd after UTL Isaac Nauta, Robert Beal, Isaiah Pryor, Jaymest Williams on a visit to Texas.
Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015:
Robert Barnes was set to visit on Thursday the 23rd of July, but they wanted him also to bring Jordan Humphrey with him. Jordan was out in Vegas in a basketball tourney until the following Tuesday—so the pair will come next week around Wednesday
Friday, July 31st, 2015:
Thursday was the day that both Patrick Hudson and JK Dobbins visited. Patrick spent the entire day with the coaching staff on Thursday and also spent the night and stayed with the staff on Friday as well. He tweeted out a receipt from Pappadeaux with the Austin area code. Only one of our moderators caught onto this, but I gave them a big clue (Asked him to keep it quiet) Baylor picked up on it because on Friday after they saw that they were BLOWING him up while he was at Texas. Baylor has him and his mom convinced if he visits anywhere they will pull his ship…this will be a great way for Patrick to see Baylor has been lying already to his face because clearly they are not pulling his ship. Also, JK Dobbins told me he was SO close to pulling the trigger, and the reason it didn’t happen was the mom was not with him. The Humphrey/Barnes visit will happen now on Saturday, was supposed to be today. Within a week, the Hudson visit leaked out, but Patrick asked me not to acknowledge to anyone he was in town visiting Texas or to even speak about him at all moving forward, so that’s what I did…Also, on that Thursday when he was in Austin he tweeted a Pappa Deaux receipt with a 512 area code…I thought for sure Texas fans would pick up on this.
Monday, August 31st, 2015:
Obi Eboh called the Texas coaching staff late this evening. The staff watched his film from game one and decided to pull the trigger on an offer, he gladly and quickly accepted the offer and committed…this is what Obi told me.
“Yes sir, but I’m not going to tweet about it right now because the coaches want us to focus on the game, so I need to keep it on the down low and thank you!! Friday!! And I’m not telling a sole sir!!! And _______Shane Buechele______ is my bro, it’s going to be awesome.”
Monday, October 12th, 2015:
This was the night I found out about DL Keyshon Camp from Florida and WR Davion Curtis from Texas. Texas will offer Camp on Tuesday the 13th, and Davion Curtis will end up a Longhorn. Also, UCLA TE Transfer Chris Clark sets up an OV for Nov 7th for the Kansas game, but Texas is not going to go down this road with the way Clark left UCLA and what went down.
October 13th, 2015:
Texas Coaches Hit the Road week of 10-12-15 (Monday)
The staff will hit the road this week for the first time this recruiting cycle.
Charlie Strong will hit the road on Thursday only
Vance Bedford will hit the road on Friday only
Coach BJ, Traylor, Vaughn, Haley and Robinson will hit the road first thing Wednesday morning.
Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 Texas Coaches on the Road
Charlie Strong: Thursday Morning
Jean Delance—Did not visit bc his mom and grandma couldn’t make it
Coach BJ—Jeffrey McCulloch and Dontavious Jackson for most of the day in that order then will come back to JM’s game tonight.
Vance Bedford is going to Dontavious Jacksons game tonight
Chris Vaughn is going to Brandon Jones game tonight
Tommie Robinson should be at Whaley’s game tonight
Tommie went to see Kyle Porter and Toneil Carter Wednesday. Today (FRIDAY) he is going to see Patrick Hudson, Grayland Arnold, and D. Whaley. Wickline will be at Hudson game while Tommie is at Whaley game.
Saturday, October 17th, 2015:
I was first made aware of Donnie Corley, Senior the week of the Opening. He was on the team of Texas QB Verbal Shane Buechele. I stayed in contact with this situation and nothing ever really materialized until the week of October 15th when I kept hearing their names being brought up—at this time they did not have offers. I say they because it was the week they offered the ILB from Michigan named David Reese. Also, there is another player who has been staying in touch with Texas by the name of Lavert Hill a Penn State commit. Both Hill and Corley are expressing big time interest in wanting offers from Texas. The first conversation I had with the Corley family I was told not only will Corley, junior end up at Texas but he and Lavert are childhood best friends and will go to the same school. LOL These are the kinds of things I am told all the time from parents who are “Wanting” a Texas offer. They love Vance and Charlie and want to play for them. Texas is going to see the kids in the Michigan area when they travel to Play Iowa State—few coaches will leave Thursday morning and see the kids and meet up with the team on Friday at the team hotel. Coaches are also going to see Fowler, Thornton, and some other kids closer to Austin on Friday before Kansas State game as well as another home game this season.
Friday, November 6th, 2015:
The Malcolm Roach news broke today. Everyone thought it was Denzel Okafor, but they were talking about two different events without really even knowing they were. Roach got the call and offer on Wednesday and pulled the trigger. He wanted to wait until today to announce the news at a PC and was scooped by local reporters and was not very happy about it.
Texas went to visit the Anderson twins today as well as players such as R. Thornton and Kendell Jones. They also went to Temple HS to see Davion Curtis, who is visiting this weekend with his cousin and his father. Curtis is all TEXAS.
The new offer goes out last night, Zach Shackelford or it was first thing this morning. When I was told of the offer I was in the middle of popping the Roach story and did not pay attention to what was said, BUT it was either last night on the 5th, or this am of the 6th, and he will visit this weekend and switch his commitment from Kansas State to Texas. EDIT—Shackelford had a great great trip and told Charlie Strong he would play at Texas but not under the current offensive coaching staff. What Zach did not know at the time was the wheels were already in motion.
Thursday, November 19th, 2015
The news broke today about Davion Curtis as he pulled the trigger, what many don’t know is how it went down. He was offered last week, before the WV game and decided he wanted me to keep the offer quiet. The original plan was to visit for the TT game with his family so they can meet the staff. He and Whaley were talking with each other in a Georgia Commitment chat group with other UGA verbals. They were talking about visiting Texas and things of that nature. One of the UGA commits told a UGA coach and today, November 19th the coach at UGA called Curtis and said if you visit Texas we are going to pull your scholarship offer. Curtis said ok and called Charlie Strong and committed to Texas.
Sunday-Monday November 29th/30th, 2015:
This was the first two-day stretch that the Texas coaches could make in-home visits. The first for Traylor/BJ and Vaughn was with Brandon Jones. He has four brothers, the oldest I believe is 19 and very influential in Brandon's life. They do not like Sumlin, and neither does the mother which is crazy because ALL you hear from the soe fans and writers is the mother loves them, and he is a slam dunk. The ONLY thing Brandon is waiting on is to see who Charlie gets as the offensive hires on the offensive side of the ball.
Jeffrey McCulloch and Dontavious Jackson and every single in-home that was made with Hudson and all these top players Elliott, Porter, Delance etc…..all said we want to come to Texas, but everyone is telling us he will not be the head coach after the 2016 season. Texas AD should be extending CS contract real soon and lay waste to all this talk from other coaches on the recruiting trail. IT IS the single and only thing holding Texas back from landing a potentially No 3 ranked recruiting class in the country.
Friday, December 4th, 2015
Coach Jeff Traylor went to visit with JP Urquidez and his high school head coach. This trip remained quiet, and I can't believe it didn’t get out right away. In a nutshell, this is what went down. Charlie Strong had a long talk with Zach Shackelford and put his mind at ease about the OL situation/changes to come—Shackelford told a version of this story to JP and once JP found out Wickline was on his way out he wanted in. He called Texas wanting to visit for the TT game. He was the “BLAST FROM THE PAST,” I made reference to but was not able to make the visit work. Charlie and the crew watched his senior film, and they were very impressed as the kid busted his tail and cleaned himself up during his last year of HS football. Earlier you will remember reading Maryland coaches said not to take the kid –the reason was he was lazy and out of shape. JP did a great job of turning it around.
