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  1. Texas Lands Four-Star TE Malcolm Epps

    The recruiting momentum for Texas keeps on churning, and so do we. With the addition of Cade Brewer and Reese Leitao (after some hiccups) in the 2017 class, Tom Herman is doing his best to restock what has been a thin tight end room since the departure of Jermichael Finley in 2008. He’s off to a good start with the 2018 class with the addition of Dekaney tight end Malcolm Epps.

    When you look at Epps on paper, he doesn’t seem all that impressive. He’s 6’6” with a 5.02 40-yard dash and a 24’ vertical. Not great for a big bodied tight end. It’s important to remember, however, that numbers sometimes fail to tell the full story. Epps is a matchup nightmare on the football field, and it certainly shows on tape. There’s a reason Epps is the No. 4 ranked tight end in the country, with offers from the likes of Alabama, Texas, and Florida State. With Epps adding much needed depth to the TE room, what does the tape say about his ability to produce on the field?

    Film Analysis

    Epps’ numbers do tell one aspect of his skill set: he is raw. At 218 pounds, he needs to add weight to grow into his frame. He’s raw as a blocker and will never blow by a defender. Those are things that can be worked around and even improved, in some cases. The two things Epps has that cannot be taught is size and ball skills. Epps is a gifted pass catcher that has soft hands. In his film, he made some extremely difficult catches as well as all of the routine ones. Texas fans should be excited just imagining Epps lined up for the corner fade route in the end zone. He is going to create tons of mismatch problems for Big 12 defenses.

    Although raw as a player, Epps can only get better. He grow more into his frame after an offseason spent with Yancy McKnight and even likely become a bit faster off the ball. His time spent as a basketball player will likely help him become a better tight end as well, assisting him with getting to the ball at the highest level. Although many say “numbers never lie,” they do in this case. Malcolm Epps is a raw, but talented tight end that Tom Herman and Corby Meekins should be excited about. If he gets on campus and taps into his full potential, the sky is the limit.

    Final Verdict

    The addition of Malcolm Epps adds more depth and competition to a recently replenished tight end room. Although he is a work in progress at the position, Epps’ measurables and ball skills leaves plenty of room for excitement. It’s also important to note that Epps has been offered a scholarship by Shaka Smart as well, which could impact his decision. As a two-way player in football/basketball, he will certainly carry over some things from the court that will help him on the field, and vice versa. Overall, Texas fans should be excited about the addition of Malcolm Epps. I don’t want to jump the gun, but Epps reminds me a lot of Jimmy Graham – only a bit less athletic. If he can play even remotely at the type of level Graham does, Texas may have their first true TE since 2008.

    • A week ago
    • by Harrison Wier
  2. Texas Gets Help In The Trenches: Keondre Coburn...

    While Texas has stacked up on talent at the skill positions this cycle, many have understandably wondered when they were going to start picking up commitments from big bodies in the trenches. With the talent in the state being down on both the offensive and defensive line, it was important for the staff to cherry pick within the state while casting a wider net nationally.

    In the case of Keondre Coburn, you have one of the nation’s best defensive tackles that hails from a talented pipeline in Westfield high school, which has been known to churn out defensive line talent over the years under AJ Blum (now the defensive line coach at Houston). As everyone knows, Texas tight ends coach Corby Meekins was the head coach at Westfield before joining Tom Herman’s staff when he arrived at Houston.

    Coburn has been a known commodity for a while now after making his fair share of plays next to Ed Oliver, who is now wrecking offensive game plans in the AAC. Coburn racked up Power 5 offers last year from regional programs last spring, but really hit the big time when Michigan offered last May. Once Texas entered the fray in January of this year I felt like the offer was a game changer. With Meekins now in Austin and the Longhorn on the front of his shirt, I felt pretty confident that Texas’ issues of being able to get their foot in the door at Westfield were over.

    While it certainly wasn’t a cake walk for Meekins with national powers like Alabama lurking in the recruitment, he was able to reel in the big defensive tackle and land a blue chipper at a position of need for the Longhorns.

    Film Analysis

    On tape Coburn looks like your prototypical nose tackle who is going to anchor a defensive line on the interior. His bread and butter to his game is easy to identify, as he likes to use his strength and power to his advantage to overpower and stalemate his opponents at the LOS against both the run and the pass. He’s not a guy who is going to really try to finesse you when it comes to getting off blocks, but he shows that he has good hand usage (something a lot of young defensive linemen struggle with) and flashes an arm over move along with a little spin move. While both of those moves are in the early stages of development, it at least shows he has a few things in the toolbox to work with at this stage in his development.

    Power is the name to the game for Coburn, and his ability to anchor and hold his ground at the LOS will be beneficial, as he will be asked to command double teams on the interior on odd fronts. Another thing that stands out about Coburn is his hustle and effort. Often you will see big guys shutting it down when they are on the back side of plays or the play goes away from him, but Coburn is constantly staying active and staying in the camera frame in pursuit of the ball carrier. Even if he overruns a play, he shows effort by working his way back in the frame and getting a piece of the action. Stuff like that will get you noticed and on the field in short order at the next level and it is always a plus to see it from a defensive lineman.

    Final Verdict

    For those who were concerned with the shortage of beef, Coburn brings almost 330 pounds of it with him to Austin. While I certainly believe he will be asked to slim down a bit to get to a more ideal playing weight that will allow him to stay on the field longer, there is no doubting Coburn’s ability and him being one of the top interior defensive linemen in the state and in the country.

    While he certainly had a bit of a built in advantage, this is big recruiting win for Meekins, as he had to fight off several national powers to land Coburn’s commitment. For Texas, this is yet another Houston domino that hits the ground, as they continue to dominant the talent rich area this cycle and continue to build a monster of a recruiting class. If Herman and his staff can continue to add quality big bodies in the trenches on both sides of the ball this cycle, then it will be hard to find weaknesses in the class they are assembling.

    Even with the season rapidly approaching and the dead period being in effect, it could be another busy month of recruiting leading up to the first kickoff.

    • A week ago
    • by Daniel Seahorn
  3. Texas Lands Top JUCO TE Dominick Wood-Anderson

    I’m not often shocked by anything when it comes to recruiting anymore considering how wild crazy it has become over the years. You have to be ready for just about everything due to the unpredictability of teenagers and that can be quite exhausting at times.

    With that said, many across the recruiting world were shocked and caught off guard this evening when top junior college tight end Dominick Wood-Anderson announced to the world that he was committing to Texas over Alabama, Louisville, and Oregon.

    Wood-Anderson made a surprise official visit to Texas this summer and came away very impressed with what he saw in Austin, but later visits to Louisville and a return visit to Tuscaloosa muddied the waters significantly and had everyone, but Wood-Anderson wondering where he was going to end up.
    It’s no secret that the tight end position is awfully thin in Austin and the Texas staff is looking to lock up a couple of studs this cycle, and with Wood-Anderson now in the fold, they are halfway to their goal.

    Film Analysis

    Listed at 6’5, 245 pounds, the first thing that jumps out at you about Wood-Anderson is how well he moves for his size. If that size is anywhere close to being accurate then this kid is going to be an absolute problem and mismatch nightmare for linebackers, safeties, and corners. First clip you see of him is him splitting a corner and a safety on a post route for a 51 yard touchdown that he finishes off with a nice over the shoulder catch. Not bad.

    As a receiver he displays good hands, he finds holes in the zone, he shows the ability to beat man coverage, he attacks the ball and shows he has good ball skills. He isn’t shy of contact with the ball in his hands and shows the ability to run through arm tackles and is definitely going to get his fair share of YAC. His ability as a receiver makes him a plug and play caliber of player for Texas and is something they currently lack on the depth chart.

    Wood-Anderson isn’t strictly a flex tight end either. He has been used as an inline tight end and shows on film that he is willing to get his hands dirty as a blocker, and that is something that Tom Herman has put an emphasis on finding at the position. While he doesn’t have an extensive amount of clips of him blocking, he at least shows effort and looks willing and capable to put his hands on a defender as blocking tight end and that will be important when it comes to him getting on the field.

    Final Verdict

    Full disclosure: We had no idea that the pick was going to be Texas for Wood-Anderson, but this is a HUGE pickup for Herman and his staff. DWA has the ability to be an instant impact kind of player at the tight end position and it has been quite a while since Texas has had that kind of talent at the position.

    With Wood-Anderson now in the fold it is going to be interesting to see how it impacts the rest of their recruiting board at the tight end position. Malcolm Epps has been kicking around the idea of committing soon, but it will be curious to see if the brakes are tapped in that recruitment. Wood-Anderson’s commitment could signal them going all-in on guys like Luke Ford and Mustapha Muhammad, as both recently visited and sat down with the staff this summer.

    Regardless of how you slice it, Texas is injecting talent into the tight end position that has seriously lacked it since the days of Jermichael Finley and there is no doubt that the position won’t be neglected any longer.


    • 2 weeks ago
    • by Daniel Seahorn
  4. Burnt Ends: Stars At Night Edition

    The point on a brisket is typically the fattiest cut. Pitmasters often trim the point (and select edges) off a brisket and return those pieces to the smoker.

    Are burnt ends tough, chewy worthless cuts of meat, or are they heavenly bites of smoky goodness? It depends on who you ask...

    Rather than discard the trimmings and fat, we choose to savor all the information that flows through the site. So, sit down and help yourself to some burnt ends.

    +++++

    This is a free site, so anyone can read this report. If you share it with someone, please take time to attribute the information to HornSports.

    Tom Herman once again pulls off an amazing recruiting effort by thinking outside the box. Longhorns fans are used to having the mid-July recruiting camp that Strong began as “Under the Lights.” Tom Herman took this concept and went to work – inviting some of the top 2019 guys in the state, getting most of the commits together, bringing in major 2018 targets, and throwing in a bit of a wrinkle with dodgeball, a coaches’ dunking booth, a dunk contest, and a gigantic water balloon fight with hundreds of water balloons all over the field. There was not a single bad review of the event, Texas pulled in two commitments from top targets, and they made massive headway with a great deal of key 2018 and 2019 recruits. Herman nailed it.

    Mustapha Muhammad


    If you were to peek over on the 247 Crystal Ball feature, you’d see that basically every media member has marked Mustapha Muhammad down as a Michigan Wolverine. However, we don’t believe the race for Muhammad is quite over. He is the top tight end on the board for the Longhorns, and they made sure he knew it during his trip to Austin. Muhammad left extremely happy with the coaches, the atmosphere, and the facilities. His visit was a step towards ensuring that the elite tight end stays in state.

    How was the camp?

    MM: Lit. I didn't participate but it was fun to watch.

    You didn't get into the water balloon fight?

    MM: No way! I was wearing designer clothes.

    What was the most impressive part of the entire thing?

    MM: The locker room…just how they were designed. I’d never seen anything like [the] all-in-one lockers.

    What did you and Meekins talk about while you were there?

    MM: We did some film study, and broke down how I’d fit in the offense.

    Did you get to talk to the commits or players?

    MM: I talked to everybody. They all told me they really wanted me too.

    2020 RB Jase McClellan (Aledo)

    It’s the not-so-hot hot take that Jase McClellan is the best running back in the state regardless of class (with Noah Cain being at IMG). The Texas coaches made sure that McClellan was treated as such. Every time he steps on campus he is given the VIP treatment with running backs coach Stan Drayton by his side. We do not think the Longhorns will be giving him the offer that he wants until they see him replicate what he did in 2016, but he’s the top guy on their board right now for 2020. Right now, the schools he is high on are still Texas, OU, and UGA.

    What were your thoughts on the facilities?

    JM: The facilities were great. Coach Drayton and some former players showed me around and talked to me about them. It was my favorite part.

    What were you and Stan Drayton talking about before you left?

    JM: He was talking to me about fitting in at Texas, becoming a better man, and how his coaching style fits the type of person I am.

    Does Coach Drayton’s pedigree factor into coming to Texas?

    JM: Yes. That is something that works towards my decision on Texas because it shows me he has great skills when it comes to working with the running back.

    Al’Vonte Woodard


    One of the top WRs in the nation, Al’Vonte Woodard made his first trip to Texas after committing to the Longhorns a week prior. When we spoke with Woodard, he appeared to be a combination of excited, relieved, and just plain happy. He’s already hot on the recruiting trail for the Longhorns, as he is working on recruiting his teammates D’Shawn Jamison and Anthony Cook in hopes of having them play side-by-side for another 3-4 years.

    How’s the commitment feel?

    AW: I’m just glad to get it out of the way. Schools are still hitting me up, but not as much. But man…It’s just a big weight off my shoulders. It came down to Texas, Texas A&M, and Ole Miss. I made the right decision. (Drew) Mehringer is telling me that I’m their top WR right now, and I can come in and play a key role. I’m just going to have to work for that spot.

    How about the rest of the camp?

    AW: I came out to support my guy Alex Hogan. Overall though, it was pretty fun. We got to play with water balloons, dunk a few coaches in the water, play a little bit of dodgeball…we were supposed to have a dunk contest, but Reggie Hemphill broke the hoop.


    2019 DB Jonathan McGill (Coppell)

    Jonathan McGill was apparently the stand out of the entire camp, bringing in 5 interceptions during 1-on-1 play and being mentioned by at least a half dozen top players and commits. While he didn’t pull in an offer from the camp, he certainly got the attention of the coaches. McGill is a very versatile defensive back. He can play basically any defensive back position on the field and do so at a high level.

    This is McGill’s second time on campus at Texas this summer, and the interest is there for Texas.

    What was your favorite part of the camp?

    JM: Probably the dodgeball part. Either dodgeball or just going onto the field and throwing water balloons at each other. Just having fun. Doing something outside of football with a bunch of football players just makes it that much better.


    How was talking to the coaches afterwards?

    JM: They just told me to stay patient in the process. But they loved what they saw. I worked out at safety today, and Coach Naivar loved seeing me at safety. [He] Told me I’ve done everything right. Coach Washington got hype with me. I had a few picks today and Coach Washington got lively. I am always communicating with Coach O, just staying in touch with him.

    Reese Moore


    Reese Moore made the long trip down to Austin once again, but his mother told us that they’ve gotten used to it now. The big tackle had his patented happy-go-lucky smile on as he addressed the media. When we talked to him afterwards, he indicated that these sessions do wonders for bonding with the other commits and keeping each other strongly committed. After seeing him and his frame in person, I am very excited about what he could be molded into in the future.

    What did you think of the new lockers?

    RM: They’re unbelievable. I was telling Coach Warehime that “awesome” and “unbelievable” don’t do it justice. There need to be words that are better than that to describe them.

    Would you say they’re the best facilities you’ve seen?

    RM: I’d say so. Everything that they’re going to also build in their new weight room is going be awesome. Only thing about OU’s lockers is they have shoe racks that pop out and sucks all the stickiness out of there.

    Who was the most impressive OL out there competing today?

    Branson Bragg.

    Caden Sterns


    The star defensive back from Cibolo Steele has become a mouth piece for this class. Sterns told us that he absolutely hates social media, but uses it as a tool for recruiting and pumping out good vibes. From also talking with his mother, I got the sense that the entire family is relieved that they will be sticking closer to home than his brother did (although they do love Oklahoma State). Sterns seems to be locked into Texas currently. Longhorn fans should be very excited to see him on campus in five months.

    How did the camp go?

    CS: It was good. Watching all [of] the youngins compete and getting some work in with our future coaches is good. As a DB, I can get a head start and take what I learned here and get a head start before I get up here in 5 months. Like I said, it was an awesome experience and a blessing to be a part of this family.

    How were the locker rooms?

    CS: Oh man. It’s not even done yet and it’s a jaw dropper. They have some more stuff going in, and it’s like, what more could you possibly add in. It’s already one of the best locker rooms around. It’s an amazing thing to experience and be [one of] the first people to go in and look at it.

    What do you think of Jalen Green’s commitment?

    CS: I was kind of surprised. I saw him and talked about him coming, but for him to actually come…I can’t wait to actually get back there and have him join the rest of us DBs. The things we are going to do here will be special, and I personally believe we are going to turn this program around. He’s a great add-on to the secondary. The sky is the limit for him.

    How important was Jason Washington in landing you and Jalen Green in this class?

    CS: I don’t know how he does it man, but he just keeps it real. That’s what kids want, as well as his excitement, his thrills, and the way he approaches the game every day. You may see him in videos where he is fired up. He’s like that every day about his job. It’s like a dream to him, so what this job means to him is like something you do not see often. For him it’s not about the money or politics, but to him it’s about what it is to be fired up and motivating. He just has a love for the game and I respect that.

    Anybody stand out on the field?

    Jonathan McGill. Texas will be going after him sooner or later.


    Roschon Johnson


    The surprise commitment of the camp came from the first commit in the 2019 class, Roschon Johnson. After he won the fastest man competition, Sam Ehlinger gave Johnson the mic to the PA. After a bit of confused hesitation, Johnson went on a hunt for Coach Herman screaming in the mic, “Coach! I have something to tell you.” I don’t know if he planned on committing the way he did, but when found Coach Herman and announced his commitment over the PA, the entire field erupted. I am interested in seeing his progression from last year and hopefully see improvement on a spectacular sophomore season.

