Texas Longhorns: Kevin Shorter

AUSTIN, Texas -- Charlie Strong's first freshman class at Texas is still missing three players.

While the rest of Texas' incoming freshmen enrolled at the start of June, running backs D'Onta Foreman and Kevin Shorter and defensive tackle Poona Ford have yet to join the program.

Ford, a defensive tackle from Hilton Head, South Carolina, is set to enroll for Texas' second summer session, according to Hilton Head coach B.J. Payne. Those classes begin July 14, and Payne said Ford is "all good" with his academics for qualifying.

There is greater concern about the status of the running back signees. Houston Eisenhower back Donald Catalon is already enrolled and on campus, but Foreman and Shorter both have work to do to get to Austin.

Shorter said he needs to take a TAKS standardized test and complete some online coursework before he can join the program. He was told he must to report to the team by Aug. 27.

"I have a few things to take care of then I'll be on my way," Shorter said.

The running back from Newton, Texas, suffered a bruised spinal cord in October that ended his senior season and put his playing career in jeopardy. Whenever he does join the program, Shorter will have to go through testing with UT doctors to determine if he'll be cleared to play again in 2014 and beyond.

There's more progress but less optimism in the case of Foreman, the Texas City, Texas, standout whose twin brother, Armanti Foreman, has already begun classes at UT.

Foreman is still waiting for a ruling from the NCAA clearinghouse, according to Texas City assistant coach Chase Fickessen. Foreman has submitted his paperwork and is hoping to hear back on qualifying before the July 14 session begins. If he does enroll in the summer, he'd likely need to take several summer classes at UT to maintain his eligibility.

If Foreman does not qualify, Texas would place him at a junior college this fall with the intention of eventually re-signing him.

Losing Foreman and Shorter would be a tough blow for Texas' depth at running back behind the veteran trio of Malcolm Brown, Johnathan Gray and Joe Bergeron. Their top backups would presumably be Jalen Overstreet, who converted from quarterback to running back a year ago, and Catalon. Texas has already landed three verbal commitments from running backs for its 2015 recruiting class.

Incoming impact countdown: No. 19-23

February, 17, 2014
Feb 17
9:00
AM ET
Now that they’ve signed their letters of intent, Texas’ incoming recruits can officially toss their stars in the trash. They don’t matter now.

While such ratings and rankings are helpful throughout the recruiting process, they mean nothing once a player sets foot on campus and joins the program. Gold stars won’t decide who gets to play as a freshman. Preparation, fit, need, raw talent, confidence, some good fortune -- a whole lot of real stuff matters now.

In 2013, only three Texas true freshmen -- Kent Perkins, Tyrone Swoopes and Jacorey Warrick -- and two junior college transfers played in a signing class of 15. Which members of this next class have a chance to help out the Longhorns from Day 1?

This week we’re breaking down the Texas signees by their ability to make an early impact during their time on the 40 Acres, counting down from No. 23 to No. 1.

23. RB Kevin Shorter
Newton (Texas) | 6-foot, 190 pounds

2013: 630 rushing yards, 9 rushing TDs, 11 receptions, 224 receiving yards, 4 receiving TDs

Shorter knows playing in 2014 is not likely because of the spinal cord injury he suffered in October. If he’s going to don the burnt orange in his time in Austin, Shorter could need a procedure and will need the approval of UT doctors. He’s facing a long road to recovery but hopes a college career is at the end of the road.

When healthy, Shorter was one of East Texas’ most dynamic athletes, capable of changing games as a rusher, receiver and defensive back. He was all over the place in Newton’s Wing-T offense and could touch the ball in a variety of ways in a college offense if cleared to play again.

D'Onta Foreman
Max Olson/ESPNThree-star signee D'Onta Foreman has the frame to be a physical running back or a linebacker.
22. OT Elijah Rodriguez
Houston Cypress Creek | 6-6, 280

A last-second January find by the new coaching staff, Rodriguez was set to sign with Colorado but couldn’t turn down becoming a Longhorn and following in his grandfather’s footsteps. He had a dozen offers but remained a sleeper prospect throughout the past year.

Rodriguez already has said he’ll likely take a redshirt in 2014, but he’s excited about the prospect of devoting a year to his development. Texas loses three starting offensive linemen but has plenty of talent in the cupboard. Rodriguez’s talents probably won’t be needed this fall, but he has the right mentality going in and could be a guy that surprises in this class down the road.

