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Recruits react to Red River Rivalry

10/9/2011

Following Saturday's Red River Rivalry game, HornsNation caught up with some of the recruits in attendance.

Here are their reactions to Oklahoma's win:

OL-DL A’Shawn Robinson, Class of 2013 (Fort Worth, Texas/Arlington Heights)

Robinson, one of the state’s top juniors, really enjoyed the experience of the Red River Rivalry.

“Just to see how competitive the teams are,” he said. “I was able to see just how hard the Texas coaching staff works before the game to get their guys ready. I was very impressed with that.”

Robinson said that all the schools coming after him are still options at this point.

“Nothing has changed in that regard,” he said. “The experience was everything I expected and I was impressed with the event.”

DL-OL Jake Raulerson, Class of 2013 (Celina, Texas/Celina)

There might not have been a more highly recruited junior at the game than Raulerson, who has 20 offers already. Oklahoma is one of those and Texas will surely add its name to the mix in February.

Raulerson said that the outcome of the game didn’t affect his opinion of the Longhorns at all.

“All I know is Texas is a young team and they are going to get better in a couple of years,” Raulerson said. “They are going to be that team in a couple of years that is going to be that top-five, top-10 team, just like Oklahoma.

“In a couple of years the Texas-Oklahoma game is going to be right back where it was as one of the biggest game in the country. Texas had an off game because they are young and will get better as the year goes on. I think they are going to be just fine. It is just going to take repetition and to get used to playing with one another.”

Raulerson, who has experienced plenty of college football's best atmospheres, really enjoyed his first Red River Rivalry. But he said it wasn’t the best he has been to, because of the lopsided score.

“It was loud. The start of the game was ridiculous,” he said. “They hate each other. It was a great atmosphere to be in. At the end of the game it was obviously disappointing with all of the Texas fans leaving. But there’s nothing you can do about that.”

RB Dontre Wilson, Class of 2013 ( DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto)

Even while both teams are recruiting him, Wilson’s opinion of the two schools did not change after Oklahoma’s win.

“Nothing changed because of Saturday,” he said. “I don’t like Oklahoma more or Texas any less. Every recruit can make a big difference. I want to make a difference no matter what school I go to.”

Wilson said that he has developed a good relationship with Texas co-recruiting coordinator Bruce Chambers and considers Texas one of his favorites.

“This is where I [was] born and raised, and that’s something that means a lot to me,” Wilson said.

But that won’t keep him from looking elsewhere. He hopes to attend Alabama’s home game against LSU on Nov. 5.

LB Brett Wade, Class of 2013 (Kennedale, Texas/Kennedale)

Texas’ lackluster showing against Oklahoma didn’t change Wade’s perception of the Longhorns whatsoever.

“It was obviously a bad day for them, but we had a bad day on Friday, too, so you can’t be mad at them,” said Wade, referring to Kennedale’s 55-0 loss to Alvarado. “Everybody has bad days. I wouldn’t want people to change their opinion of me if I had one bad game.”

Wade has tickets to the Longhorns’ game against Oklahoma State on Oct. 15, but hasn’t finalized plans to attend yet. He has stayed in contact with Texas’ coaches, but also said that new schools are taking interest.

“A Texas Tech coach is going to come down this week to watch my game,” he said.

TE Christian Morgan, Class of 2013 (Plano, Texas/ Prestonwood)

Morgan has attended enough Red River Rivalry games to know that recruits can't hang their hats on the outcome from year to year. That being said, he left the Cotton Bowl with the same opinions of both teams.

“I feel like this game is back and forth,” Morgan said. “This year is OU’s kind of year. Two years down the road I think it could be completely different, or next year it could be different. So I don’t look at it as Texas being down. It’s just a learning process.”

The youth of Texas and experience of the Sooners are factors that Morgan weighs, along with just how that youth could turn into experience for the Longhorns by the time he has to make his decision.

