NCF On The Trail: Connor Lanfear

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There are those who believe the rivalry between Texas and Texas A&M is dead because the two programs are no longer in the same conference.

[+] EnlargeKendall Sheffield
Sam Khan Jr./ESPNTexas and Texas A&M are both after Kendall Sheffield, the No. 2 CB in the nation.
Those people are misguided. And emphatically incorrect.

Two words in February by new Texas head coach Charlie Strong helped light a new spark in the rivalry between two of the most respected programs in the Lone Star State. When asked about A&M’s recruiting methods -- which includes coach Kevin Sumlin making player visits in a helicopter dubbed the “Swagcopter” -- Strong said the Longhorns didn’t need to be a “gadget program,” as the university and its prestige still was enough to attract recruits.

The rest of the spring and the upcoming summer will be perfect opportunities to gauge where both programs stand among some of the elite athletes who are still uncommitted. Which school will dominate in recruiting the 2015 class?

Texas A&M's recent recruiting momentum received another positive bump on Friday night when the Aggies landed a 2015 prospect who was committed to a rival.

The Aggies scored a commitment from 2015 offensive tackle Connor Lanfear, previously a Texas commitment, on Friday. The 6-foot-6, 270-pound junior from Buda (Texas) Hays Consolidated was making an unofficial visit to College Station.

[+] EnlargeConnor Lanfear
Max Olson/ESPNJunior offensive lineman Connor Lanfear was all about Texas last summer, but he committed to Texas A&M on Friday.
Lanfear, who committed to Texas on June 9, 2013 to the Longhorns' previous coaching staff, made his second unofficial visit to Aggieland in as many months. He was at the Aggies' first junior day on Jan. 26 and returned Friday for the first day of Texas A&M spring football practice.

The three-star prospect, who also had offers from Florida State, Oklahoma, Baylor and Miami, is the ninth commitment in Texas A&M's 2015 class.

"A&M really fits my personality," Lanfear said. "I mean, they have horses 500 yards from Kyle Field. That’s me. I grew up in the middle of a pasture. A&M is country and folks are up front and friendly out there."

Lanfear is the third player this year who committed to Texas A&M after being previously committed to Texas. In January, senior outside linebacker and ESPN 300 prospect Otaro Alaka and senior defensive tackle Zaycoven Henderson both flipped from Texas to Texas A&M. Henderson enrolled in classes at Texas A&M in mid-January and Alaka signed a letter of intent with the Aggies on Feb. 5.

The Aggies now have two offensive tackles in their 2015 recruiting class. Lanfear joins ESPN Junior 300 prospect Trevor Elbert. Lanfear said the Aggies' membership in the SEC was a big factor in his decision.

"Texas A&M being in the SEC -- that’s a very big pull to me," Lanfear said. "It’s playing against the best of the best. I heard something like more than half the players that declared early for the draft came out of the SEC. That’s a large pull for me."
Texas takes its first big step toward building up its 2015 recruiting class under new coach Charlie Strong on Saturday, with the Longhorns’ first junior day of the year.

The Longhorns are reportedly bringing in as many as 70 prospects for unofficial campus visits this weekend, including six committed prospects and more than a dozen ranked in the ESPN 300.


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Three-star 2015 offensive tackle Connor Lanfear (Buda, Texas/Hays) caught many by surprise on Sunday with his decision to attend the first junior day at Texas A&M. He was rewarded for that move with a scholarship offer. So what's next?


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Texas recruits react to Mack Brown news 

December, 14, 2013
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The inevitable is now a reality. At the start of 2014, Mack Brown will no longer be the head coach of the Texas Longhorns.

After a week of drama within the Forty Acres that would make some soap operas jealous, one of college football's most interesting stories was stamped with an ending. Texas announced Saturday that Brown will resign following the Longhorns game against Oregon in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30. Per the Longhorn Network, Brown already has informed the team of his incoming resignation.

For college football recruits, Brown's news means a completely new era of Texas football. Many of the prospects committed to Brown's program were mere toddlers when he left North Carolina to take over at Texas in 1998. The majority of 2014 commits were born in 1995 or 1996.

