This was a borderline Top 10 class (Scipio's comments here). We offered prospects that we could have gotten in December way too early when there were better prospects available. When we tried to get in on some of the better players at the end, we were turned down to a degree we haven’t really seen before. And we failed to win any recruiting battles save one after June. By refusing to recruit players who don't know where they want to sign before the summer of their junior years, we're shrinking the talent pool available to us. We'll see if it's an anomaly or a trend.
Texas didn’t need a QB and didn’t offer the guy they had rated #1 in state, Birdville’s Tommy Dorman. He signed with A&M. Doesn’t matter. The 2009 QB class in Texas is the best in history, and Texas will likely get the top two.
This running back class is going to be remembered for whom Texas didn’t get. Jermie Calhoun either wouldn’t qualify or wouldn’t be able to stay eligible at Texas depending on whom you ask. Once word got out that Texas wouldn’t offer, Texas fans started finding warts on him. "He plays for a small school." "He’s not that fast in the 100 meters." Yet somehow he was offered by pretty much everyone and has the ability to make guys miss in the hole. And we all know what happened with Darrell Scott, whom Bobby Kennedy had to beg Mack to let him recruit.
So who did we get? Tre Newton has NFL bloodlines and will be reminded of his dad every time he looks at Mad Dog. When you ask what he does well, you get the same answer: blocks well and catches the ball out of the backfield. Great. That’s the stuff Texas coaches used as reasons not to play Cedric Benson and Jamaal Charles. Yeah, but can he, you know, run the ball? Then you get shown a clip of his long touchdown run against Austin Westlake. Anyone who has played the SAEs on the intramural fields at Texas has similar footage of themselves.
Jeremy Hills has speed, and Texas needs that. He’s not the biggest back around so the hope is that he’ll keep his speed when Texas coaches implore him to gain 20 pounds.
Ryan Roberson will either play fullback or linebacker at Texas. Fullback? The position we hardly use? Yes. He was offered by former A&M coach Dennis Franchione. Say what you want about Franchione, but he does know how to design a physical running game and a fullback is an important ingredient.
Not sure what’s going on at receiver. We passed on Darryl Stonum who was the best receiver in the state. His dad wanted him to wait on a Texas offer, but we moved on because he couldn’t make it to campus for a visit. In the spring. Of his junior year. You have to kiss the ring, Darryl. We also offered Jeff Fuller who ended up at A&M.
We did get Dan Buckner who I’ll describe as a 6’4" Kwame Cavil. That’s a very good thing. He catches everything with his hands and no doubt will be a very good blocker. He may end up at tight end before it’s all said and done.
DeSean Hales was the most electric player in the state. We almost fucked up his recruitment by not contacting him and then blaming his coach for not sending us good film. Somewhere Tim Brewster is grinding his teeth. But we’re Texas so we can deliberately make things harder on ourselves and still get the player in the end. I watched Hales return a punt against Garland in the playoffs his junior year making otherwise fast guys look slow. Too bad we won’t allow him to participate in the return game until he’s old enough to drink.
Now for the head scratchers. Ask any Texas fan about Brock Fitzhenry, and they’ll all tell you the same thing. "He’s the next Wes Welker." Of all the undersized white guys to play football in the last 20 years, there is one Wes Welker in the NFL. Those odds aren’t good. Fitzhenry had no other offers and his last two seasons ended with injuries. But we took him because he was ready to commit in February of his junior year. We could have waited until this February to take his commitment.
Antoine Hicks is another high school quarterback that we’ll be turning into a wide receiver. He's a very good athlete that didn't always translate that into production on the field.
We even had Riley Dodge committed to play receiver. He got smart and decided to go play QB for his dad at North Texas. Brown mentioned at his signing day press conference that we needed receivers yet we passed on the best wide receiver in the state who would have been a mid term enrollee. We then proceeded to sign two (and almost signed three) guys who weren’t ready to contribute for at least a year. But they were ready to commit, and that’s what is seemingly more important to Brown at times.
D.J. Grant would have never heard from Texas if Oklahoma hadn’t offered him a scholarship. When Bobby Kennedy went to smooth things over, he told Grant that Greg Davis was too busy working on game plans and shit to make it over to LBJ earlier. Austin LBJ. Then they both laughed like those dudes in the audience do on the Def Comedy Jam. Making it harder than it has to be. Grant is very raw in his route running so he’ll probably redshirt.