21. RB D'Onta Foreman
Texas City | 6-2, 217

2013: 2,102 rushing yards, 31 rushing TDs, 22 tackles, 12 TFLs, 5 sacks, 1 interception

Where does he fit in best on a college field? That’s a question that has to intrigue the new Texas coaching staff. Foreman was an underrated commit last summer who runs a legit 4.4, a power back who also busted a 99-yard touchdown run as a senior. His stats in his final year at Texas City made Texas look awful smart for offering.

While Texas could need some help in the backfield, especially if Johnathan Gray is slow to get back to the lineup, Foreman just might be a linebacker, too. He’s certainly got the size and frame to develop toward that role. For now, he should just focus on getting qualified and getting to Austin.

20. S Jason Hall
South Grand Prairie | 6-2, 190

2013: 57 tackles, 6 interceptions, 6 pass breakups, 2 touchdowns

It’s hard to peg whether Hall is underrated or properly rated on this list, because it’s obvious Texas has some real needs at safety for 2014 and beyond. But Hall has been underestimated throughout his high school days, and he’ll arrive in the summer with every intention of contributing early.

He brings nice size to the safety spot and has dedicated a lot of time to working with DB coaches and raising his game. Hall’s game might blossom with a redshirt year, especially in the weight room, but don’t count him out for immediate playing time just yet.

19. DT Jake McMillon
Abilene | 6-3, 245

2013: 43 tackles, 4 TFLs, 1 sack, 3 pass breakups

It wouldn't be shocking at all if McMillon works his way up this list in the summer, because his reputation for hard work at Abilene was impeccable. He’s an interesting kind of tweener along the defensive line -- Texas coaches considered him a defensive tackle in camp last summer -- but one who brings a lot to the table.

No matter where new defensive line coach Chris Rumph puts McMillon, there’s going to be a need for depth throughout the Texas line in 2014. His best bet for the future is probably to bulk up toward a spot up the middle, but he is versatile and will agree to whatever is required to chip in for the Longhorns early in his career.

Texas coaches back on the road recruiting 

January, 16, 2014
Jan 16
1:00
PM ET
The dead period is over and it’s time to hit the road. Charlie Strong has his new coaching staff in place and is ready to get back to work on closing out Texas’ recruiting class.

The Longhorns currently have 21 committed prospects, though several are looking to take official visits elsewhere this month. There are big-time recruits still available. And don’t forget the new names who are sure to pop up on Texas’ radar in the next few weeks.

Here’s a rundown of where things stand and what names you should know entering the end of the dead period.

Solid commitments

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: The Red River Rivalry always has recruiting implications, and this year’s game is no exception; Texas’ loss could end up being Arkansas’ gain; and one of the nation’s best offensive tackles will take trips to Florida and Florida State.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

OU-Texas: 2014 recruiting tale of the tape 

October, 10, 2013
10/10/13
12:06
PM ET
When the Red River Rivalry is played, records are thrown out the window. When the game’s over, some love looking into the future to play “what if” with the next batch of talented college players.

While both teams have some room to land uncommitted recruits, both are pretty happy with where they are currently. Texas has 24 commits, and Oklahoma has 14, and when comparing ESPN 300 athletes, Texas only has a 7-5 lead.

Which team has the Red River Rivalry recruiting edge this year? Here’s a breakdown of eight positions and which team holds the edge for now.

Quarterback

Perhaps the most competitive comparison between the schools is at quarterback. ESPN 300s Justice Hansen (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) and Jerrod Heard (Denton, Texas/Guyer) are the nation’s No. 4 and No. 5 dual-threat quarterbacks. Hansen is the Sooners’ top-ranked commit and has proven himself a first-class leader of the class. Heard already has one state championship ring, and he’s hoping for a repeat performance in December before arriving at the Forty Acres.

Advantage: Oklahoma

Dallis Todd
Erik McKinney/ESPNOklahoma will get 6-foot-5 playmaker Daliis Todd in its 2014 class.
Running back

There are high expectations for both ESPN 300 Samaje Perine (Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson) and Donald "Duke" Catalon (Houston/Eisenhower). Perine is a physical specimen with the combination of power and finesse at 6-foot and 213 pounds. Catalon, at 5-10 and 193 pounds, has the agility and overall balance to make him a potential every-down back. Texas also has three-star Kevin Shorter (Newton, Texas/Newton), a player who plays with a chip on his shoulder, looking to show that he should be mentioned with the elite talent.

