The quarterback position was a must in a big way in the 2009 class with three quarterbacks on scholarship and Colt McCoy being a senior in 2009. While some might question whether Texas should have signed two signal callers in this class, on Wednesday, they will ink one of the nation's best.
QB Garrett Gilbert (Lake Travis) 6-4, 195
Gilbert is more of the more celebrated high school players in Texas in quite some time. The #3 prospect in the Burnt Orange Beat 2009 Top 125 list quarterbacked back-to-back 4A state championship teams and threw for a state record 12,537 yards as well as 135 touchdowns in three years as the starter (39-4 record). Gilbert was named the 2008-09 Gatorade Football Player of the Year as well as Parade All-American after his senior season. Gilbert picked Texas over offers from California, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Stanford and Nebraska.
The Longhorns picked Madisonville's Chris Whaley early on and hitched their wagons to him. With returning backs Fozzy Whittaker, Vondrell McGee, Cody Johnson, Jeremy Hills and Tre Newton redshirting, Texas has numbers at the position and will head into the spring looking for one or two of the backs to emerge from the pack.
RB Chris Whaley (Madisonville) 6-3, 233
Whaley, the #14 prospect in the Burnt Orange Beat 2009 Top 125, played for four years on varsity for the Madisonville Mustangs racking up nearly 7,000 career rushing yards. The two-time AP 3A first team All-State back rushed for more than 2,000 yards as a sophomore and junior and over 1,900 yards as a senior in nine games. The 6-3, 233-pound back with quick feet posted more than 80 touchdowns in his last three years on varsity. Whaley picked the Longhorns over offers from Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Notre Dame.
The Texas program has a number of big receivers already on campus and Aldine Eisenhower's Greg Timmons will add to that number. While the loss of Quan Cosby leaves a hole to be filled, talented young players such as Brandon Collins, James Kirkendoll and Malcolm Williams figure to have many more passes rifled their way in 2009. Throw in Dan Buckner and DeSean Hales coming off a redshirt year and making a dent as a freshman will be a tall order for any receiver prospect.
WR Greg Timmons (Aldine Eisenhower) 6-2, 198
Timmons was a two-time first team All-District pick for the Eagles. The #11 prospect in the Burnt Orange Beat top 125 enjoyed a terrific junior campaign hauling in 41 catches for 704 yards and six scores on a balanced offensive team that also featured receiver Jaz Reynolds and running back Curtis McGregor in addition to Timmons. Timmons, who picked Texas over Texas A&M and Oklahoma, finished his prep career with 85 receptions for 1,582 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Tight end was one of three need position in the 2009 class. With Blaine Irby rehabbing a serious knee injury, Josh Marshall missing the season with injury, Ian Harris having recurring health issues, and Peter Ullman graduating, signing two tight ends became even more important during the 2008-09 season.
TE/HB Barrett Matthews (North Shore) 6-1, 218
Matthews is a dominant blocker at the high school level as well as a receiving threat due to his combination of elite quickness and speed for a 220-pounder. In 2008, Matthews pulled off a rare feat for a tight end being named the 21-5A Offensive Player of the Year after dominating in the run game and catching 14 passes for 239 yards an four scores. Matthews was also a first team All-District pick as a junior after hauling in 18 receptions for 316 yards and eight touchdowns. Matthews, who has the versatility to play flex tight end, H-back and special teams with equal effectiveness, is the #25 prospect in the Burnt Orange Beat Top 125.
TE Trey Graham (Waco Midway) 6-5, 235
Graham was a two time All-District pick at Midway. In two seasons, he hauled in 39 passes for 591 yards and three touchdowns in a run oriented offense. A much improved blocker as a senior, Graham is on his way to becoming a complete player. The #48 prospect in the Burnt Orange Beat top 125 picked Texas over offers from TCU and Oklahoma State.
The Texas Longhorns return a wealth of experience on the offensive line in 2009. With three key seniors on the 2009-10 team, building for the future was key in the 2009 recruiting class. The Longhorns appear to have re-stocked the position with four prospects in the class.
OT Mason Walters (Wolfforth Frenship) 6-6.5, 290
Walters is one of the top prospects in the country at any position. At 6-6.5, 290 pounds with agility, flexibility and strength, Walters leaped to the top of the Burnt Orange Beat Top 125 rankings. The three-time All-District pick and 2008 AP 4A first team All-State performer has played center the last two seasons at Frenship but will likely be making a position switch to the outside during the spring at Texas. Walters is an accomplished and often times devastating blocker in the run game, but will be learning pass protection from scratch. Walters picked Texas over offers from Texas Tech, USC, Notre Dame and Texas A&M among others.
G/T Garrett Porter (Odessa Permian) 6-6, 305
Porter was a two time All-District pick and AP 5A first team All-State selection in 2008. The 6-6, 305-pounder anchored the offensive line for Permian the last three seasons at left tackle. Porter will likely receive looks at tackle and guard at Texas with his ability to move and react quickly laterally being the telling story on his future position. Porter needs time to get stronger in the lower body and roll the hips to create optimal power. Porter is ranked #44 in the Burnt Orange Beat top 125 and considered offers from Texas Tech and Arizona in addition to Texas.
OG Thomas Ashcraft (Cedar Hill) 6-4, 300
Ashcraft played left guard on the Longhorns 5A state championship team as a sophomore before moving to left tackle his junior year. The three time All-District pick was named AP 5A first team All-State in 2008. Already enrolled at Texas, look for Ashcraft to be tried at a number of positions with guard being most likely. The #18 prospect in the state picked Texas over Oklahoma and Kansas State.
T/G Paden Kelley (Lake Travis) 6-6, 275
Kelley enjoyed a standout prep career as the backside protector for quarterback Garrett Gilbert on back-to-back 4A state title teams. The #53 prospect in the Burnt Orange Beat Top 125 was an AP 4A first team All-State pick in 2008 and two time All-District performer. While Kelley played left tackle for Lake Travis, it's more likely he will move inside or play right tackle at Texas. Kelley, because of a back injury early in his high school career, needs time to catch up with his peers from a strength standpoint.