Texas Longhorns: Daniel Gresham

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: Louisville’s class is in free fall after Charlie Strong’s departure for Texas, but would Bobby Petrino be able to salvage things? And, Wednesday produced a mix of both bad and good news for Strong.

Louisville’s class needs a shepherd
Being the Joneses has its perks.

But when the Joneses can’t live up to their own way of living, things can go awry very quickly.

Manny Diaz found out just how quickly Sunday afternoon when he was relieved of his duties as Texas’ defensive coordinator not even 24 hours after the Longhorns gave up a school-record 550 rushing yards and 679 total yards to BYU in an embarrassing 40-21 loss in Provo, Utah.

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Every Wednesday, HornsNation will take a look at Texas' week in recruiting in Tales From The Road.

This week’s targets: The Longhorns coaching staff spent plenty of time out in California last week with a particular interest in the crop of 2015 quarterbacks the state is producing. Texas co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite stopped by to see touted pro-style passer Ricky Town (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure), who is planning to visit Texas from June 11-13. He also visited with Kyle Kearns (Pleasanton, Calif./Foothill), Josh Rosen (Beliflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), Kevin Dillman (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada) and Jake Browning (Folsom, Calif./Folsom). Texas also stopped by Fort Bend Travis to watch Texas A&M commitment Nick Harvey.


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AUSTIN, Texas -- Think back to national signing day in February.

As top recruits across the state sat down to sign their letters of intent and secure their futures, Daniel Gresham was sitting in a hallway outside his coach’s office at Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints.


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RB Gresham decommits from Texas

May, 11, 2013
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Two weeks after Demetrius Knox decommitted from Texas, his friend and teammate has followed suit.

Four-star running back Daniel Gresham (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints) has decommitted from Texas. He’d been committed to the Longhorns since August. Gresham confirmed his decision in a text message.

"It just wasn't the right fit for me," Gresham said. "I have many reasons [for decommitting], but I don't want to get into it."

Daniel Gresham
Max Olson/ESPN.comDaniel Gresham is rated the No. 2 fullback in the nation and the No. 30 prospect in the state of Texas.
Gresham, who’d long been considered a package deal with Knox, didn’t decommit simply because the All Saints four-star offensive lineman did. He was unhappy that Texas is working to land a third running back for its top-ranked 2014 recruiting class.

The Longhorns recently offered scholarship to ESPN 150 running back Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom), four-star back Adam Choice (Thomasville, Ga./Thomas County) and Plano (Texas) West standout Auston Anderson.

Texas already has a longtime verbal pledge from Donald Catalon, the Houston Eisenhower back who was one of the first members of the class.

Gresham, the nation’s No. 2 fullback prospect, told HornsNation as recently as last week that he was still solid with Texas.

When he committed to Texas on Aug. 7, Gresham held only one offer. Since then, he’s landed offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida State, Louisville, Miami, Ole Miss, Ohio State and several others.

Ole Miss and Louisville appear to be the early favorites to land him, and Gresham said Florida State, Alabama, Tennessee and Miami are all on his short list now.

The 5-foot-10, 236-pound prospect was recruited to play a variety of roles in the Texas offense -- not just fullback. He’s seeking a school that will give him a chance to be a featured running back.

The loss of Gresham leaves Texas with 13 commits for its 2014 class.
AUSTIN, Texas -- If all goes according to Texas’ plan in 2014, running backs Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron will both return for their senior seasons and Johnathan Gray will be back for his junior campaign.

That’s a lot of ifs, though, which can doom a coaching staff if there isn't a sound backup plan.

The Longhorns have made significant strides toward establishing that plan with commitments from running backs Duke Catalon (Houston/Eisenhower) and Daniel Gresham (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints) in the Class of 2014.


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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 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:

  • Georgia DE intrigued by Longhorns
  • Gresham still solid
  • Checking in on Heard
  • Gators commitment will visit Texas
  • Decision coming soon for brothers
  • 2016 ATH big fan of Texas
  • Lynch a 2015 QB to watch


Read The Heard after the jump.


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OL Demetrius Knox decommits from Texas

April, 22, 2013
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Texas’s No. 1 ranked recruiting class suffered a blow on Monday when Demetrius Knox decided to decommit from the Longhorns.

The Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints offensive guard had been committed to Texas since November but took unofficial visits to Oklahoma and Ohio State this spring. All Saints teammate and Texas commit Daniel Gresham confirmed Knox’s decision.

The news of Knox’s decommitment is hardly a surprise considering how his recruitment has played out since that Nov. 26 pledge. Though Knox considered himself one of the leaders of the Longhorns’ 2014 class, the Columbus, Ohio, native had expressed interest in taking visits to out-of-state schools on multiple occasions this spring.

