Texas Longhorns: Reggie Wilson

As we close in on national signing day, it’s an appropriate time to look back at how the top Big 12 recruits from four years ago performed.

2010 was a banner year for the Big 12 in recruiting, as the league collectively landed 23 from the ESPN 150.

A few, such as Jackson Jeffcoat, Ahmad Dixon and Shaun Lewis, became stars. Others washed out before their careers ever got off the ground.

[+] EnlargeSterling Shepard and Jackson Jeffcoat
Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY SportsFormer five-star prospect Jackson Jeffcoat finished his career as the best defensive end in the Big 12.
Below is a closer look at what happened to ESPN 150 players who signed with Big 12 schools:

No. 2: Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas – Though he never reached a high level of team success, Jeffcoat had a great individual end to his career, earning Big 12 co-Defensive Player of the Year honors and leading the league with 13 sacks.

No. 4: Jordan Hicks, LB, Texas – Hicks has been good when he has played. Because of multiple injuries, that hasn’t been often. Hicks missed most of last season with a torn Achilles, just a year after also being knocked out with a hip flexor injury. After getting a medical redshirt from his 2012 season, Hicks has one more year of eligibility remaining.

No. 13: Mike Davis, WR, Texas – Davis finished in the Big 12’s top 10 in receiving the last two seasons, compiling 200 career catches and 18 touchdown receptions.

No. 14: Taylor Bible, DT, Texas – Bible never played a down at Texas, leaving after his redshirt freshman season because of issues with grades. Bible ended up at Carson-Newman.

No. 15: Ahmad Dixon, S, Baylor – Dixon had a tremendous tenure with his hometown school, earning All-Big 12 and All-American honors as a senior as Baylor captured its first Big 12 title in 2013.

No. 18: Demarco Cobbs, ATH, Texas – The Tulsa, Okla., native has appeared in 29 games on special teams and as a defensive reserve. He missed all of the 2013 season with a knee injury.

No. 20: Darius White, WR, Texas – After making just six catches his first two seasons, White transferred to Missouri. He caught just seven passes this season for the Tigers, but has another year of eligibility left.

No. 21: Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma – In his first season, Jefferson was the Big 12 co-Defensive Freshman of the year, and he was a three-year starter before leaving early to go pro.

No. 46: Ashton Dorsey, DT, Texas – After serving as a reserve throughout his career, Dorsey was projected to start this season, but he transferred out days before Texas’ season opener.

No. 48: Austin Haywood, TE, Oklahoma – After getting playing time as a third tight end early in his career, Haywood unexpectedly quit in the middle of the season, tried to earn his way back on the team, failed and ended up transferring to Central Arkansas. After getting suspended there, Haywood gave up football.

No. 62: Corey Nelson, LB, Oklahoma – Nelson shined early this season after finally getting a chance to be a full-time starter. That, however, was short-lived, as Nelson tore his pectoral muscle in an early October win over TCU and sat out the rest of his final season.

No. 65: Blake Bell, QB, Oklahoma – The “Belldozer” starred his first two seasons as a situational, short-yardage QB. But in the preseason, Bell was beaten out by Trevor Knight for the starting job. Bell, however, still had his moments this season because of injuries to Knight. He led OU to a win at Notre Dame, then quarterbacked OU’s game-winning touchdown drive at Oklahoma State.

No. 72: Reggie Wilson, DE, Texas – He appeared in 51 games as a defensive reserve. Wilson had 19 tackles and a sack as a senior.

No. 73: Chris Jones, WR, Texas – Jones transferred out after one year, and never played.

No. 75: Shaun Lewis, LB, Oklahoma State – Lewis made an immediate impact, earning Big 12 co-Defensive Freshman of the Year honors along with Tony Jefferson. Lewis was a four-year starter and a big piece in Oklahoma State’s defensive turnaround this season.

[+] EnlargeBrennan Clay
Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY SportsFormer ESPN 150 recruit Brennan Clay was a solid, not spectacular, tailback for the Sooners.
No. 77: Quentin Hayes, S, Oklahoma – After serving a year-long suspension, Hayes returned to win a starting job this past season. He has another year left.

No. 86: Tevin Jackson, LB, Texas – Jackson has been a backup linebacker for the Longhorns and will be part of the team’s great depth there in 2014.

No. 103: Adrian White, CB, Texas – Played in 17 games, then joined the mass transfer exodus from this Texas class.

No. 109: Ivan McCartney, WR, West Virginia – McCartney never became a No. 1 receiver, though he did contribute on West Virginia’s explosive offenses in 2011-12. He only had 12 catches this past season as a senior, however.

No. 114: Aaron Benson, LB, Texas – The cousin of former Texas running back great Cedric Benson has only been a contributor on special teams.

No. 122: Carrington Byndom, S, Texas – One of the few players from this Texas class to pan out. Byndom made 39 career starts and was a second-team All-Big 12 selection this past season.

