Monday, April 1, 2013
Longhorns have big recruiting weekend
By William Wilkerson
AUSTIN, Texas -- Overcast skies cast a welcomed escape from the sun over the weekend in Austin. While they never opened up to supply the city with much-needed rain, a perfect storm did in fact unfold on the University of Texas.
The unique combination and location of the Texas Relays and the Longhorns’ spring game supplied coach Mack Brown, director of player personnel Patrick Suddes and the rest of Texas’ staff the perfect opportunity to entertain recruits and give them a taste of what takes place in the state’s capitol.
Class of 2015 defensive tackle Bryce English committed to the Longhorns on Friday.
Similar to Texas’ first-ever sophomore day on March 23, there were a lot of unknowns heading into the weekend. Namely, how would the Longhorns, specifically Suddes, marry the two marquee events?
That question was answered with four commitments and half a dozen offers handed out.
The first commitment came from 2015 defensive tackle Bryce English (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto) on Friday afternoon. The godson of Texas’ tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator Bruce Chambers, English immediately agreed to verbally commit upon being offered by Brown.
Next came the commitment of 2014 center Terrell Cuney (Jasper, Texas/Jasper) on Saturday afternoon. This one was expected but not necessarily this weekend. The combination of the weekend’s festivities, though, was enough to make Cuney go ahead and commit.
After Cuney came the commitments of 2015 defensive back Jalen Campbell (Corpus Christi, Texas/Flour Bluff) and 2014 defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao (San Antonio/Warren).
Campbell, a heralded recruit from an area of the state Texas doesn’t venture to very often, gave his verbal pledge to the Longhorns prior to kickoff of the spring game. He brings the 2015 commitment total to three for Texas.
Scattered throughout all of the commitments were several offers thrown out to 2014 and 2015 recruits. They include 2015 OLB Anthony Wheeler (Dallas/Skyline), 2015 RB Soso Jamabo (Plano, Texas/West), 2014 WR Dorian Leonard (Longview, Texas/Longview), 2015 S/WR Larry Pryor (Sulphur Springs, Texas/Sulphur Springs), 2015 QB J.W. Ketchum (Fort Bend, Texas/Marshall) and 2015 S Deionte Thompson (Orange, Texas/West Orange Stark), who is committed to Alabama.
This weekend was made possible by the fact that the Longhorns started spring practice earlier than most other schools, enabling them to hold their spring game on a date when others are still in the middle of practice. Baylor and TCU have their final spring sessions on April 6, Oklahoma and Texas A&M have their spring games on April 13 and LSU and Oklahoma State have theirs on April 20. Recruits in this region are going to have to make a choice on which game to attend.
Texas starting its practices so early, and getting the spring game out of the way, also allows the staff to spend more time evaluating and will give them more time on the road.
The contact period doesn’t start until April 15 so that gives the staff two weeks to focus in on evaluating film and getting a plan together for who they’ll travel to see while other schools are still focused on spring ball.
The plan for how Texas will use these next two weeks is unknown. Judging from the last two weekends, though, it’ll likely lead to a successful conclusion.