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Burnt Ends will spend a great deal of time covering recruiting all the way up to signing day, but we did want to pass along a quick note on the team. With the Houston bowl game out of the way, Todd Orlando and Craig Naivar are expected to join the Texas coaching staff. Texas finally has a defensive coordinator in place, and Naivar is regarded as an excellent coach, relentless recruiter, and trusted advisor to Tom Herman. One issue stunting the Texas recruiting effort has been a lack of coordinators thus far. With Orlando in place we expect some defensive recruiting to pick up. More evaluations are being made, and we expect some new offers to go out on that side of the ball. The defensive staff is in place prior to the end of the dead period, and Herman is still waiting to make a few hires on the offensive side of the ball. Not much has changed on the offensive front, and there’s a feeling we won’t know much until the bowl season is over.

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Before we delve into the recruiting forecast for this week, let’s take a moment to get you acquainted with the most recent offers.

Derek Kerstetter – OL – San Antonio Reagan
The Oklahoma State offensive line commit is slated to play in the US Army All-American game, and he’s expected to take a visit to Austin after the dead period. One evaluator I spoke with said his senior film showed a huge improvement over his junior film.

Devin Morris – ATH – Caldwell
Morris is committed to Texas A&M, and he’s pretty firmly entrenched in that commitment. Nothing to see here from what I can tell.

Dayo Odeyingbo – DE – Carrollton Ranchview
I spoke with a source at Odeyingbo’s school, and they weren’t very optimistic about Texas. “They’d have to do some unreal recruiting. Not coming by the last couple of weeks hurts their chances for sure”.

Jamire Calvin – WR – Los Angeles (CA) Cathedral
We haven’t been able to connect with sources around the west coast wideout, but Texas sources we spoke with weren’t optimistic.

Roshauud Paul – ATH – Bremond
The small school Kyler Murray just won another state title, but like Devin Morris he’s firmly committed to A&M.

JaQuayln Crawford – ATH – Rockdale
The 2018 DB/WR called Texas his “childhood dream school” on twitter. We spoke with Crawford today, and he was head over heels for this offer. His family is full of Texas fans, and he mentioned growing up watching Vince Young. Crawford told us he’s being recruited as a receiver, but his film shows he can play both sides of the ball very well.

Barton Clement – OL – Fort Bend Marshall
The 2018 Houston area big man doesn’t talk much, but the early word on him has A&M leading for his services. Texas will need to gain some ground

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Let’s take a look at the current commits and their status.

Sam Ehlinger – The captain is as firm as you could imagine. He’s calling the shots behind the scenes and deploying the commits in class to go after other recruits.

Toneil Carter – We’ve got a new name on the list. Carter just committed today and plans to shut things down and enroll early.

Damion Miller – Miller is strongly committed to Texas, and is focusing on the classroom work as he prepares for college.

Taquon Graham – Graham is planning to take some visits, so we can’t say he’s 100% committed. That said, Texas is still firmly in the lead and they just need to close things down the stretch.

Josh Thompson – One of the more vocal recruiters for the Longhorns. Thompson is zeroed in on Austin.

Kobe Boyce – Boyce isn’t really talking about taking visits anymore, and he’s part of the group effort to recruit for Texas.

LaGaryonn Carson – Carson never wavered from his commitment, but he does have some work to do in order to make it to Austin.

Montrell Estell – Estell is firmly committed and ready to get to Austin.

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Now that we’ve moved everything out of the way, let’s do a little prognosticating and see where things stand this week.

In this week’s edition of the signing day forecast we give you our take on the crystal ball to track the top targets on the Texas board. Each week we will give you a look at how these recruitments are trending and give you our prediction and a confidence rating based on a scale of 0-5.

Running Back

Eno Benjamin – All signs pointed to Texas for Benjamin, but the commitment of Carter could change things based on what we’ve heard. Texas would love to take a “thunder” option to match Carter’s lightning, but Benjamin might want to be the only back in the class. Bottom line: this is something that can be smoothed over.
Prediction: Texas
Confidence Level: 3 (Last week 4)

Daniel Young – Young hasn’t visited Texas, and he re-affirmed his commitment to the Coogs after Major Applewhite was hired. This could depend on what Benjamin ultimately does. If Texas somehow misses on him they would probably throw the sink at Young.
Prediction: Houston (Last week: Texas)
Confidence Level: 2

JK Dobbins – I’m not sure we have to mention it, but Texas has moved on from the hopes of getting Dobbins.
Prediction: Ohio State
Confidence Level: 5

Wide Receiver

Omar Manning – We continue to hear very encouraging things about Omar to Texas, but the Dallas area talent has always marched to the beat of his own drummer.
Prediction: Texas
Confidence Level: 3

Charleston Rambo – I can’t buy any movement on this front until Rambo visits. Texas has some things he likes, but people in his camp are pushing OU, and he hasn’t set up a visit yet.
Prediction: Oklahoma
Confidence Level: 4

CeeDee Lamb – Lamb announced publicly that he was shutting things down, but there is a different message behind the scenes. If he visits after the dead period it’s game on.
Prediction: Oklahoma
Confidence Level: 1

Gavin Holmes – A new name on the board, but one you should get acquainted with. The Justin Northwest speedster was one of our sleepers coming into the year, and he’s really come into his own. We’re told he’s on the radar if Texas misses with primary targets.
Prediction: Unclear

Tight End

Cade Brewer – The season is over, and now things will get real for the state champion. Brewer is maintaining a commitment to SMU, but this one seems to be trending in the right direction.
Prediction: Texas
Confidence Level: 2

Reese Leitao – The Jenks, OK tight end decommitted from Nebraska, but we were hearing strong things about this recruitment before that. We’ll have more on Leitao this week, but things are starting to look good for Texas.
Prediction: Texas
Confidence Level: 2.5

Offensive Line

Chuck Filiaga – The Aledo offensive lineman was ecstatic after his state championship win, and now he turns his attention to recruiting. Filiaga isn’t tipping his hand, but the feeling we got is that Texas is on the outside looking in. Filiaga will announce a top 3 this week before making his announcement at the Army All-American game. Officially my pick is in for TCU, but Michigan has a ton of steam too.
Prediction: TCU
Confidence Level: 1

Grant Polley – Polley has remained silent since his initial offer, but the commits are working him hard. Polley is close with a few guys in the class already.
Prediction: Texas
Confidence Level: 3

Defensive Line

Marvin Wilson – Wilson keeps giving Texas chances to win him over, and if they run a strong January recruitment it’s at least conceivable. After feeling Ohio State early on, the proximity leader in LSU has the juice this week.
Prediction: LSU
Confidence Level: 2

K’Lavon Chaisson – The North Shore pass rusher plans to take five official visits in January, and that should give everyone some pause. The word is strong behind the scenes, but Oklahoma and LSU aren’t going away.
Prediction: Texas
Confidence Level: 4

Bryan Jones – We’ve heard a lot about the Aggies in this recruitment, but Texas started to turn the tide before the dead period. They have a great ally in Malcolm Roach (Jones’ former teammate) on the roster already. We’ll know a lot more after the dead period.
Prediction: Texas A&M
Confidence Level: 1

Linebacker

Marqez Bimage – The Brenham edge rusher set up his official visit to Texas for January 20th, and there’s a possibility of him pulling the trigger on the trip. Bimage is picking up some other offers, but we are told that Texas is big time for him.
Prediction: Texas
Confidence Level: 4
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