Texas Longhorns: Washington State Cougars

We’re kicking off this year’s Meet the Freshmen series with the member of Texas’ 15-man signing class that Longhorns fans know the least about: Montrel Meander.

The Amarillo (Texas) Palo Duro wide receiver was the final piece of the class, committing two days before signing day. He’d been committed to Washington State and had taken official visits to WSU, New Mexico, San Diego.

But Texas, seeking one more receiver for 2013, made a last-second run at Meander and stole him in a rapid five-day recruitment that included a surprise official visit. Now Meander is preparing to make the eight-hour drive south to Austin to join the program this week, and he’s ready to make a name for himself.

Montrel Meander
Courtesy of Palo Duro HSThree-star receiver signee Montrel Meander was Texas' last commit in the 2013 class.
HornsNation: When you think back, how crazy was that final week before signing day for you?

Montrel Meander: It was real crazy for me. For a long time I wasn’t thinking that Texas was going to be in my future. For them to come so late, it was a blessing to me. I was confused -- I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do. It took a lot of hard thinking after the visit.

HN: What was it about Washington State that you really fell in love with? Or was it simply that they were your best option?

Meander: They were really my best option, to me. They sounded legit. Their coaches were honest men and they didn’t beat around the bush about nothing. I wanted to play for them, and they said I had a strong possibility to start when I came in.

HN: Hadn’t Texas only been talking to you for only two days when you boarded the plane for the official visit to Austin?

Meander: I took the visit on Saturday morning before signing day. I first heard from Texas on that Thursday. Coach [Darrell] Wyatt contacted my head coach and coach told me to call him. I called and Coach Wyatt told me I should come down that following day and that, most likely, I was going to be offered a scholarship. Then he offered me a scholarship and asked me to go on the visit, and I told him I would. He asked if I could come right after school Friday but I had a basketball game. So after my game was over, I called him and then I took the visit that next morning.

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TEXAS CITY, Texas -- These days, it's all smiles for ESPN 150 receiver Armanti Foreman.

Life is good for the Texas City (Texas) High School star. Offers are coming left and right. He's preparing for a banner senior season with his twin brother, 2014 running back D'Onta Foreman. He's enjoying the final weeks of his junior year of high school. On Tuesday, Armanti was sprinting past defensive backs and juking defenders out of their shorts, showing the playmaking ability that has so many colleges at his doorstep.

Only three days after Texas coaches first contacted a Washington State commit, he has flipped his verbal pledge and will sign with the Longhorns.

Three-star Amarillo (Texas) Palo Duro receiver Montrel Meander confirmed to HornsNation in a text message that he's committed to Texas.

Meander originally committed to playing safety at Washington State on Jan. 20, but Texas receivers coach Darrell Wyatt stunned him by showing up at Palo Duro on Friday to inqure about his interest in visiting Texas.

After initially saying he was sticking with Washington State, Meander flew to Austin on Saturday for an official visit. Now he's the 15th member of Texas' 2013 recruiting class and its third receiver pledge, joining Jake Oliver (Dallas/Jesuit) and Jacorey Warrick (Houston/Cypress Falls).

As a senior at Palo Duro, Meander played safety and running back. He rushed for 572 yards and eight touchdowns this fall. Prior to committing to Washington State, Meander took official visits to San Diego State, UTSA and Colorado State.

3-star WR changes plans, visiting Texas 

February, 2, 2013
Texas hasn’t given up on its search for one more wide receiver for its 2013 class. On the final weekend of official visits, a three-star prospect is flying down to Austin to see what Texas has to offer.

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Every week through the football season, HornsNation’s William Wilkerson and Max Olson will break down five things they learned while on the road at Texas high school football games. From the latest on Longhorn commits and offers to game observations to players who caught their attention, they've got you covered. Here’s what they saw this weekend:

William’s game: Lancaster vs. Tyler John Tyler
Max’s game: Bastrop vs. Gonzales

1. Fantastic finish in Lancaster
The Tigers felt disrespected coming in to this one. There were some out there, they said, that had them losing to Tyler (Texas) John Tyler by over 30 points on their home field. But Washington State athlete commitment DeMarcus Ayers, Washington defensive end commitment Daeshon Hall and 2014 athlete Nick Harvey, who has a Texas offer, proved doubters wrong with a thrilling 26-21 victory.

Long story short, Lancaster held that lead in the final minutes of the fourth quarter as John Tyler inched closer to the goal line. The Lions converted a fourth-and-2 with 28 seconds left inside the 15 and looked like their running back may have crossed into the endzone as time expired on the scoreboard. But one side referee marked the ball down at the inch line, which prompted Lancaster to rush the field thinking the game was over.

