RB Albert Hardy, 5-11, 220, 4.55, Galena Park. Hardy, who made an unofficial visit for the Colorado game in October, will trip to Austin this weekend for an official visit for UT's Football Banquet. The projected tailback/fullback has consistently listed Texas as his favorite, and visits to LSU (11.16), Colorado (11.23) and Alabama (12.07) haven't changed that dynamic. Hardy is scheduled to trip to Florida in January but it wouldn't be a shock if he verballed to the Horns this weekend.
OL Justin Blalock, 6-4, 340, 5.00, Plano East. Blalock is considered by many analysts to be the top OL prospect in the state of Texas and one of the top few in the nation. He will make his official visit to UT this weekend for the Football Banquet. Blalock has already tripped to Michigan (11.30) and OU (last weekend) and is scheduled to visit Florida on January 11. This one, though, looks to be a UT-OU battle and that provides some good news for Orangebloods. Blalock is an outstanding student -- 3.6 GPA, 1280 SAT and 31 ACT -- who is interested in studying business. The University, of course, offers one of the best business programs in the nation and Blalock, who said after his visit to Norman that he was "extremely impressed" with Oklahoma's business school, should be blown away by the one on the Forty Acres.
OL Kasey Studdard, 6-3, 260, Highlands Ranch, CO. Kasey's father Dave played for UT from 1975-77 and he has family in Texas, but Colorado is making a strong push to keep the younger Studdard in-state. Studdard visited the Forty Acres last weekend along with another legacy, Robin Sendlein's son and UT early commit Lyle Sendlein from Arizona. There are a lot of dynamics in play here -- close to or far from home, home-state school or Dad's school, winner of the Big 12 title game or the loser of said game, etc. -- and it will be interesting to see which side wins this battle. Looks like a toss-up right now.
TE Eric Winston, 6-7, 260, 4.77, Midland Lee. Winston, once thought to be an Aggie lock, is in play for both Texas and Miami along with original leader A&M. Winston, a former teammate of UT RB Cedric Benson at Lee, has a brother at A&M, where he visited last weekend. The TE will trip to Coral Gables this weekend. Winston, who made an unofficial visit to UT for the Kansas game and said that he had a "great time" on the visit, has yet to schedule his official visit to Austin. He also plans to visit in January two of three from among Michigan, LSU and Notre Dame. Before he visited the Forty Acres for the KU game, I would have given the Horns little chance to sign Winston, but Texas is now strongly in the mix.
Other longer-shot possibilities
WR Robert Timmons, 6-2, 205, 4.46, Flower Mound Marcus. The state's top receiver verballed to Florida earlier this fall only to have the Gator staff withdraw its scholarship offer, according to Timmons. Where he ends up -- heck, even where he visits -- is anybody's guess and may be based on which school will offer (and accept his commitment) given his history of off-the-field issues and qualification challenges. Tennessee, Miami, Florida State, Kansas State and Texas are just some of the possibilities.
RB Selvin Young, 5-11, 190, 4.41, Jersey Village. Young tripped to Norman last weekend and is scheduled to be in Austin this weekend for UT's Football Banquet. The football and track star visited Colorado in November and has a trip scheduled to Arkansas for the weekend of January 18. Earlier this year, Young said he probably would end up going out of state, and that still seems somewhat likely.
RB DaBryan Blanton, 6-0, 170, 4.27, Forney. The great dual sport (football and track) athlete is a Tennessee lean but has said he will visit Texas (although he has set no date). He's already visited Tech and Miami and is scheduled in Knoxville on Jan. 11 and in College Station on Jan. 18. Qualification could be an issue.
WR Broderick Jones, 6-1, 175, 4.4, Ennis. Jones backed off an early commit to West Virginia and now plans to visit Arkansas (1.18) and Tulsa and choose from among a host of schools, including UT, for his remaining visits. He's an outside possibility at best.
WR Biren Ealy, 6-3, 185, 4.48, Cy-Falls. Ealy has already tripped to Arizona, Tech and Colorado, with the Buffs and the Wildcats currently in the lead. A&M on the 18th and UT on the 25th are scheduled to get visits from Ealy, but it's unlikely that he'll make the trip to Austin.
Here's the current committed prospect breakdown by offensive position (with the number committed at each position plus the number expected to be added at each position in parens) followed in italics by the most likely prospects to fill the remaining spots in this class:
QB (1+1) -- Billy Don Malone; Vincent Young
RB (0+1) -- Albert Hardy
OL (2+2) -- Neale Tweedie, Bret Valdez; Justin Blalock, Kasey Studdard
TE (1+1) -- David Thomas; Eric Winston
WR (2) -- Dustin Miksch, Marquis Johnson
Coming Thursday: The remaining defensive prospects