The biggest reason for Knox’s decision to pick Texas was the fact Gresham was also committed to the Longhorns. The two plan to play together in college, and at the time of his commitment last August, Texas was the only school to offer Gresham.

Knox, a 6-foot-4, 296-pound lineman, said in an interview a month ago that he was still solid with UT and had developed a great relationship with the coaching staff. Still, he knew the fan base was beginning to expect that he could back out of his pledge.

“Everybody feels threatened that they're going to have another big-name decommit,” Knox said at the time. “That's understandable. But if I was going to do it, I would've done it by now."

Before committing, Knox also considered Ohio State, TCU and Alabama. He's also shown some interest in visiting UCLA and other schools on the West and East Coast.

Despite Knox’s decision and the fact they’re a package deal, Gresham said he has not decommitted from Texas.

“With all due respect, I’m my own person,” he said. “Demetrius felt like it was the best choice for him.”
The Nike Football Training Camp series will continue outside of Dallas on Sunday. Athletes will trek to Allen, Texas, the home of one of the most impressive high school stadiums in the country. Allen Eagles Stadium, a $60-million facility, opened last year and featured nearly 22,000 fans watching Texas powers Allen and Southlake Carroll clash.

Here are five storylines to watch on Sunday.

Talented DBs aplenty

It’s been said on multiple occasions that the 2014 class may be one of the strongest in years at producing big-time defensive backs in the region. The battle for defensive back MVP has the potential of being extremely competitive with players such as Laurence Jones (Monroe, La./Neville), Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron), Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen), Steven Parker (Jenks, Okla./Jenks) and Arrion Springs (San Antonio/Roosevelt) expected to be in attendance. Chris Hardeman (Houston/Alief Taylor) has committed to LSU, while Dylan Sumner-Gardner (Mesquite, Texas/West Mesquite) and Armani Watts (Forney, Texas/North Forney) have pledged to Texas A&M. Deionte Thompson (Orange, Texas/West Orange-Stark), a 2015 prospect, has verbally committed to Alabama. All of the DBs will have their shots in one-on-one drills against equally talented ESPN Watch List receivers such as Malachi Dupre (River Ridge, La./John Curtis), K.D. Cannon (Mount Pleasant, Texas/Mount Pleasant) and Texas commit Lorenzo Joe (Abilene, Texas/Cooper).


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AUSTIN, Texas -- The leaders of Texas’ 2014 recruiting class are a determined group. When they put a fellow recruit in their crosshairs, he’s in for a whole lot of love and attention.

For months now, Jamal Adams has been the target. The ESPN Watch List safety from Lewisville (Texas) Hebron is still constantly hearing from UT commits Jerrod Heard, Lorenzo Joe, Demetrius Knox and Daniel Gresham.


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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 Thursday.

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

A few of the notes in today's 2014-heavy edition of The Heard:

  • Spring game comes at right time
  • Gators commitment will visit Texas
  • ESPN 100 G talks official visit
  • Visit an important one for Alaka
  • Louisiana DT making trip to Austin
  • Louisiana DT likes Longhorns
  • UT commit unwavered by OU offer
  • DB Johnson back for spring game

Read The Heard after the jump.


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Gresham sends message with Texas visit 

February, 25, 2013
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Daniel Gresham knew the best way to dispel a belief wasn’t his words. It took actions.

That, in a nutshell, is why the Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints running back woke up early on Saturday morning, boarded a plane at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and made a surprise appearance at Texas’ second junior day.


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Texas poised to take big 2014 class 

February, 14, 2013
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AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas A&M was the talk of the state in 2013 with its 32-man recruiting class. Don’t be shocked if Texas comes close to those numbers with its 2014 class.

As always, it’s a matter of math. Texas, by rule, can sign no more than 50 recruits in any two-year period. The Longhorns inked 15 this year, so 35 is the absolute maximum for 2014.

Texas isn’t going for 35 this year. Its 2013 team will feature 15 seniors if Jordan Hicks is granted his medical redshirt. A full class of 25 signees is likely. But don’t rule out the possibility of 30.


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videoAUSTIN, Texas -- In the wake of five deommitments in the class of 2013, with one coming so close to signing day, Texas coach Mack Brown sent a with-us-or-against-us message to recruits.

He will also send the same message to the parents at Sunday's junior day.

[+] EnlargeMack Brown
Fred Brooks/Icon SMITexas coach Mack Brown doesn't want commits to visit other schools anymore.
"We're going to explain the rules to the families very carefully," Brown said. "I know that we're going to ask the families not to commit to us if there's any chance that they might want to go somewhere else and visit because we think it's not best for them, it's not best for us."

Those Texas recruiting rules, which were suspended for a few years, have also been explained to the coaching staff.

