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Friday, January 11, 2013
Roundtable: Top remaining target for 2013

By Max Olson

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

This week's question: Of the uncommitted recruits Texas is still targeting for its 2013 class, which one is the biggest must-get?

William Wilkerson: Waco (Texas) OG Andrew Billings

Andrew Billings
Andrew Billings' versatility makes him an important recruit for Texas to secure down the stretch.
I think you’ve got to go with ESPN 300 recruit Andrew Billings (Waco, Texas/Waco) due to his flexibility.

The Longhorns opened up their recruitment of Billings by offering him as an offensive lineman, particularly at guard and center. That didn’t always sit well with him because he prefers to play on defense, which is what TCU and Baylor, his other finalists, had told him he’d play.

Not sure if that was entirely the reason, but Texas has switched up its stance and offered him as a defensive tackle too. That could put it in a favorable position against Baylor and TCU.

“I've been recruited by Coach [Stacy] Searels the most, so I have a good relationship with him," Billings told Sam Khan Jr. while he competed at the Offense-Defense Bowl in Houston on Dec. 26. "He'll tell you what he thinks. They switched me to D-line, so I have a relationship with Bo [Davis] and he seems like a great d-line coach. The defensive linemen there, they're all people I can relate to. Overall, I like the team. They're together."

His ability to play on either side of the line would be a huge help for this class, especially on the defensive front with the uncertainty of A’Shawn Robinson (who I think will stick with Texas) and also the chance that Jake Raulerson could move to offense at some point in his career.

Max Olson: Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College LB De'Vondre Campbell

The easy answer here is Billings or Desmond Harrison, the mammoth junior college tackle who could get a shot to play right away for Texas in 2013. Both are correct. But so is Campbell.

The Hutchinson Community College linebacker from Fort Myers, Fla., is a bit of a mystery. He’s awfully hard to get a read on these days. He’s not doing interviews and has essentially gone silent ever since Texas first offered him a scholarship in late November.

For that reason, it’s hard to fairly judge where Texas stands with him. It’s safe to say Texas is very much in the mix for him, considering his school announced that he planned to sign with Texas last month.

That proved to be an erroneous and premature announcement. He’ll take two more official visits before reaching his decision, though he hasn’t said where yet. Again, a lot remains unknown when it comes to Campbell’s status.

But we do know this: He could help a Texas linebacker corps that struggled mightily at times last season.

The unit brings back plenty of experience next fall in Jordan Hicks, Steve Edmond, Tevin Jackson, Peter Jinkens, Kendall Thompson and Dalton Santos. But Hicks has to get back to 100 percent, and every other guy needs a long offseason of seasoning.

Whether the 6-foot-5, 224-pound Campbell can bust through and help immediately remains to be seen, but there’s no question Texas is lacking for depth at linebacker and you just don’t know what commits Deoundrei Davis (who’s coming off a torn ACL) and Naashon Hughes can contribute as freshmen.

Texas coaches already got him on campus. They can’t do a whole lot more now than sit back and see how this plays out. If Campbell is a guy who can help solve Texas’ biggest weakness on defense, he’s worth the wait.