Thursday, June 13, 2013
Virgil excited to enter Texas 2015 QB race
By Max Olson
AUSTIN, Texas -- These days, the recruitment of big-time quarterbacks almost always devolves into a simple game of musical chairs. That holds true no matter how early it starts, as Chason Virgil (Mesquite, Texas/West Mesquite is about to find out.
Virgil came to Texas camp on Sunday and got exactly what he’d hoped for: An offer from the Longhorns.
In most years, that’s a golden ticket that nobody turns down. Texas traditionally evaluates several quarterbacks, picks one to pursue and gets its guy. One offer, one commitment, on to the next class.
Class of 2015 signal-caller Chason Virgil said he hasn't started to narrow down his list of favorite schools.
Such will not be the case in 2015. Texas is seeking two quarterbacks for next year’s class and appears poised to offer as many as five this summer.
Virgil is proud to know he’s one of them. But he also knows that, for all the time he still has left in high school, this is a first come, first served game.
“There’s a little pressure,” Virgil said. “Quarterback recruiting happens a lot faster. You’ve really got to make decisions earlier than you’d want to. But it’s all about the situation that best fits you.”
For Virgil, that will require a thorough evaluation of offensive schemes, how many QBs are coming and leaving, the coach overseeing quarterbacks and several other factors. A Texas offer is an honor, he said, but plenty of schools also have lined up for the 6-foot-2, 169-pound passer.
The school that has recruited Virgil hardest thus far remains Clemson. But he’s not ready to start talking about a top five just yet.
“Right now, I really don’t even have a list,” Virgil said. “But I’m considering Texas, they’re really high. I’m really going to consider them in my recruiting process. Nobody is No. 1 right now.”
Joining Virgil in Texas’ game of musical chairs is J.W. Ketchum (Fort Bend, Texas/Marshall), Jarrett Stidham (Stephenville, Texas/Stephenville) and Kyler Murray (Allen, Texas/Allen), and Ricky Town (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure) received his offer on Thursday.
That others are also receiving the opportunity to become Longhorns doesn’t dampen Virgil’s excitement. He likes where he stands right now.
“It’s overwhelming. I think it’s a great accomplishment for me,” Virgil said. “That’s what I came down here to do, to compete for an offer. And that’s what I did. I accomplished a goal.”
And Virgil has options. After throwing for 2,289 yards and 21 touchdowns as a sophomore -- and doing so without No. 1 receiver Eldridge Massington, the UCLA signee who missed 2012 with torn ACL -- Virgil already holds offers from Clemson, Arizona State, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nebraska and Toledo.
There’s no doubt the offer from Texas could garner him increased national attention and lead to more offers.
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“With a Texas offer, I feel like more schools will come around,” he said. “It fires me up to have the Texas offer under me.”
He was just as excited about the chance to work with Texas co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite during the minicamp. Even though Virgil found out midway through the day that he was going to receive a Texas offer after camp ended, he still knew he had to make an impression on Applewhite.
“He’s come to my school and seen me, but being able to be coached by him, he’s definitely a great quarterback coach,” Virgil said. “Being coached by somebody who’s actually played the game and understands everything is a lot easier for a quarterback. Today was a great experience, and I learned a lot from it.”
His older brother, Chazz Virgil, said after Sunday’s camp that a trip to Clemson could be in the works for the near future. They’re not sure what else is on the horizon after that.
“This offer is a blessing,” Chazz Virgil said. “It’s the biggest offer he’s got so far. Hopefully the other schools will follow suit. This is the biggest one so far, and we’re happy and excited.”
The Virgils have to be careful. Wait too long for those other programs and they risk missing out on some big opportunities. After Sunday, though, they’re glad Texas is now one of them.