You know by now that Texas received it's first blow of the recruiting season when Ahmad Dixon declared for Baylor. Losing an elite recruit to Baylor is like having Pat Boone pick your pocket. Dixon was one of our best five recruits and will serve as the bellcow of Baylor's class. I don't think this one is necessarily over, but if it is, Dixon must take heed of the Mack Brown recruiting curse.
How we deal with this one will tell me a bit about Muschamp's impact on our philosophy. Urban Meyer would shrug and recommit himself to recruiting the prospect, chuckling at the great game that is swaying the suggestible minds of 17 year olds. As for Texas, we've had the tendency to act like an aggrieved wife who found out about an affair. Not even a clever French wife, who would use the affair as leverage to make the husband buy her a new wardrobe and take her to Cannes, but a mean-spirited American wife who takes all of your stuff and refuses to talk to you.
A lot of people have speculated about the angles Baylor played to pull this off and I think it's pretty clear that it was a combination of depth chart angst, classroom worries, and access to Dixon via the defensive coordinator's son, Levi Norwood. I also wonder if Akina showed him sufficient love after getting his pledge. Baylor played pretty effectively upon the notion that he's a Day 1 starter in Waco who will be given small classes, individual attention, and "an academic plan" and Jason Smith's draft status proves that the NFL will find talent wherever it is. This is all easily combatted, but the question is whether we even care to do so.
Folks who are saying "Forget Dixon if he's scared to compete" are missing the boat. First, many high school players have no idea how good they actually are - see Connor Wood. We run a base nickel now and our coaches would like to do it with three safeties. There's plenty of opportunity. Second, his fear of competition may not be on the football field, but in the classroom. It's worth our time to fight this one out.
Camp season is upon us. Remember when we used to pledge recruits during summer camps and that was considered trailblazing strange behavior, roundly mocked by RC Slocum and Tim Cassidy?
As in (chuckling softly): "Texas will find that's not the way we do things around here."
Now our camps are an opportunity for an entire committed class to hang out with each other. There are still some important kids on the radar, and they are as follows:
Lache Seastrunk You can hope in one hand and shit in the other and see which fills up first. That written, Lache is coming in on June 7th and as long as we're in the conversation we may be able to make our move if a remora can be scraped off on the coral.
Jackson Jeffcoat He plays it close to the vest, but he's a Mack Brown type of kid. Nabbing him would assure us of the best DL class in recent memory. I like our chances.
Darius White It looks like a Texas-OU battle, but as often happens when two rivals battle for a recruit they end up shitting each other's beds such that a last second compromise school can swoop in and make a play. In this instance, I think that's USC. When a guy is a huge lean to one school early, sways a bit and gets excited by the attention being paid to him, and then recalibrates once some time passes, 75% of the time they end up back with their original. Assuming no funny business.
Jake Matthews He's going to A&M or Texas. The fact that A&M is even a factor tells you the degree to which scheme is influencing his choice. The fact that a kid who could care less about the recruiting limelight is still puzzling this out tells me that he's torn and likely trying to find a way to please those he looks up to and find personal reasons for hope in College Station. Psychologically, I think this is A&M's deal to seal.
Trovon Reed Allegedly, he may try to attend camp with Lache Seastrunk. I'll believe it when I see it. If this went down and Texas favorably impressed him, I wouldn't be shocked to see a transfer to a Texas high school to get him out of LSU's influence. Anything can happen, but I wouldn't pin many hopes here.
Jordan Hicks Same deal here. If he gets here, we've got a good chance. If nothing happens by say, late September, we'll move on. Muschamp has a personal interest in this recruitment and after viewing his highlights it's pretty clear why. The guy is an animal - a Derrick Johnson type talent. I actually prefer him to Nelson.
Corey Nelson His leader changes on a weekly basis, but he's tripping to Texas for camp and that's a good thing. If he gets around all of the other defensive recruits and gets a sense that everyone who is everyone is coming to Texas, that's a pretty powerful influencer. He'll play out his recruitment for a while and that's not something we've always had patience with.
Another DB? Yeah, maybe. According to Scout, we're probably going to take another look at speedster Trey Franks and may reopen recruitment of CB Tyler Stephenson. Rashad Favors may be a possibility, but I question his ability to play safety at the college level - he's an undersized LB, probably. Do we really need another when we're running a base nickel?
BON also takes a look at the horizon.