Texas Longhorns: Vonn Bell

#BlueChipBattles: Dec. 21

December, 22, 2012
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Dee Liner, Reuben Foster, Tray MatthewsESPN.comReuben Foster (center) is torn between good friends Dee Liner (left) and Tray Matthews (right).

No. 1 ILB Reuben Foster has voiced his desire to play with at least one of his SEC-bound friends next season. But will he follow Tray Matthews to Georgia or hook up with Dee Liner wherever the ESPN 150 DL settles? It remains to be seen, but the mystery surrounding his recruitment keeps Foster at the top of our #BlueChipBattles.

Each week, RecruitingNation summons its writers from around the country to compile a list of the top 10 battles for elite football recruits leading up to February's signing day.

Here are this week's top battles Insider, and you can take a shot at ranking the top 10 recruiting battles on SportsNation.
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.
Rossville, Ga. -- Less than three miles from the Tennessee border, coaches from Auburn and Tennessee watch as defensive back Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland) makes it look easy against his teammates during the school’s spring scrimmage. Three carries result in three spectacular touchdown plays for the 6-foot, 185-pound ESPN 150 athlete, who would also make his presence known on defense with a couple bone-jarring hits before letting the backups take over.

For Bell, who is coming off an All-State season in which he made 180 tackles, five interceptions, three forced fumbles and three recoveries for touchdowns on defense, as well as 37 rushes for 280 yards and five touchdowns, 31 catches for 487 yards and six touchdowns on offense, it was just another day at the office.

More than 15 programs made the trip in the last month to Rossville to evaluate Bell, who has done his best to return the favor, making trips to Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Texas and Vanderbilt this year. It is all part of a process that Bell and his parents take seriously.

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ESPN 150 Defensive backs update

April, 30, 2012
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video

ESPN's RecruitingNation scouts take a look at some of the undecided ESPN 150 defensive backs. On the list are four Texas targets in Vonn Bell, Marcell Harris, Maurice Smith and Antwuan Davis.

Here's what they had to say about Harris:

Recruiting update: Most believe that Harris is down to Texas, Florida and FSU with Ohio State still in the picture. Harris' dad, Mike Harris, was a defensive back for the Gators in the 1990s, however, Texas has been recruiting Harris for over a year and many feel the Longhorns are the team to beat.


To get the updates on the rest of the prospects, read the full story Insider.

Craig Haubert breaks down the ESPN 150 safeties Video.

AUSTIN, Texas -- Heath Hohmann was Texas’ most productive running back of the Orange-White game, and all of the defensive back targets that came to watch left without an offer (with the exception of Vonn Bell, who already had one).

That’s not exactly how most would have thought the script would have played out.

It seemed like a no-brainer that one cornerback from a stellar group of attendees would get an offer. But Cole Luke (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton), who came to the game with his relative, former Dallas Cowboy Darren Woodson, Maurice Smith (Sugar Land, Texas/Dulles) and Antwuan Davis (Bastrop, Texas/Bastrop) all left empty-handed.

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Spring game visitor update 

April, 1, 2012
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We spoke with several Texas' Orange-White spring game visitors this morning, and here's a few updates to start off your day.

" Defensive end Torrodney Prevot (Houston/Alief Taylor) will not make it to Austin today. He attended LSU's spring game yesterday afternoon and said the trip wore him out. His teammates, 2014 corner Chris Hardeman and receiver Keenen Brown, are still planning to make it to Texas' spring game.

" Cornerback Maurice Smith (Sugar Land, Texas/Dulles) said his LSU visit yesterday was one of the best he's ever taken, and he's on his way to Texas right now. UT coaches would really help their chances if they give him an offer today -- he's long been a Texas lean despite not having one.

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Forum poll: Most-wanted recruit 

March, 29, 2012
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We know Texas has only a few spots left for 2013 recruits. So we want to know which recruit you want the most.

If you were a Texas coach, who would you pick. Head over to The Tower forum and make your choice.

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Three Deep: DB recruiting methods 

March, 29, 2012
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1. Mystery revealed?: Texas’ plan for recruiting defensive backs has been mysterious and certainly different. No in-state defensives backs have received offers, while Texas has focused on a handful of out-of-state and nationally recruited targets. This is a right turn from the Longhorns’ normal procedure of own the Lone Star State. Well, some of the plan might be coming to a head at the spring game.

