Shaka Smart started recruiting for UT before his first flight landed in Austin. The Longhorns’ new head coach got a boost when Isaiah Taylor announced that he will return to Texas for his junior season. With the buzz of Taylor’s announcement and Smart’s early recruiting effort, Texas is in solid position to establish a presence on the recruiting landscape.

2016 Departures by position:
Demarcus Holland, Javan Felix
Forward: Connor Lammert
Center: Prince Ibeh, Cameron Ridley

Shaka Smart's first recruiting class could have as many as six signees. Below is a forecast of Locks, Probables, Long shots and Darkhorses for the 2016 recruiting class.


Nigel Williams-Goss – Point Guard
Williams-Goss is a scoring point guard with range, and has the potential to have the biggest impact of all players that transfer around the country. After averaging double digit-scoring in both of his seasons at Washington, Smart and Texas face stiff competition for Williams-Goss. UNLV, Georgetown, Michigan State, LSU and St. John's are among the schools in competition for his transfer.

If the Longhorns miss on Williams-Goss, they will likely not take a transfer this season, opting instead to save the scholarship they gained when Damarcus Croaker left the program.


Jarrett Allen – Power Forward
This one-and-done prodigy has tremendous upside as a basketball player. The Austin, TX native was a top target for the Rick Barnes regime and reports suggest Shaka Smart made Allen his first recruiting stop when he arrived in Austin. Allen loves the Longhorns and the Longhorns love him. Odds are he will be a one-year player where ever he goes to school.
Odds: 100% Longhorns


Javin Montgomery-DeLaurier – Power Forward
Montgomery-DeLaurier projects as a four year player that might become a star in his junior and senior season. From Charlottesville, VA, the Longhorns main competition is from a handful off ACC schools that aren’t located on Tobacco Road. A three star player, Montgomery-DeLaurier saw his stock take off when this dunk became a social media sensation.
Odds: 55% Longhorns

De'Aaron Fox – Combo Guard
This 5 star guard is another likely one-and-done that could be a great asset for the Longhorns. There is a question of timing in Fox’ recruitment – Isaiah Taylor would be a senior (if he stays) in Fox’ first season. Kansas is making a really hard push and Fox is listening. I would call the Longhorns the favorite but it is not a lock.
Odds: 60% Longhorns, 40% Jayhawks


Marques Bolden – Center
A five star prospect and the third best player in Texas, Bolden would find immediate playing time in Austin with the departures of Prince Ibeh and Cameron Ridley. Oddly, there doesn't seem to be interest from either Bolden or the Longhorns. Even though things change quickly in recruiting, I don't expect much movement in Bolden’s recruitment.
Odds: 15% Longhorns

Terrance Ferguson – Shooting Guard
The top-rated prospect in Texas appears headed out of state. The Kansas Jayhawks are pursuing Ferguson heavily, and he is responding to their attention. The only other team besides KU that seems to have a shot is Oklahoma State, but I would be shocked if he doesn’t commit to the Jayhawks.
Odds: 10% Longhorns


Bruce Brown – Shooting Guard
As soon as Smart accepted Steve Patterson’s offer, his first recruiting call was to Bruce Brown. It is not clear where Texas stands with Brown but I assume being the very first offer of the Smart era made a favorable impression. UConn and Indiana are the two schools the Vermont blue chipper mentions most.

Braxton Blackwell – Small Forward
The Nashville native (Christ Presbyterian Academy) recently received an offer from Texas. Vanderbilt, Indiana, and Louisville are leaders, but he seems content to sort through his options. Rick Barnes and the Vols are another school making a late push.

Josh Langford – Combo Guard
At 6’6” with a nice stroke, this Madison, AL five star guard has schools across the country knocking on his door. While Michigan State and Michigan are thought to be leaders, Alabama’s new coach, Avery Johnson, has openly made Langford a big priority for the Tide. The Longhorns certainly aren’t the favorite for Langford’s signature, but they are in contention.

I expect Smart to sign 2-4 prospects in the fall signing period. I think the Longhorns will sign at least one prospect that projects as a one-and-done player.

There is a long time until signing day and it’s still difficult to ascertain who the most likely targets are. The AAU championship tournament is in July, and there will be plenty of news leading up to that event.