After a few false starts--DeMarcus Croaker, JaJuan Johnson, and Ishmail Wainright--the Texas Longhorns will finally host a 2013 wing player on an official visit. According to Adam Zagoria, 2013 small forward Brandon Austin from Philadelphia (Penn.) Imhotep Charter is set to fly to Austin tonight.
Former Penn State commit Brandon Austin leaves tonight for his official visit to Texas. Coming off UConn & Providence visits.— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) October 25, 2012
The Longhorns are looking for one wing player that can handle and score to sign early in the 2013 class. It's been a tough road to hoe. With current Longhorns Sheldon McClellan, Julien Lewis, Ioannis Papapetrou, and DeMarcus Holland all set to have two or three more years of eligibility left starting next year, early playing time may be difficult to come by for any non-elite freshman.
As a result, recruits like JaJuan Johnson and Ishmail Wainright decided to look elsewhere, choosing to never take their scheduled official visits to Texas. Meanwhile, presumed top target DeMarcus Croaker from Orlando (Fla.) Jones has had issues with achieving a high enough SAT score to qualify. With his academic eligibility in question, Brandon Austin has become a higher priority target for the Longhorns.
Austin decommitted from the Penn St. Nittany Lions in July. He has already taken two official visits, to see the Providence Friars and Connecticut Huskies. After Texas, Austin will have two official visits remaining, which are tentatively bookmarked for the UCLA Bruins and Georgetown Hoyas. He is also considering the Syracuse Orange, Florida Gators, Xavier Musketeers, and Temple Owls for his two remaining visits.
Texas is pushing for a fall decision, but Austin has not set a commitment timetable. Along with Austin and Croaker, the only other prospects the Longhorns are actively pursuing at this time at center Joel Embiid from Gainesville (Fla.) The Rock and power forward Julius Randle from Plano (Tex.) Prestonwood Christian.
Embiid took an official visit to Texas earlier this month and is on target for a fall decision, with the Longhorns in the mix along with the Florida Gators, Kansas Jayhawks, Virginia Cavaliers and other schools. Randle just took an unofficial visit to Texas this past weekend and will make a spring decision. Currently, Florida and Texas are considered his two favorites.