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Friday, July 19, 2013
The Heard: UT recruiting news and notes

By William Wilkerson and Max Olson

Welcome to The Heard, HornsNation’s weekly in-depth look inside the never-ending world of Longhorns recruiting with news, notes and interesting tidbits on the latest happenings around the program. We’ll release this every Friday.

Talk about it in our forum and, if there’s a recruit out there you’d like to hear more from, let us know.

In this week’s edition of The Heard: Texas still No. 1 for Jefferson?

The past few months have been a blur for Mesquite (Texas) Poteet’s Malik Jefferson now that recruiting is becoming one of his top priorities.

The No. 3 2015 outside linebacker prospect in the country already has 15 offers and admits this process is getting a little too serious and a little too early.

Malik Jefferson
ESPN Junior 300 linebacker Malik Jefferson isn't playing favorites for now but is visiting Texas soon.
“I can say it is fun and it is annoying, because I’m used to it now,” Jefferson said. “I really don’t have a lot of time, though. It’s going by faster than I thought it would.”

Jefferson got a bit of a wake-up call last week when he took an unofficial visit to Baylor. He said he might need to step back and reconsider how he’s handling his recruiting process.

He visited Waco on Thursday and returned on Saturday. No coaches were on campus the first day he stopped by, so strength coach Kaz Kazadi led the tour. Jefferson was more impressed than he’d ever expected.

“I didn’t think I was going to be interested in Baylor, honestly. I’ll tell you that right now,” Jefferson said. “But I went and had the time of my life. Just going for that little visit, stuff like that makes me think I should slow down. I was going a little too fast.”

By that, Jefferson means he now thinks it was a bit premature to name Texas his early favorite.

“I’m giving everyone a chance,” he said. “With Texas, I wouldn’t put them No. 1 on my list yet because it’s a battle.”

The Longhorns staff has a chance to remind Jefferson who’s No. 1 next weekend when he attends Texas Stampede.

“I really can’t wait to see what that is,” Jefferson said. “I’m kind of thinking it’s a big dinner or something like that.”

One benefit of the July 27 trip is getting to catch up with his “Fab Five” friends in East Texas. Larry Pryor (Sulphur Springs, Texas/Sulphur Springs) is the only one in the Fab Five who will not attend. Jefferson said he wants to see what those guys are thinking and he’ll tell them what’s on his mind.

Like his close friend Daylon Mack, Jefferson is getting to the point where he thinks he needs to open this up and not rule out any schools. Jefferson will visit Texas A&M this weekend, and he’s already eyeing his fall road trips.

“I’m going to A&M vs. Alabama and Texas vs. OU, no doubt,” Jefferson said. “And Texas vs. Ole Miss too.”

Upon being told the Ole Miss game and A&M-Bama is on the same day, Jefferson was shocked.

“No! Drive to Texas A&M and then Texas? I don’t think that will work,” he said. “My parents wouldn't want that. I really have to figure that out. Dang. I’ll be thinking about that.”

As much as Jefferson is looking forward to getting his fall season going, he knows recruiting will be on his mind throughout. He’s not looking forward to the day he has to make that final decision, if only because he doesn’t want to say no to everyone else.

“It’s going to be hard,” Jefferson said. “I’m going to break some hearts someday.” – Max Olson

Adams clears things up

ESPN 300 safety Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron) has a message for those saying Florida has all but won his commitment: Stop.

That’s not to say that the Gators aren’t the favorite -- they very well could be. It’s just that there are several other schools in the mix and talks about him joining his godfather Joker Phillips, Florida’s wide receivers coach, in Gainsville, Fla., are premature.

In fact, those schools still in the picture should take it as a good sign that Adams has pushed his announcement back from sometime in August to later during his senior season. A decision then could have very well been Florida, a place he visited in June and absolutely fell in love with.

“It’s a great fit for me, one of my top schools,” Adams told ESPN.com's Damon Sayles after his Florida visit. “I’m an SEC dude, and this is the top SEC program, hands down.”

If he were so gung-ho about Florida, Adams probably wouldn’t be taking the time out, on his family's dime, to visit Ole Miss this weekend. It’s not set in stone yet, but Adams told me he would likely make the trip.