Tuesday, December 8th, 2015:
Texas went to see Andrew Fitzgerald and now is on the way to see Denzel Okafor. They went to see Brandon Bowen, but he is a long shot. They will also see Tristen Wallace, who will bounce from Ohio Stat. Brick went to see Gerald Wilbon, Kristian Fulton, and Malcolm Roach.
Sunday, December 13th, 2015:
New OL coach Matt Mattox spoke on the phone with Zach Shackelford tonight. Chance you could see Sterlin Gilbert make an in home with Shane on Sunday coming of Shanes OV wknd. People will freak out with Charlie not going if he doesn’t, BUT he needs to save it for the week before EE time and the week immediately following the dead period. Was told this day Traylor would be offered the Missouri job. But again, what am I going to say? Write that on the boards? No, so I write instead something that will make up get up out of your chair.
December 13th –December 14th 1 am
Sterlin Gilbert flew to see Riley Ferguson—loved everything about the kid. He is going to meet one on one with CS on Monday to break down the kids film and talk about his strengths and what he likes and why he feels this is the kid. Matt Mattox went to see JP today and Shackelford. Traylor went to see Brandon Jones and BJ went to see Jean Delance. This was also the day I had a big conversation about the soe and the QB’s etc…as bad as it was for Kenny Hill to leave and go to TCU now Kyle Allen is going to leave and transfer to OU and Kyler Murray desperately wants out of there as well…
Monday, December 14th, 2015:
Kameron Martin went out of his way to reach every single media member who covers Texas to inform us all Texas was back in the picture and coming hard. He has not talked to Charlie in a long time, and it's still Whaley/Porter he could potentially be a fallback guy at this point in time and yes he is the Mystery Recruit as I told everyone in Austin over the summer at our gathering…What I told them regarding the mystery recruit (When Asked) was with having five kids with my family I like to take them to K-Mart.
Tuesday, December 15th, 2015:
I posted a tweet earlier today that read the following:
“The game of Chess is like a sword fight.”
HookEm_Hrns @Hkm_Hrns08 well played young man as he replied with the following Tweet back to me.
“A chess piece that would carry a sword is the Knight. Texas is getting Trevor Knight.”
I LOVE this! Great job sir. This never materialized but well-done sir! I still can't believe you got that. At the time, I would never admit that’s what I was implying. I also never in a million year's thought it would happen because they had Shane but people were talking on the kids side of things..
Thursday, December 17th, 2015
The day I felt 100% confident on Safety Brandon Jones = Checkmate.
Friday, December 18th, 2015:
Madubuike has called Strong twice in the last three days – talks have gone really good but if Sumlin stays his parents will make him also stay in my opinion. DCG called Brick today, and it also went well.
On December 29th, 2015
I tweeted six lottery numbers. Again, this wasn’t done two days ago it was done a full month ago before any all-star game was played. They were as follows:
20-26-35-36-38 and the Powerball No was 10.
They meaning behind the six lottery numbers is easy. Each number represents the amount of offers a particular player has according to his player profile page.
Irvin Smith = 20 Total Offers
Jean Delance = 26 Total Offers
Eric Cuffee = 35 Total Offers
Jeffrey McCulloch = 36 Total Offers
Brandon Jones = 38 Total Offers
D’Andre Christmas-Giles = 10 Total Offers *** He added four offers since December 29th, 2015 when I made the initial tweet ***
Powerball No is 10, D’Andre Christmas-Giles—He was ALL Texas after the OV and when Ridgeway announced to leave early it cemented his decision even further in the favor of the Longhorns…The original tweet Five Guy Burgers was in regards to five players all announcing for Texas on the same day…they were Whaley, Cuffee, Irvin Smith, McCulloch and Brandon Jones…UA messed that deal up with not allowing certain kids to announce at the game. That crew all wanted to announce on the same day. I threw in my man DCG for my lottery picks bc I couldn’t think of another way to get 6 in the mix. However, no way Irvin Smith’s dad would let it happen I was also told.
Wednesday, December 30th, 2015
Day one of practice at UA and all the main players, Hudson, McCulloch, Cuffee, and crew have been reaching out to Texas talking about this kid or that kid, etc. One player, Aaron Hansford a big time OLB from the DC area told Cuffee he has an interest in Texas – Kid has offers from just about every major program in the country. Texas will take a look and see what they think. He spoke to Texas coaches said he's always wanted a Texas offer since they took Kai. Also, his father ran track at a college in Texas. Texas took a look but not a direction they wanted to pursue.
Friday, January 1st, 2016:
Big chat group among recruit. Deontay Andeson was in the group but was overheard on the bus one day at UA talking about how he's all Ole Miss so the Texas recruits booted him out of the chat group and the Wolfpack was born, ruthless.
Saturday, January 2nd, 2016
Kameron Martin called Charlie Strong went great; he and his father set up the OV for Texas January 23rd weekend. Tren’Davian Dickson asked Kameron to talk to Charlie to see if Strong would take TD back in the class. They have no room for Dickson or Martin in my opinion.
Monday, January 4th, 2016
1st day of AA practice and already Erik Fowler is out there recruiting behind closed doors for the Longhorns. I love it when a plan comes together. Oh, one of the main guys he is recruiting is Mark Jackson, junior which could be a problem, a positional problem. DCG has been and will be all Texas as he is inking with Texas. He called Charlie again tonight to let him know he's good to go but wants to have some fun with the media and enjoy some visits. Shackleford wants to come to Texas SO badly but doesn’t have any relationships with any of the committed kids so that will change, and in a hurry as the commits are all over him recruiting him like crazy as the Wolfpack is on the case. I believe he ends up with Texas, but this one will be a bit closer than I originally thought. He truly has great admiration for the Kansas State coaching staff.
Tuesday, January 5th, 2016
Jeffrey McCulloch has been working Isaiah Chambers. Chambers is now telling Jeffrey that he would like to make his OV the same time Jeffrey does which will be on January 16th. The problem is, Chambers is not a kid good enough for Texas to take. They have Andrew and Malcolm, and they believe Malcolm could be the steal of the class, and we all know how good Andrew looks. They will not risk Roach/Fitzgerald by messing with Chambers.
Friday, January 8th, 2016:
A lot of talk about the RB’s on the board, I will clearly break down all the kids on the board –after NSD as far as the behind scenes situations, etc. This entire year, I have been asked who I like the best. I always try to stay away from this type of talk because it gets used against me from other sites which is sad but it happens. However, in this case, it’s a no-brainer for me, Kyle Porter is BY far the best RB on the board –All you need to do is watch all the backs on the board back to back to back to back. The difference is light years apart from watching Whaley and THEN watch Porter. I will tell you something else, the first two runs from Porter on his senior HUDL highlight film is all you need to see. Watch how quick his feet are. Now, a lot of talk behind the scenes about allowing Whaley to come in on the 16th—he wants to badly, the issue is he has given Charlie NO and I mean ZERO indication he will commit to Texas if they allow him to come in on the 16th. He has the opportunity to visit the 16th and commit to Texas that is the deal.
Also, Obi and his mother called Strong on the 9th to tell them he was accepted to Stanford, and they are visiting Stanford on the 16th—Texas will move on from this situation in my mind. Also, Obi, for the most part, used Texas as a fallback plan in case he was not allowed into Stanford. That stuff does not sit well with the coaches and it shouldn’t, either you want to be in Texas, or you don’t and its pretty simple.