    When they gave you the mic did you know what you were going to say? Or did it take you a second to decide you wanted to do it?

    RJ: It took a little bit. Sam Ehlinger influenced me. It was a surprise. He basically handed me the mic and said, “Let ‘em know.”


    What was it like to be coached by Vince Young?

    RJ: It was amazing. I met him previously, but it was great getting to learn a few things from Vince with the things that he has done.

    What are your thoughts on the locker room?

    RJ: It is crazy. I’ve never seen anything like that. Especially with the new renovations and stuff they have. Without a doubt, [it’s] the best locker room I have seen.


    What were other parts of the camp that stood out?

    RJ: I enjoyed every bit of it. From the drills to the one-on-ones to the water balloon fight. You don’t really do that at other places. That’s part of the reason why I committed. They do things different over here. It’s a dream I’ve been chasing for a while.

    • 2 weeks ago
    • by HornSports Staff
  5. Another Piece Added to the Houston Puzzle: Bren...

    Another Houston domino has fallen, and this time it is of the five star variety. When Brennan Eagles showed up to the Houston Regional of The Opening, most knew of him, but hadn’t seen him before. However, as soon as he stepped onto the field, every single person in attendance was impressed with his size, strength, and speed. It wasn’t until he beat every single defender in one-on-ones that people realized just how elite he is.

    The Texas coaches knew long before everyone else what Brennan Eagles possessed, and Drew Mehringer worked tirelessly to build up a relationship with Eagles that trumped that of teams like Clemson, LSU and Oklahoma. And Mehringer’s reward? Texas now, in Eagles, has one of the best wide receivers in the nation, the highest-rated wide receiver in Texas, and their second highest rated recruit in the class.

    Film Analysis

    As I said above, the 6’3.5", 214-pound Alief Taylor wide receiver drew national attention during The Opening regional when he ran a 4.51 40-yard dash and 3.99 shuttle in addition to registering a 37-inch vertical leap…at 214 pounds. Then, he went up against some of the best defensive backs in the country and high pointed balls over guys like Anthony Cook, Jalen Green, and others.

    Eagles has the size, speed, frame, and explosiveness that a wide receivers coach covets. How does he do on the field? Eagles is your prototypical outside wide receiver, and draws comparisons to the likes of Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons and Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals - receivers who are physical at the line of scrimmage, but have the ability to win the ball in the back corner of the end zone. Eagles also uses his huge frame, strength, and pure athleticism to really make 50/50 ball situations a bit unfair, and when he comes down with the ball, his 220-pound frame makes it difficult for defensive backs to bring him down.

    His hands are not a concern either, as he has displayed his strong but soft hands in camps and on film with his ability to hang onto a ball while a defensive back hangs onto him and tries to wrench his arms open.

    Eagles also runs a multitude of different routes. He’s not your average #1 receiver who only does well with the go route, although he’s pretty good at it. His high school has mainly kept him to the outside, but he has excelled in the screen game, short routes, digs, quick ins, and of course the go. He’s not too shabby as a blocker either, which often goes unnoticed.

    The only problem I have with him whatsoever is his ability to get off the line, as he’s a bit slow off the line.

    Final Verdict

    And so, another big time Houston-area talent has been snatched up by Tom Herman with the help of Mehringer. Most have been in awe of all of the talent on the defensive side of the ball in this class, but with Eagles in the fold, the offensive side of the ball looks like it is in amazing shape for 2018. Brennan possesses the size and speed to be a big-time threat at the next level, and Mehringer has to be salivating at the thought of having him as one of his offensive weapons.

    Herman and his staff made it a priority to win over the talent rich Houston area this cycle, and with Eagles now on board they continue to stack talent in a major way. With guys like Eagles, Al’vonte Woodard, and Jalen Green on board, the staff’s attention will now turn Houston Lamar’s Anthony Cook and D’Shawn Jamison. Texas is in thick of it for both prospects, and it’s not out of the question for them to land both.

    • 3 weeks ago
    • by Will Baizer
  6. Texas Lands Its Gunslinger For 2019 in Port Nec...

    Texas is on the board for the 2019 class. Many have wondered when Tom Herman and his staff would land their first 2019 target, and until now it has been a bit of a mystery due to the staff’s focus on the 2018 class. Well it’s a mystery no longer, as Texas has landed long time Texas lean in Port Neches-Groves quarterback Roschon Johnson.

    Johnson has held an offer from Texas for some time now and has long been high on the Longhorns and the staff has long been high on Johnson, which showed by him being the first quarterback offer for the 2019 recruiting cycle. With that said, this commitment came as a bit of a surprise due to the timing and the previously mentioned focus on the 2018 class.

    Texas now has its gunslinger and class leader for the 2019 cycle and he is likely going to get to work right away on getting more players to join him in Austin.

    Film Analysis

    Lets take a quick look at the numbers before diving into the film. Johnson accounted for almost 4,000 yards and 56 (26 passing, 30 rushing) total touchdowns during his sophomore season. That’s a decent number I suppose. Those kinds of numbers reflect his dual threat ability, as he has the capability to hurt a defense through the air and on ground.

    The film shows that Johnson is the ideal fit for the style of offense Herman and Tim Beck are going to be deploying in Austin. They like to feature the quarterback in the run game and Johnson shows on film he is capable of doing just that and he has wheels that can hurt a defense and has good wiggle and elusiveness as well. While I do worry about him being on the smallish side currently, he is going to be a guy that is going to have his athleticism utilized. When he pulls the ball down, he is dangerous in the open field and can make defenders miss, and he shows the ability to keep plays alive and buy time with his feet.

    As far as his arm talents go, he doesn’t have the biggest arm and that is something I will be monitoring as he develops. I wonder a bit about his velocity and ability to really push the ball down the field like I did with Casey Thompson, but maybe not to that degree. He has solid ball placement, which is important when you don’t have a big arm, and he does a good job of leading his receivers. Since we’ve only seen his tape as a sophomore, there is a chance that arm strength and velocity increase over time as he gets bigger and stronger. Johnson has been described as a hard worker, so that is important to remember as we continue to watch his development.

    Final Verdict

    While we saw the Jalen Green commitment, it is safe to say nobody saw Johnson getting in the boat this evening at the Stars at Night camp. When it started going around that an underclassmen was on the verge of pulling the trigger we all had a bit of puzzled look on our faces as we checked into it.

    The reason for the confusion is for a couple of reasons. For starters the coaching staff has been doing their due diligence when it comes to 2019 recruits and that goes double for the quarterbacks. There has been chatter that the staff was wanting to see how Allen’s Grant Tisdale looked this fall in live action before extending an offer. That led us to believe that it could be awhile before we saw movement on a quarterback decision despite Johnson holding an offer for some time. We are not sure what changed this evening, but the staff obviously felt good enough to go ahead and take Johnson’s commitment tonight.

    With that said, Johnson is no slouch and shouldn’t be taken for granted. As I mentioned previously, he fits the mold of what Beck and Herman look for in a quarterback in their offense and he now gives Texas their leader for the 2019 class. The in-state crop of talent in 2019 is absolutely loaded, so getting Johnson in the boat now allows him to get to work on helping the staff put together another stellar class.

    • 3 weeks ago
    • by Daniel Seahorn
  7. Preview For The Opening (Texas Commitments and...

    It’s that time of year when bluest of blue chip high school football recruits make their way to the Pacific Northwest to “Football Heaven” in Beaverton, Oregon for The Opening Finals. It is there where we will see future All-Americans and NFL players compete against each other in various football drills and skills competition and will receive coaching from current and former NFL players, and current college stars.

    Having been able to cover The Opening last year, I can say it is an absolute pleasure to be able to cover and watch the next crop of elite football players compete against one another. Unfortunately I can’t be there this year, but that doesn’t mean there are not plenty of things to keep an eye out for in regards to Texas and their recruiting efforts this cycle.

    Several key Texas targets earned invites to Oregon this spring, and you can bet those guys will have Texas commits in their ear during the duration of their trip out West. Last year we saw several recruitments start trending positively for Texas out in Beaverton, and there is no doubt the Tom Herman and his staff will send their troops (commits) up there with a plan of action and who to target.

    With that said here is a preview of players to keep an eye on during The Opening and going forward.

    Texas Commitments

    BJ Foster – Foster is the top safety in the country and will be making a return trip to Oregon after being invited as an underclassman. I expect him to be spearheading any recruiting efforts taking place during The Opening.

    Caden Sterns – Texas scored a big victory over LSU when they flipped Sterns from LSU earlier this spring and he has been one of the more vocal commits since electing to stay home. Expect him to be in Foster’s hip pocket when it comes to recruiting guys for Texas.

    Rondale Moore – Moore is the most recent addition to Texas’ class and he absolutely demolished the competition at the regional to earn an invite. He is going to be a problem during the 7 on 7 portion of The Opening.

    Texas Targets

    Al’vonte Woodard – Woodard is slated to make a decision next month and Texas has long looked good in this recruitment. We will be pleasantly surprised if it doesn’t end up being Texas when the decision is made.

    Anthony Cook – The highest rated target on the radar for Texas right now. This one is a battle between the Longhorns and the Buckeyes, with Ohio State seemingly holding the lead as things sits currently. As it has been said before, Texas needs to win ball games this fall to have a shot.

    Brennan Eagles – Like Woodard, Eagles has set a decision date for July after initially considering going much deeper into the recruiting cycle before making his choice. Texas sits in a good spot for the five star pass catcher and landing him would turn some heads on the recruiting trail.

    D’Shawn Jamison – The third leg of the Houston Lamar trio who will be making their presence felt out in Oregon. While he may be the smallest of the bunch, he may pack the most punch. The scuttle is that Jamison will be making a decision in August, but one could come sooner. Texas and TCU are on top here, but we feel good saying Texas holds the edge over the Horned Frogs.

    Jalen Green – Green is a very quiet kid who doesn’t really tip his hand when you get him on the record, but he has made the several visits to Texas this spring and the staff has made him a priority since arriving in Austin. Green made waves on the 7 on 7 circuit when he locked down 5-star receiver Terrace Marshall, so I expect him to fare well in Oregon.

    Luke Ford – The former Arkansas commit recently netted an offer from Texas and is reportedly scheduled to visit Texas in July. Texas is looking to take two tight ends this cycle and Ford is an absolute take, but Alabama seems to be the favorite as of today.

    Ronnie Perkins – After losing Ron Tatum to Oklahoma, landing Perkins became an even bigger priority for the Texas staff. Perkins is a stud and is at position of need for Texas, so seeing how he interacts with Texas kids will be something to keep an eye on. He’s slated to visit Texas in July and didn’t make it up to Oklahoma this month.

    Tanner McKee – The West Coast gunslinger is sure to have an interesting recruitment given that he won’t enroll into the school until 2020 after his mission trip. McKee visited Texas this spring and intends to visit again this fall, so Texas is certainly in the mix here.

    Terrace Marshall – Another five star wide receiver that the Longhorns are in the mix for that will be in Oregon. While Marshall recently named Texas in his narrowed list of schools, we are not terribly confident of him landing in the class. LSU still seems to be the heavy favorite, but TCU and Texas A&M are making pushes.

    Tommy Bush – Bush was one of the hottest recruits in the country this spring after a stellar showing at the Houston regional. Despite that showing, Texas didn’t enter the fray until recently and that leaves them with some work to do to get back into the thick of things.

    There are several other players that will be in attendance that hold Texas offers, but as of right now they are long shots or have not shown much interest in Texas, so I am not going to list them right now. If things change though we will be sure to drop a note and keep everyone updated as things progress.

    • Jul 04 2017 08:44 AM
    • by Daniel Seahorn
  8. Commitment Spotlight: DeMarvion Overshown

    Once upon a time, many (including myself) worried about the recruiting ramifications of Tom Herman electing to not retain Jeff Traylor on staff. I specifically worried about Texas potentially taking a step back in East Texas, a region of the state Traylor had been dominating on the recruiting trail during his time in Austin.

    Well folks, while Traylor may be a heck of a recruiter, I think we can officially stop worrying about having some drop off when it comes to recruiting the piney woods of East Texas. Yesterday the state’s top running back in Keaontay Ingram made the call to be a Longhorn. Today one of the state’s and nation’s top defenders in Arp’s DeMarvion Overshown made the call to be a Longhorn.

    Texas arrived at the party very early on Overshown and it’s an effort that did not go overlooked as blue bloods from far and wide rained scholarships down on the Arp safety not too long after. Overshown was one of the most sought after prospects this spring as schools like Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Ohio State, and Stanford all extended offers before he shut it down to stay home and play in Austin.


    Film Analysis

    This is a big dude that can run and he absolutely tries to erase ball carriers whenever the opportunity arises. I haven’t seen a bigger hitter on tape this cycle, and Overshown is the type of guy that is going to try to put you in a chalk line in the most legal way possible. As a two way player, Overshown shows off his ball skills as he shows the ability to high point the football and shows off his length that will more than likely frustrate receivers when he is in coverage.

    Overshown is already listed at 6’4, 200ish pounds, so he is pretty big for the safety position, which will bring into question whether he can stick at the position long term. If he does happen to outgrow the position, he could potentially be a nice chess piece in the Big 12 as an outside linebacker. Whichever way his body goes, Texas is getting a football player that is going to make guys look over their shoulder when they go over the middle in the future.

    Final Verdict

    Yesterday I mentioned in Ingram’s profile that things were about to get rolling for Tom Herman and his staff on the recruiting trail, but even I didn’t think things were going to get going so soon. Many have been wondering when the in-state dominos would start falling and it looks like we are starting to see them tumble one by one with Ingram and Overshown hopping in the boat.

    With Overshown pledging to the Longhorns, secondary coaches Jason Washington and Craig Naivar are absolutely stockpiling elite talent on the back end of Todd Orlando’s defense and that are not anywhere close to being done. Overshown and Caden Sterns give the Texas defensive staff two versatile pieces to work with and they are sitting in an enviable position for five star safety BJ Foster. All of those players are absolute no brainers across recruiting services and are some of the most sought after players in the country at their positions.
    If Texas continues to recruit at this level and finds success on the field this fall, then you can go ahead and put it in ink that they will have a Top 5, or even a Top 3 class come National Signing Day.

    • Jun 20 2017 02:45 PM
    • by Daniel Seahorn
  9. Commitment Spotlight: Keaontay Ingram

    With the running back position being thin and banged up on campus, landing a feature back this cycle has been highlighted as a glaring need. D’Onta Foreman was one of the top running backs in the country last year and carried the load to the tune of 2,000 yards, but he is now cashing NFL paychecks just a couple hours away in Houston.

    This past cycle, Texas had a chance to land a certified stud in JK Dobbins, but I won’t open old wounds talking about how the LaGrange ball carrier ended up taking his talents to Columbus to be a Buckeye. Upon Tom Herman and his staff arriving in Austin, they were able to land Toneil Carter and Daniel Young, but after getting a peek at Carter this spring and reviewing Young’s film, I didn’t get the warm fuzzies like I did when I watched Dobbins. That’s not a knock on Carter or Young, that’s just how strongly I felt about the type of player Dobbins is.

    When I watched Carthage running back Keaontay Ingram shred defenses in the playoffs last year on the way to a state title, then again on tape, I got the warm fuzzies. There was no doubt in my mind that he was RB1 this year in the state of Texas, and he was a must have for Texas.

    Tom Herman and his staff put an offer on the table early on and made it clear that he was THE priority at the running back position this cycle. Despite holding offers from blue blood programs across the country, the kid from East Texas that grew up watching the Longhorns made the call and committed to Texas.

    Film Analysis

    Everything about Ingram’s game is smooth. While he doesn’t have great top end speed, he’s elusive, he has great vision, he’s patient, has good feet, is a decisive runner, and to top it all off, he has great hands and can hurt a defense as a receiver out of the back field. All of those traits lead me to the comparison of Arian Foster, another RB north of 6 feet tall with a smooth running style, who didn’t possess great top end speed. Zone blocking schemes were tailor made for backs like Foster and Ingram, and their ability to be reliable targets in the passing game makes them even more valuable. Ingram’s ability to carry heavy loads can be both a gift and a curse of being a feature back, as he has a little more mileage on his tires, but knowing he has the ability to carry an offense the way he has will be a plus, since he likely won’t be asked to have that kind of workload in Austin.

    Final Verdict

    Whenever you land the top back in the state and one of the top backs in the country that possesses the resume that Ingram does, it is very hard to find holes in his game to scrutinize or to find issue with. This is the kind of player that has a chance to be an All-Conference or All-American kind of player if he reaches his potential, and should be viewed as a huge recruiting win for Tom Herman and Stan Drayton with the kind of schools and coaches that were in pursuit of him. On top of Texas getting a stud in Ingram, the bigger picture for the cycle is that this could be the kick-starter for what could be one heck of a summer for the Longhorns on the recruiting trail.

    • May 31 2017 08:28 AM
    • by Daniel Seahorn
  10. Burnt Ends- 5/12/17

    The point on a brisket is typically the fattiest cut. Pitmasters often trim the point (and select edges) off a brisket and return those pieces to the smoker.

    Are burnt ends tough, chewy worthless cuts of meat, or are they heavenly bites of smoky goodness? It depends on who you ask...

