Friday, March 22, 2013
Roundtable: Key Sophomore Day visitors
By Max Olson and William Wilkerson
Every Friday, HornsNation recruiting writers William Wilkerson and Max Olson answer a question about the Longhorns.
This week’s question: Who are the three most important visitors for Texas’ Sophomore Day event on Saturday?
William Wilkerson: We’ve compiled a pretty extensive list of sophomores who should be in Austin for Texas’ inaugural sophomore day, and, whew, are there some big names on that list.
It’s really impossible to name a top three, but for argument's sake I’m going with DT Daylon Mack (Gladewater, Texas/Gladewater), DB Kendall Sheffield (Fort Bend, Texas/Marshall) and TE Jordan Davis (Houston/Clear Lake).
The most obvious choice on this list is Mack, the lone 2015 recruit with a Longhorns offer. The fact that Mack Brown would offer him speaks to his potential.
He showed a lot of that last season with 62 tackles, six sacks and six fumble recoveries. Of those 62 tackles, 16 were behind the line of scrimmage. That’s just absurd.
The issue for Texas right now is the fact that Texas A&M is Mack's clear-cut favorite. He recently told our Damon Sayles that Texas and Oklahoma were two schools that potentially could unseat the Aggies. The Longhorns need to use this weekend to close the gap.
Sheffield has to be one of them too, because he’s arguably the top defensive back in the state for his class, with four big-time offers, and the Longhorns need to let him know just how interested they are.
Sheffield grew up rooting for Oklahoma but is open to the idea of playing anywhere at the moment, including Texas.
This is a kid with the fastest 110-meter hurdles time out of any sophomore in the nation (14.09 seconds) and the fourth fastest in the nation regardless of class, who has above-average size for a cornerback. He was a first-team all-district selection last season for a team that went 13-1.
There are several names that could go in this last spot, but I’m going with Davis, because, well, Texas is always in need of tight ends, and he could be the best one in the state in 2015.
The downside to this is Davis just committed to Florida State this week. The upside: There is a lot of time left to sway him to Austin.
Davis (6-foot-4, 250 pounds) is the type of tight end the Longhorns could really use in their up-tempo but run-conscience offense.
Max Olson: No doubt about it, Daylon Mack is priority No. 1 when it comes to Texas’ first-ever Sophomore Day.
The fact that the Gladewater standout recently said Texas A&M “feels like a place I can call home” is something Mack Brown and his defensive line coaches have to fight this weekend. Texas needs to make a serious push for the East Texas standout, because Mack is the kind of hard-to-find big man you want to build a recruiting class around.
Malik Jefferson is on track to be the best linebacker in the state of Texas in the 2015 class.
Two more guys worth keeping an eye on: Mesquite (Texas) Poteet linebacker Malik Jefferson and Lewisville (Texas) Hebron offensive lineman Zach Rogers.
Rogers has been on the radar for quite a while now and even earned some freshman All-America honors in 2011. At 6-foot-3 and 295 pounds, he brings serious experience and muscle to the guard position and could play center in college, as well.
He has taken visits to Arkansas, UCLA and Oklahoma recently, and he and his father are trying to get out to see as many schools as they can. And few schools boast better offensive line depth right now than Texas, which ought to make a good impression.
Another inherent bonus of getting in good with Rogers: Texas needs every advantage it can get in its pursuit of his teammate, 2014 safety Jamal Adams. They’ve taken visits together in the past, and getting both Hebron guys on board would be a significant coup.
As for Jefferson, he already has a lot of love for Texas and Manny Diaz. Heck, Jefferson even called up Diaz last weekend for some restaurant recommendations while he was visiting Austin with some friends.
There’s a good chance Jefferson will be the best linebacker in the state for 2015, and he’s likely the most accomplished one out there after a monster sophomore season earned him all-state honors.
If you told me both Rogers and Jefferson will go home with offers after Saturday’s big visit, I would not be surprised. They’d make my short list of guys who merit early offers.