Let us welcome back the return of the world famous percentages; the most accurate status update in the business.
It feels good to have my boy Highwayman back in the mix. He’s going to have a busy summer so let’s enjoy him while he’s hanging with us.
Speaking of guest contributors, well, we’ve got some things lined up that you’re not going to want to miss. Offseason doldrums, what offseason doldrums? Ok, so it won’t be nearly as good as the season, but we’ll get through this damn offseason together.
On to the percentages.
Name: Dontre Wilson
High School: DeSoto
Measurables: 5-10 / 180
Highway’s Take: Wilson isn’t talking recruiting until the state track meet comes to a close this weekend, but he is set to decide between Oregon and Texas on Friday, May 25th. This happens to be the day of the DeSoto HS spring game and our very own Eric Nahlin will be in attendance. Unfortunately for him, it could be a day to forget. I go back and forth with this one – and Wilson may as well – because I think his heart is with Oregon but he does value being close to home and has a great relationship with Major Applewhite. I can’t completely dismiss Texas because of those two things but I’m not sure it will be enough in the end as he doesn’t seem to be completely sold on his future role at UT. Would you attend Texas as an all-purpose back if you were told you’d be used like DJ Monroe? I’m going with Oregon but I’m uncertain if that’s because I’m being pessimistic or realistic.
Eric’s Take: Damn, I didn’t figure my boy Highway for a pessimist. This is a tough one to read because all I get on the DeSoto end is Coach Mathis telling me he’s open. So open that he’s whittled his list down to two, Coach? Wilson is a fantastic athlete and he would provide real value to Harsin’s playbook, but fortunately Texas has a couple players with similar ability in the fold. That said, Texas would love to not land him because of his athleticism, but to also keep the DeSoto pipeline intact. I can’t wait for the 25th.
Percentage: 55% (would have it a coin flip, but Texas gets a 5% home field advantage)
Name: Ra’Shaad Samples
High School: Dallas Skyline
Measurables: 5-10 / 180
Highway’s Take: The once heavy UT lean is no more as the staff has moved into neutral when it comes to Samples’ recruitment. The only question is; how long has it been that way? If you have read our articles since before the second Junior Day, we have been calling for Texas to pursue a big, speedy deep threat since the commitment of Jacorey Warrick rendered Samples a potential luxury addition. Fast forward two and half months and the staff has yet to take that next step and Samples will be headed elsewhere when he decides to make a commitment. The positive in all of this is Robbie Rhodes is still wide open and will be in Austin this weekend for the state track meet and to meet with the staff.
Eric’s Take: Rhodes might actually be the superior prospect to Samples, he’s certainly the better athlete. I’m not going to cry about the Samples recruitment short circuiting and if you’ve been paying close attention you might have been able to hear my preference for Eldridge Massington. While I won’t crack a sweat over Samples and Texas parting ways, he is a talented player that would benefit any roster. Recruiting is so unpredictable I won’t rule Samples out as a possibility until Rhodes or another receiver commits.
Name: Justin Manning
High School: Dallas Kimball
Measurables: 6-3 / 275
Highway’s Take: Ask Peter Jinkens about UT’s chances of landing Manning. This one is easy; Not. Going. To. Texas. Whether Manning was genuinely interested in the UT program at one point or he simply feigned interest, the staff has not called him or visited Kimball HS since the beginning of the spring evaluation period. Darell Wyatt and Bo Davis have said a lot without saying anything at all seeing as how things have slowed down significantly with the best defender in the state at such an early stage in the game.
Eric’s Take: Manning took some undue heat for his comments about the junior day being boring. You wouldn’t believe how many off the record statements I’ve heard about ALL junior days being boring. Hell, I know elite prospects that skip them because they’re so boring. While Manning gets a pass from me on that, he does appear to have handled his recruitment with a measure of immaturity that I don’t have much time for. I’m kind of upset at Highway for including him on here and forcing me to use valuable keyboard time on him.
Percentage: 5% (because hey, you never know)
Name: Torrodney Prevot
High School: Alief Taylor
Measurables: 6-4 / 220
Highway’s Take: Prevot’s recruitment is frustrating for UT fans because he was really feeling the program in February but then his stock seemingly blew up overnight. He went from being this hidden gem who had no experience with the recruiting process to ultimately realizing he’ll have his pick of schools. He’s taken a step back and won’t commit anytime soon with a slew of offers to sift through. If UT wants a game-changer at DE, I don’t see any other option than riding it out until Prevot is ready with the well being dry for DEs in 2013 and Daeshon Hall’s commitment status being shaky.
Eric’s Take: Damn I like this kid as a player and person so I hope Texas lands him but I’m feeling less confident by the day. He’s everything you look for in a recruit whose frame deems him a bit of a risk. With him being a self starter and team leader I just get the feeling that he’s going to hit his ceiling. But will he be doing that in Baton Rouge, South Central, Eugene, or Austin? Or somewhere not even mentioned?
