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Recruiting Forecast: How the 2016 Class looks for Texas (Article by Mike Roach)

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Article by Mike Roach, HornSports Senior Recruiting Analyst


The wild finish with the 2015 recruiting class showed Texas fans that Charlie Strong is a fourth quarter recruiter. After an underwhelming recruiting start to in his first season, a wild December and January yielded Texas big time recruits such as Malik Jefferson, Kris Boyd, Holton Hill, Deandre McNeal, and Davante Davis. The Longhorns once again struggled in recruiting as their on-field results were less than stellar in year two of the Strong re-build. Can the Texas coaching staff once again close the deal when it matters to give this program more young talent to build on?

As we enter the final stretch heading up to National Signing Day it’s time to take a look at where the Longhorns stand with several of the targets remaining on the board. Here we take a comprehensive look at numbers for the overall class while projecting the final product using inside knowledge, probability, and some good old-fashioned guesswork. While the Longhorns do have offers out to many players, we are only including those prospects who we believe are serious targets at this point.

Join us as we peer into our crystal ball to give you a recruiting forecast for the 2016 class.


Projected Numbers: 1

On Campus: Tyrone Swoopes (Jr) Jerrod Heard (RsFR) Kai Locksley (FR) Matt Merrick (FR)
Committed: Shane Buechele
Recruits on the radar: None

Summary: Texas got their guy early, and Buechele will be in the competition from the moment he steps on campus. Fortunately, Buechele intends to enroll in the spring, which might give him some extra help.

Predicted Finish: Shane Buechele

While there is some merit to exploring other quarterback possibilities, Texas is starting to stack up at the position. There also isn’t any reason to possibly run Buechele off in the chase for some high upside project. While programs should value kids willing to compete, quarterback is a different animal.

Running Back

Projected Numbers: 1-2

On Campus: Alex De La Torre (SR) Johnathan Gray (SR) Roderick Bernard (So) D’Onta Foreman (So) Chris Warren (FR) Kirk Johnson (FR) Tristian Houston (FR)
Committed: None
Recruits on the radar: Devwah Whaley, Kyle Porter

Summary: Texas took a big class last season, and can afford to be choosy at the position this season with the top targets in the state.

Predicted Finish: Devwah Whaley

Yes, Whaley named Arkansas his leader, but sources continue to tell us the bond with Davion Curtis is tight. We do believe there is a scenario where Texas takes both Porter and Whaley, but at this point we don’t expect Texas to stretch their numbers at this position.

Wide Receiver

Projected Numbers: 4

On Campus: Marcus Johnson (SR) Daje Johnson (SR) Jacorey Warrick (JR) Armanti Foreman (So) Lorenzo Joe (So) Dorian Leonard (So) Jake Oliver (So) Garrett Gray (RSFR) John Burt (FR) Ryan Newsome (FR)
Committed: Reggie HemphillDavion CurtisCollin Johnson
Recruits on the radar: Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Stephen Sullivan

Summary: This position seems ripe for attrition, which gives the Longhorns a chance to take another big class. Texas seems to be down to just two targets who both possess plus size and playmaking ability. If they do miss on both targets, they have the necessary goods already committed.

Predicted Finish: Reggie HemphillDavion CurtisCollin Johnson, Lil’Jordan Humphrey

Humphrey seems to be leaning towards Texas, and already has his high school teammate Obi Eboh onboard. Sullivan is a bit of a long shot that Texas got in on late. If the Longhorns finish with this group they have a little bit of everything as they attempt to build a dynamic offense.

Tight End

Projected Numbers: 2

On Campus: Caleb Bluiett (JR) Andrew Beck (So) Blake Whiteley (So) Deandre McNeal (FR)
Committed: Peyton Aucoin
Recruits on the radar: Jamal Pettigrew, Irvin Smith, Zarrian Holcombe

Summary: Things could get interesting with Pettigrew and Smith, while Holcombe is more of an outsider. The upheaval at LSU could put Pettigrew in play, though it will still be a fight. Smith will be visiting Texas with Aucoin, but he seems to be firmly committed to the Aggies. Jeff Traylor will need to continue to put in work on this front.

