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Saturday, February 23, 2013
Texas on top for two Louisiana recruits

By William Wilkerson

The Longhorns didn’t come away with any commitments on Saturday, at least not yet, but they did make lasting impressions on two out-of-state ESPN Watch List recruits who made it to Austin.

Defensive back Jermaine Roberts and offensive tackle Joseph Paul, both from St. Augustine High in New Orleans drove down to Texas on Saturday and left with new No. 1 schools.

“Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Georgia Tech in that order,” Roberts said. Texas is No. 1.”

“No. 1,” Paul said. “[The Longhorns] made that big of an impression.”

Whether the Longhorns stay there through signing day remains to be seen, but that should be music to the ears of Mack Brown and Co. for now.

Roberts, who is 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, was officially offered on Saturday. He also has offers from Kentucky, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi, Mississippi State, SMU, Tulane and UCLA.

“It means a lot to me,” he said. “I actually hadn’t been thinking much about Texas and the state. But after my visit it is way better than what I thought I was. It was the best visit I have been on so far. I really enjoyed myself.”

Roberts really enjoyed the atmosphere and what he learned about Brown.

“He was great,” Roberts said.

Roberts is the fourth cornerback to get an offer from Texas in 2014, joining Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen), Ed Paris (Mansfield, Texas/Timberview) and Nick Watkins (Dallas/Bishop Dunne).

When asked what differentiates himself from the rest, his response was simple.

“By making plays,” he said. “There are a lot of great corners but I just make a lot of plays. I’m a lock-down corner.”

Roberts said he would think about making it down to Texas A&M’s junior day next week, but wasn’t sure if his parents wanted to make another long excursion. If he can’t make it to College Station this time next week, he’ll wait a few weeks for spring practice.

Paul, who is 6-foot-4, 340 pounds, might also attend Texas A&M’s junior day next week. Whether he does or not, the Aggies will have a lot of work to do to remove the Longhorns from the top of his list.

“At first it was just the offer but, after the visit, Texas has floated up to the top,” Paul said. “I like the atmosphere a ton. It seems like a family. I was really impressed with Coach Brown because, you know, he really supports his players.”

He also has offers from Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Tulane.

Paul, who has also visited Florida State, actually picked up his Texas offer earlier this month when a Longhorns coach stopped by his school. He said he wouldn’t have an issue going out-of-state to college because his family spent a lot of time in Texas after Hurricane Katrina.

“Texas is like a second home to me,” Paul said. “My mom and dad have a lot of family in Texas, right outside of Houston.”