Texas Longhorns: Hoza Scott

There is no telling when or whether the Longhorns and Aggies will resume their heated rivalry, for which Texas claims bragging rights, for now, with a win in the 118th meeting back in 2011.

While they might not be trading blows on the field, the battle waged on the recruiting trail is as heated as it has ever been.

Watch List LB Whitley talks junior days 

January, 30, 2013
Texas A&M has already made significant progress at the linebacker position in its 2014 recruiting class.

With commitments in hand from ESPN Watch List prospect Hoza Scott and Gilmer (Texas) High School outside linebacker Josh Walker, the Aggies got a jump start at the position.

There's another target they have their eyes on and he was on campus for the Aggies' junior day on Sunday: Houston/North Shore inside linebacker Zac Whitley.

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If the state of Texas threw a sock hop for all of its universities, the Longhorns would be the popular student with the fancy, expensive attire that purposely arrived late to garner attention.

It'd turn heads, sure, but the buzz of the dance would be about that student with the flashy makeover (Texas A&M) who brought his hoity-toity friends one can tell aren’t from these parts (the rest of the SEC).

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Roundtable: Must-get 2014 recruits 

January, 4, 2013
Every Friday, HornsNation recruiting writers William Wilkerson and Max Olson will answer a question about the Longhorns.

Jamal Adams
Damon Sayles/ESPNLewisville, Texas, safety Jamal Adams is a huge recruit for Texas in the 2014 class.
This week's question: Which 2014 recruit is a must-get for the Longhorns?

William Wilkerson: Lewisville (Texas) Hebron S Jamal Adams

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Aggies deal another blow to Texas on trail 

December, 12, 2012
Now that he’s landed Hoza Scott and Ricky Seals-Jones, Kevin Sumlin might as well finish off the week by planting a maroon flag on the top of Chase Tower.

[+] EnlargeHoza Scott
Max Olson/ESPN.comClass of 2014 linebacker Hoza Scott consistently said Texas was No. 2 on his list but the Aggies were too far out in front.
The celebration might be all too fitting. It is, after all, the tallest building in Texas and a 75-story behemoth towering over downtown Houston.

The man was introduced as Texas A&M’s new head coach exactly one year ago today, and already he has effectively declared he owns the city of Houston and its surrounding area in the recruiting game.

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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.

In this week’s addition of The Heard:

  • New safety offer talks Texas
  • Benenoch mulls offers

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Battle for 2014 LB Hoza Scott all but over 

November, 29, 2012
You’d think that when Hoza Scott's junior ends, the real fun begins.

After all, the La Porte (Texas) linebacker might be the No. 1 prospect in the state of Texas for the 2014 class. He has offers from everyone. His life should be getting much more stressful once the recruiting process starts consuming his time, right?

[+] EnlargeHoza Scott
Max Olson/ESPN.comClass of 2014 linebacker Hoza Scott has the Aggies out in front of Texas.
Wrong. The biggest and best of the recruiting battles between Texas and Texas A&M for top 2014 prospects appears to be over already.

Scott, a coveted 6-foot-3, 225-pound linebacker, has been calling the Aggies his No. 1 school all year. He’s planning to prove that soon.

“Really, honestly, my decision and my mindset is on A&M,” Scott said. “That’s where I really want to go.”

So why hasn’t Scott made it official yet and become the next blockbuster pickup of Kevin Sumlin’s second full recruiting class?

“It’s coming soon,” Scott said. “It’s going to come pretty soon.”

All Scott is waiting for -- and hoping for -- is a happy ending to his junior season. La Porte pulled off a 21-17 win over Fort Bend Bush last weekend, but the lights get much brighter now: La Porte vs. Katy at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.

“Oh man,” Scott said, “it’s going to be a big one.”

It’s moments like this that make Scott glad he has pushed recruiting off to the side lately. While this process hasn’t reached the point of being overwhelming, the flood of interest and mail won’t stop. His coaches deliver the college letters to his locker by the shoebox now, and plenty more come to his house. Opening each and every one? Not possible at this point.

“It’s like 60 or 70 a week. It’s a lot of mail, and that’s every week,” Scott said. “I’d say it comes from like 20 difference colleges. It doesn’t get tiring. It’s pretty cool. It’s motivation.”