Predicted Finish: Peyton Aucoin

While the Horns would love to get a pass catcher at the position, they still have an uphill battle. If Texas gets shutout in the race for the two Louisiana tight ends, they could roll the dice on Holcombe. It’s also worth mentioning that Devonaire Clarington is still trying to make his way to campus. If he could somehow qualify, Texas would be in good shape.

Offensive Line

Projected Numbers: 4

On Campus: Marcus Hutchins (SR) Taylor Doyle (SR) Sedrick Flowers (SR) Brandon Hodges (JR) Kent Perkins (JR) Tristan Nickelson (So) Jake Raulerson (So) Alex Anderson (RSFR) Elijah Rodriguez (RSFR) Terrell Cuney (RSFR) Ronnie Major (FR) Garrett Thomas (FR) Patrick Vahe (FR) Connor Williams (FR)

Committed: Tope ImadeDenzel Okafor

Recruits on the radar: Jean Delance, Patrick Hudson

Summary: Texas needs as many able bodies at this position as they could find. Imade and Okafor are athletic prospects with high upside, while Delance and Hudson have the ability to contribute right away. I can’t shake the feeling that there’s another prospect who hasn’t emerged yet, possibly of the JUCO variety.

Predicted Finish: Tope ImadeDenzel Okafor, Jean Delance

The coaching staff would love to get at least one more prospect, but Hudson seems to be a low percentage play. Delance will flirt with his out of state suitors, but in the end he seems to be comfortable with the Texas staff. He has the ability to play quickly, and could cap off a solid line class.

Defensive Line

Projected Numbers: 7-8

On Campus: Shiro Davis (SR) Desmond Jackson (SR) Bryce Cottrell (JR) Quincy Vasser (JR) Paul Boyette (JR) Alex Norman (JR) Hassan Ridgeway (JR) Alex Norman (JR) Naashon Hughes (So) Poona Ford (So) Derick Roberson (RSFR) Jake McMillon (RSFR) Chris Nelson (RSFR) Charles Omenihu (FR)

Committed: Gerald WilbonMalcolm Roach, Andrew Fitzgerald

Recruits on the radar: Jordan Elliott, Stephon Taylor, Tyrell Chavis, Kelvin Lucky, D’andre Christmas-Giles, Marcel Southall, Mike Williams, Glen Logan

Summary: The Longhorns are off to a good start, but they need quality numbers at this position in a bad way. After a thin class last season, and questions about Wilbon’s future position they still have work to do.

Predicted Finish: Gerald WilbonMalcolm Roach, Andrew Fitzgerald, Jordan Elliott, Kelvin Lucky, Glen Logan, Tyrell Chavis

Jordan Elliott seemed like he was in the bag, but as of late he’s still into entertaining the other schools on his radar. Lucky is a raw pass rusher that Charlie Strong has been on the hunt for since he arrived in Austin. If Texas could get Logan in the LSU turnover, their defensive tackle position could take quite a step up. While they are picking off LSU commits, they should really get back into the mix for Rahssan Thornton.


Projected numbers: 3

On Campus: Peter Jinkens (SR) Dalton Santos (SR) Tim Cole (JR) Edwin Freeman (RSFR) Breckyn Hager (FR) Malik Jefferson (FR) Anthony Wheeler (SR) Cameron Townsend (FR)

Committed: Demarco Boyd

Recruits on the radar: David Reese, Dontavious Jackson, Erick Fowler, Shemar Smith, Jeffrey McCulloch

Summary: Texas landed one of the top linebacker classes in the nation last season, and several of them are already making an impact. The Longhorns have Demarco Boyd who could be in for a possible move to H-back, but the numbers are fortified and there’s a strong group ahead in 2017.