Thursday, January 14th Dead Period Over:
Vaughn—Isaiah Chambers, Jeff McCulloch, Dontavious Jackson, Chris Brown, Deontay Anderson and Kyle Porter
Bedford—Mark Jackson, Alton Robinson, Erick Fowler, Davion Curtis, Parrish Cobb and Eric Cuffee
Strong—Shane Buechele, Tope Imade, Denzel Okafor, Andrew Fitzgerald and Zach Shackelford
Jean-Mary—Mike Williams, Chris Daniels, Marcel Southall and Jean Delance
The visits today have gone fantastic –its been very difficult for me to kind of dial it back and not get the board in a frenzy, to be honest. Southall in home was amazing, all he talked about was wanting to come to Texas, play with Fitzgerald, a kid he thought was the best in the Semper Fi game bar none. Southall is coming in for his OV the 16th weekend. Fowler and Isaiah Chambers will also attend which I have been sitting on for a long time.—Cant remember if I wrote about it when it happened but Fowler was in for a game early in the season REAL early, and no one found out about it at all or to this day, I don’t believe anyone knows that visit took place.
Sunday, January 17th, 2016
Lots of things went on this weekend to solidify my top 10 class prediction rather easily in my opinion. One note of interest was Charlie Strong taking phone calls from D’Andre Christmas-Giles this weekend and DCG was asking calling Charlie to make sure Charlie did not give away his spot. Another interesting note was Mark Jackson, and family will come back to Austin on Friday to meet with the business school people on his way to his OV with the soe. The soe people have no clue what's about to happen. Pretty good sign if you ask me for Texas that MJ is coming back. However, the reason MJ won't come to Texas is because he knows Fowler is. On Monday the 18th, BJ, Vaugh and Sterlin plus Charlie Strong are all going on in home visits with Kyle Porter, Chris Brown and Dontavious Jackson. Yes, Texas allowed Isaiah Chambers to take an OV with Texas, but they have no intentions of taking that one. He was allowed to visit at the request of the Shark.
Monday, January 18th, 2016
Here we go –Jordan Elliott called both BJ and Chris Vaughn last night. The plan has been to bring him in the last OVW and that plan looks to be falling into place—I maintained the reason I would not pay him any attention is because TEXAS always said whoever gets him last will ink him. With that in mind, no reason to follow the kid at all UNLESS he made the last OV with Texas—I still have no reason to follow him without the trip next weekend. The news finally broke about Tommie Robinson, my bad news. At first, they won't understand why its bad news. Because they had no idea that Kameron Martin has had an OV set up to Texas for the wknd of the 23rd and told the Texas coaching staff, he was in. After he gets over the news (Monday) we will see how he responds to Texas during the in-home visit on Thursday before the OV. What ended up happening was he tweeted something about Coach Robinson that did not sit well with the decision makers. There ended the opportunity for Martin to be the 2nd RB in the class. Up until this point, it was Porter and Martin it appeared.
Also, I added a 7th number to my lottery ticket earlier today on Twitter..I did NOT say the number, but the kid is Chris Daniels….In the chat group, he informed the group he was about to decommit from OU and join the Longhorn family. Great in home visits with Chris Brown and Dontavious Jackson. Chris Brown told Strong and crew he was coming to Texas. Both players told Texas they messed up for sure not going to Texas with all their friends. Both will visit Texas the last OV weekend. Jordan Elliott called both kids and told them hey are you guys still thinking about Texas, and they were like hell yes we are, and Jordan told them both if we all go to Texas we will have a pretty good team. They were like aren’t you committed to Michigan, and he said yes but I am not going to Michigan.
Tuesday, January 19th, 2016:
The 7, as I added the 7th number to my lottery numbers was Chris Daniels, and it just so happened he wears No 7 --what are the chances?? But that’s not what it was meant for at all because I have not listed what my 7th number is—just need to check Daniels offer list. **** I never did as I forgot about this ****
Wednesday, January 20th, 2016:
Both Stephon Taylor and DCG confirmed again with Texas coaching staff they are coming to Texas, first time for Stephon and about the third or fourth confirmation from DCG. So as of Thursday, January 20th the following players have told Texas the are coming.
D’Andre Christmas Giles
Players on the team were saying at this time that Dontavious Jackson was coming.
Friday, January 22, 2016:
This was the day (Friday) Mark Jackson and family spent roughly four hours at Texas on their way to the soe OVW. MJ was even talking to Texas about the TE that bounced from the soe that was coming to Texas, Irvin Smith. DCG, who has been a silent commit, will commit to Charlie on Monday. Right now it's so crazy. Every single one of the DT’s has told Texas they are committing to the Longhorn. DCG, Chris Daniels, Marcel Southall, Jordan Elliott and Stephon Taylor. The only issue is Texas will be a victim of their success, and once Elliott and Daniels announce publicly first, they will impact the others IMO.
Sunday, January 24th, 2016:
Alabama is not letting up for Irvin Smith. He is split between the two schools. He is scheduled to come back this upcoming weekend with Wilbon, Roach, and Aucoin. A trip that must happen for him to end up in this class. The fact he is telling Texas the right things is great, but his dad did not make the trip to Austin during his OV, which is going to be an issue I believe. The pitch to the remaining DL is simple. Gerald Wilbon, Jordan Elliott, and DCG are inside guys with Daniels and Southall outside guys. Stephon Taylor is outside as well.
Q & A:
1. I'll take the bullet: what went down with Hudson?
What didn’t go down with Hudson is what you should ask I touched on him in my notes above but wanted to hit on a few things. Yes, he made a “secret” trip that no one was aware of for two days. No one would have ever had a clue had he not tweeted out the picture of the receipt from the restaurant. He maintained great relations throughout the recruiting process with Charlie Strong and Coach BJ, the OL coach for Texas was never a factor. This was a kid I truly thought was going to be in the class, and I have no problem saying that. Baylor was VERY concerned and took some steps to ensure they got him. The high school coach went to his house Tuesday night and had his mother and Patrick fill out the NLI. He then took the NLI and without Patrick knowing faxed it off to Baylor before Hudson got out of bed Wednesday morning. Patrick had no idea that happened. Remember, he had a PC that morning to announce his decision. Texas was in this thing to the bitter end and had a great chance to land him. I was not 100% sold on this going their way, BUT I honestly felt it was 60/40 Texas going into Wednesday morning. I never “predicted” he was coming, but I think it was clear based on the way I was answering questions such as Jason, will we, at least, land one of Hudson/Fowler stuff like that. I felt great saying we would land one because I felt they would get both. It is very easy for people or recruiting analyst to say “after” NSD Oh piece of cake he was always going to go to such and such school. That is not the case with Hudson; Texas very easily could have had this one fall their way.
2. What was the deal with Chambers on his OV?
This would never have happened, but the Shark was talking to the kid and wanted him to come on his OV with him, so Texas had no problem allowing that to happen. Chambers was not a kid Texas would have signed or even send an NLI.
3. What went wrong with Mayden so early?
There isn’t always a behind the scenes story as some kids simply aren’t big Texas fans and this one falls into that category in my mind.
4. Why did we never show interest in Tryie Cleveland
They always felt great about the wide receivers they were going to sign. It was not a question of TC not being a good player or anything like that. Texas honestly and truly didn’t have room for the four they took.
5. Why did DJ never take an OV to Texas?
Because he always wanted to leave the state of Texas. He was one kid that I was always told would leave the state. I know it happens (rarely) but for all of you go ahead and tell yourself right now – no OV visit and he is not coming. Go ahead and adopt that mindset right now going into 2017 and it will help you tremendously. Unfortunately, his home life had something to do with his “wanting” to get out of state.
