Posted: 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 26, 2013
By Wescott Eberts
Every year, recruiting slows down for the Texas Longhorns in the dog days of summer -- between the summer camps that end in the early part of June and the start of fall practice in early August, the 'Horns have never had a recruiting event, despite the fact that other schools hold late camps or create other opportunities to showcase their program to recruits.
No more. For the first time, Texas will host 2014 and 2015 prospects on Saturday for what the school is billing as the "Texas Stampede." Much like a Junior Day, it appears that the event will simply be an opportunity to get prospects on campus, show them the facilities, and have them interact with the coaching staff. With the increased size of the personnel staff, the prospects can receive more individual attention.
As with any such event, the uncommitted prospects aren't the only important attendees -- getting the committed prospects on campus, around the coaches, and, most importantly, around each other helps strengthen relationships all around and reduce, at least somewhat, the odds of a prospect decommitting. At the same time, it rather raises a red flag if prospects can't attend without a good reason for missing, so even if the news ends up being bad with a particular recruit, it does provide a barometer for the coaching staff.
Among the attendees ($) are Florida commit Joseph Paul, a three-star offensive guard from New Orleans St. Augustine, 2015 star defensive tackle Daylon Mack, who has slowed down his recruitment, but has Texas A&M; and LSU at the top of his list, and a handful of other important 2015 targets.
Jason Hall, South Grand Prairie defensive back -- The former Nebraska commit sounded like he was going to pledge to the Longhorns soon after receiving an offer at the first Texas camp in early June, but decided to slow down his recruitment, though he did end his commitment to the Cornhuskers three weeks ago. Even though he's ranked as a relatively low three-star prospect (83 by 247Sports) and is barely among the top 100 safeties in the country, he's become an important target for the Longhorns because he's the only 2014 defensive back with an offer right now who has Texas as his leader, though there is now some competition from Oklahoma ($).
Patrick Vahe, Euless Trinity offensive guard (2015) -- Trinity is a school that produces a significant amount of talent every season, but for whatever reason, it's not a school that Texas has recruited heavily in recent seasons -- the last pledge to Texas from Scott Lineweaver's program was Eryon Barnett in the 2009 class. Offensive line coach Stacy Searels has already put together a strong interior line class with Sherman's Aaron Garza and Keller's Maea Teuhema (who could play tackle) and Vahe would be another strong addition -- he's ranked as the No. 5 offensive guard nationally by 247Sports. He's related to the Teuhemas, declared Texas his leader back in May shortly after he was offered, visited earlier in the week, and is unanimously expected to commit to the 'Horns eventually, according to the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions. Sounds like a guy who could leave town as a Texas pledge, no?
Kris Boyd, Gilmer (2015) -- One of the prospects who missed the Texas State 7on7 championships two weeks ago, Boyd is a rare prospect in that he's projected as a cornerback in college despite the fact that he stands 6'1, putting him very much on the tall side for his position. A top-15 prospect nationally at cornerback in the early going, landing Boyd to further strengthen the 2015 defensive back class would be huge for Texas since the 2014 group has turned out to be such a disappointment so far. The Gilmer product declared the 'Horns his leader the day after he received his offer at the June 9th camp and the predictions for him in the Crystal Ball also unanimously point to Texas.