The common theme coming from recruits leaving Tom Herman's first Junior Day weekend at Texas was one of surprise.
The vibes from some of the top prospects were extremely positive in favor of the Longhorns, who hosted some of the nation's top ranked class of 2018 and 2019 recruits over the weekend.
HornsDigest.com was on the scene all weekend, and has loads of info from the Junior Day visits.
Here's a complete list of all of the stories, notes and quotes coming out of Texas Junior Day.
4-Star WR Commit Justin Watkins
- Tom Herman landed his first commitment of the 2018 class in 4-star WR Justin Watkins. Watkins said he wants to stand out at his college and be a difference maker on offense, and that's what he feels Texas offers.
- Herman "went crazy" and "got hype" when he committed.
- His commitment was an easy decision before ever getting to Junior Day. He said it feels great to commit, and he's ready for a bunch of other guys to join him.
- Though he is going to visit other schools, Watkins said he is with Texas.
- The current players talked up Herman and his staff, saying coming to Texas offers opportunities after their football careers are over in the alumni network.
SATURDAY 5 PM UPDATE- Justin Watkins Is In
First 2018 verbal for Texas.
5-Star WR Brennan Eagles
- Brennan Eagles enjoyed his visit, which was his first trip to Texas since Tom Herman took over. Eagles has a prior relationship with Herman and his staff from their time at Houston. In fact, Eagles said Houston was the first program to offer him.
- Eagles enjoyed his time with Drew Mehringer. The duo have built a great relationship, and Mehringer's youth helps him relate to him.
- Eagles will most likely drop his top schools when he is at The Opening this summer.
4-Star S Atanza Vongor
- Texas is "definitely" going to play a factor in Atanza Vongor's decision. Vongor wants to make his commitment sometime within the next month.
- Vongor plans to put out his top list sometime next week.
- With the success Tom Herman had at Houston and Ohio State, Vongor is excited to see that translate to Texas.
- TCU is another program in the mix with Vongor. The safety most wants to be in a program where it feels like "family and feels like home." Vongor said he could feel at home at both TCU and Texas.
4-Star WR Leon O'Neal
- Texas is in Leon O'Neal's big picture at this point. The biggest thing that stood out to O'Neal is Herman's determination on changing what has happened at Texas in recent years.
- With a lot of schools outside of the state recruiting him, the Texas staff has joked with O'Neal that he needs to stay in state, because nobody wants to live in the cold.
- O'Neal said - overall - he was very impressed with the staff today. Seeing what Herman did at Houston after helping lead Ohio State to a national championship with three different QBs - is a difference maker for him.
- O'Neal jokingly mentioned how it's "kind of scary" to see Herman's success against Power 5 programs (5-0) when he was coaching at Houston.
4-Star QB Casey Thompson
- Casey Thompson spent a lot of time around Shane Buechele, Sam Ehlinger and Malcolm Roach. He has really enjoyed the two days in Austin.
- When Thompson arrived yesterday, he didn't expect the Longhorns' facilities to be the way they are. He seemed surprised by what Texas had to offer.
- Today was the first time meeting with Tom Herman. He was "really impressed" with the head coach.
- Thompson most related to Buechele, who he referred to as a guy who would rather stay at home studying football than going out partying.
- Texas is among his top schools, in addition to UNC, Miami and Virginia Tech.
- Thompson said it would be a "pretty cool story" if he ended up coming to Texas since his father and brother both went to Oklahoma.
SATURDAY 12:50 AM UPDATE - Caught up with Casey Thompson
Not going into a ton of detail, but the one quote I will tell you when I asked him how his Friday visit went the response was an emphatic "Unreal."
4-Star RB Keontay Ingram
- Hanging out with RBs coach Stan Drayton was a great experience today.
- Knowing Drayton coached Ezekiel Elliott is a big deal to Keontay Ingram.
- Texas "is up there" on his favorites list.
4-Star CB Anthony Cook
- Tom Herman and the staff were pressing the message to "come join the revolution" and bring Texas back to Anthony Cook of Houston Lamar.
- Cook said the other 2018 Houston Lamar prospects and he talk a lot about how it would be if they all played together at the college level.
4-Star DT Keondre Coburn
- Spending time with the current and former players and the staff were the biggest things that stood out to Keondre Coburn.
- Coburn plans to visit LSU in March and take a West Coast tour this summer.
