Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Teammates approved for 2016 Texas offers
By Max Olson
Texas started offering members of the 2014 recruiting class prior to their junior season, earlier than Mack Brown had ever done before. Then came scholarship offers to 2015 prospects after their sophomore seasons.
Now the Longhorns have approved two big-time 2016 prospects for offers.
Manvel (Texas) 2016 wide receiver Reggie Hemphill confirmed to ESPN.com that he and teammate Deontay Anderson, a safety, both learned they have been approved for Longhorn offers following their standout performances at Texas camp in June.
“They said they haven’t offered any 2016 kids yet, but me and my teammate Deontay are going to be the first they do offer,” Hemphill said.
Hemphill, a 6-foot-2, 170-pound wideout who can also play quarterback, was a breakout freshman star on a Manvel squad that already featured Texas A&M signee Kyrion Parker, Oklahoma signee Austin Bennett and Texas Tech signee Carlos Thompson in its receiving corps.
He caught only 10 passes in five games but produced 400 receiving yards and six touchdowns, plus 101 rushing yards on 11 carries. Several of those receptions came on slip screens and required making big plays in the open field.
Hemphill left no question about his playmaking ability at Texas’ camp last month and impressed even against the Longhorns’ ESPN 300 corner pledge, Jermaine Roberts (New Orleans/St. Augustine).
“It was fun to travel there a little bit and get my name out there,” Hemphill said. “I think I did real good at the camp. I wanted to show them I’m a good route runner, I can catch in traffic and I can get off jams.”
He was joined at the camp by Anderson, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound defensive back who has also received early interest from Alabama, Baylor and Texas A&M. Before they left Austin, Hemphill said, they got the good news.
“I went in to try to get an offer, and at the end of the day after one-on-ones coach Mack and coach [Darrell] Wyatt pulled me aside and talked to me and they both approved me for an offer,” Hemphill said.
The gesture means that whenever the Longhorns do begin handing out scholarship offers to the class of 2016, Hemphill and Anderson will be right at the top of the list. Hemphill said it doesn’t matter much to him when that happens -- he’s just happy to know Texas wants him.
He grew up a big Texas fan -- mostly thanks to Vince Young -- but has shifted his allegiance to Texas A&M in recent years. Even though he’s barely played much varsity football, Hemphill has already been told he’ll be one of the top prospects in the state as a senior.
“Coach [David] Beatty from Texas A&M said that there were three kids on his board for the class of 2016 and I’m No. 1. Coach [Kendal] Briles from Baylor said he would be recruiting me hard, and coach [Sonny] Cumbie from Texas Tech wants me to call him once a week.”
That’s an awful lot of early attention, but it’s no surprise considering his talent and teammates. Recruiters flocked to Manvel this spring to check out Koda Martin, the four-star tackle who committed to Texas A&M last month, so it was hard to miss Hemphill and Anderson.
“We’re very excited about the offer,” Hemphill said. “Me and Deontay both grew up together and were freshmen on varsity, so we had big shoes to fill. We had to show our talent to the coaches and show why we belonged there. This is really a blessing.”