No. 129: Brennan Clay, RB, Oklahoma – Clay proved to be a reliable and steady force in the OU backfield. He finished his career with 1,913 rushing yards, including 957 in 2013.

No. 134: Adrian Philips, ATH, Texas – Phillips settled in the Texas secondary, collecting 28 career starts there. He was second on the team this past season with 82 tackles.

No. 141: Trey Hopkins, OG, Texas – Hopkins became a stalwart up front, making 42 career starts along the offensive line. He was a two-time, second-team All-Big 12 selection.

No. 142: Justin McCay, ATH, Oklahoma – McCay transferred to Kansas after two years in Norman. He had nine receptions and a touchdown, which also was the first scoring catch by a Kansas wide receiver in almost two full seasons.
During the summer, HornsNation will analyze each of the scholarship players on the Texas roster -- excluding the Longhorns' 2013 recruiting class -- in our Burnt Orange Breakdown series. Starting with No. 1 Mike Davis, we will go through the roster numerically, finishing with No. 99 Desmond Jackson.

No. 92 Reggie Wilson
Senior defensive end

During the summer, HornsNation will analyze each of the scholarship players on the Texas roster -- excluding the Longhorns' 2013 recruiting class -- in our Burnt Orange Breakdown series. Starting with No. 1 Mike Davis, we will go through the roster numerically, finishing with No. 99 Desmond Jackson.

No. 88 Cedric Reed
Junior defensive end

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AUSTIN, Texas – Texas has 19 starters returning, a two-deep no longer as shallow as the Pedernales River, a coach who has been pointing to this year during the tumult of the last two and a team that's been as high as No. 4 in some of the preseason rankings.

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Question of the Week: Let's talk trades 

May, 9, 2013
Free agency might be a long way off from never in college football -- at least as far as players are concerned. Coaches, they come and go. Players stick.

But now the time has come to change all that, if only for a day and if only for the purposes of this week’s question of the week. With that in mind and those rules set, here then is the aforementioned question: If you, as Texas’ general manager, could trade for one player within the Big 12, who would it be? And who would you give up for that player?

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AUSTIN, Texas -- The benchmark for elite Texas recruiting classes is and might always be 2002.

The consensus No. 1 class in the nation featured a kid from Houston named Vincent Young plus 10 others who would go on to start in Texas’ 2006 Rose Bowl national title win over USC.

Since then, coach Mack Brown has signed five more classes that earned top-three rankings from ESPN. His 2014 class, currently the nation’s best and biggest, has a chance to join that impressive company.

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AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas has 19 starters back from last season.

But when Texas gets back to work, all might not be in the same positions. Therein lies the luxury of having so many starters as well as having played 34 freshmen and sophomores over the past two years. It allows for versatility. Some mixing and matching if you will.

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Big shoes to fill: Texas Longhorns

February, 21, 2013
We're moving on with a new series today looking at the players across the Big 12 who have to replace program legends. We might as well call this the Nick Florence Memorial team, but let's talk Texas Longhorns.

Big shoes to fill: Texas' defensive ends

Texas isn't replacing much next season; the Longhorns bring back 19 starters to lead the Big 12 and tie for the national lead. That's got to bring a smile to Mack Brown's face, but the departing Alex Okafor leaves behind a big hole at defensive end following a season with 16.5 tackles for loss and a Big 12-leading 12.5 sacks. Jackson Jeffcoat has the opposite end spot locked down, of course, but filling Okafor's role will get really interesting this spring. Senior Reggie Wilson contributed each of the past three seasons, made a start in 2012 and may step into that role, but junior Cedric Reed started the last six games of the year without Jeffcoat and had 4.5 tackles for loss in the final five games of the season. It seems like he might be the safer bet, but sophomore Torshiro Davis could be a dark horse after burning his redshirt year following Jeffcoat's injury. The Longhorns need production opposite Jeffcoat and have a few solid options to do it, so even with Okafor's absence, Texas has reason to feel solid about this spot heading into the 2013 season.

More big shoes to fill:

Five Texas redshirt freshmen to watch 

February, 21, 2013
No member of Texas’ 28-man recruiting class in 2012 expected anything less than early playing time when he joined the program, especially after the Longhorns had seemingly thrown every freshman they had on the field the previous season.

You already know plenty about Johnathan Gray, Malcom Brown, Daje Johnson and Texas' other high-impact freshmen. But what about the ones who sat out last season?

For 12 of those 28 signees, getting onto the field in year one just wasn’t in the cards. After spending the fall on the practice field, in the weight room and home in their dorms for road games, those dozen recruits are ready to start making a name for themselves.

It all starts with a breakthrough spring. Last year, tight end M.J. McFarland was really the only redshirt freshman who saw meaningful playing time for the Longhorns. What does 2013 have in store for this year’s crop of second-year freshmen?