- Junior Day was like being around family, according to Coburn. "I really like Texas. Coming here today and leaving today, I really feel like they are on top right now."
- The staff really likes Coburn's motor and how he uses his hands. He is looking into returning for a visit during his spring break.
4-Star WR Al'Vonte Woodard
- Al'Vonte Woodard of Houston Lamar said spending time with the Texas coaches made him feel at home.
- He has built solid relationships with the staff when they were at UH, but Woodard feels like his relationship with the staff is stronger than ever before.
- The Longhorns' players talked very highly of the Texas staff to Woodard, which meant a lot.
- The Houston Lamar group of prospects is "very tight", and they all talk about the possibility of maybe being able to play with each other in college.
4-Star OT Kenyon Green
- Although he's committed to LSU, Kenyon Green said the Texas visit made an impact on him. "It made me like Texas a little more."
- Green has enjoyed his conversations with OL coach Derek Warehime. He likes how straightforward Warehime has been.
- He plans to visit Texas A&M and Oklahoma this spring, and wants to come back to Austin to see some games this fall.
4-Star WR Terrace Marshall
- Terrace Marshall really enjoyed his time in the wide receiver room when the staff broke down how they expect the Longhorns' offense will look.
- The Texas staff said they would use him most on the outside. He really likes Tom Herman and Drew Mehringer, and how they treat him like an adult.
- Texas stands "very high" on his list after this visit. His top group of schools include Texas A&M, LSU, Texas and TCU. He does not plan to make a commitment until National Signing Day.
- Marshall said he is "definitely" taking an official visit to Texas.
4-Star OG Barton Clement
- Texas is now currently tied with Texas A&M on his list of favorites after UT's Junior Day.
- He enjoyed Tom Herman's personality, calling him energetic.
- He wants to come back to Austin for the spring game and plans to make a decision before his senior season.
- Clement is planning to visit TCU this spring.
4-Star DE Jarell Cherry
- Texas stands strongly on Jarell Cherry's list after Sunday's visit.
- Cherry plans to take a return visit to Texas later this spring.
- Malik Jefferson told Cherry everything Tom Herman does comes down to winning. Jefferson also called Herman a "genius", according to Cherry.
- Oscar Giles stressed the importance of having a brotherhood in the locker room, and the recruits they are looking for are ones who are going to put their pride aside for their teammates.
4-Star CB Gemon Green
- Gemon Green thinks he is "very close" to getting an offer from Texas. If Texas does offer, Green said the Longhorns would be in his Top 3.
- Green has high expectations for Tom Herman and the future of Texas football under his watch. "He's known for winning games."
- Hearing the current players talk about how much the University of Texas has to offer both from a football standpoint and life after football stood out the most to Green.
4-star WR Jaquayln Crawford
Just caught up with 4-star WR Jaquayln Crawford. He said he enjoyed his visit, and Texas sits high on his list.
Other schools on his current list include Oklahoma, Notre Dame and TCU.
Michael Huff has been involved with his recruitment. Crawford - who referred to Huff as "his dude" - said Huff jokes with him saying he could still cover the wide receiver today.
4-Star TE Malcolm Epps
- Tight end Malcolm Epps said being at a school where his family can see him play is important to him.
- Texas is high on Epps' list.
- Epps plans to return for an unofficial visit later this spring.
SUNDAY 12:45 UPDATE: TE Malcolm Epps
M&M was in yesterday and Epps in today. You will only see Texas take one TE for this cycle. First one to pop and its a wrap. M&M is a big fan of the Longhorns, growing up watching McCoy and Shipley....
4-Star TE Mustapha Muhammad
4-Star WR Tommy Bush
4-Star OT Rafiti Ghirmai
4-Star S Demarion Overshown
Recruiting is starting to impact some of these players already imo.
He is a player I REALLY like as far as upside/potential with Texas being in on him prior to him blowing up etc...
D. Overshown. He spent a ton of time with Coach Orlando during JR Day. They walked around with each other a ton and talked. Demarvion also spoke to and spent time with most of the coaches during his visit. He loved everything about the trip and says Texas is still one of his top schools to date.
3-Star DE Joseph Ossai
- DE Joseph Ossai did not really know how to feel about Texas coming into the visit. He was really impressed with the coaching staff and everything Texas has to offer. He said he is "for the most part sold" on what they had to say.