Adams also told me at the Texas State 7-on-7 Tournament that he would like to take at least three official visits, possibly even all five, before making his decision. The schools he mentioned visiting were Texas, Florida, Ohio State, UCLA and Ole Miss.

I asked him again on Wednesday if those were the ones he was thinking about, and he said he wasn’t too sure about UCLA right now. Asked if Texas A&M could replace the Bruins and get an official visit, Adams responded, “Not sure yet.”

If Adams is to take an official visit to Texas it will likely be for the Ole Miss game on Sept. 14. – William Wilkerson

Leonard content with commitment

The addition of ESPN 300 standout Armanti Foreman this month put Texas at six wide receiver pledges for 2015. You’d think not all of them would be thrilled about the prospect of a six-man class, right?

Dorian Leonard doesn’t mind, not one bit. The Longview (Texas) three-star receiver says he’s fine with Texas going receiver-heavy for 2014.

“It’s just more competition,” Leonard said. “It’s just making me better. Working against those people, I know it will help me get better.”

Dorian Leonard
Three-star receiver Dorian Leonard isn't worried about Texas' big receivers class.
Leonard put on a show during the Longview game I watched at the state 7-on-7 championships. Of the six pledges, perhaps only Emanuel Porter can match Leonard’s ability to go up and snag a jump ball.

He made some spectacular catches on Friday. Leonard has been working hard on that and most other facets of his game this summer.

“I’m really just working on my routes and working on getting off the ball on time and working on my hands, being physical and working on my moves out here,” Leonard said.

He was fired up just to be playing so close to Austin this weekend. Leonard went all-in on burnt orange attire when he showed up to the tournament on Friday and Saturday, and he wore a necklace featuring a blue Longhorns logo during games. He was proud to rep his commitment, and he said being so close to UT gave him some confidence in the tournament.

Now that some time has passed, Leonard is pretty proud of the surprise decision he made to go with Texas over Oklahoma and Texas Tech on June 13.

“It felt really good, because nobody expected that,” he said. "I surprised a lot of people.”

Leonard said other schools are still reaching out to him – he recently got contacted by Missouri – but the wideout said he isn’t entertaining any offers from other schools. He’s sticking with Texas.

He’s also looking forward to his next visit. Leonard and 2015 Longview tailback Ja'Mycal Hasty will be at Texas Stampede next weekend.

“They just told me it’s going to be a lot of fun and there’s going to be a lot of recruits they’re recruiting,” he said. “I’m just going to have fun and meet people.”

More good news for Leonard: Longview coach John King told me this weekend that less than a week after Leonard pulled the trigger on his UT pledge, he got his ACT scores back. As his coach put it, “He killed it.” Leonard won’t have to retake the test and has no concerns about qualifying. – Max Olson

Stidham talks Bama

By the way ESPN Junior 300 athlete Jarrett Stidham (Stephenville, Texas/Stephenville) lit up while talking about Alabama at the Texas State 7-on-7 Tournament, you just got the feeling that the other schools might be in trouble if the Crimson Tide offered him during his visit to Tuscaloosa, Ala., over the weekend.

“It’s every kids dream to hopefully get an offer from the No. 1 team in the country,” said Stidham, who is No. 155 overall and ranked as the No. 12 athlete. “I’m really looking forward to meeting Coach [Nick] Saban, one of the best coaches in the country.”

Luckily for those in pursuit, like the Longhorns, Alabama didn’t offer Stidham over the weekend even though he said he wouldn’t have committed on the spot if he did get the offer.

“It would be a hard one to pass up honestly because you are in the running for a national championship every year,” he said. “But I would just take it into consideration like everybody else.”

Next up for Stidham is a visit to Kentucky, which is where he grew up. The Wildcats are serious contenders here as one of the five schools that have offered him so far.

That’s an incredible amount of offers for any sophomore quarterback, but even more so when you consider that Stidham has only thrown three passes at the varsity level.

“It’s definitely surreal,” he said. “But at the same time I think when I go to all of these camps, they see what they are getting to see and like my stuff. It’s definitely exciting but weird at the same time knowing that I’ve only thrown three passes.”