Advantage: Texas

Wide receiver

Neither Texas nor Oklahoma will be complaining about their receiver crop. The Longhorns have an ESPN 300 player in Armanti Foreman (Texas City, Texas/Texas City), a rising star in Emanuel Porter (Dallas/Lincoln) and a player in Garrett Gray (Marble Falls, Texas/Marble Falls) who caught 13 passes for 293 yards and five touchdowns in a game last year. Oklahoma has size and athleticism in 6-5, 210-pound ESPN 300 receiver Dallis Todd (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada) and a 6-7, 180-pound end zone threat in Jeffery Mead (Tulsa, Okla/Union)

Advantage: Texas

Tight end

Oklahoma has done well with recruiting tight ends and was able to land ESPN 300 players Carson Meier (Tulsa, Okla./Union) and Mark Andrews (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain). Meier is the No. 5 Y-tight end in the country, while Andrews is the No. 8 H-tight end. Texas also has a good one in junior college pledge John Thomas (Bossier City, La./Trinity Valley Community College). At 6-6 and 255 pounds, Thomas can be used as both a reliable blocker and receiver.

Advantage: Oklahoma

Offensive line

It’s hard to believe that between the two schools, only three offensive linemen are committed.

Sooners commit Alex Dalton (Troy, Ohio/Troy) is considered one of the nation’s top centers, and guard Jonathan Alvarez (Mesquite, Texas/Horn), with his work ethic alone, will surprise a lot of people in a couple of years. Texas, like Oklahoma, has a four-star center committed in Terrell Cuney (Jasper, Texas/Jasper). Cuney is a player who might see immediate playing time as a freshman.

Advantage: Texas

Defensive line


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Best Big 12 classes by position 

September, 10, 2013
9/10/13
8:00
AM ET


There is still plenty of work for every Big 12 program to do before the completion of the 2014 recruiting cycle. But one can begin to at least paint an outline for how each class is going to look come February.

Here is a look at which Big 12 teams have the best 2014 recruiting class at each position.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Stat check: Longhorns 2014 commitments 

September, 2, 2013
9/02/13
10:00
AM ET
Here is a look at how each one of Texas’ 2014 commitments faired this week:

Derick Roberson
Max Olson/ESPNDefensive end Derick Roberson helped Brennan shut out San Antonio Holmes 52-0 on Friday.
• ESPN 300 defensive end Derick Roberson (San Antonio, Texas/Brennan), the No. 8 DE in the country, helped Brennan shut out San Antonio Holmes 52-0 on Friday.

• ESPN 300 wide receiver Armanti Foreman (Texas City, Texas/Texas City) caught three passes for 62 yards and a 44-yard touchdown in a 48-0 win over Dickinson.

• ESPN 300 quarterback Jerrod Heard (Denton, Texas/Guyer) completed 12 of 18 passes for 179 yards and two interceptions and rushed 18 times for 103 yards in a 38-28 loss to Cedar Hill (Texas).

• ESPN 300 cornerback Jermaine Roberts (New Orleans/Saint Augustine) helped the Purple Knights defense hold Amite to six points in a 35-6 victory on Saturday.

• ESPN 300 outside linebacker Otaro Alaka and Houston/Cypress Falls lost to Conroe (Texas) Oak Ridge, 37-16.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Texas adds three-star ATH Shorter 

August, 17, 2013
8/17/13
12:45
PM ET
The options were plentiful for three-star athlete Kevin Shorter (Newton, Texas/Newton). But in the end, he decided that his best bet was heading to the Forty Acres.

The 6-foot, 188-pound prospect from Southeast Texas announced on Saturday that he was staying in-state and gave his commitment to Texas. Shorter posted the news on his Twitter page on Saturday afternoon.

"I've made my mind up that ill be going to UT #HookEm," Shorter tweeted.

Newton head coach W.T. Johnston confirmed the commitment in a text message.

Shorter, the nation's 61st-ranked athlete, had 25 offers to choose from and had a final three of Arkansas, Texas and Texas A&M. He visited all three campuses within the last six weeks and originally planned to decide Aug. 3, but postponed his decision in order to take a couple more visits.

Some believed Arkansas might have the inside track on Shorter. His cousin, D.J. Dean, is a freshman cornerback at Arkansas and the two were high school teammates at Newton.

