Texas Longhorns: Daeshon Hall

RICHMOND, Texas — The ongoing transition for ESPN 150 athlete Nick Harvey (Richmond, Texas/Travis) has been mostly positive.

After moving to the Houston-area with his family after a memorable run to the Class 4A Divison II state championship game last fall with Lancaster (Texas) High School, the spring semester has been about adjustments -- to new surroundings, new teammates, new friends, a new life.

AUSTIN, Texas -- Mack Brown refused to talk about the five recruits Texas didn't get on signing day.

But the Texas coach did have a message for players that might be interested in the Longhorns in the future.

[+] EnlargeMack Brown
Kevin Jairaj/US PresswireTexas coach Mack Brown stressed the quality of his 2013 class but was clearly disappointed in the five recruits who decommitted.
"The thing that we will do is we have allowed the kids to commit and still look around the last couple of years -- we're not doing that anymore," Brown said on Wednesday. “If you are committed to us be committed. If you're going to go look, we're going to go look."

It was a strong message and it permeated a signing day that dripped with disappointment over who Texas didn't get -- A'Shawn Robinson (Alabama), Daeshon Hall (Texas A&M), Ricky Seals-Jones (Texas A&M), Durham Smythe (Notre Dame) and Kyle Hicks (TCU) -- as much as the day was held up and celebrated for the 15 players Texas did get.

"What we found is the 15 [recruits] that we got are very passionate about being at Texas and that is what we want," Brown said. "And very honestly if a young person tells you they're coming and their parents tell you they're coming and then they don't, you wouldn't want them to be here.

"You may be disappointed on the day it happened but you want people that will look you in the eye and tell you the truth and you want people who want to be at your school.”

This signing day Texas didn't need that many people at its school. It only had room for about 16. So the search was for quality over quantity. Brown, who because of all the decommitments and misses seemingly has gone from coach February to Father Time with this class, tried to hammer that point home repeatedly.

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AUSTIN, Texas -- When the Longhorns began to recruit ESPN 300 lineman Andrew Billings (Waco, Texas/Waco) as a defensive lineman, his preferred position, rather than at offensive lineman, where they originally sought him, they seemed to have put themselves in position to garner his commitment, which he announced today.

“Oh, they probably went to third in the bunch to ... they went up from third, I’ll tell you that much,” Waco High coach Marty Herbst said a few weeks ago.

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ESPN 150 DT decommits from Texas 

February, 3, 2013
Texas' 2013 recruiting class had already suffered four decommitments. Just four days before signing day, the Longhorns suffered another one that was more stunning than the rest.

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All-America game roundup: UT commits 

January, 7, 2013
Texas was as well represented as ever in the nation’s biggest postseason all-star games this weekend. Of the Longhorns’ 13 verbal commits, nine were selected to suit up for one last game before beginning their college careers.

Seven went to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, though linebacker Deoundrei Davis didn’t play due to his torn ACL. Top-ranked commit Darius James shined at the Under Armour All-America Game in St. Petersburg, Fla., and his high school teammate Naashon Hughes went to the Semper Fidelis All-America Game in Los Angeles.

Here’s a rundown of how the future Longhorns looked in their respective games:

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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: Texas has seen Ricky Seals-Jones, Daeshon Hall, Kyle Hicks and now Durham Smythe decommit from the 2013 class. Who is the one recruit Texas can't afford to lose before signing day?

William Wilkerson: There are several choices here but I’m going with ESPN 150 DB Antwuan Davis because of Texas’ struggles recruiting the secondary in this class.

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There is never a good week to lose in the playoffs, but taking an L this weekend would really sting.

The winner of each of these games will advance to play for their respective state championships next week at Cowboys Stadium. Here are four games that Longhorns fans should keep a particular eye on.

4A Region I semifinal | Denton Guyer vs. Tyler John Tyler

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TE Durham Smythe decommits from Texas 

December, 12, 2012
Texas’ 2013 recruiting class has suffered another defection.

[+] EnlargeDurham Smythe
Miller Safrit/ESPN.comTight end Durham Smythe is the Longhorns' fourth decommitment for the Class of 2013.
Four-star tight end Durham Smythe (Belton, Texas/Belton) decommitted from the Longhorns on Tuesday. The longtime Texas commit confirmed his decision in a text message to HornsNation.

"I have nothing but respect for the coaches, commits, players and program," Smythe said, "but I had to do what I thought was right for me personally."

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We’re halfway through the Texas state high school football playoffs, three games to go until 2012 state champions are crowned.

Several Texas commitments and targets will still be playing this week in regional quarterfinal action. Here are the top five games with Longhorns interest:

[+] EnlargeJerrod Heard
William Wilkerson/ESPN.comTexas QB commit Jerrod Heard and Guyer face a tough test in Birdville this weekend.
• Denton Guyer vs. Birdville | 2 p.m. on Saturday at Southlake Carroll

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Top HS playoff games with Longhorns ties 

November, 29, 2012
The third round of the Texas state high school playoffs will kickoff this weekend and several Texas commitments and targets are still playing.