We did well on the offensive line. Mark Buchanan has great feet. Because I like making outlandish comparisons, I’ll liken him to a young Jim Lachey. He seriously has great feet for a 280 pound kid. I first heard about him from SizzleChest who sat next to Buchanan’s dad at an Austin High game. No idea what SizzleChest was doing there other than perhaps to see the school that graduated both Huckleberry and ChrisApplewhite. How is it still accredited?
Luke Poehlmann is very skinny right now. At times during the season his weight dropped under 250 so he’s at least two years away from contributing. But he has a good frame, good feet and long arms. Great feet are important, but so is the ability to generate a push. The guys who can generate the push (Allen, Huey, Hix) play first.
David Snow is a small school player who needs to get bigger and stronger, but his offer sheet is solid. He struggled in one on ones at the all star game in San Antonio, but what the fuck does that have to do with anything?
Two players that Texas missed on were Stephen Good and Daniel Campbell of Aldine. Good liked the fact that OU had younger coaches. When Mack Brown heard this, he quoted what Darrell Royal said about Dana Bible. We thought Campbell was too big so we passed. USC then promptly snapped him up.
Jarvis Humphrey is a bad ass. Dude can play for anyone in the country and play early. He lost a little weight his senior year, but the guy will get some snaps next year.
Kheeston Randall played at a private school, but he was offered by both LSU and OU. Great frame, athletic but will be making a big jump in the level of competition. At worst he can be the next Thomas Marshall, but we rarely have any busts at defensive tackle. However, any player that spends multiple years under Mad Dog will end up with quite the bust.
We could have had Rod Davis is we had shown him interest earlier than say two months ago, and he would have given us an in to the school that has the best junior safety and best junior wide receiver in the state. He grew up a Longhorn fan but signed with A&M. Oh well.
Defensive end recruiting was a clusterfuck. We whiffed on RJ Washington early so Texas fans turned their attention to Chancey Aghayere, whom they then maintained was the better player anyway. He was turned off by the deadline given him by Texas coaches. Although his parents are both Texas grads, he signed with LSU. We then went after Josh Williams who committed to Nebraska early. He was scared off by our depth chart and stuck with Nebraska. We then tried to get Kapron Lewis-Moore to visit, but he said ‘too little, too late’ and signed with Notre Dame. And then a week before signing day we go after Shane McCardell of Beaumont who stayed with his commitment to Mississippi State. Ouch.
Former Texas recruiting coordinator Randy Rogers thought Emmanuel Acho was the best linebacker prospect in the state. And when I think that means something I remember all the linebackers we signed under Mackovic. Acho was someone we could have waited on, but he jumped on our offer. His only offer at the time. He can run though, and you have to at least be able to do that to have a chance.
If you look up the word ‘tweener’ in the dictionary, you see a picture of Dravanti Johnson. He’s not really fast enough to play linebacker, not really big enough to play defensive end, but he’s a football player. And OU wanted him. So I want him too. At times I think Texas took him away from A&M just to show that they could.
We went head to head with Colorado on two out of state linebackers and lost both. We also passed on Joseph Ibiloye of South Garland. When a head coach tells you that a player is good enough to play for you and will qualify, you should listen. OU did.
D.J. Monroe is going to be a faster Ahmad Brooks for us. He's small. We get it. But he has elite speed and played free safety for his high school team. He's physical, he can tackle and he can still play in the ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese.
When you watch Nolan Brewster's film, you're left with a lot of questions. Shouldn't he be bigger? Shouldn't he be faster? Yes and yes. He was offered by USC and Florida among others, but on film he just looks like a guy.
When Blake Gideon committed, it was met with collective silence. No one knew who he was. Now our fans are in the position the Aggies were a few years ago. "Don’t trust the rankings. Don’t trust the offer list. Our coaches are better at evaluating talent than other schools." We’ll see. Of all the players that Brown has put in the NFL from Texas, you can count on one hand the number of three star guys and lower. I watched Gideon against Garland his junior year, the same team that DeSean Hales made look slow. Gideon had trouble with Garland's speed.
Aaron Williams could have gone anywhere. He's tall, fast and the best at blocking kicks that Brown has signed at Texas. He can play any position in the secondary.
We have our first junior day of the year tomorrow and everybody who is somebody will be there. We'll see who gets offered, and that will tell us a lot about how this coming year's recruiting is going to go.
When Brown first got to Texas, he offered a lot of guys who attended his summer camps. Texas coaches were often scrambling to try to find out who the kid was that just committed to the head coach. As one observer (names will be provided at deposition) remarked, 'the problem with taking those guys is that eventually you have to play them.'
Texas can afford to be more selective.