    Rather than discard the trimmings and fat, we choose to savor all the information that flows through the site. So, sit down and help yourself to some burnt ends.

    +++++

    This is a free site, so anyone can read this report. If you share it with someone, please take time to attribute the information to HornSports.

    The cold is going away, the days are getting longer, and the lovebugs are swarming the countryside. It’s spring time. With spring comes spring practice on Texas’ high school football fields – providing an excellent opportunity to get to know some of the Longhorns' top targets as well as identifying other players certain to emerge as the recruiting cycle progresses.

    The next leg of my journey through the state brought me up to the DFW area where I visited Eastern Hills, Nolan Catholic, Bishop Dunne, and Arlington Lamar to get some firsthand insight into the programs. I was also supposed to visit Aledo, but a timing mix-up on my part prevented me from going to their practice.

    I talked to a lot of guys and watched a lot of talent during my time at various practices. Here are some of the guys that you will want to keep your eye on during this next recruiting cycle.

    Top Targets

    Byron Hobbs – 2018 OLB (Eastern Hills | Fort Worth, TX)

    I stopped by Eastern Hills to check up on the second commit of the Longhorns 2018 class and to see how he was doing. When I showed up, he was wearing Longhorn wristbands and had a countdown to February 7th on his phone.

    Since his commitment, Byron has been in pretty solid contact with Todd Orlando and Tom Herman. The two Texas coaches are making sure that Byron makes it in and is ready to go as soon as he makes to campus. Byron’s goals were to “stay focused in the classroom, and when I’m in the weight room, [take] no breaks. It will pay off when you come to UT. They actually want to put me on a diet; kind of like an eating schedule.”

    Byron Hobbs did make it down to Austin for the Spring Game, so I asked him what he thought of the new defense. “I love the new defense because Coach Orlando’s scheme of defense is exactly how I play football. I will blitz, I will come off the edge, but I’ll also drop off into pass coverage. Where Malik plays right now, I can see myself playing there.”

    To gauge Byron’s commitment to UT, I asked him if he’d be making any more trips or visits at all. He let me know, “official visits maybe, but nothing unofficial...I want to go to California for an official visit, like UCLA.” When I asked if UCLA had been talking to him he told me, “not at all. Just a fun trip.”

    There are still schools vying for Byron Hobbs. In fact, before I made the trip to Fort Worth, another school sat down with Byron to tell him, “You know where home is.” Byron responded, “That’s why I verbally committed.”

    It’s safe to say that the Longhorn commit is pretty solid, despite liking the Sooners quite a bit a few months back. I asked Byron what he thought the reason that so many huge flips have been happening recently. He told me, “They know what Texas is coming with. We have the powerhouse coming…we got some heat.”

    Bobby Brown – 2018 DL (Arlington Lamar | Arlington, TX)

    While I didn’t make it to watch him practice, I have seen him in camps, and Bobby Brown is an explosive and powerful defensive lineman. Tack on a 6’4” 278-pound frame, impressive length, and some athleticism (4.6 forty and 4.44 shuttle), and you have exactly what the Longhorn coaches are looking for.

    Bobby has been to Texas once, way back in February for the Junior Days. He told me the thing that stood out to him about his trip was that, “It was like Houston when I visited the coaching staff there. They were energetic. The mentality that they have and the way they fly around is just something different.”

    Right now, the teams leading in the race for Bobby are Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, LSU, and Alabama. However, it appears to be more of a race between the Texas schools at this point.

    While Texas A&M and Oscar Giles have told Bobby that they want him to play at defensive end, Tom Herman isn’t putting a spot on the table for Bobby. “Coach Herman told me he wants me to play regardless. He just wants me on the field, and if I went there, I’d have an opportunity to compete for playing time.”

    The thing that will win Bobby Brown over is not playing time, prestige, or the usual stuff. Bobby says, “I’m looking for something different that they’re showing me from other schools. Something they can offer me as a man and as a player.” When I dug a little deeper to ask him what “a difference” is to him, he gave me this example, “Showing me something you don’t see every day. I went to one school that had this program where they help their graduated students and players years after [playing] to help get them jobs…Another school had the #1 graduation rate.”

    Calvin Avery – 2018 DT (Bishop Dunne | Dallas, TX)

    Calvin Avery (better known as “Boogie”) was one of the first guys in the class that I talked to. He had some impressive sophomore tape and I thought he was funny.

    Add a year and the same sentiment holds true. Calvin has one of the quickest first steps of any defensive tackle in the country. This, along with his power, gives him excellent block shedding ability, allowing him to be in the face of the ball carrier, whether that be a QB or RB.

    A lot of Longhorn recruiting reporters have written off the 6’2” 310-pound defensive tackle as being averse to the Longhorns; however, Calvin emphasized to me that was not the case adding that “Coach Giles has been hitting me up lately, trying to get me up there… He wants me to go somewhere where I’ll be able to progress beyond the four years I’m in college.”

    It seems that this new coaching staff has really started to flip the script in this battle. I think they’ve done such a good job in trying to flip the script, that when Calvin’s top 10 is released, I’d expect to see the Longhorns in it.
    Calvin is also getting love from Nebraska, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and TCU.

    Brian Williams – 2019 DB (Bishop Dunne | Dallas, TX)

    One of Texas’ top targets for the 2019 class is the top safety in the class, Brian Williams. While I didn’t get to see him play last Wednesday, I have seen him play plenty of times in the past few months. There is a reason he is rated so highly. He has excellent instincts on the field, elite athleticism, man or zone coverage ability, and a great frame.

    Brian Williams also comes from a long line of athletes. His brother, Rawleigh Williams III, currently plays RB for Arkansas. With his brother being at Arkansas and his neighbor Chevin Calloway also playing there, a lot of people have written Brian in as an Arkansas lock. When I brought this up to him he told me, “They’re wrong. I feel like I’ll make the best decision for myself. I know my brother is having success up there, and I definitely do enjoy every time I’m up in Arkansas. I really love the program they have up there, but at the end of the day nothing is set in stone.”

    Brian Williams still hasn’t made the trip to Austin, despite being the first sophomore to be offered at Texas in quite a while, but James Washington has been in contact with him. “He seems very high on me, and he’s always talked about getting me down there this summer. I definitely plan on doing so.” When he does take that visit, Brian says he’ll be interested in seeing where the program is headed. Brian will be “just looking at what Tom Herman plans to do with the program, and what he feels he can bring to the table.”
    There is no clear leader for Brian Williams, as he will be taking his time with the process to evaluate his decision thoroughly.

    Being Evaluated

    Nana Osafo-Mensah – 2019 DE (Nolan Catholic | Fort Worth, TX)

    Nolan Catholic boasts one of the top ten best 2019 players in the state and one of the best in the country in WDE NaNa Osafo-Mensah. NaNa is an intimidating presence on the defensive side of the ball. When you watch him play, it seems almost unfair for the other team to have to go up against him because he’s fast, powerful, and daunting when he opens up his wingspan to envelop the ball carrier. On top of that, NaNa has been coached up very well, as he has excellent technique in the pass rush and instincts on the field.

    When I was out in Fort Worth to watch the Nolan Catholic practice, Todd Orlando was out there as well to evaluate NaNa. I asked NaNa what the conversation between he and Orlando was like, to which NaNa responded, “he says how at Texas they’re not just going to focus on me being a good football player, but whether or not I go to the NFL, I’m still going to be able to walk out of there with a great education. I’ll be able to have that UT degree that will be known anywhere.” It appears that education is the real driving factor behind the Osafo-Mensah family. NaNa said, “I really love football, but my biggest concern is that I want to go to a college where if anything happens to me, I can still have a degree and still be successful.”

    NaNa is looking to get his business degree when he heads off to college, specifically a finance degree with a minor in entrepreneurship.

    • May 12 2017 09:50 AM
    • by HornSports Staff
  11. The Tom Herman Recruiting Machine Is Off And Ru...

    Not too long ago, some were legitimately worried about the ability of Tom Herman and his new staff’s ability to recruit. This past cycle, the new staff came in with limited time to work, had to pick up where Charlie Strong and his staff left off, and had to try to close some of the best recruits in the country. Not long after their arrival, Walker Little announced that he was going to play his college ball in Palo Alto. Later on down the line, K’Lavon Chaisson spurned the in-state Longhorns to head to Baton Rouge and play for Ed Orgeron after silently being committed to Texas.

    After Longhorn fans witnessed an epic closing on NSD the year before, many were left a little dazed and confused when NSD came and went quietly without any kind of fireworks. This should have been expected, given that transition classes should come with tempered expectations. With Herman being the head man in Austin, many had high hopes that he would pull a rabbit or two out of his hat and finish with a flurry. There was no flurry to finish off the 2017 cycle, but it hasn’t taken long for Herman and his staff to get their feet under them for the 2018 cycle.

    NSD 2017 was simply the calm before the storm brewing beneath the surface that has brilliantly been dubbed #revolUTion18.

    It started during Junior Day(s) with the big flip of then-Florida State commit Justin Watkins and getting the state’s top recruits buzzing about Texas in a major way. Flipping Watkins from the Noles certainly grabbed the attention of many, but recruits leaving campus sold on what Herman and his staff were selling was absolutely imperative and was a bit of a tone-setter for what was to come down the line.

    March came and went quietly, but things revved back up in April as the rangy and athletic Fort Worth Eastern Hills linebacker Byron Hobbs opted to commit to Texas over other regional programs like Oklahoma and Texas A&M. His commitment was followed a few days later by Casey Thompson, which gave Texas its [first] quarterback commitment for the class in the form of an Oklahoma legacy. This is where things get interesting in more ways than one. With Thompson in the boat, most assumed that Texas was done at quarterback despite there being some chatter of the staff wanting two quarterbacks in this class due to the lack of numbers on campus.

    In the words of my man Lee Corso: Not so fast, my friend! After hosting him on a visit during the spring game, Cameron Rising aka the California Kid decided he wanted to represent the Longhorns in the Cotton Bowl in October rather than head for Crimson and Cream colored pastures. There was no hype or build up to this one. Just a simple tweet that set the recruiting world on fire as Texas flipped its archrival’s QB1, and at the same time, potentially opened some doors out West for the staff to walk through on the recruiting trail.

    The fun didn’t stop with Rising either. The next day, Reese Moore, hailing from Seminole, got into the boat as the West Texas representative for the 2018 class and gave the Longhorns an athletic, raw, high upside offensive tackle to help protect their investments in Thompson and Rising. Moore’s commitment fills a big need this cycle for offensive line coach Derek Warehime and now allows the staff to focus on landing the likes of Rafiti Ghirmai out of Frisco Wakeland or Louisiana tackle Cameron Wire.

    Just when you think this story couldn’t get any better, it does. With Rising and Moore now sporting the Burnt Orange, the Texas staff dug deep and went for the trifecta as they set their sights on heavy Sooner lean Ron Tatum, III. Tatum resides in the Sooners’ backyard North of the Red River and only visited Austin once this spring before announcing his decision date. The math in this one seemed pretty simple even though Tatum loved his trip to Austin. One thing I’ve learned covering recruiting is that things are never as simple as you think. The night before Tatum’s scheduled announcement, word got around that the pick was going to be Texas; the next day, Tatum put on a Longhorn hat and t-shirt during his announcement in his high school gym.

    In boxing that is what folks like to call a haymaker, and the Texas staff landed it squarely on Bob Stoops’ chin. After years of Oklahoma poaching Texas talent, Herman has promptly put the shoe on the other foot and is making the Sooners have to protect their state borders. This should be fun to monitor going forward.

    Kickers need love too, so I can’t write this piece without mentioning Lake Travis’ Cameron Dicker getting the month kicked off (see what I did there?) properly by giving Herman and his staff their second specialist commitment since they arrived in Austin late last year. Dicker is ranked third nationally by recruiting services and it shows that Herman isn’t leaving anything to chance when it comes to special teams.

    Just when you think they are out of surprises, this staff continues to show that they have their aces lodged somewhere up their sleeves. With Cy-Springs safety Leon O’Neal Jr. looking like a safe bet to end up in College Station and trending towards the Aggies, many wondered what the backup plan would be. This staff apparently doesn’t believe in Plan B's, because they promptly focused their efforts on Cibolo Steele stud safety and LSU commit Caden Sterns.

    A few days ago had you asked me what the chances were that Texas would flip Sterns from the Tigers, I would have said less than 5%. He had been very vocal about his love for LSU and seemed bent on playing his collegiate career in Baton Rouge. Always expect the unexpected in this thing called recruiting, folks. The Texas defensive back brain trust that consists of Jason Washington, Craig Naivar, and Michael Huff must have put one hell of a sales pitch together, because after showing up on campus midweek, Sterns was floored to the point that he called Ed Orgeron and Corey Raymond and said he was staying home to play for Tom Herman, again putting the recruiting world on its ear.

    To say the least, this first spring under Herman has been eventful in more ways than one. I don’t think that even the “brightest on sunshine” pumpers could have predicted that the new staff would be off to this kind of start in recruiting before putting some W’s in the win column. I certainly expected them to land some good players, but I didn’t foresee them flipping commits from Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma, and landing heavy Sooner leans.

    As my man Ryan Bridges put it, what Herman and his staff are doing right now feels like December/January Charlie Strong in the way that he would blitz kids and close them late. Except, it’s May. It also feels like the Mack Brown days where he would land studs early on in the process and go on cruise control for the rest of the cycle. Like with Brown and Strong, Texas fans are having to adjust to the way that Herman’s staff operates.

    For me, it’s almost a blend of Herman’s predecessors’ recruiting styles in the sense that he isn’t afraid to push for early pledges, he won’t wait until late in the cycle to hit the gas in recruiting, and he certainly isn’t afraid to get into dog fights with blue bloods down the home stretch. With Brown, we saw him at times fill up on “bread” by taking early commitments rather than try to get into contested battles down the line, and with Strong, we saw him allow schools to gain the upper hand with recruits early in the process and try to be the comeback kid, which worked in some cases, but in others, not so much.

    With Herman at the helm, there is a completely different feel to recruiting in Austin and it makes things that much more fun to cover and follow throughout the cycle. With the way the staff has sprinted out of the gate so far, it’s impossible to not start thinking about what could potentially unfold down the line if they meet their expectations on the field. With a productive spring under their belt, and a potentially promising summer on deck, this cycle could end up being what the 2017 cycle was supposed to be had the team produced wins. I don’t want to oversell what this staff is doing so far, but right now, they are way ahead of schedule considering where the program has been prior to their arrival. It’s just the beginning.

    • May 09 2017 09:01 PM
    • by Daniel Seahorn
  12. Commitment Spotlight: Caden Sterns

    Don’t look now folks, but Tom Herman and his Texas staff are getting busy on the recruiting trail. This spring Herman and his staff have reeled in some high profile recruits that reside outside of the Lone Star State, but everyone has been wondering when the first elite in-state talent domino would fall.

    Everyone has had their sights locked on to the usual suspects as far potential Texas commitments, but as I’ve said before recruiting is a very fluid and fickle beast and you have to be ready for just about anything to happen.

    Cibolo Steele safety Caden Sterns camped at Texas last year for Under The Lights under the old staff and came away with a very early offer from the Longhorns after impressing the coaches. Unfortunately for Texas, Sterns eventually committed to LSU in November after growing up a big fan of the Tigers and having dreams of playing his college football in Baton Rouge. Following his commitment Sterns was very pro-LSU and looked about as locked in to his pledge as you could be.

    That was until yesterday.

    Yesterday afternoon (after some detective work by Texas fans) word got out that Sterns was in Austin on campus visiting Texas and later we learned that not only has Texas DB coach Jason Washington been working Sterns hard, but the visit to Texas really left an impression on him. So much of an impression that Sterns made what couldn’t have been a very pleasant call to Ed Orgeron and de-committed from the Tigers.

    After once looking like a rock solid LSU commit, Sterns opted to spurn the Tigers and to pledge his commitment to Herman and the Longhorns just up the road from where he plays his high school football.

    Film Analysis

    This kid is a certified bad ass on tape. Good range, ball skills, solid tackler, athleticism, he can cover, and good ball production. All of the boxes are checked off. A testament to Sterns’ athleticism shows up when he flips over to offense and plays receiver and you see him sawing off ankles of the defenders and high pointing passes for touchdowns. You want a guy like this on the back end of your defense because he is an absolute playmaker and is going to give you flexibility as a coordinator. Not only is he a stud in the secondary, but Sterns adds even more value as a quality return man and again it shows you the talent, athleticism, and versatility you are getting in him as a player. When you turn the film on you will quickly see why he is considered a Top 50 player in the entire country.

    Final Verdict

    After losing guys like K’Lavon Chaisson and Kary Vincent Jr. to the Tigers last cycle, this is a haymaker right on the chin of Ed Orgeron from Tom Herman and Texas as they continue to put schools in the region and around the country on notice on the recruiting trail. If you had asked me last week or yesterday (before the picture leaked) if Texas had a shot with Sterns I would have said absolutely not because he has been all LSU for months now. This is a huge head to head battle for Herman against Ed O and it sends the message that Texas is going to recruit at a very high level and it is already doing so before any results being seen on the field.

