Oklahoma Sooners: Deoundrei Davis

Every year, true freshmen enroll in college early to participate in spring ball, often with hopes of augmenting their chances for playing time in the fall. More times than not, it doesn’t work out that way.

Last year, 21 high school seniors enrolled early in the Big 12. Below is a breakdown of the outcomes from their first college seasons:

Baylor
QB Chris Johnson: A highly-touted, four-star signee, Johnson got a valuable extra spring working under coach Art Briles. But Bryce Petty was healthy and tremendous all season and Seth Russell proved to be a more than a viable backup, prompting Johnson to redshirt. After Petty and then Russell, Johnson appears to be the next in a budding line of superb Baylor QBs.

Iowa State
OT Shawn Curtis: Curtis was the top recruit in the Cyclones' 2013 class. Though Jacob Gannon and Brock Dagel seem entrenched at the tackle positions, Curtis will have ample opportunity to work into the two-deep this fall.

LB Alton Meeks: The versatile Meeks settled in as a linebacker in Ames. He too redshirted, and he too could step into the two-deep next season.

Kansas
DB Colin Spencer: Spencer, who redshirted last season, was recruited as a defensive back but has since been moved to halfback/flanker with the Jayhawks looking for pass-catching help.

Kansas State
K Matthew McCrane: Watched as Jack Cantele won the starting place-kicking job as a sophomore. Will have to wait awhile before getting another shot.

Oklahoma
WR Dannon Cavil: Cavil turned heads with his combination of size and speed in the spring, and he seemed primed to break into the receiving rotation. But that never happened, and he wound up redshirting. With 2013 starters Jalen Saunders and Lacoltan Bester gone, Cavil will have another chance at playing time this spring.

S Ahmad Thomas: Thomas created a buzz in the spring, but couldn’t topple veterans Quentin Hayes, Gabe Lynn and Julian Wilson. He is vying for a starting job this spring and figures to be a key part of the secondary in 2014.

DE D.J. Ward: The No. 1-rated player from the state of Oklahoma, Ward endured qualifying issues that kept him from participating for much of spring ball. Then during the preseason, he had to have his spleen removed, which forced a redshirt. Ward has talent, but he needs to catch a break.


Oklahoma State
DE Naim Mustafaa: The Cowboys swiped this four-star recruit just in time to get him enrolled for spring ball. But Mustafaa left the team over the summer. He landed at Miami, but he bolted from there too during the season.

Texas
LB Deoundrei Davis: Davis spent the year redshirting and recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in high school. The Longhorns remain stacked at linebacker, so Davis will have another season to improve his strength and agility.

C Jake Raulerson: Raulerson also redshirted, giving him the opportunity to bulk up as he moved to the interior of the line. He should back up senior Dominic Espinosa this season and is on track to be the center of the future.

QB Tyrone Swoopes: Former coach Mack Brown controversially pulled Swoopes’ redshirt midway through the season, but Swoopes never unseated Case McCoy and attempted only 13 passes the entire season. Swoopes has all the tools, but will need to show more polish this spring to make a serious run at Texas’ influx starting quarterback job.

TCU
QB Zach Allen: The Horned Frogs had massive issues at the quarterback spot after Casey Pachall suffered a broken forearm, but Allen never was called on for help and redshirted instead. He’s battling Trevone Boykin and Tyler Matthews for the job this spring, and the pressure will be on to make an impression to the new offensive regime, with Grayson Muehlstein and Foster Sawyer set to join the QB competition over the summer.

TE Bryson Burtnett: After redshirting last season, Burtnett could help the Horned Frogs as a blocking tight end this fall.

OT Eason Fromayan: Also redshirted last season. Tackle is a position of concern for TCU, but there are other options that appear to be ahead of him in the pecking order early in spring ball.

Texas Tech
QB Davis Webb: Kliff Kingsbury’s first QB signee, Webb had quite the rollercoaster first season. With the favorite to start, Michael Brewer, ailing with a back injury, Webb had a golden opportunity to seize the starting job. Instead, walk-on freshman Baker Mayfield beat him out. Webb made the most of his opportunities when they came, though. After Mayfield suffered a knee injury, Webb led Tech to a come-from-behind win at West Virginia. After Mayfield transferred, Webb delivered one of the best bowl performances of any QB, throwing for 403 yards and four touchdowns in a convincing win over heavily-favored Arizona State. As the only scholarship QB currently on campus, Webb is finally the clear-cut starter going into 2014. And if he builds on his bowl showing, he could have a monster sophomore campaign.