Stidham was easily one of the best quarterbacks at the 7-on-7 tournament even though Stephenville lost in the first round of the championship bracket on Friday.

Baylor has long been linked to him as the team to beat because of Bears head coach Art Briles’ history in Stephenville. But Stidham actually said that another school is standing out to him right now.

“I’ve probably been to College Station more than any of these other places,” he said. “Maybe them but I haven’t talked to the coaches all that much.”

As for Texas, Stidham said, “I’ve talked to Coach Applewhite a few times on the phone.” – William Wilkerson

UT in top 2 for ESPN 300 DT

Du'Vonta Lampkin was as surprised as anyone by the ESPN Junior 300 when it came out Monday. The Houston Cypress Falls defensive tackle didn’t assume he’d make the cut.

Lampkin checked in at No. 110 in the nation and No. 15 in the state of Texas in our initial rankings.

“It shocked me a lot,” Lampkin said. “I didn’t know I’d be ranked that high. That got me pretty good. I’ve been working hard and achieving things I’ve been hoping for.”

There isn't a whole lot new in the recruitment of Lampkin, and that has a lot to do with grades. It’s not that he’s looking like a non-qualifier (it’s still very early), but he has yet to send out transcripts to schools. He’s trying to accomplish a goal first.

“I’m taking summer school right now to pick up where I left off,” he said. “I struggled in my freshman year, and I’m working to try to get a 3.0. Before I send schools my transcripts, I want to get to 3.0. I know that’s important.”

Lampkin, who attended Texas camp in June, said he’s also been talking to Texas A&M Oklahoma, Nebraska, LSU, and SMU this summer, and he’s hoping to get in contact with UCLA soon.

At the moment, Lampkin still has the Aggies at the top of his list.

“I’d put Texas A&M a little bit in front of Texas,” he said, “just from being in College Station on campus and knowing the coaches and seeing how they interact with us.”

But Lampkin doesn’t have any offers yet. He said he doesn’t know if he’ll send his transcripts until the spring semester, but he’s hoping the offers start coming in once he does get his grades in good shape.

Lampkin has been invited to Texas Stampede but said he’s not sure if he’ll be able to attend. He doesn’t have a ride to the event lined up, though Cy Falls teammate Otaro Alaka is expected to make the trip. - Max Olson

2014 DT hopes for UT offer

It’s a numbers game for the Longhorns right now as they try to close out the 2014 recruiting cycle.

There are still some positions they need to garner commitments from, like cornerback, safety and running back.

Not, necessarily, defensive tackle, though, which is already a position Texas has three commitments from in Trey Lealaimatafao (San Antonio/Warren), Courtney Garnett (New Orleans/Saint Augustine) and Jake McMillon (Abilene, Texas/Abilene).

Three-star DT D.J. Williams (Lufkin, Texas/Lufkin) is hoping that changes. He would love an offer from the Longhorns and believes he could get one when he attends Texas Stampede on July 27.

“[Defensive tackles coach Bo Davis] said they have good news to tell me when I get down there,” Williams said.

Right now the numbers just don’t add up for Williams to get that offer. That could change if things don’t work out with Garnett. But Texas likely isn’t going to take four DTs in this class.

The good news for Williams is that if it doesn’t work out at Texas, which is where his teammate, 2015 athlete Keke Coutee has committed, it will work out elsewhere.

Williams, the No. 54 defensive tackle in the country and No. 88 player in the state, has offers from Kansas, Miami, Missouri, North Texas and Oklahoma. He’s also hearing a lot from Tulsa.

But he would love for it to happen at Texas, where he’s built a good relationship with Davis.

“It’s a pretty good relationship. Every time we speak he tells me how I can improve my game,” Williams said. “It’s great to have chemistry with them before I get there, if I do go there.”

Williams recalled one time when Coach Davis asked him if he would accept an offer if Texas extended one his way.

“I told him yes,” said Williams, who is 6-4 and 293 pounds. “But that would have been one of my first offers.”

That wouldn’t be the case if Williams were to get one on July 27th.

“I have more options now and want to see where I best fit in,” he said.

