Friday, January 18, 2013
Roundtable: Predicting Texas' finish
By Max Olson & William Wilkerson
Every Friday, HornsNation recruiting writers William Wilkerson and Max Olson answer a question about the Longhorns.
This week's question: How do you predict Texas will finish out its 2013 class in the next few weeks?
Max Olson: Last year, Texas finished its 2012 recruiting class by seemingly landing a new commit every day of the final week, followed by the jaw-dropping flip of Shiro Davis on signing day.
Three-star lineman Rami Hammad is taking an official visit to Texas this weekend. Will the Baylor commit flip?
What’s going to happen this time around? Here’s how I see it going down.
Irving (Texas) lineman Rami Hammad will get an offer and commit to Texas next week. He won’t take any other visits. Texas is the school he has loved all along, and committing after his official visit will be a no-brainer. That’s commit No. 14.
Contra Costa (Calif.) College’s Desmond Harrison is next in line. In a closer-than-expected decision, the juco tackle goes with Texas over Arizona State sometime next week, citing his close family ties to the state and the chance to play right away. There’s No. 15.
The next one is a surprise. A receiver commit. It’s not going to be Sebastian LaRue. Heck, it’s probably not going to be anyone we’re talking about right now. But somebody joins the class to make it 16.
Waco's Andrew Billings will be a Longhorn. He's put it off time and time again, but he has to end his recruitment eventually, and Texas offering him as a defensive tackle makes all the difference. When he does pledge, he'll be No. 17.
With Nick Marshall and De’Vondre Campbell off the board, Texas decides against taking another quarterback or linebacker. But there’s still room for another surprise or two.
Texas doesn’t get Peyton Barber or Alex Collins. A few days before signing day, with few options remaining, UT puts in a call to Ke’aun Kinner. He commits the moment he answers his phone. It’s not the surprise most folks want -- Dontre Wilson -- but Kinner is worth the risk.
The biggest surprise comes on signing day, but it’s not Texas making a stunning steal. A’Shawn Robinson flip to USC or Alabama. Sorry, Texas fan. You wanted bold predictions.
That leaves 17 commits. It’s a small class that’s probably not ranked in the top 10 by the end of signing day, but one with which Texas can be plenty happy. This is probably my most modest proposal. I can promise you this: Crazier things will happen.
William Wilkerson: I think the suspense of A’Shawn Robinson’s announcement will cause Longhorns fans to invest in an absurd amount of indigestion pills on signing day. But I think they’ll be pleased with his decision.
I think Texas’ choice to start recruiting Andrew Billings as a defensive tackle, as he wanted all along, will keep the ESPN 300 prospect from staying put in his hometown or heading north toward Fort Worth.
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Yes, he might be taking a visit to TCU this weekend and then to Baylor next weekend, but I believe the reigning state power-lifting champion will end up next to Robinson to form one of the more hyped defensive tackle tandems to come through Texas in a while.
I think that the Longhorns also land Rami Hammad, giving them their first late-game commitment switch. Hammad, a Baylor commit, loves Texas, and his visit to Austin this weekend will seal his burnt orange fate.
I think Desmond Harrison makes Stacy Searels a really happy man and commits to Texas over Arizona State, thus making the offensive line the most interesting position group to watch, come fall camp.
I think that four-star running back Peyton Barber (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton), an Ole Miss commitment, ends up flipping to Texas if he makes it down to Austin for an official visit, despite what Milton coach Howie DeCristofaro said in The Heard about his running back not leaving the SEC.
I don’t think Texas will take another quarterback.
I do think that the Longhorns have a few sleepers they are eyeing who will get plenty of attention in the next few weeks and, even though they might not have a class ranked where they normally finish, they will make a signing day splash that kicks them up a few spots.