6. Inside information on Fowler. Was it that uncertain up to the second he announced?
No, it was not, not for me any way He was recruiting for Texas at the AA game. Now, he was a kid that they had some anxiety on for sure. In that regard, maybe they were not 100%, but this was one a felt pretty good about. I mentioned in the notes, but he made a trip for a Texas game that no one was aware of –He stayed in touch with the staff.
7. Is there one more possible recruit out there for UT?
Not from my understanding no sir.
8. Deciding factor for DJackson?
He wanted to leave the state of Texas. At the end of the day, that was the deciding factor. He also had some in his ear helping him with that decision I believe.
9. What was the deal with Chambers visiting?
Mentioned above. This kid isn’t good enough of a taking for Texas. They allowed him to attend that weekend because McCulloch and he were talking and Chambers said he wanted to visit with him. In the future, Texas will stick to their plan of “Not” allowing a kid to visit if they are not willing to take him. This is why I was so adamant during and immediately following the OVW and saying what I said about Chambers. I knew they would not consider taking this one.
10. Charlie said he wasn't sure what would happen with Anderson. What is the story, did he leave the door open at some point?
Deontay Anderson and Charlie Strong had a very good relationship. In many ways, I think Deontay wanted to come to Texas, but he was too far emotionally invested in Ole Miss. I think he made in upwards of eight trips to Ole Miss over the last two years or something crazy like that. Texas will always believe if a kid and his family continue to be receptive they will have a great shot—This one, for me, I never waivered in where I felt he was going to end up. I say things throughout the year that are easy to figure out. For example, I said countless times Texas would split Jones/Anderson. I also said as much as possible where I thought Anderson was going. Soooooo by this logic, it was easy to see what I felt Brandon Jones was going to do.
11. What the heck happened with Hulk?
12. Did Buchele help us bring in any players? Hear a lot about Malik.To what degree have our QBs been involved if at all? Swoopes, Heard, Locksley?
I think he did a good job early on in the process opening up to recruits, namely some of the offensive line players. The others to my knowledge were not as involved for the most part. Shane will be great for recruiting moving forward.
13. Were there any outside guys who called to try and commit but Charlie said no we did not know about?
I think you are aware of just about everything that went down. All the “Texas” sites do a pretty good job of keeping you guys in the loop.
14. Which recruits waited too long to pull the trigger costing them a seat on the #LetsRide train?
Kameron Martin could have easily of been in this class. Another that comes to mind is R. Thornton. This goes back to what I always say. Kids, each recruiting cycle, will end up going to schools they don’t 100% want to attend. That could be said for each of these guys. I mentioned in notes above about Martin being the mystery recruit.
15. Who was the original mystery recruit, and what happened to them?
Mentioned above and in the notes section.
16. Who and when were the silents?
Let me make this easy for everyone, all of them Eric Cuffee, Jordan Elliott, DCG, Chris Daniels, Jeffrey McCulloch, Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Jean Delance etc….These guys were in and for a long time.
17. Who was the commit from the summer that didn't make it into the class (I believe he didn't, this was the big story one)
I am having a hard time remembering this situation??? Sorry about that my friend.
18. What discussions took place with Murray and impact Buechele had, if any, on Murray ending at OU?
Texas was fielding calls left and right regarding transfers, juco players, etc. Texas was not going down this road. Charlie Strong met with the staff and told them all they were not going down this road. Definitely, they had kids reaching out to them though which was creating lots of smoke around this situation. For a short period I felt they would go this direction until I was told about the staff meeting where Charlie told them all the direction was Shane and Sam.
19. Were there any schools this year that tried to sneak in and steal someone away? Ala the Boyd story last year with soe?
If you listened to the soe, they were going to take everyone Texas was recruiting. They were WORKING REAL HARD to negatively recruit Texas and Charlie Strong. They were not the only ones as Bob Stoops was doing the same thing but in a good way lol if that makes sense. Bob and Charlie are friends so he was not taking shots so to speak if that makes sense. The soe was doing and saying everything they could when they were talking to these kids. I knew at the end of December they would strike out miserably. How the people that cover that school didn’t see it coming at all is beyond me. I was stunned, and I mean STUNNED to keep being told what they were saying about Brandon Jones, Cuffee, McCulloch, Chris Daniels, Mark Jackson, DCG and Irvin Smith to name a few. South Carolina jumped in and took Stephon Taylor because he was coming to Texas. He was telling the entire Wolfpack he was coming on Tuesday, the commits were like umm what after they found out he inked with the cocks.
20. Can you go into detail with the video and soe thinking they were going to get Daniels?
I can't speak for those guys lol I honestly have no idea why they felt the way they felt. They could not have been more wrong. Like I said, and I was joking, but I said over and over on NSD they were not going to be happy. I said they would want me to cover recruiting for them because I knew what was about to happen. I am still surprised they had no idea of what was going on. They were talking about landing Chris Daniels, and he was 100% Texas since he was offered by Texas in my mind, and he announced OU the following day. This goes back to allowing kids to take OV’s you have zero shot with or the writing appears to be on the wall. Did anyone see Charlie Strong allow Devway Whaley take an OV to Texas? No, sir. We had the video interview done ahead of time with Chris and people were still telling me he was going to the soe. Crazy.
21. Story to Jamal Pettigrew? Seemed to feel good about him flipping?
I did, and early on he was telling Texas he was in and coming. That went on for a long, long time then seemingly fell off the map. He was in and then he was out. Nothing magical or crazy just decided Texas was not the place for him. I think with the OOS kids at times when you have turnover and uncertainty that’s about all it takes.
22. Did Mike Williams get scared of the numbers or was he bound to Cardinal the entire time?
He was torn going into the last week or so. He has a younger brother, under the age of 2 or in that range. His mother and grandma will not be able to travel to Stanford as easily as Austin. I felt Texas was the leader for each and every single one of the DL down the stretch with two weeks to go. The issue, NRA – Natural Recruiting Attrition. What would happen as some started to go public? What would others think as they started to realize the amount of DL that were coming to Texas? I think this is a perfect example of all of the above. He is a GREAT and I mean GREAT kid. Michael Williams is the kind of kid you pull for, and I will certainly pull for him to have a great career. Had some circumstances been a bit different it could have altered where he spent the next four years of his life in my opinion.
23. How much impact did external forces influence our administration and boosters to throw their support for Coach Strong and his staff?
I don’t think they did? Just because they spoke to some high school kids and parents doesn’t mean they are showing support, not fully. Now, it could have been worse had they not “talked” with them that official visit weekend but they had no choice.
24. Was there a leader of the Wolfpack?
Eric Cuffee & Jean Delance
25. Why did you come up with that name?
I touched on it in the notes I “think.” I believe it was around the UA game or shortly after maybe? Somewhere around the game or right after I think. They methodically and strategically went after recruiting targets like a pack of wolves and basically would not take no for an answer. The Wolfpack missed on Dontavious Jackson. Oh, I think I touched on this in the notes above, but the Wolfpack kicked Deontay Anderson and Devway Whaley out of the chat groups. Wolfpack = Ruthless. Those guys crack me up.
26. What happened to Christian Wallace?
Another player Texas could have inked if they wanted. I don’t think he showed Texas what they needed to see over the last 18 months or so. Nothing majorly bad or anything like that. Just didn’t live up to the hype in my opinion.
27. How did Ole Miss get Anderson and Little so easily? Why did Little never give Charlie a chance?
That is the million dollar question. One I don’t have an answer for. I don’t think Little ever liked Texas from what I understand.
28. Who is the Wolfpack?
Started with Cuffee & Delance but McCulloch, Peyton Aucoin, Wilbon, Chris Daniels –basically all the commits make up the Wolfpack.
