Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Summer Recruit Wrap: Texas
By William Wilkerson
Here is a look at five things we’ve learned about Longhorns recruiting this summer.
1. Suddes making big impact
Patrick Suddes, Texas’ Director of Player Personnel, could go down as one of coach Mack Brown’s best hires in his time at UT. All Suddes has done since coming on board in March is help make smart, innovative decisions that have helped the Longhorns appeal to recruits despite not winning like they’re used to on the field.
Texas has started out quickly for its 2015 recruiting class with ESPN Junior 300 OT Maea Teuhema leading the way.
He played a big role in getting Brown to open up Texas’ camps to the media, which had never happened before. He’s helped formulate the plan for this weekend’s Texas Stampede, which is expected to bring dozens of recruits to Austin for another sophomore/junior day experience.
Suddes has helped orchestrate plenty of unofficial visits for recruits during the Texas Relays/spring game and the Texas State Track and Field Championships. He also played a big role in making the Longhorns’ first-ever sophomore day a huge success.
2. Texas needs to win
Going 22-16 the past three seasons has made things a little bit more difficult for the Longhorns on the recruiting front. Recruits look at Texas a bit differently just because they haven’t won like they used to, and other programs that most associate with UT, namely Texas A&M, are, or at least did in 2012.
If Texas can have the type of successful season that Brown believes his program will have, the Longhorns can rectify many of those issues. Maybe then some of the bigger names in the state -- Arrion Springs (San Antonio/Roosevelt), Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron), Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell), Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen), etc. -- will decide that Texas is the place for them.
3. 2015 class could be epic for Texas
If the Longhorns do win like they believe they should in 2013, there is a very good possibility that the class they bring in for 2015 could be among the best Brown has ever had.
Texas is already off to a great start in 2015 with seven commitments, all of which are members of the ESPN Junior 300. But it could be much greater considering how many top recruits have the Longhorns high on their list.
It would help Texas’ chances of landing these recruits if it can win in 2013.
4. DBU not having success you’d expect
The state of Texas is so loaded with defensive back talent in 2014 you just knew a school that’s known as “Defensive Back University” would have no problem securing commitments from some of them right?
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Well that was the overwhelming presumption heading into this recruiting cycle. But it just hasn’t panned out that way. The Longhorns only have one commit from a DB and he’s from New Orleans (Jermaine Roberts).
Texas has missed already missed out on Springs, who committed to Oregon over Texas. Brown likes UT but is still considered an LSU lean. Adams likes Texas too but he is really feeling Florida right now as well as Ole Miss (visited there over the weekend), Texas A&M, Ohio State and UCLA. Nick Watkins (Dallas/Bishop Dunne) looks like a long shot now when the Longhorns appeared to be in pretty good shape at first.
Others such as John Bonney (Houston/Lamar), Jason Hall (Grand Prarie, Texas/South Grand Prairie), and Edwin Freeman (Arlington, Texas/Bowie) like Texas but are still mulling things over.
5. Receiver a big need in 2014
The thought was always that Texas would go heavy with wide receivers in 2014 because of what it would be losing after 2013. But no one expected the Longhorns to take six of them like they are going to.
Lorenzo Joe (Abilene, Texas/Cooper) and Roderick Bernard (Houston/Sharpstown) have been committed for months and up until June were the only two WRs on board.
That changed in the span of 17 days when four others joined them.
First it was Garrett Gray (Marble Falls, Texas/Marble Falls) on June 10. Three days later it was Dorian Leonard (Longview, Texas/Longview), who committed out of nowhere. Two days later, Emanuel Porter (Dallas/Lincoln) switched his commitment from TCU to Texas. Most recently, on June 27, Armanti Foreman (Texas City, Texas/Texas), a one-time OU pledge, chose Texas along with his brother, running back D'Onta Foreman.