Q: What is the story on Aaron Green? I've heard that UT is still pursuing him, yet I read quotes from him that he hasn't heard from UT in a while.
A: Many people feel that Texas's interest in Green is directly contrary to the Longhorns' interest in Malcolm Brown. With two running backs in the past class in Demarco Cobbs and Traylon Shead, and with a big back in Joe Bergeron already committed for 2011, Texas will likely only take one back with its final three openings. With Texas sitting in a strong position for Brown, the Longhorns appear to have backed off Green a bit.
Q: Does Chris Barnett have any shot of landing at UT?
A: Yes, but only if five-star tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins commits elsewhere. Texas would like to take another tight end in this class, and Seferian-Jenkins is target No. 1. Should the Washington native choose another school, then you could see Barnett enter the picture. He's not totally out of it, though at this point, he's on the outside looking in.
Q: Has the possibility of Anthony Wallace to UT gone away?
A: ‘Gone away' is probably too strong a phrase, if for no other reason that crazy things happen in recruiting. Just six months ago, it seemed that USC was the top option for Wallace, and now the Trojans don't appear to be a factor for his commitment. Right now, Wallace is considered to be an Oklahoma lean, and Texas is probably a couple schools down the list. With Texas's class closing up quickly, and with Wallace's interests currently lying elsewhere, he probably isn't going to end up a Longhorn. Though of course, crazier things have happened.
At this point, it appears to be a low probability, based solely on one player: Muhammad. Texas has an outstanding shot at Sheppard, who is considered a Longhorn lean. He is considered to be a similar player to former Kansas standout Julian Wright, a raw scorer but an elite athlete and ball-handler for his position. Sheppard would seemingly rather make the highlight pass than put the ball in the basket, and his athleticism makes him an interesting prospect. Sheppard's mother played basketball at Texas, so the Longhorns have an in there.
Texas also has a great chance at LJ Rose, though the Longhorns will have to battle off several other big-time programs for the silky 6-foot-3 ball-handler.
On Muhammad, it's worth noting that nobody really has any idea which way he's leaning. The junior-to-be is incredibly media savvy, and has a tendency to talk up whichever team he's asked about. Still, it features to be a four-way battle between Kansas, North Carolina, Duke and Memphis for the scoring small forward, as he hasn't seriously mentioned Texas in his updates.
Instead, it's more likely that Texas could land a player like Wanaah Bail, an athletic and bouncy post guy who intends to visit the Longhorns this month. Bail stood out at camps over the summer.
Q: We just offered Jonathan Holmes, a San Antonio PF. Is he an Aggie lean?
A: It somewhat appears so, but with a visit to Austin in the near future the Longhorns aren't finished quite yet.
The 6-foot-8 senior hybrid power forward picked up an offer from Texas in July. This after a great showing at the AAU national tournament in Orlando. He was on the Longhorns radar before, but his outstanding performance put him over the top.
Texas or Texas A&M?
It appears the Aggies have the upper hand, mostly due to his longer relationship with their coaching staff, but Holmes will be making his second trip to Austin later this month.
"It was nice the 1st time I went, I liked it a lot. I only saw the basketball facilities, it's why I want to visit the rest of the campus. I have never met Coach Barnes before, so I really want to meet him and stuff. It should let me compare my options," said the senior. "I was excited for the offer, but it wasn't a thing where I was shutting it down or anything. I wasn't really expecting the offer from them to be honest. They have had a lot of success and sent a lot of players to the next level."
Last season, Holmes accounted for 24 points, 10 boards and three blocks a game.
So what does he like about A&M at this point?
"I like their coaches a lot, plus their facilities are really nice. I already know a few of their players and they seem to be really cool," said Holmes.
Expect a decision shortly after visiting Austin, a trip that has yet to be schedule. Stay with LonghornDigest.com as we will have an interview with Holmes after he visits UT.
Q: Does Jermauria Rasco have an offer or not?
A: Yes, Rasco does have an offer.
Q: If you had to pick one guy that could be the last minute pickup to keep an eye on this year, who would you say?
A: We put this question next to the above one in that Rasco has a great shot to be the final player in Texas's 2011 recruiting class. The Longhorns should take 25 this year, and with Malcolm Brown and Austin Seferian-Jenkins both looking like real possibilities to come to Austin, that leaves just one spot left. Looking at Texas's current roster, the Longhorns could use another defensive end, especially with the pending graduation of Sam Acho and Eddie Jones. Rasco does give you some versatility as well — a few teams have looked at employing him as a stand-up edge rusher from a linebacker position
Q: If the unthinkable happens and Malcolm Brown does not decide to attend UT, do Mack and Co. try and get Brandon Williams to reconsider and how firm is his commitment to Oklahoma?
A: It's difficult to tell at this point. You could see an increase in attention for Williams, or you could see interest pick up for Aaron Green. There are some people who feel that Green's interest has died down with the Longhorns sitting pretty for Brown.
Q: It looks to me like this may end up being Texas' best recruiting season ever. They have both size and quality. At this point it looks like only three players have turned Texas down and accepted another schools' offers. Florida and USC seem way off previous levels of recruiting. What's the reason? Is Texas better, are other schools slipping, or is it just a luck year?
A: There are a few things to note here. For one, the Longhorns always start the class way ahead of everybody else. For instance, out of last year's class, Texas landed 19 of its 25 eventual signees before April. To put that number in perspective, it's three more than Florida (five), Ohio State (five), Alabama (four) and USC (two) landed over that time period combined.
Having said that, there's a great chance that this class could end as Coach Mack Brown's best. The top-end talent is there (especially if Texas can pull in two more five-star players in Brown and Seferian-Jenkins), and the depth is there. Players like Miles Onyegbule, Josh Cochran and Taylor Doyle are outstanding potential guys as well.
This group continues to build off what was a stellar 2010 group, and it's important to note one trend that is making Texas a monster on the recruiting trail: the ability to pull top players from other states. Previously, it seemed like Texas rarely, if ever, went outside of the state borders. But in 2010, Texas pulled in five-star players in Demarco Cobbs (Oklahoma) and Jordan Hicks (Ohio) from other states. That trend has continued in 2011, with the Longhorns landing the top players in Arizona (Christian Westerman) and Oklahoma (Josh Turner), and putting themselves in the race for Seferian-Jenkins (Washington).
Texas is always going to be a recruiting power because the Longhorns are able to pull so many players from a talent-rich state. But Texas has a chance to become THE recruiting power if the Longhorns can go out-of-state to poach key recruits as well. So other schools aren't necessarily slipping. Those other schools don't typically fill up their classes this early regularly. But it certainly appears that Texas is improving.