Dealing with all that isn’t too difficult, of course, when your mind is already made up.

Scott won’t take any more visits before announcing his choice. He doesn’t anticipate anything will make his change his mind in the next few weeks.

“I’m just waiting for the season to end so I can relax and finally tell people,” Scott said. “It’s pretty much A&M, done deal.”

How Scott reached this point may be a sign of the times in the new Texas-Texas A&M recruiting rivalry. He’s only one recruit, but he’s as big of one as there is in the state. Both schools want him badly.

And both schools offer similar opportunities. Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has been selling Scott on a shot to replace Jordan Hicks when the top Longhorn linebacker moves on to the pros. Texas A&M’s pitch is even simpler: Come become the next Von Miller.

That’s a role Scott is more than comfortable with. While he’s capable of operating as a middle linebacker and could grow into a defensive end someday, he has made his hay at La Porte as an outside linebacker operating off the edge near the line of scrimmage.

When Texas coaches broke from tradition and started publicly offering juniors in August, they hoped it would help make up ground in the battle for Scott. While that move got his attention, what Texas A&M has done since August made this an easy call for Scott.

“I knew A&M was going to do good in the SEC,” he said. “Coach Sumlin, I knew he was going to be a good coach because when he was at Houston they were almost undefeated that whole season. I knew A&M had something good coming.”

The Aggies have an exciting new coach, a 10-2 record, a presumptive Heisman Trophy winner in Johnny Manziel and a boatload of momentum on the recruiting trail. They’ve blown away those prospects who took a wait-and-see approach to how A&M would fare in its new conference.

Texas, on the other hand, has ... well ... Scott has a hard time putting his finger on it.

“A&M is heading in a great direction,” Scott said. “And UT, I like them still but, I don’t know, it seems like they’re falling apart. I know they’re going to pull it together. They’re a young football team.”

That’s not to say the Longhorns are in for humbling when it comes to 2014 recruiting. Texas already has six pledges and added the state’s top offensive line prospect, Demetrius Knox, this week.

But the state’s elite recruits aren’t na´ve. There’s a lot to like about the Aggies right now. If Scott is the face and leader of their next class, blue chip talents will likely follow.

Then again, the deal isn’t official done until Scott signs his letter of intent. He’s hoping to take junior day trips to Florida and Cal this spring, even if he’s committed.

And, come fall, Scott said he’d like to take all five of his official visits. He wants to see how A&M and College Station stack up, wants to see if those trips would change his mind.

No matter when Scott commits, he concedes the recruiting game won’t fully be over. The offers and phone calls and visits will still be enticing. The shoeboxes will keep piling up.

But when it comes to Texas vs. Texas A&M, he has no doubt. Texas is a distant No. 2. Welcome to the new-look Texas recruiting war.

“They don’t play each other anymore,” Scott said, “but it’s going to be pretty big.”

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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 Longhorns 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: San Antonio Brennan vs. Cedar Park Vista Ridge

Max’s game: La Porte vs. Fort Bend Bush

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AUSTIN, Texas -- In less than four months national signing day for the class of 2013 will come and go, and the class of 2014 will take center stage in the eyes of football programs and fan bases everywhere.

This year is unique in that many of the Longhorns’ junior targets are already known. For the first time in Mack Brown’s tenure on the 40 Acres, Texas has begun offering juniors before Junior Day in February.

On Monday, we looked at seven junior offensive prospects that either already have Texas offers or could be in line for one down the road. Today, we look at seven more and then switch to offense on Wednesday and Thursday:

[+] EnlargeDerick Roberson
Max Olson/ESPN.comTexas defensive end commit Derick Roberson committed this summer.
CB Ed Paris (Mansfield, Texas/Timberview)
6-foot-2, 195 pounds | ESPN Watch List member

The Latest: Paris’ offers list is impressive as any, and he has yet to cut that list down. He told HornsNation at the Texas-Oklahoma game that he would name his top 10 sometime soon, and he expects both Red River Rivals to make the cut. LSU is thought to be the favorite because he is from Louisiana.

