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Friday, January 4, 2013
Roundtable: Must-get 2014 recruits

By Max Olson

Every Friday, HornsNation recruiting writers William Wilkerson and Max Olson will answer a question about the Longhorns.

Jamal Adams
Lewisville, Texas, safety Jamal Adams is a huge recruit for Texas in the 2014 class.
This week's question: Which 2014 recruit is a must-get for the Longhorns?

William Wilkerson: Lewisville (Texas) Hebron S Jamal Adams

The Longhorns need a big name recruit at safety in 2014 like Bennie Wylie needs a weight room to keep up with his physique: both are must haves.

Lately, though, they haven’t been able to garner a commitment from one.

Texas was in the hunt for national recruit Landon Collins in 2012 but missed out and had to convince Adrian Colbert to back out of his Baylor pledge late in the game.

In 2013 the Longhorns came up just short of Florida commitment Marcell Harris and might finish the class with just Erik Huhn.

The fact that the Longhorns offered Georgia safety commitment Shaquille Fluker and had cornerback Quandre Diggs practice at safety throughout bowl practice tells you all you need to know about the Longhorns’ urgency to find a replacement for Kenny Vaccaro in 2013 and beyond.

They could shore up those problems immediately if they could somehow keep ESPN Watch List Adams away from numerous other storied programs in pursuit.

Adams (6-foot, 195 pounds) is one of the top junior safeties in the country with an offer list to prove it.

Baylor, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M and West Virginia have already offered.

He’s a big fan of the Longhorns but also gets wide-eyed when talking about other programs such as Florida, Texas A&M, Ohio State and Oklahoma.

One thing that Texas has going for itself are the relationships he’s built with commitments Demetrius Knox and Daniel Gresham as well as with uncommitted defensive end Solomon Thomas, one of Texas’ biggest targets in 2014.

The Longhorns could use any help they can get to get him to town. He’ll be in Austin for one of their junior days.

Early playing time is something he is seeking and it’s something he could get at Texas if things stay as is.

On the current roster the Longhorns have Mykkele Thompson, Josh Turner and Sheroid Evans, who will all be seniors. Colbert will likely have three years of eligibility left.

Texas has a few players who could end up at safety committed in 2013 in Chevoski Collins (could play slot receiver) and Antwuan Davis (more of a corner, but big frame and speed could be used at safety). The only true safety commitment right now is Huhn.

Max Olson: Beaumont (Texas) Ozen CB Tony Brown

I like Texas’ chances of landing Jamal Adams and Solomon Thomas. I don’t like Texas’ chances of signing Tony Brown, and that’s why he’s my choice today.

If you’re looking for a prototypical cover corner -- and who isn’t? -- Brown is a must-get in the 2014 class.

The 6-foot, 179-pound defensive back can play anywhere in a secondary with confidence and ease, has great ball skills and might be considered the top uncommitted prospect in the state for 2014 following the pledges of Hoza Scott, Nick Harvey, Jerrod Heard and Demetrius Knox.

Thing is, everybody wants Brown. When Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and USC are all going after you, you must be doing something right.

And they aren’t even the biggest competition for Texas. Though he hasn’t said so publicly, many think LSU and Texas A&M have a leg up in the race to land the ESPN Watch List prospect.

That makes sense, considering their proximity to Beaumont. LSU is right there with Texas when it comes to cranking out NFL-caliber corners in these past few years. A&M has plenty to offer these days, especially for in-state stars who like SEC ball.

Where does Texas fit into all this? Brown shined at the Longhorns’ summer camp and has stayed in touch with UT coaches throughout the fall. He’ll be at the first Texas junior day in February, but that should be the first of many trips in what could be a very high-profile recruitment.

Texas is in the mix, no doubt, but by no means a favorite. Beating out LSU and A&M for Brown would be a major coup that sends the message that Texas’ brand is as strong as ever among recruits.

And then there’s the real X-factor in Brown’s recruitment: His sister, Bealoved Brown, is a legit track recruit. Any school who wants Tony knows they’d be wise to make a run at the sprinter.

Guess which schools make up her final three? According to the Beaumont Enterprise, it’s Texas A&M, LSU and Texas. She’s a senior and will decide her future in the next month.

Tony has time. Hard to say where he ends up in the end, but he should be a major priority for Texas' 2014 class.