Texas didn't appear to be the favorite, especially after Shorter had a positive visits at both Arkansas and Texas A&M last month. But shortly after his trip to Aggieland, he made two visits to Texas in the span of a week. He visited the Longhorns for the Texas Stampede, then made return trips to Texas on Aug. 2, a visit that appeared to seal the deal.

Texas running backs coach Larry Porter, who led the recruitment of Shorter, was upfront with Shorter about the Longhorns plan for him and how they felt about the talented athlete.

The Longhorns got into the mix in the spring and Shorter got a chance to meet with the coaching staff several times when he was in Austin for the Texas state high school track and field championships.

Texas has two running backs in its 2014 class: ESPN 300 back Donald Catalon (Houston/Eisenhower) and Texas City (Texas) High School running back D'Onta Foreman.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Big 12 recruiting mailbag

August, 9, 2013
8/09/13
10:30
AM ET
Time to open up the mailbag and answer some questions about recruiting in the Big 12.

From Judd Blevins on Twitter: Possibility of Oklahoma getting 2 more RBs in Joe Mixon and Nathan Starks are…?

William Wilkerson: Surprisingly decent. Not to say OU can’t pull two running backs of this caliber. It most certainly can. It’s just rare for two players as good as they are to end up in the same recruiting class, especially with ESPN 300 RB Samaje Perine (Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson) already on board with Bob Stoops’ program.

It’s long been thought that Mixon would stay on the west coast and play for either USC or UCLA, but that sentiment seems to have shifted and OU is a big reason why. He will officially visit the Sooners on Oct. 4.

As for Starks, it is no secret that he has long admired OU for its ability to recruit out-of-state backs but also make them into NFL talent. He currently has the Sooners in his top three along with Notre Dame and USC.

From James Robinson on Twitter: Are there any high school TEs Texas will pursue in the 2014 or 2015 classes?

WW: There are. Right now, Texas has offered ESPN 300 TE Tyler Luatua (La Mirada, CA/La Mirada) and is trying to get him on campus for a visit. The 6-foot-3, 243-pound TE is the top at his position in the country. So interest is high from everyone but he has expressed the desire to get to Austin at some point.

As for 2015, the Longhorns have offered ESPN Junior 300 TE Jordan Davis (Houston/Clear Lake). But it doesn’t look like that will lead to anything. Davis originally committed to Florida State but has since switched his verbal pledge to Texas A&M.

Texas has gone to the junior college ranks for the second year in a row to pick up a tight end. John Thomas (Trinity Valley CC), who was originally committed to LSU out of high school, gave his verbal pledge in June.

From Gold n Blue Nation on Twitter: Dravon Henry seems to be down to Penn St. and WVU with Pitt running third. What is your prediction?

WW: This could go any way at this point. I think he’ll eventually stay close to home and stick with Penn State. But that could change, especially given that the Nittany Lions already have commitments from two safeties and two cornerbacks in 2014. That’s definitely an angle that I would be selling to Henry if I were WVU’s staff, who only has one defensive back commitment in junior college cornerback Jaylon Myers. Pitt and Aliquippa have a long and prosperous history together so you can’t count out the Panthers. The key here could be where teammate Jaleel Fields lands. Pitt and WVU seem to be the front-runners for him.

From Jason Mitchum on Twitter: Do you see Peyton Newell staying in-state?

WW: I think he’ll end up with Bo Pelini. Mitchum visited the Cornhuskers on June 15 for Big Red Weekend, which really seemed to cement things in the minds of many. For what it’s worth, Kansas and Kansas State are amongst his finalists, which he will choose from at his school on Aug. 30.

From Jacob Ledo on Twitter: Update on Kevin Shorter?

WW: Things are getting really interesting here. It looked like Arkansas and Texas A&M were going to go head-to-head for his commitment, but Texas is squarely in the mix now. He’s visited the Longhorns twice within the last two weeks so there is obvious interest there. The fact that he has pushed his college decision back because he needs more time doesn’t bode well for the two original contenders. The Longhorns need another running back and are selling him on the idea of being that vertical threat out of the backfield. Larry Porter has done an incredible job with getting Texas in the mix.

Lessons Learned: Texas Stampede 

July, 28, 2013
7/28/13
9:00
AM ET
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Stampede wrapped up before dark on Saturday, leaving the Longhorns with one commitment, on the verge of another and three new players with offers to consider.

