The Texas Longhorns head into the 2013 recruiting homestretch with their eyes on some of the top junior college recruits in the nation.
First up is the unresolved issue at quarterback. Texas offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin appears to be pushing hard for a junior college commitment to challenge starter David Ash and backup Case McCoy in 2013. Following the news that Harsin had visited Tanner McEvoy of Arizona Western C.C., two more names have surfaced.
The first is Nick Marshall from Garden City (Kan.) C.C. Harsin reportedly visited Marshall, a former Georgia Bulldogs safety. Marshall is also considering schools like the Indiana Hoosiers, Kansas St. Wildcats, and Baylor Bears. Working against Marshall's recruitment is the fact that he is unlikely to be a spring enrollee, and also has only two years of eligibility remaining. Further, Marshall is extremely raw as a passer, which doesn't appear to fit Harsin's desired profile. Nevertheless, he's a name to watch.
Another prospect that has caught Texas' attention is Jake Waters from Iowa Western C.C. Waters is considered an outstanding pro-style prospect, leading his team to the JUCO National Championship while throwing 39 touchdowns against just 3 interceptions. He didn't have any Division 1 offers coming out of high school, but is now getting interest from the Penn St. Nittany Lions, N.C. State Wolfpack, and Kansas St. Wildcats.
It remains to be seen how hotly Texas will pursue any of the three quarterback prospects. But it's likely that come 2013, there will be an additional signal caller on the depth chart.
Of course, we've made our preference known. Cool. Cool, cool, cool.
The Longhorns have made initial contact with QB Jeff Winger at Greendale C.C.— @BarkingCarnival (@BarkingCarnival) December 7, 2012
In other junior college news, the Longhorns are expecting a few JUCO visitors for Banquet Weekend tomorrow.
The biggest name is Desmond Harrison, an offensive tackle from Contra Costa (Cal.) C.C. Harrison played high school ball at Fort Bend (Tex.) Marshall, and is considered a Texas lean right now. With the news that the Longhorns have backed off Caleb Benenoch, the tea leaves state that the staff likes its chances with Harrison. The Oklahoma Sooners, amongst other teams, are in the running for Harrison.
On the defensive side of the ball, Texas also expects to bring in defensive end Za'Darius Smith from East Mississippi C.C. and linebacker Da'Vondre Campbell from Hutchinson (Kan.) C.C. Smith is looking at the Texas A&M Aggies and Mississippi St. Bulldogs, while Campbell is currently committed to the Tennessee Volunteers.
One prospect that has an offer but is not expected to visit is Smith's C.C. teammate, safety Shaquille Fluker. Fluker is committed to the Georgia Bulldogs but had been considering a visit to Austin.
- 2013 DT A'Shawn Robinson from Fort Worth (Tex.) Arlington Heights is on an official visit to the USC Trojans but remains committed to Texas...for now.
- 2013 OG Andrew Billings from Waco (Tex.) is expected to take his official visit to Texas this weekend. He plans to decide from Texas, Baylor, and the TCU Horned Frogs.
- In the wake of Kyle Hicks' decommitment, Texas has reached out to multiple 2013 running backs, including Baylor Bears commitment Johnny Jefferson from Killeen (Tex.) Shoemaker and Wisconsin commitment Corey Clement from Glassboro (N.J.).
- The aforementioned 2013 OG Caleb Benenoch from Katy (Tex.) Seven Lakes is expected to announce his decision next week, with Baylor the presumed favorite.
- 2013 WR Eldridge Massington from West Mesquite (Tex.) "decommitted" from the USC Trojans but won't be considering the Longhorns.