With National Signing Day 2013 in the rearview mirror, here's a brief look at the 15 prospects in this year's Texas Longhorns recruiting class. We'll delve into detailed position reviews next week, but for now, please welcome these future Forty Acres footballers.
Prospects' measurables are per 247 Sports. Star rating and national ranking are per 247 Composite.
Tyrone Swoopes, QB/ATH
Whitewright | 6' 4" | 230 lbs | 4*, 193rd | Commit Date: 2/7/12
Other Finalists/Offers: TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Alabama
Best-Case Scenario: The raw, projectable Swoopes takes advantage of his early enrollment and redshirt year to develop his passing skills. Already a big athlete, Swoopes keeps his weight and frame under control to allow him to continue on a trajectory in becoming a top-flight quarterback. David Ash departs as a senior after the 2014 season, and Swoopes wins the starting job outright in spring ball. The "next Vince Young" superlatives begin anew.
Montrel Meander, WR/ATH
Amarillo Palo Duro | 6' 3" | 180 lbs | 3*, UR | Commit Date: 2/4/13
Other Finalists/Offers: Washington St. (formerly committed), Texas Tech, Houston
Best-Case Scenario: Meander, a late riser in the 2013 recruiting class, justifies the hype. Not needed right away, Meander takes a redshirt year and works hard to make the transition from safety to wide receiver. He takes a page from the Mike Davis school of wide receiving to become Texas' next great big play threat, stretching the field and making life easy for Swoopes, his future running mate. Limas Sweed comparisons abound.
Jake Oliver, WR
Dallas Jesuit | 6' 4" | 198 lbs | 4*, 170th | Commit Date: 2/15/12
Other Finalists/Offers: Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Baylor
Best-Case Scenario: The talented, tall-framed Oliver reports to fall camp college-ready, and doesn't take a redshirt year despite battling for playing time with a talented sophomore class. Oliver's knowledge in running routes and using his big frame to separate quickly endears him to Ash. Though he doesn't rack up a lot of catches, Oliver gets playing time as a safety blanket and red zone target. As he progresses throughout his career, he becomes an ideal split end and challenges the Texas single-season record for receptions.
Jacorey Warrick, WR
Houston Cypress Falls | 5' 10.5" | 170 lbs | 4*, 224th | Commit Date: 2/26/12
Other Finalists/Offers: Baylor, Clemson, Nebraska, Oklahoma
Best-Case Scenario: As new playcaller Major Applewhite transitions to his up-tempo, spread offense, Warrick slides in perfectly as a prototype slot receiver. Unafraid to go over the middle and make key catches, Warrick starts making waves in the spring of 2014 after a redshirt year. Warrick's waterbug ways make him a matchup nightmare for opposing defensive backs, and Applewhite's revamped playbook is a perfect fit for the speedy playmaker.
Geoff Swaim, TE
Butte (CA) C.C. | 6' 5" | 250 lbs | 3*, 86th - JUCO | Commit Date: 6/12/12
Other Finalists/Offers: N/A
Best-Case Scenario: Originally recruited by former offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin to play in multi-TE sets, Swaim impresses Applewhite with his strong blocking ability and surprisingly good hands. Applewhite finds creative ways to get Swaim on the field, deploying the versatile Swaim an in-line blocker, H-back, and roadgrader fullback.
Rami Hammad, OG
Irving | 6' 5" | 320 lbs | 4*, 293rd | Commit Date: 1/23/13
Other Finalists/Offers: Baylor (formerly committed), Oklahoma St. (formerly committed), TCU, Oklahoma
Best-Case Scenario: Thanks to a strong offseason by the offensive line, Hammad isn't needed right away and takes a redshirt year. With both Trey Hopkins and Mason Walters set to graduate after the 2013 season, Hammad fights for a starting guard spot and works his way in the rotation. By his senior year, people will have forgotten about how Baylor, the school Hammad decommitted from in favor of Texas, develops NFL-caliber linemen and focus on the the offensive line factory in Austin.
Desmond Harrison, OT
Contra Costa (CA) C.C. | 6' 7" | 305 lbs | 3*, 23rd - JUCO | Commit Date: 1/21/13
Other Finalists/Offers: Arizona State, USC, Oklahoma
Best-Case Scenario: Billed as a true left tackle, Harrison comes to Austin the summer and does nothing to dispel that rumor. Harrison gets the starting LT gig on opening day and proves to be a steady anchor protecting Ash's blind side. After an All-Conference junior season and All-American senior season, the native Houstonian who was lightly recruited out of high school becomes a first round NFL Draft pick.
