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Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Longhorns lose another four-star DT

By Damon Sayles

There’s a staunch belief of many that recruits should commit to programs and not coaches. That wasn’t the case for Texas on Tuesday, as it lost two commits in roughly a 30-minute span.

Minutes after four-star defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao (San Antonio/Warren) announced on Twitter and confirmed via phone interview he will look elsewhere after defensive line coach Bo Davis reportedly opted to take a coaching position at USC, fellow four-star defensive tackle Courtney Garnett (New Orleans/St. Augustine) followed suit, announcing on Twitter that Texas “is no longer an option.”

Garnett, a 6-foot-2, 280-pound lineman, confirmed the decommitment via phone interview. New Texas head coach Charlie Strong started with 23 commits. Because of Davis’ departure, he is now down to 21.

“It was the coaching change and not wanting to be in an environment where I wasn’t recruited by that staff,” Garnett said. “I don’t think I’d feel comfortable. Right now, there’s no communication with the new staff. I don’t know if they’ve called any of the current commits. It’s a long process, and I just want to make sure I’m comfortable wherever I go.”

Garnett said Oklahoma, Tennessee and USC are now the three schools atop his list. With USC, he’d be reunited with Davis, a coach he built a solid relationship with. He doesn’t have a USC offer as of yet, but one could come in the near future.

Garnett, however, does have Oklahoma and Tennessee offers. He said he will take an official visit to Oklahoma the weekend of Jan. 17 and then will take an official visit to Tennessee the following weekend.

“Oklahoma is probably the frontrunner right now,” Garnett said. “They’ve been riding with me and my recruiting process the whole time, even with Texas. They say I’m a serious need. I trust [defensive line] Coach [Jerry] Montgomery, and they’re moving in a good direction.

“Tennessee came along during the season. They’re losing six D-tackles, so that’s a win-win situation with me being able to play early and being able to make a great impact my freshman year. I feel I can learn a lot from Coach Strip [defensive line coach Steve Stripling].”

Garnett said he plans on announcing his decision on national signing day, Feb. 5. Garnett is the No. 22 player in Louisiana and the No. 39 defensive tackle nationally.