    Landing Sterns is huge for several reasons and one of them being that this could get the ball rolling with the domino effect within the state’s borders. With Sterns in the boat, Leon O’Neal trending to Texas A&M becomes much less of an issue, and now the staff can wait BJ Foster and focus on other secondary spots. The way the staff is recruiting right now is inspiring a great amount of confidence and it makes you wonder what the class could look like if we see the results Herman expects this fall. Buckle up folks because Texas football recruiting is a lot of fun again.

    • May 08 2017 07:58 AM
    • by Daniel Seahorn
  13. Commitment Spotlight: Ron Tatum III (By Daniel...

    For years we have seen Bob Stoops and his Oklahoma Sooners poach talent from the state of Texas and use it to beat their archrival Texas when the two programs would meet in the Cotton Bowl for the Red River Shootout. Tom Herman and his staff have sent a very loud and strong message to their rivals north of the Red River that it may be time for them to start protecting their state borders from the Longhorns.

    While the Sooners at the time already had a commitment from Cameron Rising at the time, Texas secured the pledge from Sooner legacy Casey Thompson. Not even two weeks later the Longhorns flipped Rising from the Sooners and secured their second four star quarterback pledge of the cycle much to the surprise of everyone who follows recruiting. The Sooners were back to the drawing board at quarterback and the Longhorns are in a position to sign two quality signal callers for the first time in a while.

    With Thompson and Rising in the boat, Herman and his staff probably could have lit up a cigar and rested on their laurels a bit as they hit the road for the evaluation period, but did they do that? Nope. Instead they also landed Seminole offensive tackle Reese Moore (another Oklahoma target) and then took dead aim at yet another blue chip recruit and major Oklahoma target in defensive end Ron Tatum III. Tatum has long been considered to be heading to play his college football in Norman, and after only making one visit to Austin this spring before announcing a spring decision it seemed like a forgone conclusion.

    Well as we all know recruiting is a very fluid thing, and you can’t exactly rule out anything. In an absolute shocker (this is becoming a theme) Tatum announced that he is committing to Texas over the in-state favorite Oklahoma and several others. Tatum’s commitment gives Texas its second pledge on the defensive side of the ball and fourth four star commitment of this cycle.

    Film Analysis

    When I turned on Tatum’s film for the first time, I needed all of 50 seconds to know that he was a stud, and I watched it to the 1:10 mark before I had to shut it off completely because it was a no brainer. I usually won’t dive into a player’s film too far unless I know Texas has a legit shot at being in the conversation, because I don’t like to tease myself with the idea of guys that won’t end up playing in Austin down the line. So you can imagine how giddy I was to really dive into Tatum’s film after only seeing a small sample.

    Tatum possesses prototypical size already at 6’4.5 and just under 270 pounds and he has also has good length, which we know Todd Orlando has been looking for in defensive linemen since arriving in Austin. I absolutely love how Tatum is moved up and down the line of scrimmage like a chess piece and no matter whether he was lined up head up over the center, as a three over the guard, the 4i or 5 on the tackle or even out wide outside the tight end in a 9, he still made plays. There are even clips of Tatum lining up as a stand up end and he doesn’t look out of place one bit, which is pretty fascinating to me. This type of versatility is not only coveted by coaches, but it will make Tatum valuable and allow him to make his way onto the field if his talent translates quickly to the collegiate level. Humans Tatum’s size should be moving around and covering ground the way he does. He has the ability to be an absolute problem if he puts it all together.

    Along with his versatility, I like that Tatum possesses a good get off (though he can be tardy at times), he uses his hands well, and he is good at using his length to his advantage and doesn’t stayed blocked. He is constantly disengaging off blockers, running to the football, and being disruptive. If Orlando and the Texas get them a few more like Tatum they are going to raise some hell in the Big 12 and get some offensive coordinators up at night.

    Final Verdict

    If you couldn’t tell from the previous section, I’m completely sold and a fan of Tatum as a player. Not only did Texas get a heck of a player who I think I going to be able to help them sooner (no pun intended) rather than later, but they sent a very loud message to the folks in Norman that they are going to have to start putting up a fence around their backyard, because the shoe is on the other foot now when it comes to poaching talent across the border.

    If the kind of start Herman is staff are off to this cycle is just the tip of the iceberg, then folks better buckle up because if the momentum continues to build and Texas wins games this fall it’s going to get silly on the recruiting trail. With Tatum on board, I would be putting a full court press on Katy Taylor’s Max Wright and be pitching him on the chance to pair up with this creature and saying that they could absolutely dominate the Big 12 together on Saturdays in Austin.

    Hang on, folks, because recruiting is about to be lots of fun this cycle.

    • Apr 26 2017 01:14 PM
    • by Daniel Seahorn
  14. Commitment Spotlight: Cameron Rising (By Daniel...

    With Texas only having two scholarship quarterbacks on campus right now, the discussion of taking two quarterbacks this cycle has taken place, but nothing had been firmed up with Casey Thompson just recently giving his pledge to the Longhorns. It was expected that the Longhorns would take their time and evaluate their options with Thompson in the fold while they searched for a suitable option that would be both a quality take and be willing to be part of a two quarterback class. What happened next is both a bit surprising a shocking all things considered.

    Not only did Texas find a suitable option, Texas flipped Cameron Rising from archrival Oklahoma this evening and landed its second four star quarterback in a matter of weeks. Rising recently visited Austin for the spring game, but even after visiting there wasn’t much chatter in regards to a commitment or a flip from the former Sooner pledge.

    While unexpected, this is certainly a huge pickup for Tom Herman’s staff and at the same time is a gut punch for the Sooners as they now have to go back to the drawing board at quarterback.

    Film Analysis (By Will Baizer)

    Cameron Rising has everything you look for in a prospect. Size, frame, speed, arm strength, accuracy, and touch. He possesses a quick and sharp release without much wasted motion and displays advanced ability for play recognition. Above all else, he’s versatile and fits the Tom Herman offense perfectly.

    His deep ball accuracy and touch is astounding. He just seems to know where to throw the ball so that only his receiver can grab the ball.

    On intermediate passes he’s is very accurate, allowing the receiver to maintain his speed by placing the ball to the perfect spot and knowing the touch needed for a certain route.

    Rising has the size to stand in the pocket and deliver a ball over the middle. Tag on some pocket presence and calmness and you have yourself a fine quarterback.

    However, what makes him a special prospect is his ability to make plays with his legs outside the pocket. He is deceptively fast for being 6’3” 210lbs. When he decides to escape a pocket he has the speed to out run defenders who underestimate him. His ability to make throws on the run is almost as good as if he had all day to throw in a clean pocket. He knows where to run, can escape to either side of the pocket and deliver a dime of a pass, or out run a defender down the sideline. The one thing I wish he did was be more secure with the football while he runs. He’s swingin’ the ball like John Anderson.

    Final Verdict

    With depth at quarterback being razor thin, Texas had to find themselves another quarterback one way or the other regardless of Thompson’s commitment. Even with that in mind, I don’t think anyone could have scripted that the Longhorns would flip Oklahoma’s prized quarterback commitment on the heels of landing a Sooner legacy at the same position.

     

    Landing Rising in this fashion is a huge boon for the Longhorns on the recruiting trail and now gives them two blue chip quarterback commitments for this cycle. If both players stick in the long run and make it to campus, the position goes from thin to loaded with talent very quickly and will eventually become a position of strength. Tom Herman and Tim Beck deserve major kudos here for getting the ball rolling on this commitment and closing the deal.

     

    • Apr 24 2017 07:43 AM
    • by Daniel Seahorn
  15. Five Must Have Recruits in the 2018 Recruiting...

    With the spring game in the rearview mirror and the coaching staff about to hit the road to see recruits during the evaluation period, recruiting is about to become the primary focus once again before hitting the summer lull on calendar. We are often asked how we see the recruiting class playing out and which recruits we think will end up factoring in come National Signing Day. While we won’t always have the answers, we will always provide you with the facts along with our opinions mixed in along the way.

    This piece falls in the opinion category and the aim is to generate some discussion as we kick off the part of the year that most college football fans dread, as they count down the days until the season kicks off. In this article, each individual on the HornSports staff was polled to see which five recruits in the 2018 recruiting class they considered to be must haves in regards to Texas. This doesn’t mean these guys are necessarily going to end up at Texas, but it is more of a top priority list based on the individual’s preference.

    -Daniel Seahorn-

    Keaontay Ingram

    With D’Onta Foreman declaring for the NFL Draft, the coaching staff has a tall order filling his shoes. Even though the staff signed Toneil Carter and Daniel Young this past cycle, they still need to sign a stud running back this cycle. It’s a down year in-state, but Ingram is a stud and his ability to be a catch the ball out of the backfield makes him an even bigger asset in the new offense. When Urban Meyer is personally recruiting you, then you know you are doing something right as a player.

    BJ Foster

    When you debate about who the top player in the state of Texas is this cycle, then the conversation has to include Foster. The five star safety from Angleton has long been high on the Longhorns, and would give the class one heck of a headline and credibility within the state. When I saw Foster at The Opening as a sophomore last summer, he already looked like he belonged as one of the nation’s elite prospects. Despite him missing most of his junior season with an injury, my feelings remain unchanged on Foster.

    Anthony Cook

    The highest rated prospect of the Lamar trio, Cook is one of the highest rated and most polished corners in the entire country. While Jalen Green certainly has a case for being the state’s top corner, Cook hails from “DB High” and would keep a talent rich pipeline steadily flowing towards Austin. Getting D’Shawn Jamison and Al’vonte Woodard in the boat certainly wouldn’t hurt Texas’ chances with Cook down the line.

    Rafiti Ghirmai

    With Connor Williams likely being a three and done NFL talent, and right tackle already being a liability, Ghirmai is an easy pick for me in this class. Like running back, it’s a down year in-state at the tackle position, but Ghirmai is a high upside prospect that holds offers from some of the top prospects in the country. Texas needs more bodies like Ghirmai in the pipeline, as they prepare for life without Williams on the blind side.

    Max Wright

    While this recruitment started off as a long shot, the race seems to have tightened a bit and the Longhorns are in the thick of things along with Texas A&M. Wright easily had some of the most enjoyable and dominant tape I turned on of any recruits this cycle, and from the moment I got a chance to watch him I knew he was going to rank highly on my list of must have recruits. Texas needs more difference makers in the front seven and Wright is exactly that.

    -Harrison Wier-

    Anthony Cook

    There’s a reason Cook is the No. 2 ranked corner in the country. It is essential for Texas to reel in the Houston Lamar product. Not only could they use the depth at corner, but also reeling in the 5-star could have a domino effect on the other Texas recruits coming out of Houston Lamar. If Texas lands Cook, they will also be in even better shape with Al’vonte Woodard and D’shawn Jamison. Cook also has the potential to be an early contributor for the Longhorns. His talent out of the secondary is worth the hype.

    Keontay Ingram

    As seen this spring, Texas is having depth issues at running back. With injuries piling up and Chris Warren III possibly heading to the NFL contingent on a good year, Texas must restock the position. Fortunately, Ingram is the perfect candidate. After the Texas State Championships last season, Ingram really blew up. He carried Carthage to the state title, rushing for 2,225 yards total in the 2016 season. After Junior Day Ingram was close to pulling the trigger and committing to Texas, but wanted to take his time in the process. Texas stands in a very good position with Ingram. If they miss out on the Carthage product, they will have to look out of state for a running back. Tom Herman and Stan Drayton do not want to do that.

    Brennan Eagles

    Eagles is the perfect candidate to come into the Texas offense and factor in at outside wide receiver. The main issue for Texas? Their wide receiver corps is stacked. It also certainly does not help that Eagles is being recruited by the likes of Clemson, LSU, and Ohio State. Tom Herman and Drew Mehringer are going to have their work cut out for them until February in this recruitment. With Collin Johnson likely only being here for two more seasons, this staff needs to find an outside threat capable of replacing him. By the time Eagles arrived on campus, he could even be Johnson’s compliment on the outside. It’s a good equation for Texas, but they must execute. Eagles wants to see how Texas performs this season. He is not interested in rebuilding a program. He wants to win, and wants to see Texas win. If Herman gets at least 8 wins in 2017, they will be squarely in the mix for Eagles.

    Malcolm Epps

    The tight end position is the biggest area of need for Texas. With Reese Leitao only having a small chance of making it to campus, Cade Brewer needing a redshirt season, and Andrew Beck not being consistently healthy, Texas must take at least 1 tight end in ’18. Unfortunately the top target on the Longhorns board, Mustapha Muhammad, is trending heavily towards Michigan. The next target on Texas’ board is Dekaney tight end Malcolm Epps. As of right now, this recruitment appears to be split 50/50 between Texas and Texas A&M. The issue for Herman right now is that he cannot use the tight end much in his offense because of injuries.

    Hopefully, Herman will be able to utilize Andrew Beck enough in 2017 to show ’18 tight ends enough to bring them on board. Another positive on this is that Texas could take 2 tight ends in both Malcolm Epps and Bralen Taylor. If Taylor were offered, Texas would be in a good position. However, the lack of an offer has hurt the Longhorns with Taylor at the moment. Tom Herman has some ground to make up if/when he offers Taylor. For now, he should focus on Epps.

    Rafiti Ghirmai

    Texas is hurting at right tackle on the offensive line. In another year they will be hurting at left tackle, too after the almost inevitable departure of future NFL offensive linemen Connor Williams. With this in mind, Texas must land a tackle in the 2018 class. The best available tackle that Texas has a legitimate chance with is Rafiti Ghirmai. Texas is the early favorite for the Frisco Wakeland offensive tacle, but other major programs are creeping in. Alabama, LSU, and Florida are all legitimate threats for Ghirmai. Derek Warehime has some serious work cut out for him down the road. However if Texas lands Ghirmai, they may have a solution to one out of 2 problems at offensive tackle.

    -Will Baizer-

    Mustapha Muhammad

    Texas has needed a playmaking tight end for a very, very long time. Texas has missed on the top in-state prospect at tight-end every single year since 2009. In fact, last year was Texas’ best in-state haul at the position since MJ McFarland back in 2011.

    Texas needs to reverse this trend this year, and bring in a top tight end who can play early. This year, that prospect comes in the form of Mustapha Muhammad, Fort Bend Ridge Point’s 6’4” 235 pound, do-it-all tight end. Muhammad is by far the best tight end in the state. It is extremely rare to find a complete tight end that is polished in both catching and blocking right out of high school. He’s a guy who would be in the fight to be a starter the moment he stepped on the field at Texas.

    Rafiti Ghirmai

    Connor Williams will not be playing for Texas in 2018. Longhorn fans might as well start to come to terms with that fact starting now, so the pain is dulled when he declares for the NFL Draft. Behind him are a bunch of guys who are unproven at the college level. This means Texas is seriously lacking depth at the tackle position.
    Unfortunately, the state is not incredibly loaded this cycle when it comes to the offensive tackles. That’s why Texas needs to land Ghirmai and he is a top priority. The 6’5” 290lbs Frisco Wakeland product is the closest thing in this cycle to a sure thing. He has displayed impressive power and technique along with having the best film of any offensive lineman in the state.

    After a few big misses in 2017, Texas really needs to hit on Ghirmaii Ghirmai to start to establish some solid depth at the tackle position.

    Anthony Cook

    Next year there is a very good chance Texas loses one or two of their top corners to the NFL. Tom Herman has been on record saying that he is only comfortable with three corners this year. Texas needs to stockpile corners in the 2018 class, especially since this class is loaded with them. This move to stockpile must to start in Houston with Anthony Cook, the top cornerback in the state.

    Cook is a ferocious corner. At 170 pounds, he plays with the strength of 220 pounds and knows exactly how to use his hands to maximize that strength. He is a great and polished cornerback with a very high ceiling. Texas will need a corner who can come in and provide instant, reliable depth the second he puts on burnt orange. Cook is capable of being that guy.

    Alston Orji

    Texas has been searching for an answer at inside linebacker since Steve Edmond and Peter Jinkens left. Texas has not been able to land a high school prospect at the position for a few years now. This leaves Texas in a position where they have three juniors at inside linebacker and basically no one else behind them. Texas needs to start building depth here fast and Alston Orji seems to be the answer.

    There are a lot of publications out there that currently are not high on the Rockwall linebacker; however, I was impressed with what I saw from him when I watched him during camps this spring. Orji displayed something that I find very important for linebackers, especially in a pass happy league like the Big 12: coverage ability. When Orji drops back he displays sound field awareness, understanding of responsibility, and ability to break on a ball.
    At 6’2” 220 pounds, Orji is strong enough to take on an offensive guard and adept enough at the pass rush that he’ll fit a Todd Orlando scheme easily. Orji is the best linebacker in the state that Texas has a shot with. Since this year appears to be a down year at the linebacker position, Orji is a must get.

    Leon O’Neal Jr.

    I don’t think I’ve met a recruit with that is more outspoken and has more work ethic than Leon O’Neal Jr. Although it is something you can’t always tell, I’m almost positive O’Neal really does have the mindset necessary to succeed at the next level.

    And that’s not all that he has. Along with his mindset he has length, speed, size, and polish. He’d come into the Texas and maintain a steady stream of necessary talent at the safety position and become a coach on the field later on in his career.