- Ossai came into the visit having Texas A&M as his "dream school", but Texas impressed today.
- Ossai said Todd Orlando and the defensive coaches are the right guys to turn around the Texas defense.
- One thing that stood out was the feel around the coaching staff and the program. "It felt like home, basically."
- Ossai plans to put out a Top 10 list this summer, and after today, Texas would "definitely" make his Top 10.
3-Star S Patrick Fields
Fields said his Texas Junior Day visit was one of the best he has taken. Fields was happy to be able to see what Texas has to offer aside from football - in terms of academics, tradition, the "beautiful" campus and the network available after graduation.
Fields really enjoyed his time with Texas safeties coach Craig Naivar, who he said was surprisingly laid back.
Texas was one of his top schools coming into the visit. And after the visit, he said Texas is in his Top 3, along with OU and TCU.
3-Star DT Josh Landry
- The Texas staff is waiting to see some test scores for Josh Landry, but he expects an offer to come soon.
- If Texas offers, Landry said the Longhorns would be at the top. "I'm really interested in them, so I'm gonna try to get back up here as soon as I can."
3-Star CB Starrland Baldwin
- While Texas hasn't offered Starrland Baldwin, Jason Washington spent a lot of one-on-one time with Baldwin.
- Baldwin called Washington a "good dude", said it was a cool experience to see the type of scheme Texas plans to run on defense.
- Baldwin has talked to the coaching staff about a potential offer, but he doesn't know if it will come soon or not.
3-Star CB Trent Gordon
Another great kid, no Texas offer, but lots of offers from some big-time programs
3-Star ATH Chance Amie
3-Star OT John Lanz
WR Jonathan Shepherd
4-Star OT Kardell Thomas
- One of the more surprising things I heard today came from Kardell Thomas. The LSU OL commit said he didn't know Texas had the Longhorn Network ... which launched in 2011. (Is LHN a non-factor entirely outside of the state of Texas?) Although he didn't know of the network prior to his visit, knowing Texas has LHN is a "big, big, big deal" for him because he wants to major in journalism.
- Coach Warehime said he would love to have Thomas come to Texas. Thomas also heard the same message from Brandon Hodges and Malcolm Roach.
OL Tyler Johnson
- Tyler Johnson enjoyed hearing Tom Herman talk about "the big things" he plans to do at Texas during Saturday's Junior Day.
- When he moved to Texas from Georgia, Johnson has since thought the University of Texas was the best school in the state. Getting an offer from Texas "means a lot" to him, and he believes the future under Herman is "going to be a lot better."
OT Jade Ashalintubbi
- First of all, Jade Ashalintubbi's last name is pronounced "Shill-un-tubb-y".
- The plan Tom Herman has for the season and what he has planned for Texas football's future is what stood out the most for Ashalintubbi.
- The o-lineman plans to visit Texas A&M and Oklahoma State.
DT Lloyd Murray Jr.
2019 DT Lloyd Murray Jr. called his Sunday visit "amazing." Murray spent time with DL coach Oscar Giles, who told him he plans to further evaluate him in the spring.
Murray doesn't currently hold an offer, but thinks one will come after the staff evaluates him this spring.
He said Texas is definitely one of his tops schools and he hopes to get an offer.
SUNDAY 11:47 AM UPDATE - Lloyd Murray Jr.
I think this kid could have 50 offers by the time he gets to NSD. He is absolutely loving the visit so far and they have only been in Austin a few hours...
DE Marcus Stripling
SATURDAY Feb. 25 2016 - Junior Day Live Thread
SATURDAY EVENING: Kids I've caught up with
and I am waiting on countless others. I do not want everyone waiting around as these are going to take a lot of time to get done and it will be Sunday before I can get them all posted. While Junior day is going on Sunday I will get all those stories posted as well as kids coming in on Sunday. Some to keep an eye on for tomorrow include guys like Starrland Baldwin, Miles Emery and an OL I really like Jade Ashalintubbi and numerous others...What I can tell you about Watkins is this was happening and he made lots and I mean LOTS of people aware of his intentions about two weeks ago behind closed doors and then pretty much told a bunch of media people at camp last week he was going to do this as long as things went great. From everyone I have talked with its has gone tremendously with numerous players, a few of which I have mentioned and talked with above. Casey Thompson has spent lots and I mean lots of time with players such as Terrance Marshall, Brennan Eagles and Justin Watkins just as a little side note.