West Virginia
LB Hodari Christian: Christian redshirted last season. Considering the Mountaineers are loaded with experience at linebacker, it could be some time before Christian steps onto the field defensively.

S Malik Greaves: Greaves too redshirted in 2013 and is currently listed this spring as the third-team “spur” linebacker behind K.J. Dillon and Marvin Gross.

QB Chavas Rawlins: Rawlins went through spring ball with the Mountaineers, but he left the program after spring ball because the coach that had recruited him, Jake Spavital, left West Virginia to become the quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator at Texas A&M. Rawlins ended up enrolling at Duquesne.

WR Daikiel Shorts: Shorts was arguably the most impressive true freshman during the preseason for West Virginia and ended up starting nine games. He also tied for the team lead with 45 receptions and figures to be a playmaking cornerstone in Morgantown.

RB Wendell Smallwood: Smallwood started out helping on special teams, but he eventually carved out a role on the offense as a third-team running back behind Charles Sims and Dreamius Smith. He finished the season with 221 rushing yards on 39 carries. Even though carries will be competitive to get again, Smallwood’s versatility should cement him a role in the offense.

OU is 'very high' on list of Deon Hollins Jr. 

February, 27, 2012
2/27/12
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Deon Hollins Jr. (Fort Bend, Texas/Marshall) would've thought about committing to Texas had UT coaches given him an offer this weekend.

Instead, Hollins Jr. is starting to read the writing on the wall. The linebacker/defensive end was planning to speak with Texas coaches Sunday night, but he opted to hold off.

"When I saw (Deoundrei) Davis commit and Daeshon Hall and Torrodney Prevot get offered, I didn't even call because both said they were heavy Texas leans," he said.

Analysis: Top targets still on OU's board 

February, 27, 2012
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A good weekend for Texas doesn’t automatically mean a huge loss for Oklahoma. Because let’s get one thing straight immediately -- it was definitely another successful junior day for the Longhorns this weekend.

Texas landed three more commits to give the Longhorns nine for the 2013 class. Two of them, linebacker Deoundrei Davis (Cypress, Texas/Woods) and wide receiver Jacorey Warrick (Houston/Cypress Falls), had OU offers.

[+] EnlargeJustin Manning
Damon Sayles/ESPN.comJunior defensive tackle Justin Manning, who has an offer from Texas, will be at Oklahoma's junior day on Saturday.
And so far through the first real month of 2013 recruiting, Texas is holding a 6-0 edge against the Sooners in head-to-head battles.

However, take a closer look at the battles. Were any of the six realistic OU targets? They were certainly on the Sooners wish list, but did OU have a solid shot at quarterback Tyrone Swoopes (Whitewright, Texas/Whitewright), wide receivers Warrick and Jake Oliver (Dallas/Jesuit), linemen Jake Raulerson (Celina, Texas/Celina) and A'Shawn Robinson (Fort Worth, Texas/Arlington Heights) and Davis?

Isn’t it more realistic to say OU was trying to work from behind with all six and hoping to steal a prospect? It’s not like OU was in the driver’s seat and messed up with any of the recruits listed.

Though OU missed out on the six prospects, has it really hurt its potential class? No, not at all. And now that the Sooners have spent so much time on the sidelines watching as teams made their moves, it’s OU’s turn to take center stage.

It would be different if Texas lured recruits like D.J. Ward (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) or cornerback Stanvon Taylor (Tulsa, Okla./East Central) or defensive tackle Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball). Manning attended Texas’ first junior day. Ward and Taylor were invited to last weekend’s junior day but couldn’t make it.

What the Longhorns did was simply take care of business on the top prospects within the state. No commit was surprising and no commit was a backbreaker for the Sooners.

One of the more lasting effects of the weekend might be who wasn’t offered. Defensive end/linebacker Deon Hollins Jr. (Fort Bend, Texas/Marshall) and cornerbacks Maurice Smith (Sugar Land, Texas/Dulles) and Antwuan Davis (Bastrop, Texas/Bastrop) left Austin this weekend without an offer. All three have OU offers and Smith will be on campus for junior day Saturday.


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