    On top of all this, O'Neal has clout. If Texas were to sway O'Neal to sport the burnt orange, then they would immediately be in a good position for the vast majority of the talent in state. He is a must get.

    • Apr 20 2017 10:18 AM
    • by HornSports Staff
  16. Burnt Ends - 03/31/17

    The point on a brisket is typically the fattiest cut. Pitmasters often trim the point (and select edges) off a brisket and return those pieces to the smoker.

    Are burnt ends tough, chewy worthless cuts of meat, or are they heavenly bites of smoky goodness? It depends on who you ask...

    Rather than discard the trimmings and fat, we choose to savor all the information that flows through the site. So, sit down and help yourself to some burnt ends.

    +++++

    This is a free site, so anyone can read this report. If you share it with someone, please take time to attribute the information to HornSports.

    +++++

    This week's edition of Burnt Ends focuses on the Texas targets that performed at the Under Armour Camp last weekend in Dallas. The talent on-hand was plentiful and dynamic.

    Here are 10 guys that took it to another level at the camp.

    +++++

    Gemon and German Green

    While before the Green twins may have possibly gone their separate ways, the twins are now a package deal. Right now, the three schools the two have really been thinking about are TCU, Texas, and Michigan. While Texas hasn’t offered German and the other two have, Texas doesn’t seem to be that far off from offering German. If they do, I’d feel safe saying Texas would be in the lead of this race.

    Both of the twins had pretty stellar days on the field. Both had multiple PBUs and German had a really nice one where he swatted a ball out of mid-air. On top of this I was impressed with Gemon’s speed, which honestly, I didn’t know he possessed. After this past weekend watching them live, I became a lot more comfortable with offering these two guys.

    Justin Rogers and Casey Thompson

    It was basically the headline of the event for Longhorn media was the battle between the two Texas QB targets. While Casey Thompson had, a good day throwing the ball, Justin Rogers shined. Justin Rogers threw a pretty ball that was perfectly placed to WR despite strong winds blowing across the field. They both displayed good footwork during drills, but overall throughout the camp we were most impressed with Justin Rogers.

    Justin Rogers had just received his offer a few days before the camp. It definitely hurt Texas’ standing with Justin that the offer came so late as he was expecting it during the Junior Days the Longhorns held in February. When we asked him if Texas now has some ground to make up he told us, “Yeah. I mean when I came to Junior Day, I thought I was going to get the offer. They had a miscommunication with my film. They hadn’t watched it. Herman wasn’t really paying attention because he was moving his family in. He apologized for that. I’m not mad about it. Only thing we can do is move forward and build our relationship.”

    When asked where Texas stands now he responded, “They’re not at the top, but they’re not at the bottom. They still have some work to do.” Right now the leaders for the Louisiana QB are TCU, LSU, Tennessee, and Oregon.

    Casey Thompson was also a little perturbed that Texas held off on letting him commit to Texas. He showed up to the camp wearing UNC gear which has become the favorite recently for his services. However, Casey will be visiting Texas this weekend. It will be a great opportunity for Texas to really reestablish themselves as the leaders in his recruitment, if they so choose.

    Bishop Dunne Crew

    Out on the field Sunday were two future stars of the 2019 class from Bishop Dunne, top safety in the country Brian Williams and outstanding athlete Marquez Beason.

    Currently Brian Williams is taking the process as slow as he can. No top schools and not letting himself be swayed. Just listening to the pitches of the coaches that talk to him and analyzing his options. Many have him pinned as a Razorback, but I wouldn’t be so fast as to hop on that train just yet. Despite his brother and next door neighbor (Chevin Calloway) playing for the Hogs, Brian is still very open minded about where he wants to play. Texas, Notre Dame, and Texas A&M were schools he talked about beyond Arkansas.

    When we asked Brian about his Texas offer he said, “that was wild when I found out. I was floored. It meant a lot to me growing up watching Texas.” While Brian hasn’t set a date yet to visit Austin, expect him to hit up a practice or two this Spring.

    Marquez Beason is a smooth running inside wide receiver who has the athleticism to switch sides and play some defensive back. We've only had the chance to watch him on the offensive side of the ball, but we like what we've seen. He is very elusive on his routes, but it’s when you get the ball in his hand that he becomes really dangerous. Great top end speed, field vision, and elusiveness.

    Currently the two big schools for Marquez are Notre Dame and Nebraska. Closer to home it is the Aggies that out ahead in the recruitment. Currently Coach Sumlin is personally taking on his recruitment. He’s also being recruited by the Longhorns, however, like most 2019 WRs, they are taking their time. Right now, Coach Warehime is the man in charge of recruiting Beason. However, Marquez feels very confident that Texas will be the next school to offer him.

    Lastly but certainly not leastly is one of our favorite players in the state, Calvin “Boogie” Avery. He is the big and strong, possesses a great frame, has the fastest first step in the state on DL, creates a lot of energy really fast, and above all else, is a funny dude. It was a head scratcher to me why Herman wasn’t even pursuing him despite him being one of the very first guys they offered. Well, Giles has started to talk a lot more to Boogie, and Boogie is feeling it. In fact, he planned to make a trip to Austin this next weekend, but his plans fizzled out when he couldn’t find a ride. He’ll make it down to Austin later this Spring, and when he does the staff will have to really sell him. He’s a take any year, but especially this year.

    Trejan Bridges

    Bridges is a guy who is less under the radar than he was before the Opening Regional; however, we still feel Trejan is not being taken seriously enough. If there is one way to describe Bridges it would be fluid. He moves like a snake and runs routes very well for splitting his time between football and basketball. He’s just impressive when he moves with sudden burst and ability to stop on a dime. Not to mention he’s got wonderful hands.

    Trejan is currently in constant contact with Tim Beck, “I tell them I want to go to Texas.” They talk a few times a week. But if I were Texas, I would hop on this recruitment a bit faster before some big names like USC, Tennessee, Oregon, Ole Miss, and Oklahoma get to him first.

    Jonathon Shepard

    Another guy whowill blow up is Shepard. When he does, Texas will be in a good position for the East Texas WR. Shepard had an outstanding day last Sunday and was one of the best out there. Shepard is a long, fast, and athletic guy who once he polishes up his game just a bit will be a guy you want on your campus.

    Texas has been hot on his trail for a while now, but haven't pulled the trigger. Wait until later summer.

    Austin Stogner

    Austin Stogner may be the best 2019 TE in the country right now. Dude has hands, is big, and can block. We were specifically impressed with his route running and sneaky speed. It’s not every day you get a TE that is this polished this early.

    He's got a short list right now and Texas is in it for sure. He plans to make a visit to Texas sometime this spring for a practice. If (when) Texas gives Stogner the offer, feel very good about their chances with the TE from Dallas. Texas will be battling with Stanford, A&M, and TCU for Stogner.

    Stogner would be a wonderful fit for Herman’s TE heavy offense. If he continues progressing that he’s a must have for any team.

    Grant Gunnell

    Hailed as the next best QB to come out of the state of Texas. Every coach, trainer, and scout we’ve talked to raves about Grant Gunnell’s elite frame, pocket poise, and arm. Gunnell surely didn’t disappoint on Sunday. He displayed excellent footwork despite pushing 6’6”. He throws a beautiful ball, with good anticipation and timing. Not to mention his arm strength. He was pushing the ball down the field despite having some very strong wind right in his face.

    Grant recently visited Texas and when reflecting upon the visit he came away impressed with the academics of the school and his one-on-one time with Tim Beck. The Longhorns haven’t really pushed the recruitment due to fit concerns and wanting to watch him throw in person.

    Beyond all that he’s a good level-headed kid who has stayed humble despite all the praise. Props to him for that.

    Dax Hill

    Dax caught our attention during the Opening Dallas Regional when he swatted down a pass from Roschon Johnson going to Kameron Brown (both 2019 Texas offer holders). We were looking for him to back up his performance from Frisco at the camp Sunday. While he only had about eight reps each one was an excellent display of his speed, athleticism, and ability around the ball. His speed and burst are particularly special and allow him elite ability to break back down on a ball. He was so impressive that he got selected to the Future50 alongside one of the top rated DBs in the nation in 2019, Brian Williams.

    I mean, just watch his tape:


    Dax Hill still is unrated despite having offers from both Oklahoma schools and being in talks with the Texas staff, but once the services get around to giving this guy some stars I’d expect quite a few offers to pour in. If Texas could get in early on this guy, it’d go a long way in pulling him out of the Sooner state.

    • Mar 31 2017 08:14 AM
    • by HornSports Staff
  17. Burnt Ends- 3/7/17 (By Will Baizer)

    The point on a brisket is typically the fattiest cut. Pitmasters often trim the point (and select edges) off a brisket and return those pieces to the smoker.

    Are burnt ends tough, chewy worthless cuts of meat, or are they heavenly bites of smoky goodness? It depends on who you ask...

    Rather than discard the trimmings and fat, we choose to savor all the information that flows through the site. So, sit down and help yourself to some burnt ends.

    +++++

    This is a free site, so anyone can read this report. If you share it with someone, please take time to attribute the information to HornSports.

    +++++

    Trejan Bridges

    Trejan was the most impressive WR on the field throughout the day. He made some crazy catches, and he always seemed like he was open despite having defensive backs all over him. Trejan really displayed some remarkable hands (he may have had some super glue on his gloves), great field awareness, ability to get separation, ability to pinpoint the ball in the air, and fluidity. And boy, does he play fluid. I’ve been talking to Trejan for a while now and I know that he’s a huge basketball guy. One thing that translates from the court to the field is the fluidity and looseness that a player has. All of that combined proved too much for the defensive backs in Dallas on Sunday.

    Currently, Trejan has offers from BYU, Colorado State, and Texas Tech, but he told me that Texas and Notre Dame have started to talk to him. Trejan and Tim Beck are now keeping in contact with each other. He’s an underrated take in my book.

    Rafiti Ghirmai

    The 6’5” 290 lbs Frisco Wakeland tackle showed some powerful and phenomenal technique. Ghirmai made it into the final 5 offensive linemen there for good reason. Ghirmai lost very few reps the entire camp in a drill that does not favor the offense.

    Ghirmai is currently really liking TCU, Florida, and Alabama, and Texas is also very high on his list. “I like Texas a lot. I got to talk to Coach Herman and his wife. My mom was there. We got to tour the facility and [they] kind of gave me special treatment, I felt like.” He continued to tell us, “I met a player named Denzel [Okafor], he was really nice to me. I love the Texas fan base. Texas is a great school. My mom loves that school. I’d consider them very high on my list.” Texas is standing pretty in the race to get the services of this man.

    Ron Tatum

    The 6’4” 260 lbs defensive end from Putnam City, OK was the best player in the defensive line group by far. His size, speed, and strength were just too much for almost every offensive lineman out there. He has a great first step and put guys like Trey Stratford and Darrell Simpson on their butts. I came away very impressed, and after talking with him, more confident in Texas’ ability to pull him from OU. He should be making a trip down to Austin at some point this summer.

    Jaquayln Crawford

    The athlete out of Rockdale showed his explosive ability out on the field in Dallas on Sunday. Texas is still unsure where they want to put the talent and Crawford has been in constant contact with both Mehringer and Michael Huff. Whenever I brought up Huff, he instantly said, “That’s my dude. But he’s a legend.” A week after his visit, Crawford was still just as excited about Texas as if he’d just left Moncrief. I asked him about his thoughts on the program after he had some time to digest the visit and he began gushing about how much he enjoyed the program. Crawford mentioned, “I like all the coaches there and what they’re doing with the program. Just seeing what they’re doing with the facilities is very nice. I believe Tom Herman will turn the program around like he did at Houston. Big things [are] coming to Austin. Tom Herman is just a genuinely cool guy. He’s funny and [he's] somebody I can relate to.”

    For those that don’t know, Rockdale is smack dab in the center between Austin and College Station. You’d think the battle for this guy would be a little more even, but Crawford is loving Texas. “A&M knew about me before Texas and was one of the first schools to contact me. But after they offered me, they stopped talking to me. When I started to blow up they told me, ‘we didn’t forget about you,’ but they really did. Coach Herman offered me as soon as he went to UT. And he and I have a really cool relationship.”

    Byron Hobbs

    The 6'3" 210 lbs Fort Worth Eastern Hills LB had a good day out on the linebacker drills. I believe that he won every rep he went up (at least everyone I saw). However, he did have a bit of trouble with the pass defense drills letting the inside wide receivers poke holes in his coverage every so often. After seeing him perform live, I’m not overly concerned with his pass defense. Hobbs has a nice burst and good speed as an OLB. Byron ran a 4.73 forty, 5-10-5 was a 4.3, vertical was a 35.3, and had a powerball of 37.3.

    When I talked to him about his thoughts on Texas he responded, “Texas was very impressive when I went to visit. I mean *phew* way beyond what I expected. It blew my mind when I got there…Tom Herman and I want the same thing and we want the same thing spiritually.”

    Spiritually?

    “He has a positive vibe about him and he seems like a Godly man.”

    Currently, his top 5 (in no particular order) are Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, and TCU.

    Roschon Johnson

    Roschon Johnson, Texas’ top QB target for 2019 from Port Neches-Groves, was out at the Ford Center on Sunday. Roschon measured in at 6'0.5" and 190 lb, and showed off a pretty throw with accuracy. I left feeling pretty confident with Texas’ choice for their prime target in 2019 and their chances of landing him.

    When I asked him about Texas, he told me, “It exceeds my expectations. I’m impressed by how they go about things and how serious it all is." Currently, there is a three-way race between Texas, TCU, and OU for the dual-threat athlete.

    Keaontay Ingram

    Texas’ top target was the headliner among the group of running backs in Dallas. The East Texas star had a good day running routes. Keaontay wasn’t anything special in 1-on-1’s but he’s also not the Reggie Bush type back that the drill is for. He didn’t run the 40, but he ran the shuttle at a 4.13, threw the power ball 35, and had a vertical of 31”.

    I talked to Keaontay a little bit to get his feelings on Texas a week after his trip to gauge the mood, and Keaontay was still very high on the program. “You know I feel great about Texas. I feel [that] Coach Tom Herman, Coach Drayton, and Coach Warehime know what they’re doing… I’ll be back down there soon.”

    Alston Orji

    One of Texas’ top prospects at linebacker came in and measured at a good 6’2” and 230lbs. While he didn’t do as well as one would’ve hoped, I’m not worried because this camp really isn’t a good indication of his ability.

    When it came to Texas, Orji was most impressed by the educational benefits from Texas, “I never knew a lot of the things they told me about their business school.”

    But when it comes to the relationship he’s building on the field it’s with Coach Orlando who sees Alston as a tactician at OLB.

    Danny Gray

    A relatively unknown name around the Texas circles came to play Sunday. The 6’1” 178lbs 2018 WR from Madison had a phenomenal day, which eventually led to him being chosen as one of the top 5 wide receivers in the building. Danny has some impressive speed, running an official 4.49 forty and proved he has some elite athleticism on the field (37” vertical). Gray was really impressive beating some of the best guys like Verone McKinley and Josh Proctor.
    Currently he’s talking to Oregon and has offers from UNT, Kansas, and Tulsa, but Gray is not unknown by Tom Herman who was recruiting him while he was at UH. He told me if either UT, OU, or UH offer he’s committing.
    Danny Gray is a guy who I expect to be a name that will blow up over the summer or over the season.

    Jase McClellan

    The 2020 Aledo RB had to be one of the most impressive running back at the Ford Center despite being about two years younger than everyone. Jase is a silky-smooth runner and an elite athlete and currently the best running back in the state. Jase had people on the sideline in awe of his speed and fluid nature and on top of all that he has some nice hands.
    Jase won the offensive player of the game in the state championship after a huge game.

    Jase already grabbed an offer from SMU, and he’s getting contact from Georgia, UCLA, Texas Tech and Utah. However, Jase grew up wearing burnt orange and cheering on Colt McCoy.

    He’ll blow up in a big way. Schools are about to be knocking down his door.

    Dax Hill

    Another guy who is relatively unknown amongst Longhorn circles is the 6’ 180lbs DB from Booker T Washington (OK). Honestly, I didn’t know much about this guy, but when he cut the field in half with his speed and swatted the ball out the air from Texas offer holder Kameron Brown, I had to grab him and ask his name. Later I saw his numbers and boy were they impressive. Dax ran a 4.46 40, has a 37.5" vertical, and a shuttle of 4.14. Insane.

    Afterwards I asked him about his performance, “I thought I did well. There’s always room for improvement. But overall I was impressed by my performance.”

    I talked to him about how guys usually blow up after performances like his and he told me Oklahoma State coaches wanted to talk to him afterwards, “I’m sure they were excited to see how fast I ran. I was surprised myself when I saw my 40 time.”

    Taken aback, I asked him if he didn’t know he could run that fast.

    “Not really. Last year my 40 time was a 4.67. I have trainers that help me with my core, explosiveness, and my speed in general. My dad also harps on me about good diet and nutrition.”

    The Texas coaching staff is starting to show some interest here, but OU and Oklahoma State got the home field advantage and have already offered.

    • Mar 08 2017 10:01 AM
    • by Daniel Seahorn
  18. Burnt Ends Part II- 3/1/2017



    The point on a brisket is typically the fattiest cut. Pitmasters often trim the point (and select edges) off a brisket and return those pieces to the smoker.