Offers: Baylor, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Houston, Iowa, Louisiana-Lafayette, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Purdue, SMU, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, Virginia, Washington, Washington State, West Virginia

Quotable: "No, [the outcome of the Texas-Oklahoma game] doesn't change anything.” -- Paris

DE Derick Roberson (San Antonio, Texas/Brennan)
6-foot-4, 218 pounds | ESPN Watch List member

The Latest: Roberson became one of the first members of Texas’ 2014 class when he committed on Aug. 2.

Offers: Committed to Texas.

Quotable: “They’ve been my team since I’ve been a little boy. I’ve always dreamed about playing for Texas.” -- Roberson

ILB Hoza Scott (La Porte, Texas/La Porte)
6-foot-3, 225 pounds | ESPN Watch List member

The Latest: Scott has talked openly about liking the idea of staying close to home and playing in the SEC for Texas A&M, who appears to be at the top of his list right now. He does like Texas, though, and has them slotted at No. 2 with LSU right there in the mix.

Offers: Alabama, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, UNLV, USC

Quotable: "They're still No. 2 and when I've been going there, they make me feel like that's my home already. [The offer] made me feel good because that's making me think that they really want me." -- Scott

DE Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell)
6-foot-3, 265 pounds | ESPN Watch List member

The Latest: Texas is sitting pretty with Thomas right now. He hasn’t said it publicly but the Longhorns seem to be his top school at the moment. He grew up a Texas fan, has many friends that go to UT and a former teammate on the team. Stanford and Oklahoma are in the mix as well.

Offers: Baylor, BYU, Clemson, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana-Lafayette, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Stanford, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, Virginia, West Virginia

Quotable: “I just loved how comfortable I was with the coaches. I just had a great time down there and it was a lot of fun. I spoke to Coach [Oscar] Giles, Coach [Darrell] Wyatt and Coach Brown. We just talked about keep working hard, keep playing and that they wanted me here. But right now is just not the right time to do anything. It was a lot of fun, though.” -- Thomas on meeting with Texas’ coaches after the New Mexico game.

ILB Zac Whitley (Galena Park, Texas/North Shore)
6-foot-2, 220 pounds | ESPN Watch List member

The Latest: Whitley has kept things close to the vest thus far but it’s clear that two old rivals are in hot pursuit. Texas A&M offered him first in the spring. He’s familiar with College Station having visited there since his middle school days. He attended a Texas camp this summer and is trying to make his way down for a game some time this season.

Offers: Texas, Texas A&M

Quotable: "They were great and they liked me and they liked the way I worked. Basically they were saying they liked me most because I listen out of the group that was with them. Every drill that they threw at me, I basically listened and did what they told me to do and they liked me for that. I talked to Coach Brown, I talked to Coach Giles and I talked to coach [Manny] Diaz and they said they liked the way that I listened and that's when they offered me." -- Whitley told GigEmNation

CB Nick Watkins (Dallas/Bishop Dunne)
6-foot-1, 180 pounds | ESPN Watch List member

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Five biggest visitors at RRR game 

October, 12, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas -- For the second week in a row the Longhorns will play in front of a hefty dose of recruits that they one day hope will join them on the field.

Last week, despite losing to West Virginia, Texas came away winners in the eyes of those recruits in attendance, given the atmosphere created by the largest crowd to witness a Texas home game, and also the minimal deficit by which it lost to West Virginia.

This week, with Oklahoma the designated home team, the Longhorns are going to have to rely on their play to impress the recruits since they won’t be the ones in charge of handing out tickets.

Here are a look at the top five recruits who will be in attendance that Texas needs to impress:

William Wilkerson

Nick Harvey
William Wilkerson/ESPN.comClass of 2014 defensive back Nick Harvey is a versatile player on the field.
1. DB Nick Harvey (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster): Harvey can do it all. He’s a dynamic return man, lockdown corner, with the physicality to play safety, and the hands to be a slot receiver if need be.

For as active as he is, and as high-profile as his recruitment already is, he doesn’t have much to say and is pretty low-key about the process. He just wants to help Lancaster win, which you have to admire.