Predicted Finish: Demarco Boyd, David Reese, Erick Fowler

The one area where Texas could afford to lose on recruits was at linebacker. Unfortunately, it seems they let two of their top targets get away. McCulloch has been trending towards A&M for some time, and now it looks like Dontavious Jackson is slowly slipping away. Texas is in a better position to win back Jackson as proximity could play a role, but the tealeaves aren’t promising.

Defensive Back

Projected Numbers: 3-4

On Campus: Sheroid Evans (SR) Duke Thomas (SR) Bryson Echols (JR) Adrian Colbert (JR) Dylan Haines (JR) Kevin Vaccaro (JR) Antwuan Davis (So) Jason Hall (So) Jermaine Roberts (RSFR) John Bonney (RSFR) Kris Boyd (FR) Davante Davis (FR) Holton Hill (FR) Deshon Elliott (FR) PJ Locke (FR)

Committed: Obi Eboh

Recruits on the radar: Chris Brown, Deontay Anderson, Brandon Jones, Eric Cuffee

Summary: Like the linebacker position, Texas really made their hay last year with a freshman class that have all played this season. Texas needs more help at safety than corner this season, but you can never really take enough corners in any given class. Sheroid Evans could perhaps gain another year of eligibility but he’s yet to stay healthy for any season.

Predicted Finish: Obi Eboh, Chris Brown, Deontay Anderson

This position looks like the one that could be in the most danger. Eboh is solid from what we know, but has visited Oklahoma several times this fall. Texas has to close with one of the top safeties in the state to finish things off. Texas will be in it until the end with Brandon Jones, but I just can’t bring myself to believe they close the deal without some masterful work by Jeff Traylor. Deontay Anderson will take his official visit to Texas in January, and if the Longhorns can hang around for that long they have a chance to close the deal late. It’s a leap of faith, but the coaching staff must sell out for one of the elites.


Projected Numbers: 0

On Campus: Nick Rose (SR) Nick Jordan (JR) Michael Dickson (FR)

Recruits on the radar: None

Summary: The Longhorns haven’t pursued any prospects here, and will most likely go the walk on route or hope that Nick Jordan can have a big year.

Predicted Finish: None

The Totals

Predicted Class: 23

QB: Shane Buechele
RB: Devwah Whaley
WR: Collin JohnsonReggie HemphillDavion Curtis, Lil’Jordan Humphrey
TE: Peyton Aucoin
OL: Jean Delance, Tope ImadeDenzel Okafor
DL: Gerald Wilbon, Andrew Fitzgerald, Malcolm Roach, Glen Logan, Jordan Elliott, Kelvin Lucky, Tyrell Chavis
LB: Demarco Boyd, Erick Fowler, David Reese
DB: Obi Eboh, Chris Brown, Deontay Anderson.

Breaking down the numbers:

14 seniors are currently on the roster with two of them (Dalton Santos and Sheroid Evans) candidates for an extra year. To get to 23 we are predicting a high number of attrition. Attrition usually averages around five to six players each offseason, but it’s easy to imagine more. Texas will also have a few early enrollees, which help stretch things a bit.

While this projection is a solid class full of good players, Texas will have a hard time living up to the standard they set last season. After a disappointing season on the field, the Texas recruiters will have to put in a lot of work to close things out.

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Bernard to RB a permanent move in your eyes?


Who is the senior who changed his recruiting stock the most this year in your opinion?


Anyone the Horns should jump on late?

I think receiver is getting crowded. When they made the move the coaches said it was permanent, I'm not sure what to think so I listed him there for now.


I think D'andre Christmas-Giles went from a relative unknown to a hot commodity following the release of his senior film. He's racking up offers like crazy.


I think there are probably a couple of guys they offer late but if I had to give you 2 names to watch I'd say Darius Anderson of Hightower if DT recruiting doesn't end up like they think and Gio Pancotti at guard

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