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Thursday, September 12, 2013
Texas-Ole Miss: Five recruits to watch

By Damon Sayles

While the Texas A&M-Alabama game may attract the most attention around the country, the Lone Star State also will be tuned into what’s happening in Austin, Texas.

The Longhorns host Ole Miss in a game that could have major implications from a recruiting standpoint. Texas currently sits at No. 7 in the 2014 class rankings, but coming off a disappointing loss to BYU that resulted in defensive coordinator Manny Diaz losing his job to Greg Robinson, Mack Brown needs a win to regain momentum on the trail.

The Rebels, meanwhile, are one of the game's hot teams. True freshmen Robert Nkemdiche and Laquon Treadwell have made instant impacts, making Hugh Freeze's team more attractive to current recruiting targets. Texas dominated Ole Miss, 66-31, last year, so the Rebels will be looking for revenge.

Here are five players -- three 2014 recruits and two from 2015 -- who will be paying close attention to the game on Saturday.

2014 S Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron)
6-foot, 204 pounds

ESPN 300 rank: 25

Why they want him: Adams is one of the best safeties and most versatile football players in the country. Defensively, he could be a major benefit against opposing teams. He hits like a safety and covers like a cornerback.

Jamal Adams
No. 25 recruit Jamal Adams is one of the nation's top recruits still considering both Texas and Ole Miss.
Where he ends up: Florida is believed to be a leader, but if the Gators don’t win him over, look for Texas to be the next option. Adams, however, insists that Ole Miss is still very much alive in the race.

2014 OLB Victor Evans (Dallas/Skyline)
6-foot-3, 220 pounds

ESPN 300 rank: N/A

Why they want him: An Ole Miss pledge, Evans is a player who fits well in a 3-4 or a 4-3 defensive package. He can easily line up as an outside linebacker or a defensive end because of his size, speed and aggressiveness. The scary part is that Evans only is going to get better at the next level.

Where he ends up: Evans practically shocked the world by committing to Ole Miss on July 20. The majority of those following him thought he was a Texas lean. Longhorns fans believe Saturday’s game can be huge in swaying him away from Ole Miss, but Evans has said he’s solid with his pledge.

2014 DT Zaycoven Henderson (Longview, Texas/Longview)
6-foot-1, 281 pounds

ESPN 300 rank: N/A

Why they want him: Since recently decommitting from TCU, Henderson has been a recruiting topic of discussion for both the Longhorns and the Rebels. He is a roadblock for a defensive line and a problem for offensive linemen.

Where he ends up: Henderson likes TCU because of the conference, the proximity to home and the coaching staff. Texas is in the same conference and isn’t far from home. The Longhorns probably are in the lead, but Henderson has a top six of Texas, Ole Miss, TCU, Baylor, Florida and South Carolina.

2015 DT Daylon Mack (Gladewater, Texas/Gladewater)
6-foot-2, 307 pounds

ESPN Junior 300 rank: 10

Why they want him: Mack is a bull on the defensive line and uses his strength and lateral agility to frustrate offensive linemen. He possesses a desire to never get beat off the line, and he plays with a chip on his shoulder. Mack is the nation’s No. 3 defensive tackle in the 2015 class for a reason.

Where he ends up: Texas A&M has been a leader for Mack for quite some time, but LSU is just as strong a player in the race. While Ole Miss and Texas are contenders, it’ll take a lot for both schools to jump in front of the Aggies and Tigers -- but it can happen.

2015 Rawleigh Williams III (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron)
5-foot-10, 203 pounds

ESPN Junior 300 rank: n/a

Why they want him: Williams took advantage of his first offer and committed to Ole Miss on April 22. It’s his only offer for now, but the Longhorns are definitely keeping an eye on him. Williams is a powerful downhill runner who is deceptively elusive.

Where he ends up: Williams is all about loyalty, and Ole Miss taking a chance on him early meant a lot. While Texas fans most likely will try to get him to change his mind, Williams admits he’s 100 percent solid with the Rebels and is looking forward to competing in the SEC.