That said, this gives two teams going after him the perfect opportunity to make an impression. Oklahoma can do so as the home team, which means it’ll be in charge of the recruits on Saturday. Texas will have to rely on its play to do the talking.

Harvey’s recruitment is also key because it could have an effect on where teammate Nick Alexander, a 2014 wideout, will go. He’ll be at the game too.

2. WR K.D. Cannon (Mount Pleasant, Texas/Mount Pleasant): When you list the top junior receivers in the state, at or near the top is going to be the guy they call “Juice.”

At the top of Juice’s list of favorites are Texas and Oklahoma. So what better way to separate one from the other than this week, right?

3. LB Cameron Hampton (Dallas/Carter): The Longhorns have some catching up to do with this one. Hampton told me on Tuesday that he hopes Oklahoma wins and that the Sooners are on the top of his lists.

Now, Texas does sit second. So all is not lost. But a win in that kind of environment could go a long way in closing the gap between the two rivals. Hampton said it’s not that big a gap. It could also give him more incentive to get to Austin for a game this season.

4. DB Nick Watkins (Dallas/Bishop Dunne): On the plus side for the Longhorns, they were the only school that Watkins visited over the summer. They’ve let it be known that he is a top priority in this class. But Texas is far from the only school in hot pursuit.

Watkins has told me that Texas, Alabama and Michigan are the three schools that are recruiting him the hardest. He already has seen the other two schools in action this season when they played at Cowboys Stadium. He has ties to Michigan because his father played for the Detroit Lions and he still has family in the area.

Texas has to hope that this game will serve as a reminder that there is no reason to leave the state, or go across the Red River.

5. DE Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell): The Longhorns sit in a very good position with the talented junior from the Dallas suburb. The last thing they want is for that to change and Thomas to look at Oklahoma in a more positive light.

Thomas already holds the Sooners in high regard. I’d venture to guess that they are in the mix with Stanford behind Texas at this point. Oklahoma has a chance to make up some ground since it’ll be in charge of the recruits on Saturday.

Max Olson

1. WR K.D. Cannon (Mount Pleasant, Texas/Mount Pleasant): I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if the premier junior receiver in the state of Texas ends up choosing between UT and Oklahoma when it’s all said and done. They’re the top two schools that jumped on him early in his recruitment, and they haven’t budged from the top of his list since.

Cannon already has been to two Texas games this season and is about to attend his third. As much as this is a big opportunity for Oklahoma to make an impression on him, it’s also a chance for Texas to continue to impress him with its much-improved passing attack.

2. ATH Nick Harvey (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster):

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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

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 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:

  • Four-star target warming up to offense?
  • In depth analysis on 2014 OT’s Texas visit

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

LA PORTE, Texas -- Hoza Scott took a toss to the right side, got behind several of his La Porte (Texas) La Porte teammates that were paving the way, clearing a path with their blocks, then he veered toward the sideline and turned on the jets as he burst upfield.

About 75 yards later, Scott was in the end zone. The junior inside linebacker, one of the most coveted prospects in the 2014 class, showed for a few moments on Friday in a scrimmage against Pearland (Texas) Dawson what he could do on the offensive side of the ball.

[+] EnlargeHoza Scott
Sam Khan Jr./ESPN.com2014 linebacker Hoza Scott's top three consists of Texas A&M, Texas and LSU.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound isn't La Porte's starting tailback, nor does he need to be -- senior Keith Whitely ably handles those duties and will again this fall. But the run showed a glimpse of the athleticism that has coaches at Texas, Texas A&M, LSU, Alabama and several other schools champing at the bit to recruit Scott to play linebacker for their school.

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Mack Brown finally did it. He raised his finger and -- with equal parts enthusiasm and reluctance -- pressed the big red button.

He and his Texas staff dropped a recruiting bomb on the state on Thursday. More than 20 offers went out to 2014 recruits in a sudden and startling break from the Longhorns’ recruiting tradition and philosophy.

Gone are the days of earmarking offers for February junior days, or making noncommittal promises of “approved offers.”

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Midlands Recruiting Coordinator Damon Sayles visits with LB Hoza Scott (La Porte, Texas/La Porte), one of the top players in the 2014 class.


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