“Seeing all those guys like Malcolm Brown, [Case] McCoy and [Jaxon] Shipley, it would be really cool to play with those guys,” Morgan said. “It would be cool to watch them through this process and then to play with them as well.”

Morgan attended the game with two uncles who went to Texas.

“It was funny. I didn’t realize how involved they were with the school,” he said. “They are the little dudes that set off the cannon whenever Texas scores.”

But he didn’t just go to watch the Longhorns, despite his family’s rooting interest.

“Oklahoma probably recruits me the hardest behind A&M,” Morgan said. “I talked to [Oklahoma tight ends coach] Bruce Kittle before the game. I felt like they just got in a rhythm. Once their offense got clicking they couldn’t stop. And their defense is so fast and athletic.”

Morgan will see more of Oklahoma in two weeks when he takes an unofficial visit to watch the Sooners host Texas Tech. He’s also going to take an unofficial to Auburn for the Ole Miss game this month.

LB Naashon Hughes, Class of 2013 (Harker Heights, Texas/Harker Heights)

Hughes, the younger brother of 2012 Texas commitment Camrhon Hughes, knew what to expect for his first trip to the Red River Rivalry.

“Oklahoma has an older team than Texas,” he said. “Texas had a whole bunch of freshmen playing and those freshmen mistakes in a big game made it difficult.”

Hughes went to the game with Camrhon and teammate Darius James, a talented junior lineman prospect.

“It was a little crazy getting in to the game,” he said. “We liked it once we got in. The fair was cool and it was a great crowd.”

Hughes said he and his brother might go to Texas’ home game against Oklahoma State on Oct. 15.

WR Quan Jones, Class of 2013 (Wylie, Texas/ East)

The Longhorns haven’t shown too much interest in Jones (6-foot-4, 195 pounds). But he was at the game and said he really liked Texas’ fan base.

“They have some of the best fans in the nation,” Jones said. “Knowing you can be a Longhorn when you think about all the people who have put on that jersey, it would be special.”

Jones is, however, receiving plenty of attention from Oklahoma in addition to the offers he already has from Arizona, Baylor and Tennessee.

WR Ra’Shaad Samples, Class of 2013 (Dallas/Skyline)

One of the many Skyline players in attendance was Samples, who on Friday caught 9 passes for 181 yards, including a 92-yard touchdown, against Dallas Jesuit.

Samples has offers from Cal, Kansas, Kansas State, SMU and Texas Tech. But he is interested in the Longhorns and paid close attention to their receivers at the Cotton Bowl.

“I was more looking at the game and really looking at the difference in how Texas uses its receivers and how OU uses theirs,” he said. “I was looking at the different schemes and what they do to get each guy open. I was really trying to analyze what each team does.”

What Samples saw was a ton of youth from Texas.

“They are a young team and have a lot of maturing to do,” he said. “They have to go through the maturation process. I know they are going to go through some bumps just like we have done at Skyline. But it doesn’t change anything at all.”

Samples said he will watch games at SMU and Oklahoma State within the next two to three weeks.

WR Marcell Ateman, Class of 2013 (Wylie, Texas/East)

Ateman, one of the state’s best junior receivers, was at the game with teammate Quan Jones and Samples, a childhood friend. He is drawing interest from both schools but, for now, is primarily interested in Texas.

Ateman, who is 6-5 and 180 pounds, said the game was hard to watch because of Oklahoma’s “beatdown.” But he knew that was somwhat expected.

“[The Longhorns have] a young team and are building something new right now,” Ateman said. “Oklahoma is No. 3. It doesn’t change my mind about them.”

If the Longhorns want Ateman, they are going to have to fend off several programs around the state of Texas and beyond to get him. He already has offers from Arizona, Baylor and Tennessee, and has recently been hearing a lot from Alabama and Arkansas.

“Notre Dame and Colorado, too,” he said. “I didn’t expect Alabama or Arkansas to talk to me as much as they have.”

Ateman said that he talks with Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel a lot on Facebook and that the Sooners send him a lot of mail. At this point, though, he said he isn’t interested in them.