Here are five games worth keeping an eye that have to do with those players:

• DeSoto (12-0) vs. Arlington Bowie (11-1) | 2 p.m. Saturday at Pennington Field

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Top HS playoff games with Longhorns ties 

November, 20, 2012
The bi-district round of the Texas State high school football playoffs saw mixed results for Longhorns commitments.
For 2013, commitments Jake Raulerson, Jake Oliver, Erik Huhn (thoug he's not playing) are all that remain as the area round begins this week.
Class of 2014 commitments Jerrod Heard, Lorenzo Joe and Derick Roberson are still playing as well.

Here are five games that should be of particular interest to the Longhorns:

• Coppell (11-0) vs. DeSoto (11-0) | Saturday, 1 p.m. at Allen’s Eagle Stadium
[+] EnlargeLorenzo Joe
Miller Safrit/ESPN.comClass of 2014 athlete Lorenzo Joe will likely play receiver for the Longhorns.
Players of interest: Texas defensive end offer Solomon Thomas (Coppell); Texas athlete offer Dontre Wilson (DeSoto), an Oregon commitment.
How they got here: Coppell defeated Irving MacArthur 31-7; DeSoto beat Harker Heights 62-15.

Longhorns commitments Darius James and Naashon Hughes didn’t have much success slowing down Wilson and DeSoto’s freight train of offensive talent.

Wilson rushed 19 times for 99 yards and scored touchdowns of 1, 1, 1 and 4 yards against Harker Heights. He also hauled in a 48-yard touchdown pass for good measure.

Thomas will try his best to corral the Eagles as he and the Cowboys attempt to keep their state title hopes alive in honor of former teammate Jacob Logan, who passed away on Oct. 14.

• Abilene Cooper (9-2) vs. Arlington (9-2) | Friday, 2 p.m. at Arlington’s Maverick Stadium
Players of interest: Texas 2014 wide receiver commitment Lorenzo Joe (Cooper).
How they got here: Abilene Cooper defeated El Paso Americas 40-21; Arlington beat Keller Timber Creek 28-16.

Joe will spend his time in Austin as a receiver but he is getting the hang of this whole quarterback thing. He passed for 208 yards and rushed for 176 yards in the victory over Americas.

Joe is going to have to get Cooper on the board, and often, as the Colts are averaging 39 points per game this season.

• Lake Dallas (7-4) vs. Waco (8-3) | Friday, 1 p.m. at Midlothian ISD Stadium
Players of interest: Texas offensive line offer Andrew Billings (Waco).
How they got here: Lake Dallas defeated Fort Worth Boswell 20-0; Waco beat Fort Worth Wyatt 42-20.

For the second week in a row, Texas’ schedule works out perfectly for its coaches to be able to attend Billings’ playoff game. The Longhorns were off last week during Billings’ bi-district game, and will have the option of traveling north again the day after Thanksgiving.

Of course TCU’s coaches will also be able to travel to the game. Little things like this have a tendency to linger on recruit’s minds.

• Denton Guyer (9-2) vs. Aledo (10-1) | Friday, 2 p.m. at Northwest ISD Stadium
Players of interest: Texas 2014 quarterback commitment Jerrod Heard (Guyer)
How they got here: Guyer defeated Saginaw 42-14; Aledo beat Cleburne 45-7.

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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 things discussed in this week’s edition:

  • Baylor WR commitment a long shot for Texas
  • South Dallas school full of prospects

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Every week through the football season, HornsNation’s William Wilkerson and Max Olson will break down five things they learned while on the road at Texas high school football games. From the latest on Longhorn commits and offers to game observations to players who caught their attention, they've got you covered. Here’s what they saw this weekend:

William’s game: Lancaster vs. Tyler John Tyler
Max’s game: Bastrop vs. Gonzales

1. Fantastic finish in Lancaster
The Tigers felt disrespected coming in to this one. There were some out there, they said, that had them losing to Tyler (Texas) John Tyler by over 30 points on their home field. But Washington State athlete commitment DeMarcus Ayers, Washington defensive end commitment Daeshon Hall and 2014 athlete Nick Harvey, who has a Texas offer, proved doubters wrong with a thrilling 26-21 victory.

Long story short, Lancaster held that lead in the final minutes of the fourth quarter as John Tyler inched closer to the goal line. The Lions converted a fourth-and-2 with 28 seconds left inside the 15 and looked like their running back may have crossed into the endzone as time expired on the scoreboard. But one side referee marked the ball down at the inch line, which prompted Lancaster to rush the field thinking the game was over.