What will Brown's departure mean? For some of the 23 commits, consider it a wait-and-see process. For most of them, consider it a new chapter -- one they're looking forward to.

One thing's for certain: The recruits were big fans of Brown not only as a coach but as a person.


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RecruitingNation released its first ever ESPN junior 300 in mid-July, and a slew of already committed prospects have put six programs off to an electric start in the 2015 recruiting cycle. With the college season just days away, here are the fast starters with future commitments on the horizon.


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AUSTIN, Texas -- They didn’t make kids like this back in 1970.

The offensive line that anchored Texas’ third national championship in eight years featured a pair of two-time All-Americans: The 6-foot-4, 233-pound Jerry Sisemore and 6-foot-3, 235-pound Bobby Wuensch.

They were the stars of a Texas offensive line that averaged 6-foot-1 and 219 pounds.

Today, mammoth 300-pounders rule up front, and the 6-1, 220 guys are linebackers and defensive ends. The evolution of the offensive lineman is impossible to ignore.

Texas’ 2005 title team averaged 6-5 and 314 pounds, with nine offensive linemen checking in at 300-plus. The 2013 Longhorns could have as many as 15.

Now imagine having to find those big men as 15- and 16-year-olds, before they’ve even reached their junior year of high school, and trying to determine how and when they’ll grow, how they eat, how big they’ll get and, of course, how well they actually play football.

That’s the unenviable task facing Texas offensive line coach Stacy Searles these days, but he’s thriving.

Texas already has landed commitments from three linemen in the 2015 ESPN 300: Keller (Texas) guard Maea Teuhema (No. 31 in the ESPN 300), Sherman (Texas) guard Aaron Garza (No. 203) and Buda (Texas) Hays tackle Connor Lanfear (No. 292). They’re three of the top six linemen in Texas in 2015, and the No. 2 ranked in-state lineman, Patrick Vahe (Euless, Texas/Trinity), also could commit this summer.

They might be only high school juniors (well, not even that yet), but the Texas commits know there’s a lot more to the number 300 than most people assume.

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AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas offensive line coach Stacy Searels, the Odd Job of assistants, went all day without throwing his ball cap through the air of the practice field during Texas’ summer camp.

But that didn’t stop 2015 recruit Connor Lanfear (Buda, Texas/Hays) from taking his cap and throwing it right into the Texas ring. The offensive lineman became the third Longhorns commit on what was an active day for 2015 recruits.

[+] EnlargeLanfear
Max Olson/ESPNClass of 2015 offensive tackle Connor Lanfear called his Texas offer a "dream come true."
"It’s a dream come true and I just feel so incredibly blessed," said the 6-foot-6, 270-pound Lanfear.

Probably for Texas as well which, under Searels, has continued its impressive run of commitments along the line. That run includes three ESPN 150 members, another with 50 offers and a juco star who should start for Texas this fall.

The Longhorns already have the No. 2 center in the country, Terrell Cuney (Jasper, Texas/Jasper), committed for 2014 and now have a trio of quarterback protectors in 2015.

They include Aaron Garza (Sherman, Texas/Sherman), Texas’ first commitment in 2015, and Maea Teuhema (Keller, Texas/Keller), who will be in the running for the state’s top player as a senior.

For Lanfear, who received his first letter 10 months ago from Oklahoma State and was receiving interest from Oregon, TCU and had camped at Texas A&M, the commitment came down to the school and Searels.

"I can’t think of any other better coaching that I’ve received," he said.

Lanfear also understands that his commitment is the start, not the end, as it pertains to become a better player.

"There is a lot of talent out there and no matter how good you are there is always gong to be someone out there that can challenge you and compete with you and beat you so you have to keep working to get better yourself," he said.

Now Lanfear has aligned himself with what is shaping up to be one of the better offensive line classes in 2015.