    Are burnt ends tough, chewy worthless cuts of meat, or are they heavenly bites of smoky goodness? It depends on who you ask...


    Rather than discard the trimmings and fat, we choose to savor all the information that flows through the site. So, sit down and help yourself to some burnt ends.


    +++++


    This is a free site, so anyone can read this report. If you share it with someone, please take time to attribute the information to HornSports.


    +++++


    Leon O'Neal Jr.

    He's one of the most cheerful elite recruits in the state, and he came out of Moncrief with a little skip to his step and a wider than usual smile. If that wasn’t enough to tell, Leon himself let me know he very much enjoyed his trip.

    O'Neal likes to see himself as a no excuses, grind harder type of guy. He carries around a chip on his shoulder wherever he goes and responds positively when challenged. You saw this chip after coming out of nowhere off of a 3-7 year to working to be one of the best at his position at the Houston Opening. So when he told me, “Texas is family…the fact that you can start something new here is something special. A real man can take that on,” I knew he very much liked what he saw. I believe that the Herman staff played this one perfectly over the weekend.

    Catching up with him and some people around him a few days after that trip, I’d still say Texas is the team to beat now after last weekend. However, O'Neal is nowhere near pulling the trigger right now. He’s playing it close to chest but he’s excited that his name is blowing up, and he wants to explore all of his options before he makes the big decision. (Will Baizer)

    Al'vonte Woodard

    Another guy who was blown away by the Junior Days was Lamar’s rocket at wide receiver, Al’Vonte Woodard. When I caught up with him, he lamented, “Man I don’t want to leave. I wish I was spending the night, but I got to go home. I’ll most definitely be back [during] Spring Break.”

    But what struck a chord with Woodard seems to be the renovations that increased his interest “[I was looking forward to] coming up [to Texas] and seeing what’s up. Brand new facilities? And they say they're going to be done in June? That’s right around the corner.” When I spoke with Woodard a few days afterward, he was still buzzing about the holographic display that the Texas program put up that allowed the players to walk through the future locker room.

    Mehringer also let Al’Vonte know that they even want to use him in the backfield, “He’s moving his playmakers around, and that’s what I like.”

    Al’Vonte will be releasing his top 10 not too long from now, and I definitely expect to see Texas on it along with A&M, Ohio State, WVU, LSU, and a few others. With that short 2 hour drive from Houston to Austin, I’d expect to see him and his Lamar buddies around Texas a few more times this Spring. (Will Baizer)

    Bobby ‘Tre’ Brown

    Bobby Brown was the standout star during last summer’s satellite camp, where he earned an offer from Charlie Strong and his staff. After a bit of a disappointing season for the young big man, people weren’t sure how the current staff viewed him.

    After his visit, he let us know that Texas was going to stay on his offer. On top of this, he sang Texas' praises, saying, “It’s like none other. It’s unlike any place I’ve ever been to. The coaches have played here. It’s not just saying, ‘I coached here.’ They’ve played here, they’ve been here, they’ve lived here.”
    After this weekend, I’m confident in saying that Texas is among the five schools Brown is looking at the closest. (Will Baizer)

    Trey Stratford

    Unsurprisingly, Stratford wore his faithful Longhorn hoodie last weekend. During his visit, the Herman staff sold Trey hard on the academic opportunities that Texas can afford to the 6’4” 270 lb Allen OT who wants to major in Finance. Once again, the Herman staff did their homework, as one of the most important things for Stratford when choosing a school is the academics. In terms of the actual visit, Trey had plenty of positive things to say. The best part for Trey? “Being on the field and hearing Texas Fight was a surreal experience. There’s nothing like playing in front of 100,000+ fans.”

    Stratford will be visiting every other major Texas school in the state (sans Texas Tech) and will be coming back for a spring practice. After that, he has several visits planned to out of state schools such as Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and UCLA, to name a few. Trey let us know he expects to commit before the start of the season. (Will Baizer & Harrison Wier)

    Keondre Coburn

    The top ranked DT in the state came out in a Longhorn hoodie throwing up the hook’em, so we’re off to a good start. Texas has former Westfield Coach/current Longhorn TE coach Corby Meekins hot on his trail. “I talk to [Coach] Meekins almost every day. He comes by [the] school most of the time. Seeing him is like seeing a friend.” However, Keondre was most impressed not with who he talked to, but with how the coaches talked to him. “Every other program wants to try to advise you and win you into the program instead of just talking to you like they’re one of your coaches.And that’s how it was here.”

    Coburn changed his answer on if any schools are starting to take a lead ever so slightly by stating, “every school is my favorite school, but coming here today and leaving, I feel like they’re (Texas) coming on top.” (Will Baizer)

    DeMarvion Overshown

    The big athlete from Arp in East Texas, DeMarvion Overshown made his trip to Texas and left impressed, “It was great. It was definitely what I thought it was going to be. Nice campus, nice people, and great all around.” Due to Overshown's size and the fact that last year he went from playing hand in the ground DE to S, the Longhorn coaches are aware of his versatility and are looking to use Overshown as an outside linebacker.

    Overshown was high on the new facilities upgrades, mentioning that “it’s going to be the best in the nation,” and on the new program direction, noting that “it’s going to be a great future for the program. Maybe I’ll join that program.” According to DeMarvion, Texas is one of the top schools in his sights, he already knows he will take his official visit to Texas, and he’ll visit Texas multiple times through the Spring. (Will Baizer)

    Rafiti Ghirmai

    The Wakeland product thoroughly enjoyed his visit to Austin over the weekend. When describing Tom Herman and the Longhorns, there was an extremely positive demeanor coming out of Ghirmai. One of the most noticeable things he had to say was that Tom Herman was not all business. In fact, the Wakeland OT stated that Herman treated him ‘more like a son’ than a player. That’s a huge compliment on Herman’s passion towards recruits as well as the message he is attempting to send. When asked if he would return to Texas for another visit, Ghirmai had no issues stating that he is locked in on taking an official visit to the Longhorns when the time comes. The 2 schools locked in for officials? Florida and TCU.

    However, football is not the only appeal that Texas has with Ghirmai. He also reiterated that life after football would have an impact on his recruiting. Luckily for Texas, Rafiti wants to major in business. In the latest rankings, Texas has the No. 3 ranked business school in the country. That is something that will likely weigh on Ghirmai’s mind as he begins considering a decision.

    Lastly, Tom Herman takes a different approach towards recruiting than Charlie Strong. While Strong was all about winning over the parents, Herman focuses much more on a recruit’s personal appeal as well as their coaches. To see this, look no further than what Herman showed Ghirmai on his visit. “[Coach Herman] showed me a coffee table with all of his rings and other things laid out on it. He even had a gold grill. It was really cool.” Welcome to 2018, folks. Tom Herman is not afraid to pull out all of the stops for a recruit. For Rafiti Ghirmai, it certainly didn’t hurt Texas’ chances. (Harrison Wier)

    Austin Stogner

    The top TE in the 2019 class hasn’t grabbed that Texas offer yet, but that didn’t stop the staff from getting him to Austin to take a good look at him. Austin still says that Texas is among the top schools on his list, which also includes UNC, Duke, and Nebraska. What Austin really likes about this new staff is their use of the TE, and to him, “It’s very important. They’re on the field 100% of the time. It’s very versatile.”

    It appears that the Texas staff is waiting to watch Austin in pads in person before they’ll discuss offering the Prestwood Christian TE. (Will Baizer)

    • Mar 02 2017 08:49 AM
    • by Daniel Seahorn
  19. Burnt Ends Part I- 2/28/2017

    The point on a brisket is typically the fattiest cut. Pitmasters often trim the point (and select edges) off a brisket and return those pieces to the smoker.

    Are burnt ends tough, chewy worthless cuts of meat, or are they heavenly bites of smoky goodness? It depends on who you ask...

    Rather than discard the trimmings and fat, we choose to savor all the information that flows through the site. So, sit down and help yourself to some burnt ends.

    +++++

    This is a free site, so anyone can read this report. If you share it with someone, please take time to attribute the information to HornSports.

    +++++

    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.

    • Mar 02 2017 08:45 AM
    • by HornSports Staff
  20. Commitment Spotlight: Justin Watkins

    The former Florida State commit had been very vocal about his feelings for Texas ever since they offered him back on January 20th. The Vanguard (FL) WR is one of the top players in the state of Florida and rated by some as the top athlete in the country. Justin Watkins was also so impressive at The Opening Regional in Orlando that he landed an invite to Oregon a week ago. This isn’t his first commitment since he blew up back in February of 2015, but it is a big one for the Longhorns as they land their first top tier talent of the 2018 class.

    Film Analysis

    When Justin Watkins steps on the field, it’s just unfair what he does to the opposition. The 5’11” 170lbs athlete from central Florida has it all, speed, acceleration, vision, elusiveness, footwork, and hands. He runs a verified 4.46 forty and seems that speed translate to the field. He’s able to stop on a dime, change direction, and start again at full speed.

    In high school, he has shown off his versatility playing as a RB, slot WR, and outside WR. As a WR he has the speed to take the top off a defense, the hands to make catches over the top or over the middle, the burst to be the guy you throw the screen to, and the raw athleticism to make crazy diving catches. At RB Watkins has displayed great vision, remarkable burst, and elusiveness at the line and beyond. His film reminds me of Tavon Austin’s film from 2008, and that’s a good thing since Texas likes him at slot.

    On top of all this, Watkins is a ridiculously dangerous returner. He makes so many “wow” plays that it’s just hard to nail down what exactly his strengths are besides most things. Like I said above, it’s unfair what he does to others on the field because he has so much more raw talent than everyone else.

    Final Verdict

    While this is a huge win for Texas, his recruitment isn’t over. This is his third school he’s been committed to in three years. Longhorns will have to continue aggressively recruiting him as if there was just a slim chance he might be a Longhorn. But once they get this talent on campus, Watkins has the ceiling to become one of the best WRs to come through Texas.

     

    • Feb 25 2017 07:01 PM
    • by Will Baizer
  21. Texas Junior Day Breakdown

    To say this is a big weekend for Tom Herman and his staff would be a huge understatement. The Texas staff is set to play host to some of the best players in not only the state of Texas, but in the entire country this weekend and they are coming by the bus load. In years past we have seen recruits make their way to Austin for Texas’ Junior Day, but the list of players set to make it in this weekend is something I haven’t seen probably since the peak Mack Brown years when Texas was cherry picking talent throughout the state.

    The names have been coming in fast and furiously, so we are going to break down the names we have penciled in to be in attendance this weekend and give you an idea of the amount of talent that will be on campus this weekend. Also be mindful that guys like Jaylen Waddle made their way to campus earlier today, and some on the list won’t make it down until Sunday. It’s been reported that there will be two separate events this weekend, and that seems to make sense so that the staff isn’t stretched so thin.
    (We may be missing a few names, but with so many recruits coming in we did our best to verify as many as we could.)

    2018

    Quarterbacks

    Tanner Mordecai, Waco Midway

    One of the top signal callers in the state of Texas even though it’s a down year across the board. Mordecai has been on Texas’ radar for a while, but despite not holding an offer he will make his way up the road to Austin. Baylor seems to be trending currently for his services.

    Casey Thompson, Southmoore (OK)

    Quarterback offers have been scarce so far because the coaches want to see them throw, but Thompson has received an offer and is one to keep an eye going forward. He has expressed wanting to make an early decision and with Oklahoma already having their quarterback for this class, Texas could be in prime position to land him despite being a Sooner legacy.

    Justin Rogers, Parkway (LA)

    Rogers is raw as a passer, but he has tons of athleticism and upside, and he could be the key to landing his five star wide receiver teammate Terrace Marshall. Rogers doesn’t hold an offer just yet, but with him and Marshall making their way into town I could see one coming once he sits down with the coaches.

    Chance Amie, Tyler Lee

    Amie is similar to Rogers as far as being raw with upside, but is probably further off in regards to getting offered. The East Texas gun slinger has recently received offers from Syracuse, ULL, and Virginia.

    Running Backs

    Keaontay Ingram, Carthage

    Ingram is the top running back in the state and is the only back we know of that will be in attendance this weekend. He should get plenty of love from Stan Drayton this weekend, and he is priority for the staff, as he was offered earlier this month.

    Wide Receivers

    Jalen Preston, Manvel

    One of the top wide outs in the state and in the country made a name for himself on the hardwood, and is now doing the same on the gridiron. Another stud out of the pipeline down in Manvel.

    Al'vonte Woodard, Houston Lamar

    Woodard is part of the Lamar Trio and that makes him one of the top priorities on the board for the Texas staff. Recently received offers from Ohio State and TCU, but Texas is in good shape early on here.

    Brennan Eagles, Alief Taylor

    The star of the Opening Regional down in Houston after posting some freaky numbers for his size. Like Woodard he is also a priority for the staff and likes Texas, but program far and wide have come calling for his services.

    Tommy Bush, Schertz Clemens

    You are going to find a hard time finding a hotter prospect in the country than Tommy Bush. Like Eagles, he tested really well for his size down in Houston and that has his stock going thru the roof. Alabama recently put an offer on the table, and Texas might be next.

    Erik Ezukanma, Timber Creek

    Ezukanma had an impressive junior year and has the film that backs it up, but where does he stand on the staff’s big board? In my opinion he’s worthy of an offer, but will have to wait in line due to the depth of the position.

    Terrace Marshall, Parkway (LA)

    Not much needs to be said here. Marshall is arguably the top receiver in the country and getting him on campus with Rogers is a good start to trying to land him. Him and Rogers both seem open to leaving Louisiana, but lets see how long that holds up when LSU starts dialing up the heat.

    Jonathan Shepherd, Kilgore

    Sleeper wide receiver out of East Texas that is still looking to get that first offer. Not expecting him to factor into Texas’ plans at this time.

    Michael Woods, Magnolia

    SMU commit that reeled in 21 touchdowns this past season for Magnolia. Solid player that is probably a long shot for an offer right now.

    Kalon Barnes, Silsbee

    Speedy wide receiver from the Golden Triangle that already has 11 offers to his name. Another nice player, but I don’t think he is in Texas’ plans as things sit currently.

    Ja'Kori Morgan, Clear Lake

    Army, Houston, and Oregon State have already offered this month, but I don’t expect there to be much going on between Morgan and Texas at this time.

    Tight Ends

    Mustapha Muhammad, Fort Bend Ridge Point

    The top priority at the position for the Texas staff, but the competition is going to be stiff. Has spoken highly of Tom Herman since his arrival in Austin and getting him on campus for some face time with the staff is a good start.

    Bralen Taylor, Cuero

    Taylor’s stock has absolutely exploded this month with schools like Miami, Oregon, and TCU all offering recently. I’m plenty intrigued by his potential and it should be interesting to see what the staff has to say to him this weekend.

    Malcolm Epps, Spring Dekaney

    Getting the former Alabama pledge on campus is a good start with his recruitment now reopened. Like Muhammad, he already holds an offer from Texas and several of the nation’s elite.

    Offensive Linemen

    Rafiti Ghirmai, Frisco Wakeland

    The moment I saw Ghirmai on film I knew it was only a matter of time before his stock blew up and blow up he did. He’s better than his three star ranking and is now north of 20 FBS offers and is a take all day long a tackle. Texas has already offered.

    Trey Stratford, Allen

    Stratford protects the blind side for Allen’s quarterbacks, but I think he kicks inside at the collegiate level at center or guard. Texas hasn’t had much luck at Allen when it comes to landing recruits, but they are very much in it for Stratford early on.

    Reese Moore, Seminole (Maybe)

    The jumbo athlete from Seminole is still a maybe for Junior Day due to his basketball obligations. Despite playing several positions for Seminole, Texas likes him at tackle at the next level.

    Barton Clement, Thurgood Marshall

    It’s been speculated that A&M leads for Clement, but he did list Texas in his top list of schools after they offered, and they are getting him onto campus this weekend.

    Chasen Hines, Marshall

    The dancing bear of an offensive guard hailing from East Texas is one of my personal favorites so far this cycle, and he is one to keep an eye on if things go well this weekend.

    Dylan Wonnum, Tucker (GA)

    Blue chip offensive guard from Georgia will make his way down to Austin for the Junior Day. I imagine he will pick up an offer during his time on campus.

    Defensive Linemen

    Max Wright, Katy Taylor

    Wright is another favorite of mine from the in-state crop of recruits. He’s said to be an A&M lean at this point in his recruitment, and I won’t dispute that, as this one has always had a feel that trended towards the Aggies. Texas needs to roll out the red carpet and try to make up ground.

    Taylor Upshaw, Braden River (FL)

    An intriguing player making his way in from Bradenton, Florida, but doesn’t hail from IMG Academy believe it or not. Recently picked up offers from Indiana, Ole Miss, and Southern Miss.

    Miles Emery, Blue Valley North (KS)

    I don’t have much on Emery other than that Oklahoma offered January and Iowa State recently extended one as well. I am a bit curious to why Kansas State hasn’t moved in on him given they are typically all over in-state talent.

    Tahj Brown, Donaldsonville (LA)

    Defensive end from The Boot who holds C-USA and AAC offers early on. Likely not an offer candidate at this time.

