Junior Days are right around the corner, so I thought we'd break down needs, talk recruits, and find a ray of gridiron sunshine in the long and cursed offseason.
CTJ gives us his thoughts too. Had I realized, I might have saved myself the typing.
Unlike last year where DFW held an absurd amount of the state's talent, the elites in the state are pretty well dispersed in DFW, Houston, CenTex. Ordinarily good news for us, but now it just doesn't matter. There's no part of the state we're not welcome. Inner city Dallas? Parts of East Texas? All good now. The traditional strongholds for recruiting rivals just don't hold up anymore. We'll do our usual battles with OU and fight LSU more than we did last year. USC was absent from the state last year, but I expect that we'll see Kiffin and his crew again, which should make for good fun.
Street agents. This year's Lache Seastrunk and Ahmad Dixon will make themselves known soon enough. Just look at the guys listing USC, Tennessee, LSU, Auburn, Oregon in their early recruiting. I haven't heard anything about the current big names yet. Rest assured that we'll see a handful of the top 50 play the game.
The key priorities of this class are OT, CB, RB. We need elites and numbers at all.
I'll assume we have 22-25 scholarships to give. I assign needs # in paranthesis.
DT (2) Take two and close up shop. Desmond Jackson is a must and Marquis Anderson, Malcolm Brown's Cibolo teammate, works. Quincy Russell is a guy I just read about and he's pretty intriguing, given his basketball athleticism. I believe that DE Nathan Hughes eventually ends up inside. I think he's best served as a DE in a 3-4, frankly.
DE (2) Jermauria Rasco is the Evangel DE that will be targeted by every
street agent program in the SEC. Apparently likes Texas a lot, but getting a kid out Louisiana when LSU badly wants him is the toughest play in recruiting. At least he's not in South Lousiana. Cedric Reed is a guy we'll battle LSU for and there are a number of other solid types here. DE Lance Skyler has an Orakpo frame. If you're looking for an early commit sleeper, that's a good name. We may use some of the LBs below to create DEs.
LB (2-4) Lots of choices here. If we take heavy numbers here, they're being taken as DEs. Steve Edmond is a wrecking ball from Daingerfield and if you catch his film, it's pretty clear he'll play with his hand on the ground or as an OLB in the 3-4 one day. Chet Moss is a Day One Junior Day invitee. I didn't see it on his film. Tevon Randle is a true OLB. So is Kendall Thompson. Anthony Wallace is a true MIKE that we want badly. He'll be a national battle. Supposedly we're in on James Vaughters from Georgia. I doubt Muschamp's ability to get people out of SEC country, but his film tells you why Muschamp would even try.
That's sophomore film, folks. Whoa.
DB (4-5) Sheroid Evans is a track star safety that will tackle. He's the most coveted guy in the state at the position. So take him and be done. If we can't get him, Franklin Shannon makes sense. We need corners. Lots of corners. I'll take Leroy Scott & Quandre Diggs and a CB or two to be named later. I want Miketavious Jones, if only for his name. I used to write about a fictional recruit named LaFroovius P Jenkins. Some called that racist. Well? Our other CB may be Kolby Griffin, some dude we don't know, or an OOS stud. I'd like to see us look for an elite, top-flight CB OOS and throw our hat in the ring.
OL (4-5) Four is a certainty. Five is an outside possibility. The elite guys are well known so, thank God, MacWhorter won't have to go sign some of his sleepers. OL are generally low ego, find recruiting to be a irritant, and most will commit during the summer, particularly if it's Texas offering. We could fill our entire OL class by March with pretty good players and be done, which I think MacWhorter finds greatly tempting. The problem is that we need exceptional dudes, not only to make the schemes work, but to make contributions as sophomores and redshirt freshmen. So it's imperative that we hold out for elites like Westerman (AZ), Hegarty (NM), and in-state Sedrick Flowers rather than just pluck the low hanging fruit - some of it found conveniently in Cen-Tex. Some other names you'll hear at OT: Greenlea, Drango, Doyle.
My guess is we take a quick three and then hold out for 1-2 studs. Everyone on the staff understands how important this OL class is and I don't think they'll allow MacWhorter to settle.
QB (1) Belton's David Ash will be offered and he will commit. A traditional QB. He's a less capable runner than Wood or McCoy from what I've seen. JW Walsh, the in-state guy I was most intrigued by, is already off of the board to Oklahoma State where he has a real chance of starting as a true or redshirt freshman...and wearing Girbaud jeans. The state doesn't have great talent at QB this year. I'd prefer we look out of state and sell two years of separation from Gilbert, but I'd rather take a decent in-stater than no one. I suppose one way to ensure you have sufficient depth at QB is to take an OK player with no desire to transfer for every superstar. Polygamists adopt a similar philosophy with their wives.
RB (3) Joe Bergeron has been more or less committed to Texas since he was 15 so there's your FB should we decide we want to get serious about a traditional running game. He appears to be 39 years old and has a NFL body now.
The state has an embarrassment of riches at HB. Traylon Shead would be the 6th-8th best RB in this 2011 class if he redshirted a year. In my estimation, at least given the grainy film clips I've seen and the information I've gathered, the state has four elite backs and at least another half dozen that are legitimate studs. Then ten more solid D-1 players. Crazy. Everyone in the Big 12 (and TCU, Stanford, Minnesota, Arizona, LSU, Arkansas) is going to get a good RB from Texas. We need two.
Pick any two from Aaron Green, Malcolm Brown, Brandon Williams and Herschel Sims and I'm happy. BTW, Williams lacks the hype, but he's a pure RB. 21.3 200m. 10.6 100m FAT. If we settle for even one lesser back, I'll be pissed off.
WR (2-3) Jaxon Shipley has been a commitment since 8th grade. We likely take two more WRs. It's encouraging that Trey Metoyer is making our first junior day. Miles Onyegbule - hopefully a Dan Buckner with balls and without an equestrian fetish - is another guy you hear about. If we get Shipley and Metoyer, I might consider closing up shop if we're feasting elsewhere.
TE (1) We need a player that will go down the seam as capably as Barney Frank's index finger on a cabana boy's slacks and will provide an honest extra blocking surface on the edge. Meet MJ McFarland, possibly the finest athlete to come out of El Paso since Trips Right's younger brother. Go to YouTube and enter MJ's name and you'll find a bunch of high school game film. The guy seems legit. He's #85. Frame, good hands. There is talk about Chris Barnett and Max Stevenson, interesting talents in their own rights, but like Spider Man, we're loyal to MJ.
If we take two TEs, I'm guessing that tells you something about where our attrition is.