My scattershot thoughts informed by logical inference, some real information and a shocking capacity for self-delusion.
Texas has 27 commitments right now. A good class by any standard. But it could become great-ish.
Any realistic calculation should remove John Burt. Auburn. We're at 26. If he signs, treat it as a pleasant surprise.
Big Du'vonta Lampkin was wavering, but the recent recruiting surge has been good for his piece of mind and he has regained his Longhorn religion. That's good news because he's a solid piece who had a strong senior year.
I feel fairly confident about signing Kris Boyd, Holton Hill and Chris Warren. Hill and Boyd are special talents in a loaded 2015 state of Texas DB class. Their additions would give us one of the most impressive DB classes in some time. The sorts of DBs who don't just cover, but will knock your helmet off and can put it in the end zone after the pick or scoop. A lot of great DB athletes aren't that nasty. Boyd is Nathan Vasher mean and Holton Hill likes bullying with his big frame.
I'll expand on some of my stylistic concerns with Chris Warren if we get his commitment. But there's plenty to like about a 240 pound athlete with NFL polish.
Ryan Newsome may have played the game too long and we've made real headway with Texas Tech commitment (in name only) and Dallas Skyline product Carlos Strickland. Strickland is sashimi raw, but the upside is Mike Evans. Newsome may be out unless he realizes what's up and presses to sign. Fortunately, he's not headed to A&M, Baylor or OU, so if he's the next Rocket Ismail, wish him the best at UCLA.
Kai Locksley's forthcoming official visit is interesting. A crypto-QB recruit who can also play WR?
Any hope with Damarkus Lodge depends on our WR coach hire.
We'll fight for Daylon Mack until the end. Please ignore his public utterances. He's enjoying the limelight and you may notice a certain frenetic quality to his pronouncements. Given the combination of his unique quickness/power combo, body type and personality, he's Warren Sapp or bust. I don't think his post-college resume will read: "Fifth year senior and solid 17 game starter who provided valuable depth as a sophomore."
OOS OT Drew Richmond is a pipe dream. Other schools will have to mess up for him to even make his late January visit here. Unfortunate. Toby Weathersby was a significant loss.
My recruiting philosophy is pretty basic: the most important infrastructure on your football team is the OL, DL and DBs and you have to get at least above average QB play (which can look like very good QB play if your OL is dominating) because a substandard QB is a 7-10 points per game minus on your balance sheet at season's end. Everything else is about cherry picking potential studs and melding system role players across the board. If you take care of the infrastructure, it's amazing how the other guys find their abilities amplified.
Beyond the national rankings - which can be a little fan boyish and less predictive than reactive - whatever the truth of the Big Math - I really like what this class represents in longer term projects intermixed with can't-miss types (some of which we need to close late).
Strong prefers quick to straight line fast, likes length on the edges, doesn't mind a hybrid if he projects to his schemes, values untapped skinny kids over medium ceiling guys who have been lifting since 6th grade and prizes aggression and doggedness across the board. I like that since all of those concepts play to my pet peeves.
As I've mentioned in individual write-ups, once you get past the obvious Top 20-25 studs everyone covets, Charlie Strong's 3 star (and 4 star) is a different animal to which we'd grown accustomed. Many will still fail (as will plenty of four stars - it's just a numbers game) but they'll fail for very different reasons than previous regimes. But the ones that hit are going to be nasty, junkyard dogs who provide a definitive team identity we've been sorely lacking.
I don't know if Strong pans as the head chef - I want him to for what he represents in areas so much more important than football - but he needs some luck on offense to fuel the early success he needs to gain buy-in on his longer rebuild. Whatever happens, he's stocking the larder with some really solid ingredients. Close with some late caviar and this Texas class has a vey good chance of getting their Michelin star.
Egg timer went off. I'm running out of labored cooking metaphors.
I'll say we close Hill, Boyd, Warren, Strickland with a table (or buffet) reserved for the colorful Daylon Mack. Take your best guesses. They can't be as bad as mine.