    Jarrell Cherry, Dallas Carter

    This will be an interesting one to keep an eye on this weekend. Cherry was extended offer by the previous staff, but to our knowledge had not had the offer re-affirmed. This weekend should clear that up one way or the other.

    Jamarcus Chatman, Rome (GA) (Maybe)

    Still unsure if he makes it in, but the edge rusher from Georgia holds over 30 offers, and recently added Florida State, Iowa, and Tennessee.

    Joseph Ossai, Conroe Oak Ridge

    Athletic edge rusher from Conroe who notched a Texas offer recently and then another from Alabama not too long after. Been speculated that he is high on A&M, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him pump the breaks as more offers roll in.

    Joshua Landry, Houston Lamar

    While many are focused on Anthony Cook, D’Shawn Jamison, and Al’vonte Woodard, Landry is closing in on 20 offers himself. Lamar is absolutely loaded yet again.

    Keondre Coburn, Spring Westfield

    One of the top priorities at defensive tackle and hails from Corby Meekins’ old stomping ground at Westfield. Texas hasn’t had much luck there lately, but this recruitment is a big opportunity to get them back on track there.

    Shabazz Dotson, Cedar Hill

    Dotson is a solid player, but there hasn’t been much buzz between him and Texas to this point in the process.

    Moro Ojomo, Katy

    The Katy defensive tackle has seen his stock take off lately, as Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, SMU, and TCU have all offered. He’s a little light in the britches currently and I don’t think he would be in line for an offer until later down the line.

    Linebackers

    Joshua Reed, Houston Heights

    Under the radar linebacker from Houston who had a very productive junior season. Hasn’t notched any offers to this point, but I suspect that won’t be the case for long as schools come by this spring.

    DeMarvion Overshown, Arp

    He’s right up there with Tommy Bush when it comes to his stock being red hot. Overshown is a giant safety, who looks like he could eventually grow into a linebacker and Texas offered in December well before the blow up. That could be meaningful when it comes time to making a decision.

    Defensive Backs

    Anthony Cook, Houston Lamar

    Not much needs to be said here. Five star cornerback, who is fresh off of earning an invite to The Opening in Oregon. Likes Texas plenty, but don’t expect him to be shutting it down anytime soon.

    Gemon Green, DeSoto

    Gemon and his twin brother German will make the trip down to Texas this Sunday. Gemon is the more sought after of the duo, and boasts offers from Michigan, Oregon, and TCU.

    German Green, DeSoto

    Twin brother of Gemon. Has been banged up and while he has some offers to his name, he is not as sought after his brother.

    Trent Gordon, Manvel

    Another year, another Manvel defensive back bound for an FBS school. Gordon has racked up a slew of offers already and more on certain to be on the way. Could potentially walk away with an offer this weekend.

    Starrland Baldwin, Cy-Falls

    Cat quick corner that hails from Cy-Falls (threw down a 3.85 shuttle at the Opening Regional) that is just now seeing his stock start to take off.

    Patrick Fields, Tulsa Union (OK)

    With the amount of talent in-state at the position this cycle, some have had mixed feelings about Fields receiving an early offer, but the kid can play. It will be interesting to see how the staff plays this if he wants to shut it down early this spring.

    Atanza Vongor, South Grand Prairie

    Another player that received an early offer last summer from the previous staff, but there is uncertainty that new staff covets him the same way. Reportedly wants to commit soon, but if he does I’m not sure it will be Texas.

    Leon O'Neal Jr., Cy Springs

    Stud safety that has been “waking them up” quite often so far early in the cycle. O’Neal is highly coveted by many and for good reason. Texas will have a chance to make an impression this weekend.

    BJ Foster, Angleton

    The five star safety that hails from Angleton made it known that he will be in town all weekend long and that is never a bad thing. Listed Texas in his top 5 awhile back and is arguably the top priority on the board for the staff. Having Quandre Diggs on your side helps a lot here, but watch out for Ohio State.

    Isaiah Humphries, Sachse

    The Penn State legacy recently pledged to his father’s alma mater and will be a tough hill to climb despite the proximity to home.

    Athletes

    Ta'Zhawn Henry, Houston Lamar

    Henry is a favorite for some, but him and Texas are likely never going to cross paths on the recruiting trail.

    Justin Watkins, Vanguard (FL)

    The Florida State commit has been very vocal about his feelings for Texas ever since they offered and him flying to Austin on his own dime is a strong way of backing up the talk of possibly switching his pledge. Watkins and Texas could legitimately happen in the near future, but he is already on his second commitment, and would need to be recruited intensely until he signs.

    Jaquayln Crawford, Rockdale

    Crawford was very excited when Texas extended an offer and even went as far to say they were his dream school. Some think he’s a candidate to shut it down early in the process, but I am taking a wait and see approach for right now. Crawford can play either side of the ball, but I think he projects to the slot on offense.

    Julon Williams, Converse Judson

    An intriguing prospect from just up the road near San Antonio. Probably doesn’t get an offer this weekend, but could be a name to know for later on down the line.

    2019

    Quarterbacks

    Roschon Johnson, Port Neches Groves

    The lone offer out at quarterback so far for the 2019 class, and is said to be very fond of the Longhorns.

    Grant Gunnell, St. Pius X

    While Johnson received the first quarterback offer, I expect Gunnell to receive one as well as he is one of the best in the state and the country. Texas A&M probably holds the advantage in this one with his brother walking on there.

    Offensive Lineman

    Kenyon Green, Atascocita

    Green committed on the spot when offered early by LSU, but there is plenty of time to work on him. Personally I think he is a much better prospect than Samuel Cosmi, who Texas just signed.

    Kardell Thomas, Southern University Lab (LA)

    The monster offensive lineman who went viral after he absolutely bullied defensive linemen at the Army All-American combine. He is likely a long shot considering his proximity to LSU, but he will likely be offered.

    Wide Receivers

    Theo Wease Jr., Allen (maybe)

    Wease recently committed to Oklahoma, so I’m not sure he will make it in, but there is still a long way to go in this recruitment.

    Tight Ends

    Austin Stogner, Prestonwood

    Stogner has yet to play a snap of his junior season and his stock is already taking off. I wouldn’t be surprised if the staff extended an offer, as Baylor, Colorado, Duke, Houston, Oklahoma State, and TCU already have.

    Defensive Linemen

    Lloyd Murray, Hirschi

    Big time defensive tackle from Wichita Falls that already holds reported offers from Florida State, Notre Dame, TCU, and Tennessee.

    Athletes

    Jordan Whittington, Cuero

    This kid plays a little bit of everything for Cuero, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if an offer is extended this weekend. He is already being chased by big time national programs, and Oregon just threw their name in the hat today.

    • Feb 25 2017 08:32 AM
    • by Daniel Seahorn
  22. Burnt Ends - 02/14/2017

    The point on a brisket is typically the fattiest cut. Pitmasters often trim the point (and select edges) off a brisket and return those pieces to the smoker.

    Are burnt ends tough, chewy worthless cuts of meat, or are they heavenly bites of smoky goodness? It depends on who you ask...

    Rather than discard the trimmings and fat, we choose to savor all the information that flows through the site. So, sit down and help yourself to some burnt ends.

    +++++

    This is a free site, so anyone can read this report. If you share it with someone, please take time to attribute the information to HornSports.

    +++++

    In this edition of Burnt Ends we bring you more from our time at Nike's Opening - Houston Regional (yes, this is Part 2 from last week's edition). Again, we caught up with some of the playmakers that hold Texas offers and some of the guys flying under the radar that will emerge as legit candidates to receive a future offer from the Tom Herman staff.

    Let's get started.

    Theo Wease Jr. (2019 WR, Allen HS)

    The highly sought after 6’1.5” 189lbs sophomore out of Allen had a very good day on the field in Houston. Theo is really in his element when he can get down the field and can use his athleticism to high point the football. He checks off a lot of the boxes for a good WR: He’s a natural hands catcher, good speed, length, and athleticism. I’m interested in seeing how he develops throughout the process.

    HS: How does the Texas offer feel?

    That was the first offer that left me speechless. My coach called me over to the office, and Coach Warehime was waiting for me to surprise me. I just walked in and saw him, and he told me I had an offer and I was speechless.

    HS: How’s Coach Warehime?

    He’s a cool dude, super cool. He treats me like a son. That’s what I like about him so much. He treats me like family.

    HS: Do you know if you’ll be going to Jr. Days?

    I don’t know yet.

    HS: Who do you model your game after?

    That’s tough, but I’ll say Julio Jones.

    HS: Come on!

    Yeah. *laughs* I just like how he’s big and fast. And he’ll still outrun you if you guard him with size.

    HS: What are you looking for in a college offense?

    Somewhere where I feel comfortable. Somewhere I know I’ll have multiple chances, not like where if we throw once that was my chance to get the ball.

    Max Wright (2018 DL, Katy Taylor HS)

    Another one of our favorite kids in this class, and not just because he’s a beast on the field, but because he’s a big-hearted guy that is always a pleasure to talk to. On top of this he’s big and strong with great technique and incredible burst for his size. He came in and measured in at 6’5.5” and 270lbs. While he didn’t want to talk about his 40 time (nobody did well in the 40 due to the weather conditions) he still had a shuttle time of 4.3, jumped 29”, and threw the power ball over 40.

    When the drills switched to 1-on-1’s he was basically unstoppable. He didn't lose a single rep; however he was not awarded a spot as one of the best 5 defensive lineman in the camp, which we thought was the robbery of the day.

    HS: Break down what it’s been like since the season ended.

    It’s been fun with the recruiting process kicking up. Hasn’t been hectic, but it has been a little more involved. It’s been fun, but I’m kicking into baseball now.

    Baseball was my first love, and it started when I was about 5 years old that I got into all that. I played on a little team called the Texas Patriots. It was us and the Banditos.

    HS: What’s your baseball jersey number?

    44

    HS: So 44 and 99? I think I see a pattern going there.

    Yep, because it’s the biggest jersey they got.

    HS: Now that you have all the offers to sort through, what is coming next for you? Will you be narrowing your list soon?

    Pretty soon.

    HS: You have a timeline?

    *audible drawn back thinking* Nothing set in stone. It’ll definitely be in the next couple of months.

    HS: What’s going to help you keep a school on that list?

    I need to be comfortable there. That’s a big thing for me. I don’t want to go to a school where I feel super uncomfortable. I want to really love the school.

    HS: What do you think about Texas in that sense?

    My brother is at St. Edwards University, which is right down the road so I’ve been to Austin a lot. I like Austin a lot. It’s a lot of fun and a great place. With the river down there, we went standup paddle boarding, went to the fresh water spring. It’s a fun place.

    HS: What do you think of the new coaching staff there?

    (Tom) Herman’s legit. He’s awesome. I was real close to him when he was at Houston, and I saw that kind of happen. I saw how he turned that all around. I’m ready for it.

    HS: What other school are you really considering?

    Texas A&M, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Alabama… the big dawgs.

    HS: You recently went to Alabama too. How was it?

    It was fun. They definitely pulled out the red carpet.

    HS: What was it like after they the loss in the National Championship game? Did they just turn the page?

    I could tell that they were definitely on fire to go win.

    HS: What other visits do you have lined up?

    Texas and some other school that may jump out. We’ll see.

    HS: What scheme do you think fits you best?

    I think that I could really fit into a lot of schemes as a 4i or 5 tech rusher. I love rushing off the edge. There is nothing like it because when you get that one-on-one… and there’s nothing like it *laughing.* But I think 4 tech would work if it needed to. I like being a 5. I could be a 2i or 3, and I like that because it’s what we do at my school and where I get most of my pressure.

    HS: Well the 3-4 uses guys in the 4i and 5 tech, but you don’t like the 3-4, right?

    The 3-4 is hard for guys like me. It’s a linebacker set, I guess you could say in high school because we’re supposed to eat up blocks and let the linebackers run. It’s not hard to make all the plays you could, but in a 4 man front it’s a lot easier. I really like the freedom to get after guys.

    While we think the Longhorns trail in his recruitment at the time being, he’s a Houston guy. Don't count Texas out of the game from anybody in this strong Houston-area 2018 class.

    Taye Barber (2018 WR, Cypress Springs HS)

    Most haven't heard about the speedy slot WR from Cypress Spring, Taye Barber, before the Houston Regional. After seeing him person, he’s a name people need to get familiar with. Barber has some serious speed and ability to create separation that was unlocked when the players went to one-on-ones. No matter where the quarterbacks threw the ball, Barber found a way to reel it in. He is a wonderful fit for the slot position.

    When a player sits at 5’9” and 183lbs, they need something to standout, and Barber has some elite athleticism and recorded the 8th best Nike Rating of 110.97. Keep your eyes on him, because his stock is about to skyrocket and he will be at Texas’ Junior Day. Expect him to grab an offer by the time the summer is over.

    HS: You looked great today. Is there something in the water out there at Cy-Springs?

    I just wanted to come out to compete and do my best.

    HS: What schools are talking to you right now?

    I’ve been talking to Texas, Missouri… a lot of schools. I just got an offer from TCU. I got back from visits to TCU, Tulsa, and Oklahoma State.

    HS: Who’s talking to you from Texas?

    Coach Naivar.

    HS: How you liking Texas? Will you be going to their Junior Day?

    I’ll be there. February 25th. They told me to be patient with an offer, but I’m going to be talking to the wide receivers coach when I get there.

    HS: Whose game would you say you model yours after?

    Odell Beckham Jr. He can do it all.

    Alan Bowman (2018 QB, Grapevine HS)

    Bowman is a player the media takes notice of at camps, but for some reason his recruitment hasn’t taken off. Bowman had the best day of any of the quarterbacks by far and was rewarded by being chosen as QB #1 among the top 5.

    He’s a big athletic passer with a wide 6’3” 206 lbs. frame and he can spin the ball down the field or hit the crossing route over the middle. Accuracy is the name of his game. One thing that he could improve upon is his decision making, but Bowman has all the tools to make him a highly sought after QB. While he’s currently flying under the radar in the recruiting circles, he put on a performance at the Opening Regional that had all the pundits buzzing.

    HS: Who are you talking to right now?

    Recruiting has been a little rough. No offers yet. But I’m talking to Iowa, and North Texas and UTSA stopped by. Virginia is going to come out for spring ball, and I’m talking to guys from Missouri. They seem to be the most interested. Then again, it’s all talk. Spring ball is going to be huge, but I’m excited to continue pushing. It’s fun and I can’t wait to see what in the future for me.

    HS: What do you plan to work on the most?

    Of course, it’s getting bigger, stronger, and faster in the offseason. That’s kind of a given with everyone. I definitely want to get more accurate in everything I do. I do feel like I’m one of the more accurate quarterbacks, but you can always be better. I also want to work on arm strength and velocity. I want to be able to make every throw on the field.

    Tanner Mordecai 2018 QB Waco Midway

    The QB from Waco seems to be one of the hottest names in the state among quarterbacks. While he was Texas’ favorite QB under Sterlin Gilbert, this staff seems to not have made their minds up on him and seem to still be deliberating.

    Mordecai measured in at 6’2, 213 pounds at the Opening Regional and told HornSports he was invited to Texas’ Junior Day by Tim Beck and he will be in attendance. Along with Texas’ Junior Day, Mordecai will also visit Texas Tech.

    Jalen Green (2018 DB, Heights HS)

    There wasn’t a WR on the field that Green couldn’t put on lock down all day long. In fact, it’s hard to even find anything he did wrong all day. The Opening staff agreed with me on this as they extended an invite to him to go to The Opening in Oregon. In a class filled with some of the best defensive backs ever seen in Texas, the 6’1” 173lbs Jalen Green is making a case that he is the best. He ran a 4.6 40 and had a shuttle of 4.01.

    HS: How you feeling about picking up the Texas offer?

    I feel pretty good. Coach Washington called my coach to let me know that I got it. It felt good. It’s amazing. I’m going to take a trip down there to see how it is.

    HS: Are you going to Texas Jr. Days?

    I’ll be out of town that day, but I’m going to rearrange and make something happen.

    HS: How do you feel about your play today?

    I played amazingly. I really wanted to play more off, but I didn’t get a chance to.

    HS: How about that invite to The Opening?

    It’s a dream come true to be honest. I’m excited.

    HS: Whose game do you model your own after?

    Devonta Jackson.

    HS: What type of defensive system do you guys run at Heights?

    We run lots of man coverage.

    Austin Stogner (2019 TE, Prestonwood Christian Academy)

    Austin is a very soft spoken kid, but when he’s on the field he anything but soft. This young guy will be the talk of the 2019 class next year and he’s already blowing up. On Sunday he grabbed four offers in the span of a few hours. That’s a pretty good Sunday. Almost as good as his Saturday where he played so well that he was awarded the WR/TE MVP of the Houston regional.

    He came into the day measuring at 6’6” 230lbs, which is great size for his position and with room to grow. He’s also a basketball player, and you know what they say about basketball players. They make great TEs. He’s proof positive of the saying. Stogner was fired up about earning MVP honors, and told HornSports he had a visit to Houston planned the same day of the regional. He also told HornSports that he will be attending the Under Armor Camp and will try to add more accolades to his resume.