Darius James, C/OG
Harker Heights | 6' 6" | 320 lbs | 5*, 33rd | Commit Date: 3/5/12
Other Finalists/Offers: Oklahoma, Florida, Florida St., LSU, Baylor
Best-Case Scenario: Fans have been hoping that James will become the immediate savior at center and take over for an overmatched Dominic Espinosa, but instead Espinosa surprises and locks down the center spot going into his junior year. James impresses as well, early spot duty at guard and center. After Espinosa graduates following the 2014 season, James is penciled in as the starting center and goes on to dominate interior linemen, a la Lyle Sendlein.
Kent Perkins, OT
Lake Highlands | 6' 6" | 285 lbs | 4*, 38th | Commit Date: 2/27/12
Other Finalists/Offers: Oklahoma, Baylor, Arkansas, LSU
Best-Case Scenario: James' running mate is the big-bodied Perkins. Many think Perkins is destined for right tackle, but after a redshirt year, coaches start to believe he can play the left side. He continues his development during year 2, learning the craft behind the All-American Harrison. By Perkins' sophomore year, he becomes the guy people always thought Trey Allen would turn into.
Jake Raulerson, OG/DE
Celina | 6' 5" | 260 lbs | 4*, 118th | Commit Date: 2/3/12
Other Finalists/Offers: Florida, Stanford, Arkansas, Baylor, Auburn
Best-Case Scenario: The bell cow nicknamed "Maulerson" would look great wrecking havoc on either side of the ball, but it's another nickname--J.J. "Swatt"--that Raulerson will eventually emulate. Per head coach Mack Brown, Raulerson will begin his collegiate career on the offensive side of the ball. But the influx of OL talent in the past couple classes gives Raulerson the excuse he needs to move to defense. It's just a three hour drive to Houston if he ever wants to pick Watt's ear, after all.
Deoundrei Davis, LB
Houston Cypress Woods | 6' 1.5" | 210 lbs | 4*, 125th | Commit Date: 2/26/12
Other Finalists/Offers: Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Texas Tech, Texas A&M
Best-Case Scenario: Despite enrolling early, Davis' steady recovery from a torn ACL his senior season gives way to a redshirt year. Free to develop, Davis rounds out his linebacking portfolio. An ideal blend of speed and strength, Davis eventually takes over an outside linebacker position. He can shed blocks and make tackles, man up on bigger slot receivers, and serve as a situational edge rusher. Emmanuel Acho tape must be running non-stop for him right now.
Naashon Hughes, LB
Harker Heights | 6' 4" | 211 lbs | 3*, 559th | Commit Date: 2/28/12
Other Finalists/Offers: Baylor, South Carolina, LSU
Best-Case Scenario: The brother of Texas freshman Camhron Hughes, Hughes the younger teams with Vaccaro the younger (that's Kevin) to become the Longhorn bash brothers. Hughes comes into Texas with a jack-of-all-trades moniker. But as he develops and fills out his frame, Hughes leverages his high school coverage skills to become an ideal spread middle linebacker. Or defensive end. Or nickel cover guy. Whatever the case may be, he's a dang good player.
Chevoski Collins, CB/ATH
Livingston | 5' 11" | 185 lbs | 3*, 419th | Commit Date: 10/8/12
Other Finalists/Offers: Oklahoma, Baylor, Oklahoma St., TCU
Best-Case Scenario: Another guy that fills the Texas bill of "play anywhere, decide position later," Collins turns out to be the next Quandre Diggs. A speedy, stout cover guy, Collins serves as the playmaking cornerback next to the lockdown play of fellow CB recruit Antwaun Davis. As a sure-handed player, Collins also returns punts and houses a couple in his Texas career, including a much-need one against arch-rival Oklahoma in a tight Red River Rivalry tilt.
Antwaun Davis, CB
Bastrop | 6' 0" | 180 lbs | 4*, 135th | Commit Date: 5/4/12
Other Finalists/Offers: Oklahoma, Arizona, Notre Dame, Baylor
Best-Case Scenario: The Teller to Collins' Penn, Davis takes over the opposite corner spot and becomes a shutdown corner in the mold of Carrington Byndom's outstanding sophomore year. With Byndom graduating after the 2013 season, Davis slides into a starting cornerback spot. Teams simply avoid throwing to Davis' island, and the few times they do, Davis makes them pay.
Erik Huhn, S
Cibolo Steele | 6' 2" | 205 lbs | 3*, 439th | Commit Date: 6/3/12
Other Finalists/Offers: Oklahoma, Georgia, Baylor
Best-Case Scenario: Blake Gideon comparisons appear inevitable, but after seeing the Longhorn secondary struggle mightily without a field general, the fans will welcome Huhn's leadership into the defensive backfield. Huhn's propensity to hit people and clean up messes put him in line as a strong safety in the mold of Michael Huff. With Collins, Davis, and Huhn all blanketing the field, "DBU" doesn't miss a beat.