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Hoops might have spurred RSJ's decision

6/6/2012

Raise your hand if you had Ricky Seals-Jones, the No. 1 receiver in the ESPN 150, decommitting from Texas two days after he was the talk of the Longhorns’ camp.

Nobody? Not surprising.

In a stunning development late Tuesday, the cousin of Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson informed HornsNation through text message that he had indeed decommitted from Texas.

On the surface, at least, there appeared to be no rumblings of the 6-foot-5, 220-pound receiver wavering on his commitment, which he made on Feb. 22. That day he professed his admiration for Texas, which grew exponentially when he attended its first junior day on Feb. 12.

“It just felt like it was home,” Seals-Jones said then.

But evidentially there was an unsettling feeling developing under the surface that has led one of the nation’s most-coveted players to go back on the market.

Seals-Jones’ decision is believed to have something to do with his desire to play both football and basketball in college. But it might be simpler than that.

“He says he might play basketball only in college,” said one source close to the situation. “[He] wants to look around and see what that would be like. He said he might go visit Kansas.”

LSU, which was a finalist when he chose Texas, and Baylor offered him the option of doing both very early on in his recruitment. Texas A&M is also believed to be a school that would happily take him as a two-sport athlete.

But, Texas? It’s hard to imagine Mack Brown and Rick Barnes not urgently discussing the impact of getting someone like him on campus for both programs. It’s also hard to fathom someone of his skill set not playing football in college.

Seals-Jones, who like last years' top-rated receiver Dorial Greem-Beckham, is more commonly known by his initials (RSJ) and has the ability to be a program changer on the football field. He ran a 4.4 40-yard dash on Sunday and was said to have “bullied” cornerbacks all day.

He caught 31 passes for 512 yards and 11 touchdowns as a receiver and recorded 70 tackles, 8 sacks and 5 interceptions as a safety in his sophomore season.

He was moved to quarterback last season for no other reason that he was Sealy’s best athlete, and he excelled there too.

As his ESPN player card says, “He is a playmaker that will only get better. Excellent prospect.”

He might not be that kind of elite talent on the hardwood as he is a bit undersized as a wing. However, he might remind some of a slimmed-down version of former Longhorn P.J. Tucker, a 6-5 wing that was selected No. 35 overall by Toronto in the 2006 NBA draft.

The day of his commitment, Seals-Jones said he was “just going to focus on football, get a degree and try to make it to the pros.” Of course, that also came one day after he led the Tigers with 27 points, 13 rebounds and a few rim-rattling dunks in their first-round playoff victory.

It’s always wise to take what a 16-year-old student-athlete has to say with a grain (or two) of salt. And given Seals-Jones love for basketball (he has played AAU for years) maybe we should have seen this coming all along.

Practically everyone from Los Angeles to South Bend was after RSJ when his recruitment was open, but not all for football and basketball. Sealy coach Jimmie Mitchell received a dozen or so calls from Alabama just as his talented prospect was getting on the phone to call the Longhorns to give them his verbal commitment.

Now Texas has to hope it’s not the one whose calls aren’t being answered as RSJ decides to go elsewhere.