Here is a look at those players and a few other things we learned from a first-of-its-kind event for Mack Brown and his program:

Equal balance

You never know who is going to show up to events like these. Things change. Family obligations take precedence, rides can be hard to come by, etc.

The list we had confirmed of those who would be in attendance was star-studded, but so to was the list of talent that wasn't going to make it to town.

As the day unfolded, some of the players who originally said they would make it weren’t able to attend, while others that didn’t think they’d be coming actually showed up. In the end, it all seemed to balance out for Texas’ staff.

No, it didn’t get the chance to visit with Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen), who was in North Carolina competing at the Junior Olympics. But the Longhorns were able to get several hours with Daylon Mack (Gladewater, Texas/Gladewater).

No, Texas didn’t get to talk with 2015 defensive back Kris Boyd (Gilmer, Texas/Gilmer). But he’s a heavy Texas lean, anyway. Besides that, the Texas staff was able to spend time with four-star safety John Bonney (Houston/Lamar).

No, 2015 offensive lineman Trevor Elbert (Rockwall, Texas/Heath) didn’t make it down. But 2014 athlete Kevin Shorter (Newton, Texas/Newton) did, and now Texas is a serious contender for his commitment on Aug. 2, along with Arkansas and Texas A&M.

No, 2014 defensive tackle D.J. Williams (Lufkin, Texas/Lufkin) didn’t make it down. But Texas was able to get TCU safety commitment Nick Orr (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto) to town. The Longhorns didn’t offer, but they were at least able to spend some time with him in case an offer does come up down the road.

Longhorns continue to impress Ketchum


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

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 Stampede visitors list

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Tales from the Road: Texas 

May, 22, 2013
5/22/13
9:00
AM ET


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

This week’s targets: As the spring evaluation period winds down, Texas coaches are hitting the road -- both in and outside the state -- to follow up with potential targets. No new offers have gone out so far this week, but the greater goal is to get all those targets on campus June 2 and 9 for Texas’ one-day mini camps. Expect several more offers to be handed out to 2014 and 2015 prospects after those camps.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Texas impressing ATH Kevin Shorter 

May, 20, 2013
5/20/13
2:00
PM ET
AUSTIN, Texas -- There was no way Kevin Shorter was going to be a well-kept secret for long.

Especially not after the statistics the Newton (Texas) athlete put up in 2012. His monster junior season has yielded an impressive number of offers this spring. The whole thing is becoming a bit more than he could have imagined.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Tales From The Road: Texas 

May, 15, 2013
5/15/13
9:00
AM ET
Every Wednesday, HornsNation will take a look at Texas' week in recruiting in Tales From The Road.

This week’s targets: The Longhorns had the luxury of having several prospects come to them over the weekend due to the UIL State Track and Field Meet in Austin. Some of the unofficial visitors included Baylor commitment Davion Hall (Texarkana, Texas/Liberty-Eylau), Alabama commitment Deionte Thompson (Orange, Texas/West Orange Stark), K.D. Cannon (Mount Pleasant, Texas/Mount Pleasant), Jay Bradford (Splendora, Texas/Splendora), Ishmael Zamora (Alief, Texas/Elsik), Koda Martin (Manvel, Texas/Manvel), Elton Dyer (Houston/South Houston), Arrion Springs (San Antonio/Roosevelt), Blake Blackmar (Houston/Clear Lake) and Kevin Shorter (Newton, Texas/Newton).

Area of interest: The Longhorns are using Stacy Searels’ connections as the Georgia Bulldogs' former offensive line coach to make some headway in the Peach State. In 2014 alone, Texas has offered Georgian’s Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, GA./Norcross), Andrew Williams (McDonough, GA/Eagles Landing Christian Academy) Elisha Shaw (Tucker, GA/Tucker), Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, GA/Liberty County) Orlando Brown Jr. (Duluth, GA/Peachtree Ridge), Nick Chubb (Cedartown, GA/Cedartown), Adam Choice (Thomasville, GA/Thomas County Central High) and Demarre Kitt (Tyrone, GA/Sandy Creek).

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas might not be the sexiest football program in the state right now, but Longhorns coach Mack Brown is making up for that with smarts.

The Longhorns showed off their savvy once again this weekend by turning the state track meet into a sneaky-big recruiting weekend.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

SPONSORED HEADLINES

College Football Minute
South Carolina's big win, a mixed day for L.A., and upsets at the top of the ACC. It's all ahead in the "College Football Minute."
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

BIG 12 SCOREBOARD