29. Who were you most surprised they made it in the class and why?
I am not surprised with any of the commitments. I expected those guys. I was more surprised about not signing Hudson honestly. I felt that would happen, not good enough to 100% “predict” that but I thought it was going to happen and I have no issues telling you that.
30. What was the Trendavian Story?
Panicked a bit about the direction of the offense. Decided to go elsewhere was the “safe” play.
31. What was the meaning of X and S coming from the recruits?
They were having some fun with you guys.
32. What happened with Cumbie/Gilbert fiasco?
Maybe one day when I retire I can talk about that stuff –I reserve the post nsd story for recruiting purposes only my friend.
33. We know TRob leaving was the bad news. What was the equally good news that was supposed to follow?
It has not happened yet. Clearly, it revolves around the hiring of coaches.
34. Have you ever seen anything like having a booster following a recruit around for a documentary only to have the recruit CHOOSE A DIFFERENT SCHOOL????
Is that a bad thing? Kind of like a good swift kick in the you know what I suppose.
35. What's the real story on DEVO not making it to Texas?
Test scores flagged.
36. Does Charlie ever read Chuck F'n Strong and what does he think about that?
I would highly doubt that my friend, but he is pretty funny
37. Was signing certain recruits over others more of a strategic move to lay a foundation in certain fertile recruiting grounds?
Absolutely not but it doesn’t hurt that’s for sure. Its nice to grab some kids from Louisiana. It will help open up pipelines and relationships.
38. What made you think that Texas would at least get one safety between B Jones and D Anderson early on?
That’s what I was told, and it was told to me like it was the gospel, it was going to happen – Even before I truly understood Deontay was going to Ole Miss I was told Texas will get one of these players.
39. Was losing Shane real if the staff brought on an additional QB?
40. What transpired with Tren'davion and did he try to get back into the class after OC hire?
He had some talks with Kameron Martin for sure but not sure how serious he was on his end or not.
41. Number 1 player on your big board?
Shane IMO was the single most important recruit. But was he more important to the future of this program than the OL or DL haul? They are all important sir.
42. How close were we to losing Traylor to other jobs?
Not at all. I have also found out some things after the fact that now tells me it was not even close.
43. Tell us everything on the entire Jordan Elliot recruitment. Did Harbaugh have a creepy sleepover?
Jordan was a silent to Texas then fell off the face of the earth with Michigan. He was never going to go to Michigan by himself. Maybe, if Michigan landed another kid from Texas it would have been different but I never truly thought he would ink with Michigan. It was very simple, and I think I talked about this scenario playing out. Get him on campus last, try and be the last ones into the house, etc. It was sound strategy, and it worked in the end.
44. What offended Little and his mom on their visit to Texas?
I “believe” there was a story about him having to wait or something like that at one point in the lobby or something along those lines. I am trying to recall, and that is the only thing I somewhat seem to remember. I don’t have a whole lot of information/notes from the past 12 months on Greg Little other than he isn't coming to Texas
45. Madabuike liked us early. Why did he commit to Aggy so early and why could we never get back in it?
He was caught up in the bells and whistles of the soe – once he made that decision his parents made him stick with it no matter what. I talked about him above some. He was staying in contact with Texas on his own. Shame had he not announced early he would have ended up at Texas more than likely.
46. Maybe I missed it but what was the boulder?
At the time, it was the Traylor talk about other job opportunities.
47. What was the deal with Devin Duvernay? I believe he wanted to commit, but we told him no a while back.
Texas could have gone down this road. He is real fast, but I am not sure how good of an actual WR he is. I think that was the issue to a certain degree for Texas. Texas was confident in the WR’s they were going to bring in.
48. Devwah Whaley? Was he just scared of the numbers?
That is a great question. I was torn on this kid. I kept hearing all OOS but at the same time, I heard he was going to play with his friends. At the end of the day, the thing he and his parents were concerned about was would Charlie Strong be the coach in 2017. This is one where a one-year extension could have swung him back this way I believe. Someone may have asked earlier if Texas lost anyone due to the extension talks and I may have said no but I should have said yes for Whaley. I don’t think it had anything to do with numbers in the position to answer your question.
49. Who were all the recruits at the all American games actively recruiting for Texas that were not committed?
I believe all of them were recruiting each other during the entire week, each and every single one of them. I knew what was going on behind closed doors which was the No 1 reason I stuck with the Top 10 prediction
50. At what point was the shark in?
I am not sure about a “set” time but for me, he was always going to come to Texas since the UTL camp. I felt it was done in the summer, and I know Texas was never worried about this one, not at all. I mean not in the least were they worried about this one.
51. Was there a turning point for this class, if so what was it? Or did the staff have a good idea for a while who they would get?
They had a great idea of what was going to happen. If I were to name “one” turning point, it was the OVW of the 16th when all the kids and families were able to bond with each other. Things were cemented big time that weekend. At that point, it was about holding on to the guys which they were able to do other than Stephon Taylor.
52. Devwah Whaley? What happened? Did the staff stop pursuing him for Porter?
I have said since the start of the cycle Whaley, and Porter were both 1A and 1A that is no secret, and everyone knows my opinion. After he announced for Arkansas and Texas said they were not going to bring him in the 16th weekend it was over.
53. What were the recruits telling you about SOE, that made you certain they were not going there?
That they were not going to the soe. It was pretty simple stuff really. I was very loud with my statements about Mark Jackson and Irvin Smith NOT going to the soe as well as Brandon Jones, Eric Cuffee, Chris Daniels, DCG. This whole situation is still puzzling to me because everyone said I was crazy. At the UA game, all the kids talked about the soe and how no one wanted to play for Sumlin. They made a grave mistake bringing him back for another year, but that’s great for Texas all the way around.
54. How is it that their mods didn't pick up on it.
No idea my friend I truly don’t know how they could not see the writing on the wall, but some may say that about me as well.
55. At one point you mentioned a 4* had contacted Texas, wanting in, but was told there was no room. How much of that can you tell us?
This was asked prior, and I honestly have lost my mind and am drawing a blank on this. I know Texas, if they pursued would have landed Kameron Martin, Demarkus Acy, Christian Wallace and R. Thornton but I am not sure if it's one of those players or not.
56. Any details on the Perrin/Fenves talks with recruits and their parents?
They did a good job talking to the parents and showing public signs of support as much as they could without the extension.
57. Did Charlie attempt to bring in Clint Hurrt after the season?
58. After our big recruiting weekend on the 15th, how many silent commits did we have? Could you also go into detail on what types of relationships formed during that weekend that you were so excited about? (which was more important than getting a commitment to happen)
This was a HUGE weekend no question for these kids. They were able to see all these great players and the “shape” of what this class was going to look like on NSD in my mind. The relationships formed that weekend were way more important than having a kid go public.
59. In Oct/Nov I asked you about Chris Daniels, and you said something to the order of watching his Sr film and it wasn't as good, what happened after that?
They played him out of position from what I was told, and that was the majority of the issues. I don’t have all the answers, but I believe it had something to do with where he was playing and not how if that makes sense. He could have been a kid that was maybe evaluated a bit incorrectly early on.
60. How much headway has Texas staff made with the 2017 guys? I feel with the talent available we could have a top 5 class with 20-22 commits.
I am sticking to wrapping up this class first, but I like some early “lean” for sure.
61. Was there any particular reason Texas never showed much interest in Jalen Hurts? Any truth to the statement Texas was a place he wanted to go?
I felt if they pressed him he would have ended up at Texas. They make evaluations and recruit based off those evaluations.