ESPNU 150 Watch List DB Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland) as is Arizona prospect Cole Luke. Also attending will be Maurice Smith (Sugar Land, Texas/Dulles) and Antwuan Davis (Bastrop, Texas/Bastrop). They’re regarded as two of the top defensive backs in Texas. So one philosophy will meet the other on Sunday. Mack Brown has stated that he wants recruits who want to be at Texas. Smith and Davis certainly fit the bill, yet neither has an offer. What is defensive backs’ coach Duane Akina’ end game for these recruits? We’ll see.

2. Baseball tops UTPA: Texas baseball picked up another win by downing UT-Pan American 9-5 Wednesday. The Longhorns jumped out to a 4-0 lead before UTPA rallied back to grab a 5-4 lead in the top of the third. However, the Broncos would not score again and Hoby Milner would take over in relief and pitch six scoreless innings. Jonathan Walsh led the way at the plate with a 3-for-4 night that included a 3-run home run and a 2-run double. Jordan Etier and Alex Silver each went 2-for-4.

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ESPNU Watch List safety Vonn Bell has become one of the nation’s hottest commodities since Georgia offered him his first scholarship in January.

“Everything has been blowing up since,” he said. “I had a good year last year and play in one of the toughest states in the country. There is some good competition out there and I stepped my game up to a different level, and proved that I could play anywhere in the country.”

Bell recorded 180 tackles and six interceptions last season, and Texas took notice by offering him a scholarship last week. The 6-foot, 190-pound Bell had never spoken to any member of Texas’ coaching staff before Feb. 23, but they liked him enough to offer him that day.

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AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas' second junior day on Saturday came and went like the first two weeks ago: without a commitment. But Sunday was a completely different story with three prospects giving their verbal pledges to the Longhorns.

Linebacker Deounderi Davis (Cypress, Texas/Cypress Woods) got the day started with a commitment early Sunday morning. Wide receiver Jacorey Warrick (Houston/Cypress Falls) and defensive end Daeshon Hall (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster) joined Davis later in the day.

With that, here are a few things to take away from the weekend:

Hold judgment

The days of Texas locking up 10 commitments on a given junior day are gone. But how about one?

[+] EnlargeDeoundrei Davis and his mother
Courtesy Davis FamilyDeoundrei Davis could be the only linebacker Texas takes for the class of 2013.
Those days don’t appear to be here either. Rest assure, Longhorns fans, Mack Brown and Co. have everything under control. They officially offered four players on Sunday and three of those committed. Texas has nine commitments so far and could very easily add a couple more by weeks end.

Getting defensive ... backs?
Duane Akina and the Longhorns are still trying to figure out who to offer as defensive backs in this class. Several were brought in over the weekend, including Chevoski Collins (Livingston, Texas/Livingston), Colin Janice (Orange, Texas/West Orange-Stark), Kameron Miles (Mesquite, Texas/West Mesquite), Maurice Smith (Sugar Land, Texas/Dulles) and Antwaun Davis (Bastrop, Texas/Bastrop). But no one was offered.

It appears that Collins is on the verge of receiving one. There was plenty of confusion late Saturday as to whether or not one actually had been extended. Randy Rowe, Collins’ coach, told HornsNation that Collins was offered on Saturday. But that has not been able to be confirmed.

Smith and Davis are considered to be the top two cornerbacks in the state, but they woke up this morning still waiting for their offer.

On Thursday, Texas offered Georgia safety prospect Vonn Bell, who spent five years of his youth in Dallas and still has family in the state. The Longhorns have also offered Florida safety prospect Marcell Harris.

Recruiting athleticism
One trend that has already been established in 2013 is that the Longhorns appear to be going after the most athletic players on their board. Of the nine commitments, five of them could easily play a different position than what they are being recruited as.

Jake Raulerson (Celina, Texas/Celina) is being brought in as a defensive end but he could also see time as tight end and could transition over as an offensive linemen if need be.


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It's safe to say that ESPNU Watch List member Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland) can play a little ball.

The 6-foot, 190-pound safety had never spoken to any member of Texas' coaching staff before today, but by 8:30 p.m. he had an offer.

"I called them eariler today and they said they were very interested," Bell said. "I wasn't sure if I had been offered the first time I spoke with them so I called them back and I asked if I had been offered and [defensive backs] coach [Duane] Akina said that I answered my own question."

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