Williams has already been to Texas once for its Sophomore Day. – William Wilkerson

UTEP safety commit loves UT

Mookie Carlile (Stephenville, Texas/Stephenville) wants to be a Longhorn. Problem is, the 2014 safety is committed to UTEP and has yet to receive an offer from the Longhorns.

That offer might be hard to come by unless Texas has trouble landing some of its bigger targets. Carlile is aware of this and has no problem waiting around.

Mookie Carlile
Class of 2014 defensive back Mookie Carlile wants to be a Longhorn but Texas likely won't offer him.
“I want some of the other guys to go somewhere else or decommit,” he said. “That’s what I’m waiting on.

Carlile was happy to see ESPN 300 defensive back Arrion Springs (San Antonio, Texas/Roosevelt) choose Oregon. He’s hoping ESPN 300 safety Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron) and four-star safety John Bonney (Houston/Lamar) follow Springs’ lead and go elsewhere too.

“It depends on Arrion, Jamal and John Bonney,” he said. “They are high on Peyton Hendrix (Dallas/Bishop Dunne). They could go for me or him [if things don’t work out with some other targets].”

Carlile has never even been to a Texas game but he’s always admired the Longhorns.

“I still love them,” he said. “[Former Texas quarterback] Jevan Snead [who went to Stephenville], I actually got a football signed from him. But I threw it away when he went to Ole Miss.”

He’s done what he can to let Texas’ coaching staff know that he is extremely interested.

“[Interest] picked up in early February because I sent my film and went to a spring practice,” he said. “I went to their June 2 camp. I think only two balls got caught on me.”

Carlile said he has been in contact with Texas defensive backs coach Duane Akina too.

“We’ve just been talking,” he said. “I’m committed to UTEP. I just wanted to make sure with him, since I was committed, that it was fine [that we spoke].”

The 6-1, 190-pound Carlile knows he faces an uphill battle with Texas. But that’s not going to stop him from trying to climb the hill.

“I just keep pushing, keep sending stuff,” he said. “I’ve sent out thousands of things on Facebook, Twitter, mail, anything. If they like me then awesome. But I’m going to keep trying.” – William Wilkerson

RB will give Texas a chance

Ask his friends in East Texas or his fellow members in the “Fab Five,” and they’ll tell you there’s no way Ja'Mycal Hasty is going to Texas.

The 2015 Longview (Texas) running back holds offers from Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor and TCU. But not Texas.

The Longhorns already have lots of potentially elite running backs to choose from in next year’s class and have made early offers to five. So what about Hasty, the No. 188 prospect in the ESPN Junior 300 and No. 26 in the state?

We’ll know more after the 27th, when Hasty attends Texas Stampede. It’ll be the first time he’s actually visited the Longhorns.

“I have a little bit of interest in Texas, but after I go down there that’s when I’ll really decide if I like them or, you know, nah,” Hasty said. “I’m giving it a shot. I’m not ruling anyone out until I do make my decision.”

Hasty said the only time he’s been on UT’s campus was a few years ago, before his freshman year, and he wasn’t invited to any junior or sophomore days. He has never been to a home game. So you can understand why he hasn’t had much early interest.

The 5-8, 184-pound running back is ready to see what Texas has to offer on a day when the rest of the “Fab Five” is expected to also be on campus.

“I’m looking forward to it, especially with Daylon Mack and all those guys coming,” Hasty said. “I can’t wait for that. I’m not really sure what we’ll be doing that day, but I’m going to give coach [Larry] Porter a call in a few and see what he has to say.”

So what schools are in the lead for Hasty? Most assume that’s A&M, but they haven’t been recruiting him hardest this summer.

That distinction would go to Baylor and Texas Tech, thanks to the work of running back coaches Jeff Lebby and Mike Jinks, respectively.

“Those are the two that have been showing me the most interest,” Hasty said. “The coaches and their whole staff, they all showed a whole bunch of love. I mixed real good with those coaches from Tech and from Baylor. They sound excited about me, and that makes me excited about them.”

Hasty will visit Baylor on Friday and said he plans to get in touch with TCU and Texas A&M coaches soon. He still likes the Aggies some, but now that more schools are showing interest, Hasty isn’t in a hurry to make a decision. – Max Olson