62. Was the ever a point you felt uneasy about Shane?
Things would have become real interesting real fast if they accepted a JUCO or transfer at this position. I think based off what happened with Gentry last season they were going to do everything in their power to make sure they did not lose Shane no matter what. The perception would have been real bad and in recruiting perception is reality.
63. Dee Anderson, related/friends with McNeal, Malik, why didn't we pursue him more?
Full at the position. He was a kid that I felt could find his way in but they never recruited him. I think the off the field issues hurt Dee. I would have gone full court press on this kid. I think under the right head coach he will end up being like AJ Green one day. Great kid. More to the story with his off the field issues. His high school head coach should be ashamed of himself. I have no problem saying that. What? No one ever got into a fight in high school before? Just so happened the kid he whipped was the head coaches son.
64. Quartney Davis, why didn't we pursue more?
Never a question. They were not going to over extend at this point. They had WR’s.
65. Why did the staff want 2 RBs this year, seems like we have enough depth.
Can never have enough RB’s my friend. They drop fast during a season. They wanted two but landed one of the top ones they had on the board, so it was a success I believe.
66. Caleb Kelly was interested at one time, what happened?
I would call this token interest at best
67. I love Stephen Sullivan(LSU WR) potential, at one point we were supposed to get an OV, what happened?
It never materialized. Again, some of these things just don’t work out for no rhyme or reason it just happens.
68. Same with Kristan Fulton(LSU CB)?
See above with Sullivan.
69. Do you think CS will dip back into Florida. I would love to cherry pick 3-5 guys a year form OOS and Fla and LA are great spots.
I think they will go OOS for some players. Some players, I think they will go and try and find the best possible players regardless of where they are. They will always look in state first and fill out the gaps. People get mad when they look OOS or offer kids OOS, but you must offer the OOS kids first, or you are behind the eight ball so to speak. Texas and Louisiana they will recruit hard no question.
70. What would it have taken to push this class into a top 5 ranking?
Patrick Hudson and Dontavious Jackson would have pushed them to the brink.
71. Can you give us your Big Board?
No, sir some things I keep private.
72. When did the confirming calls for Fowler, D-Jax, Jones, and Hudson come in? Did the staff know a head of signing day where these guys were going or were they still in the dark up until they announced?
I will let you in on a little secret. They knew they were getting Brandon Jones for a good bit and oh, by the way, his fax came in at 7:00 am. But, does anyone think I would report that and steal his thunder? They felt really good about Fowler and Hudson going to bed. They felt Dontavious was going to FSU for a long time, but you always hold out hope the NLI comes across your desk. I mean, you never “truly” know until you get the fax, though.
73. What was the meaning behind your "you gotta have heart" tweet?
It was a general statement meaning Recruiting is not for the faint of heart.
74. Was the only thing stopping J Mad from being in this class his parents?
For me yes it was.
75. What can you tell us about the specific recruiting efforts of our assistant coaches?
As it pertains to what exactly? They all did a GREAT job of having each others backs I felt throughout the process. It became a bit difficult when the turnover was going down but other than that it went great.
76. Jared Mayden
Was never a good fit
77. Eric Monroe
They would not have inked him, see above.
78. Stephon Taylor
This is the only one I felt should have 100% been in the class. I touched on him earlier. He as all Texas and South Carolina swooped in last minute and swayed him big time.
79. Dontavious Jackson Handler
Helped the Noles IMO
80. How much did Tommie Robinson's departure affect Patrick Hudson's recruitment?
It certainly did not help but was not the deciding factor. Had Tommie Robinson stayed you would have seen Kameron Martin and his father make the OVW on January 23rd and he would have flipped IMO. No one in the country is going to admit that, and I am not worried about what they say, but that is about as close to factual information as I can put out there. I think it was clear based off how upset the kid was by his tweet after the news broke about Tommie leaving.
81. What do you think brought Porter back this way?
I do not think he was brought back this way. I think, after the fact, it’s clear he was all Texas. The proof is in the pudding. He signed with Texas with no RB coach. That is very telling for me and something that I misread entirely. I was wrong on him and TCU. I was listening to lots of people and not the people that were the closest to the situation. A mistake I don’t often make and won't again. I initially told the board the RB coach will NOT be a factor in this process for him or his family. THEN I went back on what I thought, stating the RB coach was an issue, and I was totally wrong on that deal. The only regret I have looked back was the way I read the Kyle Porter situation.
82. Do all the DTs stay DTs? Does taking four hurt our chances with Marvin Wilson?
Wilbon, DCG, and Jordan Elliott stay inside with Daniels going outside. Stephon Taylor was going to start outside as well. Southall starts outside. So, Texas landed three DT’s the way I see it today. Southall and Daniels could wind up inside though, so that’s something to keep an eye on down the road. This is what Texas had to do; they had no choice. Will it make it tough on Marvin Wilson? You bet your bottom dollar it will but what were they supposed to do? Every team recruiting that kid will say the same thing to him and his family.
83. Which schools/coaches negative recruit the most against us? What kind of stuff did Charlie have to combat on the trail?
The soe is the worst when it comes to this. Again, 2nd year in a row, this year particularly Texas beat them down in recruiting. They did it the right way. Texas will continue to roll over them on the recruiting trail.
84. Why no interest in McTelvin Agim? There seemed to be some interest and some connections with Strong very early in the process, but nothing materialized.
They had lots of interest in Age. He simply never seemed to have serious enough interest. He is really good friends with Charles Omenihu, but it never became serious.
85. Did we ever talk to Kyle Allen about transferring? Was there any real interest from either, neither, or both sides?
For obvious reasons, this was never going to happen. For me, that is the only thing that matters in the grand scheme of things.
86. Did Hudson tell both Texas and Baylor that he was coming to each of them? And if so, did the Texas staff find out via Baylor's "thunder stealing" Tweet on NSD that he was Baylor-bound?
Yes, that is how we all found out. Baylor did that on purpose, very bush league thing to do. Hudson never told Texas he was coming.
87. What impact, if any, did Gilbert, and/or Mattox have on this cycle's recruits?
None. That will not be the case moving forward. This cycle they simply assisted.
88. Did Kam Martin want in but we said thanks, but no thanks?
Mentioned above. After his tweet about the Tommie Robinson news, both sides were done.
89. For a while toward the end, it seemed like there was some smoke around JP Urquidez flipping to Texas. Is he someone, the staff, wanted to flip toward the end? Did he want to flip and the staff said no thanks and he changed his mind when it started to become clear the OL class we were going to sign (i.e. did he pull a Taylor and got scared off by the numbers)?
If Texas missed on Delance JP would have been a Longhorn. After Delance announced Texas JP was not going to come to Texas because of the amount of the OL that were coming this class.
90. I loved the team chemistry of these recruits. Reggie was always teasing with "another one" tweets. You said we'd be surprised who among recruits was recruiting hardest for us. Dying to find out who the lead dogs of the Wolfpack were.
They ALL played a great part and big role. The two that stand out the most are Cuffee and Delance. After those two it would be the Shark. Peyton did a great job as did all the guys really. I have never seen a “group” come together collectively as this group did for the greater purpose. It was really amazing to see it unfold. Each and every kid was working on another at some point in time.
91. Of the 4 RB's Martin, Porter, Whaley and Anderson what order did you have them in? It seemed we had all of them interested at one time and then we had none. What happened there?
First of all, let me say as far as football players go I really like what ALL of them bring to the table. They are great running backs.
92. I sense a lack of support for Charlie but do not know if it is admin, boosters or athletic dept. Can you give a weighted description on what you and your sources think is behind this?
I honestly don’t want to get this all stirred up. My opinion on this matter is drastically different than the majority, and I would rather leave this sleeping dog alone.
