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Friday, February 1, 2013
Roundtable: Texas' best late additions

By William Wilkerson & Max Olson

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

This week's question: Where would Dontre Wilson rank among Texas' best late additions in recent years?

William Wilkerson: If Dontre Wilson does end up switching commitments from Oregon to Texas, be it Sunday as we first reported would be his decision date, or later next week, he will be the biggest late addition for the Longhorns in the past five years.

Mike Davis
Could target Dontre Wilson make a bigger impact for the Longhorns than Mike Davis (above) did after flipping late from LSU?
Yes, even bigger than Jackson Jeffcoat and Jordan Hicks, who were both rated as the No. 1 player at their position in the country when they committed to Texas within minutes of each other Jan. 29, 2010.

Reason being, Texas had players on campus at those same positions already making an impact. Linebackers Keenan Robinson and Emmanuel Acho led the team in tackles that year, and defensive ends Eddie Jones and Alex Okafor were developing into commodities.

As far as making an early impact is concerned, you could argue that Mike Davis, who was also a part of that 2010 class, was an even bigger late addition.

When he switched his commitment from LSU to Texas late in Dec. 2009 he immediately gave the Longhorns a deep threat they could count on after the loss of Jordan Shipley from 2009. Texas also lost Dan Buckner, who transferred.

Davis didn’t disappoint. He finished behind James Kirkendoll as second among receivers, with 47 catches for 478 yards and a team record-tying two touchdowns.

Daje Johnson, Torshiro Davis and junior college linemen Donald Hawkins and Brandon Moore are others you’ve got to consider for this list. But I believe they’d all fall behind Wilson if he were to commit to Texas.

I just believe the impact he can have in a Major Applewhite-led offense is greater than any of the situations the others found themselves walking into. Similar to Johnson, who switched commitment from TCU, Wilson can exploit defenses from the backfield, split out wide and in special teams.

Not only would I put Wilson on top for his abilities on the field, but think about the statement it would make to the rest of the country if he switched.

Texas has gone 22-16 over the past three seasons. Most programs wouldn’t have any business being in the discussion for someone of Wilson’s caliber with that record.

But the Longhorns are in the running and will have the last chance at wooing him when he takes an official visit to Austin this weekend.

Max Olson: Texas has a reputation for taking nearly all of its verbal pledges as early as possible, but its recent track record of last-second additions is an impressive one. If the Longhorns can pull off stealing Wilson, I think you’d have to put that coup right on par with two others.

The first was last year’s stunner, Shiro Davis. Remember, Texas’ coaching staff went ahead and canceled their in-home visit with him in the week leading up to signing day. They all but conceded defeat. Davis was sealed and delivered to LSU, but not yet signed.

In the end, Texas flipped an ESPN 150 kid from Shreveport, committed to a program that was undefeated and No. 1 heading into the national title game against Alabama. How they pulled that off, we’ll never truly know.

Davis told HornsNation last spring that he got bad vibes from Tiger players during his final visit. Something wasn’t right about the locker room. Something felt off about going to LSU. But he maintained his allegiance all the way until the morning of signing day and shocked the world.

Only way you can beat that is by swiping the No. 4 prospect in the nation from the state of Ohio. That’s what Texas did in 2010 with Jordan Hicks, the five-star linebacker from Lakota West High.

Hicks’ decision came down to Texas, Ohio State and Florida. Beating the Buckeyes for a kid living 90 miles from Columbus is usually impossible. Credit Will Muschamp for that signing, which came on the same day fellow five-star Jackson Jeffcoat chose Texas.

Wilson is on par with those two simply because he has been a Duck die-hard ever since his May commitment. Back in September, he told me Texas had simply stopped calling and respected his commitment to Oregon.

Even when there was talk of NCAA sanctions, Wilson was sticking with Oregon. When folks started to realize Chip Kelly was in line for an NFL job, Wilson was sticking with Oregon. When he finally did leave for the Eagles, Wilson’s tune changed. Still, nobody could’ve expected Texas would get an official visit from him on the final weekend of 2013 recruiting.

Getting Wilson to sign with Texas on Wednesday would be a shocker. But Texas’ recent history tells us it’s not as impossible as it might seem.