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2015 Texas Longhorns Recruiting: The Path To A Top 5 Finish

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Texas looks to finish strong in the last month before signing day.

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

This should be an entertaining home stretch and if the right players fall in place late, a Top 5 class is possible.  Even if Texas closes out on only a handful of final targets - some of them back-up options - a Top 10 class is more or less assured.

Defense

Defensive Back

Priorities

Mark Fields (Texas, Clemson)

Kris Boyd (Texas, Texas A&M, Florida State, Baylor)

Holton Hill (Texas, LSU, Alabama)

Texas would be thrilled to land any one of the three and two of the three would be a major coup.  I think Boyd eventually commits to the good guys and Holton Hill is a coin flip.  South Carolinian Mark Fields is every bit as good as Boyd and Hill and he just tweeted that his final two choices are Clemson and Texas.  Home state Clemson is favored.

Contingency Plans

Deandre Baker (Georgia commitment)

Xavier Lewis (LSU commitment)

Sheldrick Redwine (Louisville, USF, Texas)

Baker is a late rising Florida 3 star currently committed to Georgia who will OV on Jan 16th, Lewis is highly ranked and committed to LSU, but wants to explore his options and Redwine is a Floridian back-up option who will go to Louisville if Texas doesn't circle back in late January.

Defensive Line

Daylon Mack (LSU, TCU, A&M, Texas)

There's a gap between Mack's public statements and private sentiments and he seems to enjoy the recruiting process quite a bit.  Texas will remain in the game with him as long as it takes and needs to impress on his Jan 23rd OV.

Linebacker

We're loaded.  We're done.

**

My ideal close would be Boyd, Hill and Mack.  Ambitious but not unrealistic.

Offense

Offensive Line

Drew Richmond

The Ole Miss commitment will visit on January 30th.  I'm doubtful as to whether this visit happens and he's a long shot at best.

Running Back

Likely

Chris Warren (Texas, Washington,

Long Shot

Nick Brossette (LSU commitment)

Soso Jamabo (UCLA, Notre Dame, A&M, Texas?)

Warren favors Texas but hasn't found the reason to pull the trigger.  Perhaps LSU commitment Nick Brossette's OV on Jan 16th will be sufficient motivation.  It's hard to pull Louisiana kids (much less Baton Rouge natives) away from LSU, but Brossette likes Strong and may not want to share the spotlight with fellow Tiger commitment Derrius Guice. We have a lot of ground to make up with Jamabo and I'm not sure how he views competing with Warren.

Tight End

Chris Clark (Michigan, UCLA)

Clarington's commitment means this recruitment is likely over.

Wide Receiver

Likely

Ryan Newsome (Texas, UCLA, Tennessee)

Gilbert Johnson (Texas, Kansas - former Georgia commitment before JUCO)

Long Shot

Kai Locksley (Maryland FSU commitment)

Damarkus Lodge (Ole Miss, LSU, Baylor, A&M, Texas)

Carlos Strickland (Texas Tech commitment)

John Burt should decomit and sign with Auburn.  The question is whether he gives us a heads up or pulls a signing day switch.  The availability of possible options means that our staff has been low pressure with Newsome and slow-played Johnson while they sort out the realistic possibilities of Strickland, Lodge and Locksley (Jan 23rd OV). Newsome favors Texas and Johnson appears to be ours if we want him. That depends on Kai Locksley (Jan 23 OV) and our ability to sway Damarkus Lodge and take a run at Carlos Strickland.

QB

Texas will keep its options open for graduate transfers or JUCOs, but right now the candidates are all speculative.

**

Texas will grab a RB, a receiver or two and the right QB transfer, if available.

Conclusion

Give Texas a final group of Mack, Boyd, Hill, any one of the remaining RBs and fill the rest with any of the WRs still on the board and this class finishes in the Top 5.  That's ambitious, but not totally unrealistic.