93. Did this recruiting cycle help alleviate any of the lack of support?
I would hope so but cant answer that 100%
94. You had mentioned the possibility of two other OL if things with Hudson didn't turn out earlier...Who were the two others and why didn't Texas push?
I think they felt, as I did they were going to get Hudson.
95. To reach a top 5 class, what needed to happen and who needed to sign?
Hudson and Jackson would have put them in that position OR a Kameron Martin as well had Tommie stayed on board.
96. How influenced was Dontavious Jackson's decision by the handler? Similar to David Underwood with Soso last year?
He was right in the middle no question, how much? I don’t think anyone will truly be able to answer that, but he played an important role I believe.
97. Were any of this years recruiting decisions influenced by potential position changes on the current roster (such as wanting 2 RBs in this class portending a position change for Kirk Johnson or Tristan Houston)?
I don’t think so at all.
98. were we every interested in any jucos? if so can you name them and what happened?
They looked at some JUCO kids late but nothing major in my opinion so much so its not worth me digging up honestly.
99. Why with everything on the line did we not add a juco or grad transfer QB? Seems like everything could be improved, but we lack any certainty at QB. If this is a "make or break" year for CS, did they pursue anyone? Even Trevor Knight, as poor as he has played, would allow us to throw he ball down the field. Any chance we still look for a grad transfer?
You run the risk of Shane and Sam depending on who you took. Not worth the risk in my mind.
100. What happened to make you feel so confident six months ago that this was going to be a top 10 class?
It wasn’t one single thing I don’t believe. When I spent four days in Austin during the UTL camp, I saw and heard enough. Remember, during the season the recruiting shuts down a bit on the “public” scene so to speak. A lot of times things kids say nine months before NSD is WAY more important than what they say one month before NSD. I felt great about things I was being told and, more importantly, things I saw. I know they finished No eight overall but for me, Top 10 was NEVER, and I mean never in jeopardy. Was I nervous? You bet your you know what I was because like I said above until the fax is in it means nothing.
101. You said Texas was not taking 5 DTs, but we signed 5. Explain? Southall's grades?
Daniels and Southall start outside. Gerald, DCG, and Elliott start inside. They brought in so much depth on the DL its unreal. Think about these guys for a second.
Are you kidding me with that haul? They brought in EIGHT DL in the class of 2016. You will be hard pressed to see Texas bring in this kind of quality and quantity again at this position. Love it.
102. Which players might be a concern to qualify and enroll to UT?
I have not given it any thought right now. I have been doing nothing but working on this deal. In the next few weeks, I will take a look and see what I can find. Right now I don’t have the answer to this question.
103. I've seen a lot of the freshman around the offices today on LHN but not many underclassmen, did the upperclassman help and which upperclassman contributed? How involved were the qbs?
This team belongs to the class of 2015, and it shows. It will quickly turn into the 2015 & 2016 class as guys that are Charlie Strongs “guy,” and I think its pretty clear. I have been preaching roster turnover since Charlie arrived, and over 50 guys on this roster are his guys. Imagine what the roster will look like with two more classes??? Think about that for a second if you will.
104. Since we were supposed to be taking two TE's - what role did the new spread offense have in discouraging TE's away Irvin & Pettigrew?
This had nothing to do with it imo. JP was lost well before the OC change. Irvin, as I said, Bama was going to be a serious threat – when they come calling its tough until you start winning National Titles.
105. If I'm not mistaken, when Wilbon committed it was said that he was going to be OL. What made the staff change their minds?
I made a mistake
106. Who was the 4 star we had to say no to? Or if there were multiple, what guys said they wanted in, but we couldn't take them?
This is about the third time this question has been asked, and I am racking my brain but drawing a blank on this deal—I have gone over the notes and didn't see a mention of this.
107. Was there any traction to the Caleb Kelly rumors on nsd?
108. Why'd deontay choose ole miss? Why did Texas not pursue other options at MLB when djack wasn't looking good?
They were content on landing DJ for sure BUT also content if he opted out.
109. Who were your favorite recruits to cover?
I enjoy covering all the kids, but a few I enjoyed would be Peyton, Shane, Eric, Jean, and LJH.
110. Which recruit did you have the most contact with?
I am not going to put that out there my friend.
111. What's the story with Ed Oliver? How hard did Charlie try to flip him?
They did not waste time on him at all.
112. Who do you think has the best chance of being freshman all-American out of this class?
That is a great question, and I have no clue, but McCulloch is going to play for sure.
113. It has been reported today that we had 32 OV's and signed 24. That is a 75% take rate. Is that typical?
Pretty high percentage my friend. I have always said get the kid and family in for the OV, and they will have a great shot! The numbers don’t lie, 75% of the kids that made OV’s inked with Texas –pretty crazy! I would need to see the numbers at the other sites, but I would venture to bet its not that high.
114. Hey, everyone! Hook 'em! My first post on any message board. Didn't see much of Norvell today on LHN, anyone notice?
He played his part for sure.
115. Were Brandon Jones, Eric Cuffee or any other recruits recruiting for Texas during the Arkansas visit?
This is one of those things where the father and family say they were not so you will not see me say anything to dispute that sir.
116. Is it true they were sent home for this?
100% no, they spent the full 48-hours on campus like everyone else from what I was told.
117. During the OV on the 15th, someone asked who we improved standing most with and your responded Quote: «Ironically enough I will say its a player who wasn't even there. Think about that for a second lol.
That would be D’Andre Christmas-Giles. He called Charlie and told him coach make sure you don’t give away my spot.
118. Were we willing to pass on a RB this year to go all in on Dobbins next yr?
No, not at all. They wanted two so no way on earth they were willing to pass on a RB in this class just to try and get one for next season.
119. Does the DJack to FSU help us with Hines in 2017?
Two names for you – Baron Browning and Anthony Hines
120. Issac Nauta, the #1 TE in the country, visited with some others at some point. Was there REAL interest there? What happened with that? I remember they saw TCU and Baylor too I think?
No, that trip was more for the trainer
121. How many NLIs did UT send out? Who were the ones who didn't sign outside of D-Jax and Hudson?
I believe the number was 31 total. They signed 24; Hudson, Dontavious, Stephon, Deontay and Irvin Smith make 29. I forget a few, though.
122. What was your biggest surprise (good news) and why?
I was not surprised at all. Had DJ or Deontay Anderson inked they would get my vote because I never thought they were truly coming.
123. What was your biggest surprise or miss (bad news) and why?
Hudson talked about above at length.
124. Who was the "one you moved up" to get to your initial 22 (within the last several weeks - ish)?
I believe it was Marcel, and clearly the one I was talking about moving below the line was Taylor with all the USC talk.
125. What happened to Deontay Anderson (Elite 8)?
Nothing, he went to Ole Miss, a school he always wanted to attend.
126. Can you provide an example using names of when it is ok for you to reveal a players name vs. an answer of I can't talk about that until after signing day? It's interesting that your elite 8 matched up almost one for one with guys Charlie felt really good about (said during his interview on LHN)...and you felt good about saying you felt good about them. But Charlie said he didn't know about Fowler which coincided with you not being able to say his dad was in town? What dictates that? Your own feeling of what's appropriate or the kid telling you not to say anything?
