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Junior days are over and the singular theme amongst every single recruit we talked to was how impressed they were. Whether it was the academics, playing style, teammates, family atmosphere, Tom Herman and his staff were able to sell their visitors on their vision and it showed. It harkened back to the days under Mack Brown when Junior days caused a lot of excitement. Will Baizer of HornSports was able to speak with some of the top recruits in attendance, and every recruit he spoke with seemed to be buzzing about the Longhorns.

Justin Watkins

Before Watkins stepped foot on Texas soil there was buzz coming in of him flipping to Texas if things went well. Well, Watkins got wrapped up in the excitement of the Junior Day and decided to pull the trigger.

When we asked him why he did it he told us, “The way [Coach Herman] plans on using me on offense and getting the ball in my hands. He’s a great guy and he understands my life. I talked to him about my personal life, not just football. I just feel like this is the right fit for me. It’s the best fit for me, and I’m going to stand out here since I’m from Florida. I want to stand out and I want to be that different player on that offense.”

Are you done with recruiting?

“I’m done with recruiting. I may still take a few visits, but I’m done.”

Will you be coming back for the Spring Game?

“Yes sir.”

Casey Thompson

Texas’ top signal caller to lead the offense in the 2018 class made his way to Austin to visit with Tom Herman and see the campus and he came away raving about the Longhorns. “It was overall really impressive. I got to the facility yesterday and was like, ‘why didn’t someone tell me it was going to be like this? This is the most impressive campus I’ve been on by far. I’ve been to Clemson, Ohio State, and a lot of place. I was real impressed with Coach Herman; I had a meeting with him [Saturday] morning. We got to talk a lot. [Herman] just got to know me. That was actually my first-time meeting Coach Herman in person.”

When we asked him how he felt about Texas after today he told us, “[Texas] is still at the top of my list, and they even better after today. I think Texas is a great fit.”

Thompson already felt pretty comfortable when they took him into the quarterback room with the current QBs on the roster. “I got to be around Sam and Shane Buechele. [Shane] is the most like me. A lot of these quarterbacks in college like to party. I’m the type of guy where I’ve never done drugs or any of that type of stuff. Shane just likes to sit in his dorm room and do homework. That’s kind of how I am.”

Thompson is saying the right things that you want to hear from a recruit that is going to assume the position as the leader of the class.

Right now the battle is down to Texas, Miami, and North Carolina and it looks like Thompson wants to commit by the end of Spring, sometime in April. If I had to guess I’d say Casey Thompson ends up at Texas and this weekend cemented it.

Terrace Marshall

After this visit Texas really helped their case with the five star wide out from Louisiana Terrace Marshall, who already was high on the Longhorns. He loved how much love the coaches and players showed him while he was on campus and he let us know that the coaches are looking to move him around the outside of the offense to throw it to him deep. Currently his top schools consist of Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, and LSU and it looks like he’ll be dragging the process all the way to signing day.

He also let us know that he’ll be back on campus in the Spring for a practice and in the summer and he also made sure we knew that he already knows that he’s definitely taking an OV to Texas. This recruitment won’t be over anytime soon, so Texas needs to win ball games in the fall and get him on campus in January.

Keaontay Ingram

Ingram came out of Moncrief Hall and when we asked him about what he thought of the day he told us that “he thought about committing today.” He already liked Texas a lot coming in, so the fact that he said that is pretty meaningful. So it shouldn’t surprise you that when we asked where Texas fits into his top schools his answer was, “They’re up there. They’re up there for sure.”

Ingram got the red carpet treatment and plenty of attention from the staff as he was the only running back on campus. When he showed up to Moncrief it was just him, his family, and Stan Drayton riding around in a golf cart, while the other position groups were in buses. Keaontay basically got the royal treatment and spent the entire day with Stan Drayton and that can only be good for Texas’ chances with the star running back from Carthage.

Anthony Cook

Anthony Cook left Moncrief with a huge smile on his face. When we asked him what had him smiling he told us, “I really liked the visit. It’s just a different vibe, since the last time I visited, with this coaching staff.”
Cook met up with Coach Washington and discussed Anthony Cook’s potential future at Texas and how he would factor in. “He was just showing me different coverages. He was showing me how I would fit into the defense.”

When asked how much did this visit helped with his already high views of Texas he let us know that now “they’re even higher [than before] because like I said I got a different feel for them this time. So, I’m really excited about the visit. They’re in my top three.”

Cook traveled with the rest of his Lamar teammates, so we asked him when they go to an event like this if they discuss the idea of playing together at the next level. He told us, “For sure! We were talking about it leading up to the Junior Day, so we’re going to be talking about it afterwards. We’re always talking about how it would be good if we all played together.”

Cook was getting hit up by everybody in Moncrief from the coaches to the players. Everyone was telling him to go to Texas. And it appears as if he really bought into it, as he’ll be back on campus in a few weeks to visit during the Spring Game and get some firsthand viewing of the new Texas defense.

Brennan Eagles

The big wide receiver out of Alief Taylor who wowed just about everyone in the Houston Opening was the one who was wowed this time around. The coaches showed Eagles a hologram that he could walk through of what the new Texas facilities would look like. Speaking of the coaches, Brennan made sure we knew that Coach Herman and Coach Mehringer are two of his favorite coaches in the country. “Tom Herman is close. The same coaches from U of H. They recruited me at U of H and I can really relate with Mehringer because he’s young. Family really stood out to me.”

