NCF On The Trail: Kent Perkins

When Texas brought in Stacy Searels after the 2010 season to overhaul its offensive line, it did so with an ideal in mind.

Searels had been coaching SEC offensive lines -- first at LSU, then Georgia -- since 2003. The assumption, fair or not, was that he’d whip the Longhorns line into shape and up to the standards of college football’s most dominant conference.

[+] EnlargeStacy Searles
John Rivera/Icon SMIOne-third of Texas' class consists of offensive linemen recruited by coach Stacy Searels.
Principles are important. Personnel matters more.

Signing day primer: Texas

January, 23, 2013
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Team needs: Texas hit the recruiting trail this year seeking improved depth on the offensive line and at linebacker. Its line got almost no production from backups in 2012, and an inexperienced linebacker group started six players last season and endured struggles throughout. With only nine seniors in 2012, the Longhorns don’t have many other holes that need to be filled by this class of recruits. The most irreplaceable cogs are safety Kenny Vaccaro and defensive end Alex Okafor. Both are potential first-round NFL draft picks whose production will be tough to match.

Help is on the way: The offensive line questions have been answered. Texas is set to sign one of the nation’s best classes up front with five commits, including No. 1 center Darius James (Killeen, Texas/Harker Heights) and No. 4 tackle Kent Perkins (Dallas/Lake Highlands). Contra Costa (Calif.) College tackle Desmond Harrison joined the class this week. Texas also landed ESPN 300 outside linebacker Deoundrei Davis (Cypress, Texas/Cypress Woods), who enrolled early and should contribute as a freshman.

Other key commits: Two more early enrollees, ESPN 150 lineman Jake Raulerson (Celina, Texas/Celina) and Butte (Calif.) College tight end Geoff Swaim, should play right away. Texas also has pledges from ESPN 150 defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson (Fort Worth, Texas/Arlington Heights), receiver Jacorey Warrick (Houston/Cypress Falls) and cornerback Antwuan Davis (Bastrop, Texas/Bastrop). The Longhorns will pair Warrick with Jake Oliver (Dallas/Jesuit), who broke the Texas state record for career receptions.

Other key targets: Holding on to Robinson is crucial. He has taken official visits to USC and Alabama and could make a late-second flip on signing day. With a pledge from Harrison, the biggest remaining priorities are finding another running back and wide receiver. ESPN 150 receiver Sebastian LaRue (Santa Monica, Calif./Santa Monica) and Ole Miss running back commit Peyton Barber (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton) could visit in January.

Texas adds juco OT Desmond Harrison

January, 21, 2013
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Texas kicked off on Monday what could be a fruitful final few weeks of 2013 recruiting by picking up its first verbal commit since October.

The Longhorns have landed pledge No. 14 from Contra Costa (Calif.) College offensive lineman Desmond Harrison.

The three-star prospect chose Texas over Arizona State, USC, Oklahoma and offers from more than 20 schools.

“This feels real good,” Harrison said. “I feel like I just made the best decision. It was a tight decision. It really boiled down to Arizona State and Texas, and they really made it difficult. It just felt like Texas was the best for me.”

Harrison had been leaning toward choosing Texas for a while, but the final decision was tougher than he’d expected.

“It was a last-minute decision,” he said. “Everything came down to the end. I was still thinking about it today."

A 6-foot-8, 310-pound lineman who is being recruited to play left tackle, Harrison took an official visit to Texas on Dec. 7 and is the program’s second junior college pledge, joining Butte (Calif.) College tight end signee Geoff Swaim.

(Read full post)

Wide receiver Jacorey Warrick made the biggest jump of any Longhorns commitment in the ESPN 150, which was updated today. Warrick, who has been out since tearing the meniscus in his right knee on Oct. 4, moved up from No. 114 to No. 59. He is now the No. 8 wide receiver.

Darius James remains the Longhorns’ top-ranked player at No. 17 overall, which also makes him the No. 1 center. Jake Raulerson dropped a spot to No. 56 and remains the No. 3 offensive tackle.

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Kent Perkins commits to Texas 

February, 27, 2012
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AUSTIN, Texas -- It was only a matter of time before ESPNU 150 Watch List member Kent Perkins (Richardson, Texas/Lake Highlands) received his offer from Texas. He just had to get to Austin.

A family emergency didn't allow that to happen during Texas' first junior day on Feb. 12, but the 6-foot-5, 295-pound offensive tackle was able to make it to the second junior day on Saturday and was offered upon arrival.

Perkins didn't waste much time pondering the offer and committed to Texas on Monday, he told HornsNation.

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Richardson (Texas) Lake Highlands coach Scott Smith didn’t want to intervene too much into Kent Perkins’ time at Texas’ junior day on Saturday.

But he did speak with his talented offensive tackle to get a feel for how things went.

[+] EnlargeKent Perkins
William Wilkerson/ESPN.comKent Perkins, a 6-foot-5 tackle, received an offer from the Longhorns at their junior day.
“I think right now he is just enjoying hanging out with his mom and grandmother,” Smith said. “He had a great time today. That was the big part of what he told me. He said, ‘Coach, it was a great time.’ He got to meet all of the guys, got to meet with Mack [Brown.] He got to see the campus in a different light today. It sounded like he had a great time, and those were the words he used, which makes it even better.”

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