Yes, I will always be a bit more forthcoming talking about an uncommitted player vs. a kid who announced before another team. The unwanted attention is not something I am trying to do with kids committed to other schools for the most part. That is a very interesting point of view you have my friend. LSU never thought Fowler would flip to Texas. I was NOT going to bring unwanted attention to the Fowler family by telling you his dad came back on Sunday to meet with Charlie Strong and Coach BJ. Mark Jackson, junior was coming back on Friday (I was told Monday) to meet with Texas coaches on his way to the soe OV. That is not something I am going to report. When he gets on campus at that point its going to get out but I simply use common sense honestly lol its not hard to know on my end what I should talk about and what I should keep quiet. No one tells me what to keep quiet because they know I understand the deal.
127. Jason, I just looked at the list of 2017 prospects with medium or high interest in Texas, and there are 47. Ballpark (I don't expect an exact number), how many of this years signees were on the early (February 2015) prospect list of Texas with medium or high interest?
That is a good question and one I wouldn’t even know how to attempt to answer.
128. Another way to ask the same question, How many had not expressed interest in Texas at this time last year?
Thinking out loud I would say guys like Irvin Smith, Marcel Southall and DCG maybe?
129. Smh on ole miss, why is it such a fad with Texas HS FB players when they could play for their home state, or is there something rotten/scandalous going on over there? Should there be more investigative reporting or is it that they are damn good in recruiting?
I am never going to go down that road sir.
130. Someone posted this in a separate thread but in case you don't answer there who was the position change you found interesting?
My bad yes, it was Benard to RB, but I was not aware that even happened as a permanent move. Sorry about that.
131. What 2016 recruit (now commit) was recruiting others into the class the hardest?
Eric Cuffe & Jean Delance
132. Who was he recruiting?
How do the kids say it again? Errrrrbody……
133. What current player was recruiting others into the class the hardest?
That would be Charles Omenihu and Malik Jefferson, both are recruiting junkies.
134. Who was he recruiting?
How do the kids say it again? Errrrrbody……
135. As I understand, Fowler was a late minute decision as well as Kyle Porter. How did the staff know to have a national signing day board with exactly as many placeholders has recruits if they didn't know about some of these last-minute decisions.
They didn’t. No one knows until the fax comes in my friend.
136. Who are Charlie's first five calls in the 2017 class?
They have lots of top tier guys in 2017. Baron Browning, Hines, Wilson, Calloway, Dobbins, and Tucker—LOTS of big time kids in 2017 that have been and will continue to be recruited to the fullest by Texas.
137. What was the story on Cuffee "recruiting" on his visit to Arkansas?
Talked about this above.
138. Some Aggies were accusing Mcculloch of the same thing on his last visit. Any story there?
Let’s just say he was never going to play for the soe and leave it at that.
139. Were there any commits that Strong didn't know were going to happen until they were publicly announced? If not, who were the last people to inform Strong they were in?
Fowler I believe was the last one in.
140. What was the defining point that helped Texas close so Strong...what saved this class?
The OVW January 16th was big bringing all those players together.
141. Who were all the silent commits at 1 point in time?
Talked about above
142. How did losing Shawn Watson help/hurt this class?
Made things tough with Shane for a few weeks
143. How did losing Tommie Robinson help/hurt this class?
He was recruiting all the RB’s and Patrick Hudson – It hurt losing Tommie imo
144. How did losing Joe Wickline help/hurt this class?
145. Why wasn't the RB coach hired before NSD? Couldn't get released? Wanted to wait?
Can't answer that one, maybe more pressing needs my friend. Will make sense to you sooner or later I think.
146. The "Wolfpack" seems to be a coordinated group of recruits and some of the 2015 class. Where are they trying to send a message? If so what?
Yes, they were sending a message. Bring Texas back to the national stage.
147. I saw a lot of 2015 kids helping but not any upper-class men. What was the UC's involvement during this cycle?
I don’t think they were involved hardly at all.
148. Where did this class fail (if it did at all)?
In my opinion, they did not fail at all. This class was A++ for me all the way, sir. I don’t know how you could have landed a better class. The only and I mean the only spot is MLB, and they will be fine moving forward at that position I believe. No one gets every single player they want but let me tell you something this might be the closest you ever see Texas land, everyone, they want.
149. Tell me a funny story about this class that no other analyst knows about?
I am not a clown lol
150. How many scholarship offers were made by UT football in 2015?
Over a 100 verbal offers were given out throughout the year and even dated back into 2014.
151. If Charlie and Co. had their pick of all the top 25 ranked (by Scout) players in the state, would he take them all? Or are any simply not his kind of kid and suited for his schemes?
No, he would not – those are not the coaches rankings, and that’s important to remember.
152. Is it true that Rashann Thornton called the Longhorn coaches before signing LOI with LSU.
Kind of lol. What happened was he, like many other kids, inked his NLI and they faxed it early morning – Then they had second thoughts. He thought because he did not have his official press conference and “announce” that he could change his mind so to speak – not the case.
153. Can you give names of recruits you feel DID NOT commit because CS didn't receive a contract extension?
154. Was there any recruit you thought was Texas bound and didn't come?
155. Was there any recruit you though was NOT Texas bound and did come?
156. What were the deciding factors in the recruitment for Shane Buechele that led him to take Texas over family favorite OU?
Heart, he loves Watson
157. What type of impact did Texasags doing a documentary have on Brandon Jones? Positive, negative?
158. How close were we from getting Kameron Martin from Baylor?
Talked about this above.
159. Was Cuffee ever a silent commit to the soe?
160. The recruit most impacted by the 1/16 OV weekend that was not there?
Talked about above but it was DCG, I told the story earlier.
161. What were the meanings of some of the tweets you sent out that you remember? i.e. five guys burgers, Keyser Soze, Jack in the Box, stranger danger alert (Jan 20), long study study wrong (Jan 21), etc.
Glad you mentioned Keyser, that was Erick Fowler. Stranger Danger was for Michigan. Talked about Five Guys Burger in the note section. Study Long Study Wrong was when I had a conversation regarding Irvin Smith.
162. What is the meaning or motivation behind the #believe?
I think it’s a powerful word that explains itself
163. You mentioned someone (currently on the team/roster) will change positions, who is it?
Talked about above
164. Why did Jordan Elliott have a change of heart?
I think he started to see what Texas was about to do, and he did NOT want to get left out in the cold.
165. Who or what do you believe was the momentum changer for us this year that led us to the finish we had? (9 commits in 24 hours)
It’s all about relationships, and Texas does a masterful job of building relations with the people that make these decisions.
166. Why and how do you know we won't sign 5 DT's? Because some were recruited as DE? I.e. Daniels?
167. How many were involved in the recruits group message?
They had a few different ones going on for sure but all the commits plus Brandon Jones, the Shark, DCG. Chris Daniels etc.
168. Who was the uncommitted player (at the time) that was the bell cow recruiting other high-profile players (i.e. B Jones)
169. Outside of Anderson or DJack (and Hudson/Taylor/Smith) what recruit would have surprised you if they committed?
Who else is there?
170. What were you waiting on with Irvin Smith? And why was his visit moved back from Sunday to Thursday?
He was supposed to come back the last OVW on a UOV but as you can see it never happened. That is what I was waiting on. Because they wanted to try and have the last in-home visit. No one and I mean NO ONE could have ever anticipated he would have cancelled that in-home visit.
171. What recruits were on YOUR big board that we did NOT know about?
I start with a big board of over 200 kids.
172. Was there anything to the David Reese situation or did he just like Florida better? ( the only question I could think of that hadn't been asked!!)
Florida did a good job selling him on the school side of things and guaranteed him to entrance into the business school. Not sure that is possible but they did and they jumped on it.
173. Kellen Diesch - was he ever seriously considering Texas? Was he someone that the Texas staff was ever really serious about, and if so, what led him to aggy over Texas?
Nothing serious. There was a time for about a two week period where I felt it may get serious but never really happened.