    • Feb 14 2017 10:42 AM
    • by HornSports Staff
  23. Burnt Ends - 02/06/2017 - Part I

    PART I

    The point on a brisket is typically the fattiest cut. Pitmasters often trim the point (and select edges) off a brisket and return those pieces to the smoker.

    Are burnt ends tough, chewy worthless cuts of meat, or are they heavenly bites of smoky goodness? It depends on who you ask...

    Rather than discard the trimmings and fat, we choose to savor all the information that flows through the site. So, sit down and help yourself to some burnt ends.

    +++++

    This is a free site, so anyone can read this report. If you share it with someone, please take time to attribute the information to HornSports.

    +++++

    The 2017 Recruiting cycle came to an official close last Wednesday and things are moving fast on the 2018 front. Nike's Opening Regional took place this past weekend and with it manifested tons of high school talent, including some big names with Texas offers.

    HornSports' Will Baizer was on hand to take in the event, interview recruits and bring you the latest on Tom Herman's targets.

    Let's jump right in to Part I of Burnt Ends this week.....

    +++++

    Josh Moore Heading to IMG Academy


    The sleek 6’1” 173lbs WR just announced he’ll be going to IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida) yesterday in order to be better utilized in their offensive system, as opposed to the the smash mouth variety of football Yoakum runs. Josh is very athletic, jumping over 38” on his vertical and he possesses a clean technique. Almost every route he runs is run to perfection.

    Texas has been sitting pretty in this recruitment since day one and Josh is a very big fan of Texas - he has been since before the recruiting process started. Even though he’ll be moving 16 hours away, this player will still have Texas on his mind.

    HS: You’re going to Texas Junior Day, right?
    “Of course.”

    HS: But you’re repping Ohio State today? What’s up with that?
    “You know, mixing it up a little bit. Messing with people’s heads. Keeping them guessing. You got to.”

    HS: So, you’re going to IMG? You just announced it yesterday. Why did you decide to go to IMG?
    “Just overall development. I feel like they have everything I need to bring my body to succeed at the next level.”

    HS: What have the IMG coaches been telling you?
    “They love me. I’ve talked to the head coach, Coach Wright, a million times. He called me yesterday morning to tell me he can’t wait for me to get over there. I’m ready and excited to get going.”

    HS: Is your brother giving you the hard sell on Texas A&M?
    “Oh man… He gets annoying. I just want to slap him. Just, “hey bro, A&M bro, we got 17 class phenomenal bro, we are going to win a natty.” Man, shut up. If I commit, I commit.”

    HS: And you guys aren’t tied at the waist?
    “Nah, nah. I mean I’m going to Florida and he’s staying home. People think I’m going to commit to A&M just because of him, but I wouldn’t be going 16 hours away if I cared.”

    +++++

    Standouts from The Opening Regional

    These are some of the guys who really blew our staff away during the camp.

    Offense – Brennan Eagles

    We weren't able to interview Brennan at the campbut we will talk about him here.

    When I told someone that Brennan measured in at 6’3.5” and 214 lbs they asked if I was talking about him or his shoulders. Brennan is built like a cartoon strong man. Every muscle on him is so ridiculously big that he dwarfed some of the tight ends.

    He came out of the day with the best Nike score by far of 132.24 (20 points higher than 2nd place) and earned an invite to The Opening. That Nike score would have given him the 5th best Nike score from all the regionals in 2016. Beyond that he showed an ability to beat the best by snagging balls over the heads of guys like Anthony Cook on a regular basis. Give him the fifth star.

    Defense – Anthony Cook

    The five-star corner out of Lamar had a phenomenal day. So great that he got an invite to The Opening at the end of the regional and was crowned the defensive MVP of the camp. While he sits at 6’1” 170lbs, he plays more like he’s 6’8” 250lbs with the strength he showed while maintaining elite agility and speed of a CB. He was the best CB out of the field, even though he was a bit grabby all day long.

    Anthony Cook has a tremendous relationship with the coaching staff at Texas, and the Longhorns are in prime position to reel this five-star in. He’ll have day 1 impact potential if he joins the Longhorns.

    HS: Will you be headed to Texas Junior Day?
    “Yes sir.”

    HS: Which coach has been in contact with you?
    “Coach Washington. He calls me about once a week to check up on me”.

    HS: You talk to Grant Delpit much?
    “Yeah, I talked to him at the Under Armor game. Yeah. He talking that stuff, “come to LSU,” and that.”

    HS: Do you talk to Holton Hill?
    “When I go to Texas’ Junior Day that’s who I’m going to talk to. Him, Eric Cuffee, and all of them.”

    HS: Is Holton trying to recruit like Delpit?
    “Nah. He’s real chill.”

    HS: What’s your connection to Eric (Cuffee)?
    “That’s my cousin.”

    HS: Who’s the best player you’ve ever gone up against?
    “Al’Vonte (Woodard). He’s good.”

    Defense - D’Shawn Jamison

    D’Shawn had an amazing camp filled with highlight reel plays, including one play where he tip drilled the ball to himself for a pick against the best of the best on the field. He really stood out as one of the best players on the field, and gave quarterbacks fits all camp long. He’s got long arms and wonderful speed to close throwing windows. The 5’10” 174lbs DB got a Nike score of 112.4 and could have done much better.

    The combination of D’Shawn’s attitude and his ability to make incredible plays has landed him as one of our staff's favorite player to cover.

    HS: You have a Texas offer. How you feeling about it?
    “Real excited”.

    Who else is in the running with Texas?
    “TCU.”

    HS: Will you be going to UT Jr. Days?
    “Yes sir.”

    HS: Who’s recruiting you right now?
    “At TCU it’s Coach Gonzalez and for Texas it’s Coach Washington.”

    HS: How do you feel about Coach Washington?
    “He’s a great dude. He’s one of the people I can say is more of like a big brother to me. He’s more of a chill coach than the other Texas coaches. That’s what I like about him.”

    HS: You’ve been to campus right?
    “Yeah! When I usually go there, I watch one of my friends and former teammates Hollywood Holton Hill.”

    HS: What is Holton telling you? Is he trying to sway you to Texas?
    “Nah! He just saying make the right choice because UT is a great school academically wise, so that means a lot.”

    Offense - Mustapha Muhammad

    This top target for Texas had a great day as well as he was named to the top 5 TE’s at the camp. The #1 TE in the state is a very smart guy, looking to major in business when he gets to college, and he’s got the brains and grades to do it. Mustapha measured in at 6’4” 230lbs. He’s big, a very good route runner, and has some great hands.

    The Texas staff has been on Mustapha for a very long time now, and he might be one the guys they have the best relationship with.

    HS: Are you going to be at the Texas Junior Day?
    “Yes, I’m going to Texas’ Junior Day. I’ve already been to one, but I’m also trying to get out to UT, A&M… closer schools”.

    HS: Corby Meekins was over at your school a few weeks ago right?
    “Yeah before the dead period and he brought over Coach Herman two weeks ago”.

    HS: How do feel about Coach Herman?
    “I really like Coach Herman. I’ve had a good relationship with him ever since he was at U of H. He’s a very relatable guy and he also isn’t afraid to be realistic with you”.

    HS: What has been the staff’s pitch to you?
    “They’ve been telling me how they are going to use me in their offense. You know, they are going to have a spread offense, but I’ll be attached, at H-Back or split out. Kind of getting into the nitty gritty of what they want to do.”

    HS: How do you like Corby Meekins?
    “We’ve really built a relationship. We’re always calling, texting and whatnot just to stay in touch. Keep Texas on my mind. He does a good job of that.”

    HS: What other schools are in the mix right now?
    “There’s a lot. I’m just pruning my top 10 list right now. It’ll come out in May.”

    HS: What are your plans for this summer?
    “Working out and going on as many visits as I can.”

    Defense - Keondre Coburn

    Often rated as the top DL in the state, Keondre Coburn is one of the top defensive tackle targets for the Longhorns in the 2018 class. He’s got the size and he’s got the feet. His hips are fluid and his pad level stays low. While he could work on his first step, his game is very clean. He’s one of the best in the nation and will be highly sought after.

    HS: How you feeling about that Texas offer?
    “It’s a dream come true. I love Texas ever since Vince Young. Watching him when I was little. It was a blessing to get that.”

    HS: Are you going to be at Texas Junior Day?
    “Yes sir. February 25th. Looking forward to it.”

    HS: How old were you when Vince Young was in charge?
    “They won in 2005? So I was like 5. And it was in my home town.”

    HS: So you’re from California? Why’d your family move to Texas?
    “My dad got a job in Texas. He also said that Texas high school football is much better than California. It’s the best.”

    HS: Who do you model your game after in college or pro?
    “Aaron Donald. That man is unbelievable. What else can you ask for a defensive tackle to do? He’s quick off the ball, he doesn’t quit, he’s undersized, and he’s proved everybody wrong every play. That man is just an animal.”

    HS: What do you want to change in your game to be more like Aaron Donald?
    “I’d like to be quicker and just have the mindset that I’m the best and nobody can stop me.”

    HS: So who else is in the mix with Texas?
    “Every school I have an offer from. Nobody has a downfall, nobody is at the top. Everybody is the same.”

    HS: How does it feel to be competing at a camp like this?
    “Oh it’s fun competing with other people you know. I’m just ready to prove to everybody that I’m number one.”

    Offense - Al’Vonte Woodard

    The 6’1” 180lbs Lamar pass catcher was not guardable. He arguably was the best WR at the camp, he didn’t have a single drop, and he made some acrobatic catches to boot. His speed, size, and athleticism make him pretty tough on defensive backs.

    HS: What has the experience out here been like for you?
    “It’s real good hanging out with guys you don’t normally hang out with because you’re at school. On the weekends you either have homework or are working out. So it’s a pretty good feeling hanging out with these guys.”

    HS: Anthony Cook told me you’re the best WR he’s ever gone up against. How you feel about that?
    "Well, since we go to the same school, we’re not going to go up against each other today. He’s a very physical DB. He goes to my school, so you get that competitive, D1, next level feeling."

    HS: Speaking of D1, how you feeling about your Texas offer?
    “Very pumped. I talk to the WR coach almost every day. Talking shop and checking up.”

    HS: How do you like Coach Mehringer?
    “He’s a cool dude, really cool dude. I talk with him, if not every day, every other day.”

    HS: Are you attending Texas’ Junior Day?
    “Yes sir.”

    HS: Do you communicate with any of the Texas players?
    “Well Hollywood (Holton Hill) goes there, but we don’t talk much. We talk every once in a while, but not much.”

    HS: Who would you say your game is most reminiscent of?
    “AJ Green. No matter where the ball is, he’s going to adjust to it. He’s a deep threat. Take the top off the defense.”

    HS: What’s your favorite part of your game?
    “When we play another team, I know I’m going to be double covered. So I know I can create separation and beat any double team. It’s a good feeling.”

    HS: What do you want to work on?
    “Pad level and staying low.”

    Defense - Leon O’Neal Jr.


    Maybe one of our favorite kids in the class due to his energy on and off the field, and another guy who had a spectacular day. He’s a physical defensive back that likes to use 6’2” 190lbs frame to push guys around, but he’s also got the athleticism to make plays on the balls. In fact, there was a play that displayed just exactly what he brings to the table when he knocked one receiver on his ass and made a diving interception on a ball down the field. He received the 13th highest Nike score of the day with a very respectable 99. With his great length and make up speed, he was able to cover any target on the field and do so impressively.

    HS: How you feeling about the Longhorns and your offer?
    “Getting a Texas offer is a unique thing. It’s the best school to go if you really want that foundation to be set. There are a lot of great Texas schools like Texas A&M and TCU, but getting an offer from them is like another feeling. Herman is doing something special over there that he’s going to be part of. So it really means a lot.”

    HS: You’ll be going to the Texas Junior Day then?
    “Yes sir. On the 25th. Like I said, one of the best schools in the nation, so why not? Why not try to get on board and see what it’s like.”

    HS: Which Texas coach is in contact with you?
    “Naivar. He’s got a lot of energy. I have a lot of energy so we click on that basis. He is always calling home to see how everyone is doing.”

    HS: You love to trash talk on the field. What was one of your favorite moments on the field where you punked somebody and then told them a little something?
    “Oh, I just wake ‘em up is all I do. It just comes naturally; I don’t really know what I’ll be saying. It just comes off the top of the head like tha.t.

    HS: Who do you model your game after?
    “Kam Chancellor and maybe some Landon Collins. Those dudes come down and hit and they have a lot of fire in their heart when they play the game. That’s what I try to maintain. I have a lot of fire in my heart from my past. I got a family to feed. So when you come out here you have to get the energy up and be ready to eat.”

    You mind letting others know about your family?
    “My mom at a point lost a cousin this season and at that same point in the season I turned into a warrior. It hurt. And after that I just had to play for him. Zero offers to twenty. Just goes to show if you really want something, you gotta go out and get it, no matter how long it takes. It could take one year, two years, three years, or maybe make it ten, but it’s going to happen. I’m just blessed.”

    • Feb 07 2017 08:52 AM
    • by HornSports Staff
  24. Tom Herman's Strategy Changing Texas Recrui...

    As coaches change, they bring their own twist to the recruiting game, one that fans and media alike must get used to. To give some perspective on these changes, we’ll look at how the Texas program has progressively changed philosophies in order to keep up with the national trend in recruiting.

    When Mack Brown took the reins in Austin in 2008 he rarely offered out-of-state players and wanted his offers to carry a weight of exclusivity. During Brown’s career, he was usually able to pick and choose the recruits he wanted and took a ton of pride in being able to say he offered 25 guys and 24 of them signed with the Longhorns. He’d offer guys very early and wouldn’t recruit them if they didn’t have Texas in their top two teams. But near the end of his career at Texas, Brown couldn’t land the guys with the frequency he was used to, which resulted in highly rated recruits riding out the cycle until signing day.

    Enter Charlie Strong… Texas recruiting was flipped on its head. As most fans know, Charlie was a closer. He wouldn’t dole out a lot of offers early in the game, but later in the cycle he’d start to really hit home and close strong. Charlie was a master of persuasion due to his track record of being a good person with outstanding character. He could earn the trust of parents and recruits in an in-home visit or two. Charlie Strong also extended beyond the border. While it did rub some of the Texas traditionalists the wrong way, it ultimately netted him two top 10 classes which included guys like Malcolm Roach, Collin Johnson, D’Andre Christmas Giles, John Burt, Gerald Wilbon, and Michael Dickson.

    Now let’s take a look at the Tom Herman approach to recruiting. If you follow recruiting and think Herman is doling out a lot of scholarship offers, then you are certainly on to something.

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    The new Texas head coach is not afraid to cast a wide net, and Longhorn fans found this out in a hurry. In just his second day on the job 4 players including a Junior and a Sophomore were extended offers (rare under Charlie). So far, he’s offered 27 for 2017, 35 for 2018, and 6 for 2019, and he’s been on the job for just a little over 2 months.

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    Now, coming out of the dead period, Longhorn fans are seeing it more than ever, as it seems a new player or two are offered every day. Technically, it’s true because since Herman became the head coach Texas is giving out an average of 1.1 offers per day. And in the time subsequent to Herman’s assembling of a complete staff, that rate has almost doubled to 1.9 per day. In January alone Herman has thus far sent out 50 offers.

    However, the thing that is more interesting than the number of offers is where those offers are going.

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    These numbers referenced in the chart above were unheard of at Texas, even under Charlie Strong, whose background was in recruiting the state of Florida. 62% of Herman’s offers have been doled out to out-of-state-prospects. 31 out-of-state offers in a matter of just 27 days, to be precise. While I highly doubt this trend of out of-state offering will extend in a linear manner, Herman is still well on his way offering the most out-of-state kids in the history of Texas football.

    On a larger level, the game of recruiting has changed dramatically over the past few decades. HUDL and Twitter have increased access to recruits, strategies have been advanced and recruiting has become more of a national spectacle than ever before.

    The number of offers considered normal, or average, is increasing. When Nick Saban started off at LSU the most offers he ever gave out was 57. When he started at Alabama he sent out somewhere around 80-90 offers. In the cycles of 2017 and 2016 Saban has sent out a whopping 266 scholarship offers. Saban isn't the only one. Coaches like Urban Meyer, Bob Stoops, and Dabo Sweeney have started offering almost double what they began offering in their careers.

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    Coaches are starting to extend beyond their traditional recruiting areas. Coaches like Bob Stoops and Kevin Sumlin have begun to look nationally more often than not.
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    Things have changed at Texas and in the game of recruiting. Tom Herman likes to be on the cutting-edge of everything, whether that be strength and conditioning, facilities, or nutrition. Expect his recruiting strategy to be equally progressive as well.

    Buckle up.

    • Jan 28 2017 01:44 PM
    • by Will Baizer
  25. 4th & 5 Podcast: Talking with 2017 Texas Co...

    HornSports' Will Baizer and Mike Roach decide to spice things up for the show's one-year anniversary by bringing on some special guests.

     

    The guys welcome 2017 Texas football commits Max Cummins, Kobe Boyce, and Josh Thompson to talk a little football while letting fans get to know them better.

     

    Listen Below:

     

    • Jan 25 2017 10:15 AM
    • by HornSports Staff