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Insider

Texas, Texas Tech rarely battle for recruits

10/29/2012

When you talk about Texas’ biggest rivals on the recruiting front, Texas Tech is not a program that is going to be thrown out there all that often.

The Longhorns have historically ruled those battlegrounds against the Red Raiders. Take a look at 2013 and 2014.

Jake Raulerson, Tyrone Swoopes, Jacorey Warrick, Antwuan Davis, Deoundrei Davis, Jake Oliver, Chevoski Collins, Erik Huhn and Durham Smythe are all 2013 Texas commitments that have Red Raiders offers. Tech doesn’t have a single commitment in 2013 with a Longhorns offer.

Donald Catalon and Lorenzo Joe are 2014 Longhorns commits that have offers from Texas Tech, whose lone commitment in 2014 wasn’t offered by Texas.

But there are a couple of players on Texas Tech's roster that the Red Raiders were able to keep away from Texas. Here’s a look at them:

OT Michael Starts (Waco, Texas/La Vega)

The 2012 ESPN 150 prospect made it clear early on his recruitment that he wanted to play on the defensive side of the ball in college, and Texas wanted him as an offensive lineman. Texas Tech offered him as a defensive lineman and got his signature.

In addition to Texas Tech and Texas, Starts also had offers from Auburn, Baylor, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Stanford, TCU, Texas A&M and USC.

Starts was projected as an offensive lineman by ESPN, which labeled him as the No. 120 prospect and No. 14 offensive tackle in the country in 2012.

In one game of action so far for Tech he was in on three tackles and recorded a 12-yard sack.

WR Dominique Wheeler (Crockett, Texas/Crockett)

Wheeler was one of the top recruits in the state in 2012 and one that the Longhorns offered following his junior day visit. But conversation dwindled from that point and Texas informed Wheeler that they would no longer be recruiting him around the same time that Thomas Johnson committed to Texas.

Of course Johnson later de-committed from the Longhorns in favor of Texas A&M. But Texas stuck to its word and continued forward without pursuing Wheeler. At this point Texas was still a player for Dorial Green-Beckham and was feeling good about where it stood with Cayleb Jones, who went on to sign with Texas.

Wheeler (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) was the No. 54 prospect and No. 8 receiver in the country in 2012 though. He was rated as the No. 5 player in Texas too.

In addition to Texas Tech and Texas, Wheeler also had offers from Auburn, Baylor, Clemson, Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma State, SMU, TCU, Texas A&M and Utah. He flirted with Baylor and Texas A&M late in the recruiting process.

Wheeler has not played this season for the Red Raiders and appears headed for a redshirt.