Monday, April 22, 2013
Knox no longer an option for Longhorns
By Max Olson
Word didn’t get out until Monday, but Demetrius Knox isn’t afraid to admit he hasn’t been committed to Texas since Thursday.
That’s when the Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints offensive lineman said he told Longhorns coaches he wanted to reopen his recruitment. What happened that led to one of the biggest members of Texas’ No. 1-ranked class to back out?
Offensive lineman Demetrius Knox said he won't be signing with Texas and this his future visits are still up in the air.
“A lot of people are saying I decommitted because I wanted to take visits and all that stuff,” Knox said. “That’s really not even the case. I just felt like me and the program at Texas had really grown apart.”
Knox didn’t get much more specific than that. He repeatedly said the two sides had grown apart, that it just wasn’t where he wanted to be.
From a big-picture standpoint, the breakup might be what’s best for both parties. Knox had been wavering for months, particularly following an unofficial visit to Ohio State this spring.
Texas didn’t want another A'Shawn Robinson situation on its hands. Keeping him on the commit list even as he took visits this fall would’ve put its coaches in another uncomfortable position with limited time to find his replacement. If Knox wasn’t in, he needed to back out.
“I felt better knowing that I did it now and that it can help UT, and not that I just waited until the last second and left them hanging,” Knox said. “Now they have time to get another lineman to fill the spot. I’m just going to sit back and watch everything.”
The bigger question that lingers now that the 6-foot-4, 296-pound guard is no longer a Longhorn is this: Is the door closed, or could Knox eventually rejoin the class?
With more than nine months left before signing day, there’s plenty of time for things to change. Right now, though, Knox said there’s "100 percent, no way" he’ll end up at Texas.
“Mack Brown told me I still have my offer,” Knox said. “I feel like it’s over.”
There have been many who jumped to the conclusion that Knox’ decision to decommit was a product of Texas’ new no-visit policy with its commits. He doesn’t see it that way.
Knox took visits to Ohio State and Oklahoma this spring despite being a Texas commit. He said he did not ask Brown for permission to take more visits and insisted that wasn’t the source of his discontent.
“No, not at all,” Knox said. “That’s what I was hearing from people. Like I said, I just felt like I was growing apart from the Texas program.”
With Knox seemingly no longer an option, Texas does still have one offensive line commit in center Terrell Cuney (Jasper, Texas/Jasper).
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The spring evaluation will have to yield new targets, because there aren’t many linemen with UT offers who look like reasonable options. Koda Martin (Manvel, Texas/Manvel) might be one, and Florida commit Joseph Paul (New Orleans/St. Augustine) could visit in the near future. Beyond them, it’s hard to say.
Two Dallas linemen -- Bishop Dunne’s Jovan Pruitt and Skyline’s Ty Barrett -- could end up being heavily pursued by the Longhorns, but neither currently hold offers.
Texas could get away with taking a small number of linemen in this class after reloading with five in the 2013 class and four in 2012. Still, losing Knox is problematic.
What’s next for him remains to be seen. Knox said he’s not worried about his recruitment right now and that he hasn’t scheduled any new visits.
Is Ohio State the new frontrunner, or perhaps UCLA? He’s not ready to say.
“Everybody is on the radar,” Knox said. “I’m looking at everybody. Once I take all the visits I need to and see any schools I need to, I’ll pick my school.”
While there’s no firm timeline, Knox said there’s a good chance he won’t make his new commitment until January, after he takes several visits.
Now that he’s not a Longhorns commit, he’ll get to take as many as he wants. Knox doesn’t know what exactly he’s looking for, but at this point he knows he won’t find it at Texas.