"What I've talked to our coaches about is you have to do a better job of making sure you trust the parents and that you don't talk one into coming," Brown said. "If he decides to come now, if you get a commitment, it better be because he's wanting to come, not because you recruited him and talked him into it."

That doesn’t mean there will not be exceptions.

"For me to sit here and say in every case it's going to happen while I'm coaching in the future, you lock me into it, you say, 'He lied,' I'm not going to do that," Brown said.

But, by and large, in the future, if a player is committed to Texas, the Longhorns staff will advise that player if he starts looking elsewhere, Texas will do the same.

"If you start looking, to me you're looking for something different than you've got," Brown said. "I'm going to look for something different than I've got."

Texas already has seven commitments for its junior class. Two of those, teammates Demetrius Knox and Daniel Gresham (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints), attended other schools' junior days last weekend (Knox went to OU while Gresham went to Ole Miss). Both remain committed to Texas.

To further avoid situations, Brown has made more of an effort to be a part of the recruiting scene. He has already visited most of the high school programs where Texas has a 2014 prospect.

"I like to go to the school, see the coach." Brown said. "The other thing is that if you get a commitment, you'd like for the high school coach to help you keep it. We're going to make sure the high school coach buys into the commitment as well. I need to see those guys, shake their hand, tell them we're not backing out on kids."

That is as long as the recruit does not step out on Texas.
FORT WORTH, Texas -- When Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints teammates Daniel Gresham and Demetrius Knox snuck off to junior days last weekend, they didn’t mean any harm.

Gresham went to Ole Miss because All Saints lineman Markham Parkune wanted a buddy to come with him to Oxford. Knox visited Oklahoma with two teammates simply to get out of the house for the weekend.

Lorenzo Joe
Max Olson/ESPN.comAthlete Lorenzo Joe was Texas' first commit for the Class of 2014.
The Texas 2014 pledge didn’t take those trips to scare Texas fans and raise questions about their level of commitment. They’re kids. Kids like going out of town.

“The thing is, growing up as a child loving college football, it’s always been a childhood dream to take my five officials and go out and see the colleges,” Gresham said. “Even if I don’t plan on going there, I want to see them.”

That’s the kind of issue Texas signed up to deal with when its coaching staff broke from tradition and began accepting commitments from juniors last August.

Texas goes into its first junior day on Sunday with seven verbal commits already on board. The Longhorns are about to find out that having those early 2014 commits is a serious game-changer, in ways both good and bad.

The good: Texas will have seven young salesmen embedded in its group of visiting recruits this weekend. Along with Knox and Gresham, expect Denton (Texas) Guyer quarterback Jerrod Heard to be a vocal presence. Texas coaches expect him to be a leader for this class, and it’s possible Heard will attend both junior days this month.

“It’s going to be fun,” said Lorenzo Joe, Texas’ first 2014 commit. “We’ve all got another year, but after that year it’ll be pretty cool to see us all in burnt orange and playing together. We’re all excited.”

The Abilene (Texas) Cooper receiver knows it’s not his job to be this year’s Jake Raulerson. He’s glad he’s one of many guys who are passionate about the Longhorns and motivated to make the class even better.

From a numbers standpoint, getting seven commitments early lays a major foundation. Texas has locked up a future quarterback, two running backs and two receivers. It’s a strong start.

But none of them are truly locked up, and that’s what brings us to the tough part of taking junior commitments.

By accepting these commitments, Texas entered into a non-binding agreement that has to endure a long, long time.

“Some of these kids we're going to have to keep a year and a half,” Texas coach Mack Brown said Wednesday. “If one of them backs out on you in December, it really hurts you.”

That’s why Brown doesn’t want his commits taking visits elsewhere anymore. He gave Knox and Gresham permission to take their trips last weekend, but don’t expect him to do so going forward.

Gresham said he’s completely OK with that and understands Brown’s stance.

“I have to be careful. I’m not going to take any more visits,” he said. “I know A'Shawn [Robinson] made it kind of uneasy and kind of ruined it for us.”

He’s not wrong. Texas let A'Shawn Robinson take three official visits elsewhere, and the ESPN 150 defensive tackle said all the right things -- that Texas was still No. 1 -- throughout. Then he decommitted the weekend before signing day, leaving the Longhorns with no options to replace him.

Decommitments are commonplace now. Commit to Texas and you’re practically guaranteed to get more offers and interest from other schools.

Gresham has to think for a moment when asked if he’s confident all seven of Texas’ early commits will sign with the school next February.

“I do feel like guys will decommit,” he said. “I also feel like a lot of guys won’t want to commit so early. They’ll start to kind of look out. I feel like commits will start to talk to other coaches also.


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