As a followup to Scipio’s Dirty Dozen recruiting post, here’s a look at another half-dozen dudes who would make welcome additions to the 2017 Longhorn recruiting class. Each of these guys is a take all the way, though a couple could go from luxury to necessity depending on how things unfold with players in yesterday’s post.
- Omar Manning, Wide Receiver
- Major Tennison, Tight End
- Xavier Newman, Guard/Center (Texas)
- Kenneth Murray, Inside Linebacker
- Chuck Filiaga, Offensive Tackle
- Chevin Calloway, Cornerback
Manning’s HUDL highlights are private, but the Texas staff has coveted him publicly for some time. He goes 6’3, 205 and combines quality long speed with terrific body control and more ladder-climbing ability than Mario in Donkey Kong. The great Nahlin at Inside Texas has thrown down a Dez Bryant comp for Manning, and it doesn’t feel like a bad fit. This class could take as many as four wideouts and Manning represents the best combo of size, speed and signability outside of current commit Damion Miller. Texas is fighting TCU and, as of recently, OU here but there’s reason for optimism.
Why? Scary outside guys who command safety help make this O go.
Why? Part Two - So we can post this when he commits:
Fit: Outside Receiver
Perhaps the poster child for why Charlie Strong favors the late close over the early verbal, Tennison committed to Texas back in October but for months his pledge was seen as tenuous at best. He officially decommitted in July with visions of Saban dancing in his head...only to find that his Bama offer was uncommitable and then watch his spot in the Tide’s 2017 class get snatched up by another Texas tight end in Kedrick James. Charlie’s not the pouting kind, though, and if the Gilbert/Mattox/Traylor mind meld can craft and sell an exciting and expanded role for tight ends in the 5333 then Tennison may find his way back into the fold. An outstanding athlete and smooth downfield receiver who should have no trouble carrying 255+ pounds on his 6’5" frame, Tennison offers plenty of intrigue.
Why? A flexible and flex-able mismatch creator could take the 5333 to new heights.
Fit: H-Back/Flex TE
Texas’ first OL commitment in the 2017 class, Newman combines solid power with great feet and a nasty attitude to reach, hit, turn and eliminate defenders at the line of scrimmage and at the second level. He also sports good balance and an impressive initial punch in pass protection. Newman can fit at any interior OL spot but would make for an ideal center. He’s been making puppy dog eyes at OU of late, but they may not have room in their (rapidly filling and kinda scary) class after the recent commitment of guard Marquis Hayes.
Why? Tenacity, quickness, power and a yawning void at C behind Zach Shackelford
Fit: Center or Guard
Murray is a versatile dude who has played a hybrid OLB/Fox/Strong Safety role for Elkins. He’s not a perfectly clean projection to a Mike, Will or Fox role in Strong’s typical D - at least not as clean as a guy like Anthony Hines (Mike) or Baron Browning (anything he wants) - but he’s a highly intriguing multi-tool. You’d like to see him add some more good weight, but he already shows an advanced understanding of pass drops as well as in using his hands to shed blocks and make plays.
Why? His development can determine his position, and he’d make for a nice consolation prize should Texas lose out on Hines or Browning.
Fit: Mike or Will Linebacker/possible Fox if he grows
Chuck-Fil-A may or may not be open on Sundays, but that’s the NFL’s problem. He should be a stud on Saturdays, and Texas is in the mix for this mauler now that he’s relocated to Aledo from Vista Murietta HS in California. While he’s not in Walker Little’s class as an absurd athlete, he’s got the size and raw power to more or less Gregor Clegane anyone he lines up against while looking better than Sedrick Flowers ever did on the move. Not that that’s a high bar to clear, but still.
Why? He’s a 330+ pound Islander with movement skills. ‘Nuff said.
Fit: Right tackle
Calloway is an enticing 5’11" corner with good hips, a solid top gear and an eagerness to bring the wood against ball carriers. His footwork could stand a bit of cleanup, but he’s got the tools for Strong and Bedford to develop into a quality player. Running back Eno Benjamin has apparently managed to channel Ray Kinsella and sell an unlikely group of Texas prospects on Iowa, but Calloway’s pledge to the Hawkeyes is unlikely to last if Charlie turns up the heat later in the process.
Why? Projectable to a couple of spots and probably the most attainable quality corner of the ‘17 class.
Fit: Field corner or nickel
For more insights on Texas’ current recruits, future recruits and the team as a whole don’t miss the best Longhorn preview on the market.