AUSTIN, Texas -- The Longhorns are extremely fortunate to reside in one of the most fertile recruiting states in the country. And, for the longest time, they’ve reigned supreme when it comes to keeping the cream of that crop in Austin.
They are still getting their fair share, but the success of Texas A&M and the SEC moving in on even more in-state prospects has made it increasingly more difficult.
So far this recruiting cycle, more so than in years past, the Longhorns have targeted numerous out-of-state recruits with hopes that they’ll choose Texas.
Here is a look at the offensive recruits that are on Texas’ board:
OT Braden Smith | Olathe (Kan.) Olathe South | 6-6, 285 | Texas offer? Yes
Offers: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State, Miami, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Stanford, TCU, Texas A&M, Virginia
Why he’s on the list: Smith already possesses a college frame and, in talking with his head coach Jeff Gourley, has the work ethic to match. He’s set up unofficial visits to Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame but don’t be surprised if there’s a visit to Austin in store at some point.
OT Orlando Brown Jr. | Duluth (Ga.) Peachtree Ridge | 6-8, 345 | Texas offer? Yes
Offers: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Boise State, Clemson, Connecticut, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon, Purdue, South Carolina, South Florida, Southern Miss, USC, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Why he’s on the list: A. He’s huge. B. He’s talented. C. His bloodlines run deep in football history. His father, the late Orlando Brown, had a very successful career in the NFL.
OT Joseph Paul | New Orleans Saint Augustine | 6-4, 340 | Texas offer? Yes
Offers: Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Tulane
Why he’s on the list: Because the Longhorns love them some St. Augustine right now having offered four prospects in 2014, and Paul is the best of its offensive linemen. All of the offensive linemen that Texas is going after is above average in size and stature. At 340 pounds, Paul loves Texas right now, so much so that he has the Longhorns No. 1.
OT Cameron Robinson | West Monroe (La.) | 6-6, 325 | Texas offer? Yes
Offers: Alabama, Arkansas, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, TCU, Washington
Why he’s on the list: It’s fairly simple. Robinson is one of the top offensive linemen in the country and Texas has had success recruiting Louisiana in the past. Robinson has already visited Texas so he’s familiar with the campus and has a good relationship with offensive line coach Stacy Searels.
RB Leonard Fournette | New Orleans Saint Augustine | 6-1, 232 | Texas offer? Yes
Offers: Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, West Virginia
Why he’s on the list: Have you seen his film? Fournette is one of the top running backs to come out of Louisiana in a very long time. And the Bayou State has had more than their fair share of great running backs.
RB Nathan Starks | Las Vegas Bishop Gorman | 5-11, 200 | Texas offer? Yes
Offers: Arizona, Colorado, Duke, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, UCLA, Utah, Washington
Why he’s on the list: Because he is a big, sturdy back with the ability to catch out of the backfield and who has played against some of the toughest competition imaginable year in and year out for perennial national power Bishop Gorman. Starks really likes Oklahoma, but Texas is among his favorites as well.
TE Anthony Jones | New Orleans Edna Karr | 6-6, 211 | Texas offer? No
Offers: Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisville, LSU, Tulane
Why he’s on the list: Because the Longhorns love Jones’ size and potential and they need TEs in 2014. He hasn’t been playing football for very long and didn’t get a ton of playing time last season because Miami-signed TE Standish Dobard was playing in front of him. Give him a full season in the spotlight and the hands-on approach of Longhorns tight ends coach Bruce Chambers and there could be big things ahead for Jones. Of course Jones has to be offered first. There’s some confusion as to whether he has been or not.
TE Mark Andrews | Scottsdale (Ariz.) Desert Mountain | 6-5, 225 | Texas offer? No
Offers: Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Duke, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington State, Wisconsin
Why he’s on the list: He’s proven himself to be one of the top tight ends in the country over the last two years and tight end is a position that the Longhorns desperately need to hit a home run with in 2014. There just aren’t many big names in state to offer. Over the last two seasons he’s combined for 139 catches for 2,552 yards and 31 touchdowns.
WR Demarre Kitt | Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek | 6-0, 196 | Texas offer? Yes
Offers: Alabama, Auburn, Cincinnati, Clemson, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, West Virginia
Why he’s on the list: The former Georgia commitment is among the top wide receivers in the country. Texas’ coaching staff has plenty of SEC roots, so why not take a shot? Kitt recently cut his list to 15, and Texas made the cut. He caught 74 passes for 1,235 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2012.
WR Speedy Noil | New Orleans Edna Karr | 5-11, 176 | Texas offer? Yes
Offers: Alabama, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Ohio State, Oregon, TCU, Texas A&M
Why he’s on the list: Noil is primarily a quarterback for Edna Karr, but his skills as a slot receiver go without saying. He’s one of the best in the country hands down, proof of which can be seen by his offers list. He rushed for 1,345 yards and 20 touchdowns and passed for 2,235 yards and 24 touchdowns last season.
WR Trey Quinn | Lake Charles (La.) Barbe | 6-1, 185 | Texas offer? No
Offers: Arizona State, Cal, Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Houston, Louisiana Tech, LSU, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, SMU, Texas A&M and Texas Tech
Why he’s on the list: He’s the definition of a chain-mover. Quinn, who admires the way the Longhorns have used the Shipley brothers, caught 115 passes for 2,141 yards (18.6 yards per catch) and 26 touchdowns as a junior. He eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark as a freshman and sophomore too.