Nick Harvey
William Wilkerson/ESPN.comNick Harvey, a 2014 defensive back with an offer from Texas, had a strong game in the win over Tyler (Texas) John Tyler.
However, the main official cleared the field and announced that he had given John Tyler a timeout with two seconds left. Lancaster’s sideline went from overjoyed to nervous in the snap of a finger.

All John Tyler had to do was move the ball an inch forward for the game-winner but Houston-bound quarterback Greg Ward fumbled the snap in the shotgun prompting Lancaster to celebrate all over again.

– William Wilkerson

2. Davis making most of senior season
We’ll have more on Antwuan Davis on HornsNation later this week. For now, know this: He’s back.

The ESPN 150 cornerback and Texas commit did a little bit of everything for Bastrop in the Bears’ 28-27 win over Gonzales on Friday night.

Davis grabbed a critical interception in the fourth quarter, on the first play after Gonzales had recovered a Bastrop fumble. It was only the second pick he’s made since the start of his junior year, at it came at a big moment.

The 6-foot, 180-pound corner also recovered a fumble and recorded four tackles. And he got four carries for 16 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown run on a key fourth and goal.

After a back injury cost him much of his junior season, Davis says he’s 100 percent healthy and highly motivated to make the most of this year.

With all the Texas commits or target that have suffered injuries lately, though, I had to ask Davis how much he worries about his health.

He admitted he hadn’t heard about Ricky Seals-Jones, Darius James and Erik Huhn going down. Davis was a bit taken aback by the news. But he’s not going to play cautious or fearful. Not after missing so much time last season.

Every snap matters to him this year, and he’s as motivated as ever to prove he’s one of the nation’s best cornerbacks.

- Max Olson

3. Alexander goes catchless
It’s no secret to the type of talent Class of 2014 wide receiver Nick Alexander possesses. He wouldn’t have offers from the Longhorns and Sooners if his abilities as a playmaker were in doubt.

But his numbers at the end of this season might not be what you would expect from one of the best receivers in the state given Lancaster’s offensive philosophy.

The Tigers are predicated by the run, which often stems from DeMarcus Ayers’ quarterback keepers or the bruising running ways of Joseph Paden, who rushed for 125 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown.

They don’t throw the ball much at all. In fact, through two games, Lancaster has put it in the air 28 times.

Alexander didn’t catch any passes against Tyler (Texas) John Tyler and only had two receptions for 14 yards a week earlier.

There wasn’t any noticeable frustration on Alexander’s face after the game. He was as excited as anyone that Lancaster had survived a late scare from the Lions.

You just wonder if that will continue to be the case if he doesn’t get more involved as the season progresses. I expect he will. He’s too good not to become a major factor, especially if Lancaster wants to fulfill its goal of contending for a state championship.

– William Wilkerson

4. Hall a haul
You can’t help but look at the somewhat slender frame of Class of 2013 defensive end Daeshon Hall (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster) and just imagine what kind of speed-rushing demon he can become once he spends some time in a college weight room.

I say “somewhat slender frame” even though he is 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds. But if you’ve seen Hall in person you’d probably agree with me. He’s going to be a headache for years to come.

Think about this for a second: Hall isn’t from Texas. He’s from Washington. So unlike the majority of the players that grew up in the Lone Star State with a football in their crib, Hall grew up as a basketball player.

This past offseason was his first full offseason devoted to football. It was his first true summer spent in a weight room. He’s only just beginning to tap into his talents, which goes to show just how naturally gifted he is at defensive end given his performance on Friday.

Hall bullied John Tyler’s defensive line. He had at least three sacks and countless quarterback hurries. Washington is going to have to fight to keep him committed. But if it does Steve Sarkisian is going to be one happy coach.

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U-19 Team USA notes 

July, 1, 2012
Team USA knocked off American Samoa 27-6 late Saturday night for its first win of the U-19 World Championships at Burger Stadium in Austin. Here's a few notes to chew on this morning:

DeMarcus Ayers impresses

If there was any question as to whether DeMarcus Ayers (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster) should be playing receiver when he gets to college, he answered it on Saturday.

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One day after announcing his decommitment from Texas, Daeshon Hall (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster) found his way to a school a little closer to home.

Though he made a name for himself in Texas, Hall is originally from Washington, still has many friends and family members in the area and was looking for a way to get back to the Pacific Northwest. On Friday, he confirmed what many expected and announced his commitment to the Washington Huskies.

The 6-foot-6, 230-pound defensive end is another big pickup in a day full of them for head coach Steve Sarkisian’s program. Hall mentioned taking visits to other Pac-12 programs Oregon and USC, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to come home and play for the Huskies staff. Hall originally committed to Texas in February after a Longhorns junior day, but rumors of a decommitment swirled since then and the Huskies staff was able to reel him in.

Washington is recruiting Hall for football as well as basketball, but Hall has said he might want to focus solely on football at the next level. He is the first defensive end commitment for Washington’s 2013 recruiting class.

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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.