Q&A: Mother glad 2016 WR committed 

August, 16, 2013
8/16/13
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AUSTIN, Texas -- College coaches are not permitted to publicly discuss unsigned recruits, but Mack Brown couldn’t help himself Thursday. Texas’ latest commitment was so strange it bared mentioning.

"We had our first 2016 commitment the other day, so that's new for us,” Brown said. “We're so far ahead with 2015 recruits. Our guys are fighting hard with 2014 recruits. I think everything is at a better place right now than it was three years ago, and I'm proud of that."

Brown did not mention Reggie Hemphill by name. That, of course, is prohibited by NCAA rules. He won’t be to talk publicly about the Manvel (Texas) wide receiver for another 900 days, when Hemphill signs a letter of intent on Feb. 3, 2016.

[+] EnlargeReggie Hemphill
William Wilkerson/ESPNAfter impressive showing at camps and the Texas State 7-on-7 tournament, Reggie Hemphill earned his chance to join the Longhorns.
Right now, the 6-foot-2, 168-pound receiver plans to sign with Texas. But the road ahead is going to be a long one for a boy who’s only a few days into his sophomore football season.

Years ago, Brown wouldn’t have taken a pledge from a recruit this young. But these are the concessions he must occasionally make to stay ahead.

“Things are changing, and all of us and all of our businesses are changing,” Brown said. “The ones that make it are the ones that change with it.”

That new philosophy still caught Hemphill and his family by surprise. Hemphill's mother, Denetria Mapps, spoke with HornsNation on Thursday about her son’s surprising commitment and what it means for his future.

HornsNation: How much did Reggie’s cell phone blow up when the news of his commitment got out?

Denetria Mapps: Oh my gosh, I had to be his secretary. It was so overwhelming that he gave me his cell phone. And he never does that. It happened so fast. As soon as we got off the phone with Mack Brown, the phone started ringing off the hook. We wanted to keep it kind of quiet. Next day at practice, everybody knew. It was just like, wow.

HN: I’m guessing the past few days have been crazy for your family. Were you more excited or nervous when he told you he wanted to commit?

Mapps: I kind of knew in my heart that he was going to choose. Growing up, we were always Longhorns fans. He would always say that he wanted to go to UT and Vince Young was one of the athletes he liked a lot. When he got older and coach [Kevin] Sumlin went to Texas A&M, his teammates kind of swayed him and he liked A&M.

But from the beginning, he always liked UT. The chance presented itself, he spoke to a couple people he respects and he talked to his coach and then asked me what I think. I’ve always told him: If I have to pay for you to go to school, you have to go where I say. If you earn it, it’s your choice. He earned it, and this was his choice.

HN: When this early recruiting process began, was it overwhelming?

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