Houston SPARQ All-Combine team

February, 26, 2013
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SHENANDOAH, Texas -- Over 1,430 athletes gathered on Feb. 23 at Woodforest Bank Stadium for the Houston stop of the Nike Football SPARQ Combine tour. Here is a look at the 25 standout performers who make up the Houston All-Combine team.

Note: Selections are based upon combine performance as well as past and projected on-field performance. Athletes must have completed two of the four combine tests to be eligible for selection. Athletes are in the Class of 2014 unless otherwise noted.

OFFENSE

QB: Michael Haywood, 5-foot-11, 178 pounds, Houston Westside
Results: 4.73 40-yard dash, 4.47 shuttle, 33-foot power ball, 30.9-inch vertical jump, 76.23 SPARQ
Breakdown: Accounted for 31 TDs to earn District 20-5A Co-MVP honors as a junior.

RB: Rodney Anderson (2015), 6-0 , 196, Katy (Texas) High
Results: 4.63 40, 4.13 shuttle, 35.5’ PB, 36.9” VJ, 109.29 SPARQ
Breakdown: Star junior-to-be scored 26 times for the state champion Tigers last season.

[+] EnlargeVic Enwere
Sam Khan Jr./ESPNSugar Land (Texas) Ft. Bend Austin RB Vic Enwere had a big day at the Houston SPARQ Combine, posting a 120.51 SPARQ Rating.
RB: Vic Enwere, 6-0 , 210, Sugar Land (Texas) Ft. Bend Austin
Results: 4.61 40, 4.31 shuttle, 38’ PB, 41.0” VJ, 120.51 SPARQ
Breakdown: Enwere rushed for 1,208 yards and 16 TDs in the fall. SMU, Rice, Colorado and Utah have offered.

RB: Forrest Town, 5-11, 187, Zachary (La.) High
Results: 4.55 40, 4.28 shuttle, 37’ PB, 40.0” VJ, 113.28 SPARQ
Breakdown: Ran for 945 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior.

WR: Morie Evans (2015), 5-11, 180, Huntsville (Texas) High
Results: 4.58 40, 4.34 shuttle, 34’ PB, 32.7” VJ, 90.96 SPARQ
Breakdown: TCU already has offered this speedy rising junior.

WR: Gabe Fuselier, 5-10, 175, New Iberia (La.) Catholic
Results: 4.45 40, 4.03 shuttle, 35’ PB, 34.9” VJ, 113.28 SPARQ
Breakdown: Repeat selection from New Orleans event upped his SPARQ Rating 12 points.

WR: Bobby Hartzog, 5-10 , 178, Houston Westside
Results: 4.49 40, 4.22 shuttle, 37’ PB, 37.4” VJ, 110.91 SPARQ
Breakdown: Caught 35 passes for 654 yards and nine scores to earn all-district in the fall.

TE: Dimitri Flowers, 6-2, 214, San Antonio Churchill
Results: 4.83 40, 4.59 shuttle, 40’ PB, 32.4” VJ, 92.49 SPARQ
Breakdown: Son of former NFL DL Erik Flowers scored 16 times as a junior.

OL: Ashmeed Ahamad, 6-1, 262, Deer Park (Texas) High
Results: 4.80 40, 4.75 shuttle, 32.5' PB, 23.3" VJ, 71.61 SPARQ
Breakdown: Will spend this summer looking to build off a strong 2012 season in which he was an All-District 21-5A selection.

OL: Robert Castaneda, 6-4.5, 304, Round Rock (Texas) High
Results: 5.38 40, 4.78 Shuttle, 41.0' PB, 25.2" VJ, 91.14 SPARQ
Breakdown: Came out of nowhere to post the highest SPARQ Rating for an OL thus far in 2013.

OL: Connor Lanfear (2015), 6-5, 261, Buda (Texas) Hays
Results: 5.54 40, 4.84 Shuttle, 35.0' PB, 31.4" VJ, 74.88 SPARQ
Breakdown: Sophomore starter for the 10-2 Rebels should be a major prospect in the Class of 2015.