What really stood out to Brennan was that the coaches made sure he knew that he was really a part of what they want to do and treated him like he was already a player for Texas.

During his time on campus he got to hang out with current Longhorn defensive back and former Alief Elsik player Chris Brown who let Brennan know that, “It feels exactly like home here.”

Brennan released his top ten schools last night (Texas made the cut) and will announce his commitment on signing day. He will be coming back to Texas to visit over Spring break and catch a few practices and the Spring Game.

Atanza Vongor

Atanza Vongor was another one of the highly touted safeties visiting Texas last weekend. When we asked him what stood out about the day he was stated he was impressed with the success Tom Herman and his staff had at Houston. He emphasized that he is looking for a program that is like a family and that Texas really seemed to provide that for their players.

The athletic and technically sound safety out of South Grand Prairie plans on committing sometime within the next month. When asked where Texas factors in this he told us, “Texas is definitely coming up. They’ll definitely play a factor.” Vongor will be putting out his top list next week and we will get a better feel for his game when we see him at The Opening Regional in Dallas.

Tommy Bush

When we asked Tommy about his trip he told us, “There was a tremendous amount of love. They were straight forward, very kind, and showed the true character of their players. We got to listen to the players talk about their experience here. It meant a lot to us and it really opened out eyes because that’s going to be me in a few years. So it is good to see what they went through and what to expect.”

Tommy Bush was told he’ll be used as the X wide receiver by Coach Mehringer, but he was also just getting to know the coaches. While Texas didn’t put an offer on the table, they cautioned him to be patient and to take his time with the process. Bush’s stock has really taken off over the past month, but Texas could get into the thick of things for him if they extend an offer.

Jarrell Cherry

The last time Jarrell Cherry was on the campus at Texas was during the exciting Texas vs Baylor game, but that was under a different staff. When we asked him what the difference between the two staffs was he explained, “The players came and told us, Coach Herman has a winning attitude. Malik Jefferson talks about how he’s a genius.”

This time on campus he got to catch up with Coach Giles, who had prospects buzzing all week. Cherry let us know that he and Giles really gel together. “Me and [Coach Giles] have a great bond here, even though he’s got a new home here. Coach Giles and I got to talk about there being a brotherhood. One thing you got to when you get to UT is everything has got to be about pride. You have to be laying your body down for the next person.”
Texas is looking to use Jarrell Cherry as an outside linebacker who is often used to rush the passer but will also drop back into coverage and could be deployed the same way as Jeffrey McCulloch

He left telling us, “After today, [Texas stands] strongly on my list. I will be back here again. I had a great time here.”

Max Wright

Max has got to be one of our favorite guys to talk with. Always happy and really having fun with the process. The smiling pass rusher from Katy Taylor came out of Moncrief telling us, “Herman knows how to put on a good show. He does it right and makes it a lot of fun.”

And boy does Wright love the city of Austin. We asked him to talk for a bit about Austin and he immediately gushed, “Oh man, it’s amazing. I’ve been up here a lot. Just kind of got to see the city, but not from a recruitment standpoint. Just walking down 6th street with my brother. I’ve been down here for game day too when I was younger. I’ve seen how the fans act and it’s a lot of fun. I like Austin a lot.”

Max was also blown away by the family atmosphere the coaches and players showed, expressing, “They make everybody feel like they’re a part of the family. [Herman] talked about how there are no bro hugs here, they’re real hugs.”

Wright let us know that Texas has moved up from just being high on his list to now. “Very high. Seeing how Herman is going to change it and make it how it should be was really cool to me. I was talking to him about the game where Colt McCoy got hurt, and how after that Texas didn’t really get to another National Championship. And he was like, ‘We’re going to bring it back to that.’ I believe him.”

Coach Herman wasn’t the only one to make an impression on Wright. Wright has seemed to take a real liking to Coach Giles. When we asked about his conversation with the current Texas defensive line coach he told us, “He told me that they need defensive ends and he says I fit in with what they want. Not just as a football player, but as a guy. Just, everything that he said was real appealing to me.”

This struck us as weird seeing as the last time we talked to Max he wasn’t very high on Texas and was hesitant about the 3-4 offense, so when we asked him about it he let us know, “They talked to me about how they’re multiple. They’re not just going to be a strict 3-4 or 4-2. They’re going to make it a defensive line friendly defense where I’m going to be able to make plays. They’re going to give us different looks and different fronts that can really help out in all scenarios.”
Texas helped themselves a lot here over the weekend, and just needs to keep chipping away with Wright and get him the slow the process down.

Marcus Stripling

The 6’3” 240lbs 2019 defensive end picked up an offer from the Longhorns five days before his trip to Austin. As soon as he stepped foot on the Texas campus he was excited by the intensity. “When I walked in there, I knew Herman was going to change it. As soon as I walked through the door it just felt different. Like, ‘wow,’ they’re ready to win some games.” Marcus also fell in love with the plans for the new facilities simply stating, “With new facilities, I’m in love.”
When I asked him what he’s going to take away from the trip he said he a real sense of family at Texas, “It felt like home. They have a real brotherhood here.”

Talking to people around Marcus we were told Texas wants him in the 4i position on the line. He’s only 16 so he’s still growing, but Marcus is already a force to be reckoned with. He could work on his speed off the line and some of the finer nuances of the position, but he’s got the raw talent to be something special.