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Position breakdown: Defensive end 

February, 18, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas -- It was with a furious burst at the end of the year -- nine sacks against Oregon State -- that Texas finished just barely inside the top 20 in sacks.

Now while that last game was impressive, the overall production of the defensive ends mirrored the theme of the entire defense in 2012 -- hit or miss.

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Every Friday, HornsNation recruiting writers William Wilkerson and Max Olson answer a question about the Longhorns.

This week’s question: Which position is Texas’ biggest need for its 2014 class?

William Wilkerson: This comes down to a few positions for me.

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Texas poised to take big 2014 class 

February, 14, 2013
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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Recruting misses: 2012 

February, 1, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas – In 2012 Texas was the program stealing away with last-second recruits.

Dalton Santos was swayed from Tennessee. Daje Johnson was snatched from TCU. Shiro Davis spirited over the border from LSU.

The first two in that trio have already paid dividends for Texas. Santos became a special teams standout and emergency linebacker. Johnson proved to have the ability to break a game open when given that opportunity. Even Davis entered the fray a time or two as a backup defensive end.

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Every Friday, HornsNation recruiting writers William Wilkerson and Max Olson will answer a question about the Longhorns.

This week's question: Where should Texas commit Jake Raulerson start his Longhorns career?

[+] EnlargeJake Raulerson
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comJake Raulerson has the frame and the motor to excel at both offensive tackle and defensive end.
William Wilkerson: Jake Raulerson graduated from Celina High School on Thursday and will arrive in Austin within the first two weeks of January. When he gets to Texas, as he told me last week, don’t expect him to make many friends.

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AUSTIN, Texas -- With everybody taking a collective exhale from a season gone, well, nowhere, the time has come for the young players to start to inhale as much knowledge, time and wisdom as possible.

[+] EnlargePeter Jinkens
WD/Icon SMIFreshman linebacker Peter Jinkens had 15 tackles for the Longhorns in the last three games.
Texas’ first set of 15 spring practices -- given the 80 degree temps in Austin, the slightly skewed labeling is more than apropos -- has arrived. So at least there is something to warm this winter of discontent. There are also plenty of someones poised to benefit from the 15 extra practices awarded as part of reaching a bowl.

This is the time for the young players to step up, take notice and make themselves noticed. Given that Texas played 16 true freshmen this year and 18 last year, there is not too much youth left to be discovered. But as Texas remains at eight wins and holding, there is plenty of room for improvement from that youth.

This is, after all, the same time period a year ago in which David Ash converted himself from a liability into a strikingly average quarterback in the Holiday Bowl. His transformation, though possibly underwhelming to those who had not witnessed where he had come from and what he achieved, earned him the bowl game MVP and the edge in the 2012 quarterback derby. Ash, who regressed with three turnovers and a benching in his last start, is back in the same spot again this year.

For now it is time to look at three players who could benefit the most and rise the highest as Texas prepares for Oregon State in the Dec. 29 Valero Alamo Bowl.

Peter Jinkens, linebacker, freshman

Sure he starts and he will continue to be a starter in the Alamo Bowl. But while the freshman has added some pop, speed and exuberance to a defense severely lacking in bellicosity at times, he is far from perfect.

But Jinkens, along with linebacker Tevin Jackson, have brought a dimension to the linebackers that was lacking in several games following the injury to Jordan Hicks. Both fly to the ball and appeared to be heavily invested emotionally in the results of their play. This is a defense that is searching for some sort of spark, and Jinkens appears to have the makeup and game to provide that.

Now, Jinkens must gather the instruction and confidence necessary to be an impact player in the bowl game and beyond. Right now he does not know where he is going at all times. It’s more "see ball, hit ball," as defensive coordinator Manny Diaz likes to say. While that works, it will not consistently work and could get Jinkens in trouble on misdirections, etc. And a player who consistently runs the wrong way will not get many teammates to follow him.

Jinkens does appear to have the makings of a leader and now is the time he starts his campaign toward that goal.

Shiro Davis, defensive end, freshman

When Jackson Jeffcoat went down the thought was Davis’ playing time would spike. His redshirt was pulled and everyone was ready for the defensive end to use his speed to get to the quarterback. It didn’t happen because Davis wasn't ready.

He had spent most of the season buried deep on the depth chart, not getting any significant practice reps. So to throw him in midseason and expect him to swim past the tackles of the Big 12 was a big -- and unrealistic -- ask.
Davis’ role might not increase too much in the bowl game. Alex Okafor will be healed form the ankle injury, and Reggie Wilson and Cedric Reed have also played well.

So for Davis, these practices become an essential time for him to show what abilities he does bring to the field, because the evaluations for next season have already begun. If Davis can prove that he has an extra gear it will allow the coaches to know they have four reliable defensive ends returning next season and they can plan accordingly.

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Texas Longhorns Show Out On Pro Day
The Texas Longhorns produced several eligible NFL Draft athletes who participated in Pro Day Tuesday afternoon in Austin, Texas.