OL: Toby Weathersby (2015), 6-4, 280, Houston Westfield
Results: 5.54 40, 5.15 Shuttle, 42.0' PB, 20.2" VJ, 71.52 SPARQ
Breakdown: Posted the top power ball toss of the day. Expected to be a big contributor next year for the Mustangs.

ATH: DeUnte Chatman (2015), 5-11 , 210, Houston Summer Creek
Results: 4.55 40, 4.47 shuttle, 37.5’ PB, 35.2” VJ, 104.61 SPARQ
Breakdown: Versatile H-back/tight end should be big weapon for Summer Creek next fall.

ATH: Reggie Turner, 5-7 , 151, Pasadena (Texas) Memorial
Results: 4.71 40, 4.09 shuttle, 36’ PB, 32.4” VJ, 92.22 SPARQ
Breakdown: Versatile threat was District 22-5A Co-MVP last fall, scoring 19 touchdowns.

DEFENSE

DL: Zach Vaughan, 6-4, 218, Austin (Texas) McNeil
Results: 4.79 40, 4.19 shuttle, 41’ PB, 32.6” VJ, 112.56 SPARQ
Breakdown: Colorado, Texas Tech, Houston and Rice are among Vaughan’s early offers.

DL: Justin Hollins, 6-5, 205, Arlington (Texas) Grace Prep Academy
Results: 4.67 40, 4.38 Shuttle, 36.0' PB, 33.9" VJ, 96.42 SPARQ
Breakdown: One of the more impressive physical prospects to come through the Houston event.

LB: Arthur McGinnis (2015), 6-2, 204, New Orleans Warren Easton
Results: 4.66 40, 4.44 shuttle, 36’ PB, 32.3” VJ, 92.04 SPARQ
Breakdown: Louisiana rising junior turned in his second strong Nike combine this offseason.

LB: Tobenna Okeke, 6-2, 186, Missouri City (Texas) Elkins
Results: 4.68 40, 4.37 shuttle, 38’ PB, 35.1” VJ, 98.82 SPARQ
Breakdown: Athletic linebacker was an All-District 23-5A pick in the fall.

LB: Micah Thomas, 6-0, 244, Cedar Park (Texas) Vista Ridge
Results: 4.96 40, 4.57 shuttle, 35’ PB, 34.3” VJ, 90.66 SPARQ
Breakdown: Big ‘backer had six sacks and four forced fumbles to earn all-area honors in 2012.

DB: Andrew Aneke, 5-11 , 177, Missouri City (Texas) Elkins
Results: 4.66 40, 4.26 shuttle, 38’ PB, 37.4” VJ, 104.73 SPARQ
Breakdown: Track standout showed up big time Saturday.

DB: Craig McWilliams, 5-11, 172, Pflugerville (Texas) High
Results: 4.58 40, 4.12 shuttle, 39.5’ PB, 37.2” VJ, 114.42 SPARQ
Breakdown: McWilliams put himself on the map with day’s second-best SPARQ Rating.

DB: Trai Mosley, 5-8, 163, Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson
Results: 4.63 40, 4.30 shuttle, 38’ PB, 36.6” VJ, 100.62
Breakdown: Physical corner totaled 34 tackles and three interceptions as a junior.

DB: Arrion Springs, 5-11, 185, San Antonio (Texas) Roosevelt
Results: 4.46 40, 4.12 shuttle, 33.5’ PB, 34.0” VJ, 107.07 SPARQ
Breakdown: Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Baylor and Vanderbilt are among Springs’ early offers.

DB: Marlon Walls, 5-9 , 182, Pearland (Texas) High
Results: 4.64 40, 4.09 shuttle, 34’ PB, 34.4” VJ, 100.95 SPARQ
Breakdown: Safety/outside linebacker earned second-team all-district in the fall.

DB: Jordan Washington, 5-11, 186, Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson
Results: 4.73 40, 4.22 shuttle, 39’ PB, 38.3” VJ, 108.72 SPARQ
Breakdown: Washington raised his SPARQ Rating 26 points from a year ago.

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