Nick Harvey
William Wilkerson/ESPN.comNick Harvey, a 2014 defensive back with an offer from Texas, had a strong game in the win over Tyler (Texas) John Tyler.
However, the main official cleared the field and announced that he had given John Tyler a timeout with two seconds left. Lancaster’s sideline went from overjoyed to nervous in the snap of a finger.

All John Tyler had to do was move the ball an inch forward for the game-winner but Houston-bound quarterback Greg Ward fumbled the snap in the shotgun prompting Lancaster to celebrate all over again.

– William Wilkerson

2. Davis making most of senior season
We’ll have more on Antwuan Davis on HornsNation later this week. For now, know this: He’s back.

The ESPN 150 cornerback and Texas commit did a little bit of everything for Bastrop in the Bears’ 28-27 win over Gonzales on Friday night.

Davis grabbed a critical interception in the fourth quarter, on the first play after Gonzales had recovered a Bastrop fumble. It was only the second pick he’s made since the start of his junior year, at it came at a big moment.

The 6-foot, 180-pound corner also recovered a fumble and recorded four tackles. And he got four carries for 16 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown run on a key fourth and goal.

After a back injury cost him much of his junior season, Davis says he’s 100 percent healthy and highly motivated to make the most of this year.

With all the Texas commits or target that have suffered injuries lately, though, I had to ask Davis how much he worries about his health.

He admitted he hadn’t heard about Ricky Seals-Jones, Darius James and Erik Huhn going down. Davis was a bit taken aback by the news. But he’s not going to play cautious or fearful. Not after missing so much time last season.

Every snap matters to him this year, and he’s as motivated as ever to prove he’s one of the nation’s best cornerbacks.

- Max Olson

3. Alexander goes catchless
It’s no secret to the type of talent Class of 2014 wide receiver Nick Alexander possesses. He wouldn’t have offers from the Longhorns and Sooners if his abilities as a playmaker were in doubt.

But his numbers at the end of this season might not be what you would expect from one of the best receivers in the state given Lancaster’s offensive philosophy.

The Tigers are predicated by the run, which often stems from DeMarcus Ayers’ quarterback keepers or the bruising running ways of Joseph Paden, who rushed for 125 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown.

They don’t throw the ball much at all. In fact, through two games, Lancaster has put it in the air 28 times.

Alexander didn’t catch any passes against Tyler (Texas) John Tyler and only had two receptions for 14 yards a week earlier.

There wasn’t any noticeable frustration on Alexander’s face after the game. He was as excited as anyone that Lancaster had survived a late scare from the Lions.

You just wonder if that will continue to be the case if he doesn’t get more involved as the season progresses. I expect he will. He’s too good not to become a major factor, especially if Lancaster wants to fulfill its goal of contending for a state championship.

– William Wilkerson

4. Hall a haul
You can’t help but look at the somewhat slender frame of Class of 2013 defensive end Daeshon Hall (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster) and just imagine what kind of speed-rushing demon he can become once he spends some time in a college weight room.

I say “somewhat slender frame” even though he is 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds. But if you’ve seen Hall in person you’d probably agree with me. He’s going to be a headache for years to come.

Think about this for a second: Hall isn’t from Texas. He’s from Washington. So unlike the majority of the players that grew up in the Lone Star State with a football in their crib, Hall grew up as a basketball player.

This past offseason was his first full offseason devoted to football. It was his first true summer spent in a weight room. He’s only just beginning to tap into his talents, which goes to show just how naturally gifted he is at defensive end given his performance on Friday.

Hall bullied John Tyler’s defensive line. He had at least three sacks and countless quarterback hurries. Washington is going to have to fight to keep him committed. But if it does Steve Sarkisian is going to be one happy coach.

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U-19 Team USA notes 

July, 1, 2012
Team USA knocked off American Samoa 27-6 late Saturday night for its first win of the U-19 World Championships at Burger Stadium in Austin. Here's a few notes to chew on this morning:

DeMarcus Ayers impresses

If there was any question as to whether DeMarcus Ayers (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster) should be playing receiver when he gets to college, he answered it on Saturday.

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WR Massington gets Bama offer 

May, 2, 2012
Who needs breakfast when you can wake up to a call from Nick Saban?

Four-star wide receiver Eldridge Massington (Mesquite, Texas/West Mesquite) woke up and arrived to his high school campus Wednesday morning to a phone call from the revered Alabama head coach, and he ended the conversation with a scholarship offer.

Massington, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound receiver, picked up his 24th, and arguably, his biggest offer. He’s being recruited by receivers coach Mike Groh.

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Texas Longhorns Show Out On Pro Day
The Texas Longhorns produced several eligible NFL Draft athletes who participated in Pro Day Tuesday afternoon in Austin, Texas.