Name: Maurice Smith
Position: CB / S
High School: Fort Bend Dulles
Measurables: 5-11 / 180
Highway’s Take: How often do we see a kid label Texas as his “dream school” but appears to be so standoffish? For one reason or another, Smith isn’t necessarily feeling the UT vibe right now and also seems to be content with Duane Akina offering ATH Chevoski Collins even though there’s a strong possibility he’s allowing himself to be exed out of the recruiting picture. Akina pulled the trigger on another DB option for a reason and I don’t like where this one is heading at the moment.
Eric’s Take: If Collins takes that offer I’m not so sure that Texas and Smith are kaput. Smith could very well play safety and if Texas misses on one of the OOS safeties they’ve offered, perhaps they keep Smith in their plans. I agree with Highway that Smith’s recruitment is odd because of his stated affinity for the ‘horns but his seeming indifference. Couple that with what I wrote in the Inside Scoop last Friday and Smith is trending downward.
Name: Vonn Bell
High School: Ridgeland (Rossville, GA)
Measurables: 6-1 / 190
Highway’s Take: Bell is about a month removed from what he dubbed his “World Tour” of visiting several campuses – Texas, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Ohio State, OK State - all over the country during Spring Break. Not only do I feel as if he’s the best overall DB on Texas’ board but he comes across as a great fit personality-wise. He values what Duane Akina brings to the table, emphasizes academics and wants that family atmosphere. He would like to start narrowing his list of schools down at the close of spring practice – Texas will be strongly in the mix – but no decision is expected soon.
Eric’s Take: Man, High, leave me something to write. What Highway said! I’ll add that Bell is the ideal deep safety because of his instinctive play and elite range. This is a guy that turns the other team over with regularity and looks to advance the ball once he gets it. Coach Mariakis has told me that Texas is a virtual lock to be in his top five. I get the feeling Texas will be in this one until the very end.
Percentage: 35% (call me an optimist)
Name: Marcell Harris
High School: Dr. Phillips (Orlando, FL)
Measurables: 6-1 / 215
Highway’s Take: Texas has been going hard after Harris since his sophomore year and isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Duane Akina is scheduled to be in Florida this week to see the highly-touted safety in person. If Harris follows through with his current timeline of making a decision at the end of summer, the Horns will need to throw everything they have at him in the meantime. It remains to be seen if he will show up for UT’s summer camp in June – he has said on several occasions he would like to attend – but he and his family getting another look at Austin could help quite a bit. Although they have raved about the Texas program, I see this Gator legacy landing in Gainesville.
Eric’s Take: This has the makings of a recruitment that gets a lot of hopes up only to crush them. I’m not going to emotionally commit to this one, and neither should you. The murmurs behind the scene are that Harris is ending up in Gainesville. That should come as no surprise.
Name: Chevoski Collins
High School: Livingston
Measurables: 5-11 / 185
Highway’s Take: For those of you who happen to be out of the loop, this is a guy you will need to get familiar with because chances are he'll commit soon. Duane Akina offered the two-way standout last Thursday on the defensive side of the ball despite him having a preference for WR. With that said he recognizes Texas’ DB success and has been a fan of the program for a long time. It also doesn’t hurt that his cousin, Cedric Reed, is already in Austin. I think this one is a matter of “when” and not “if.”
Eric’s Take: Along with Ced Reed, Collins has also been mentored by former UT running back Ivan Williams who has spoken very highly of his time in Austin. As Highway mentioned Collins prefers to play WR – that’s how he initially caught UT’s eye – his ceiling on defense is higher because of his size. Collins is also a hard nosed kid that coaches love. He plays with a chip on his shoulder and I get the feeling that he’s a bit of a hardened kid. Don’t read anything negative into that statement, just realize that this is the type of kid you want to have your back.
Percentage: 70% (OU scares me a bit because of things he’s told me in the past)
Name: Robbie Rhodes
High School: Fort Worth Southwest
Measurables: 6-1 / 185
Highway’s Take: Your newest offer for the 2013 class. Darrell Wyatt has already been by Southwest HS for a spring evaluation of Rhodes but he won’t be formally offered until this Saturday morning – he is running the 200m at the state track meet in Austin - when he’s scheduled to meet with the UT staff. He has not yet had the opportunity to do so as he was unable to attend the second Junior Day in February. Some of you may have seen this coming if you’re up to speed on the Ra’Shaad Samples recruitment which we’ve touched on above. Rhodes is tough to get a read on because he doesn’t talk much but I suspect this offer really changes things up for him. I expect him to be a Longhorn eventually and he will be an excellent complement to the great skill players already assembled in this class; size, hands, blazing speed and quick off of the line of scrimmage.
Eric’s Take: I love that the staff let him know his formal offer was coming this weekend. That gives him time to think it over and talk with his family and for Mack to ask him the golden question, “Are you ready to be a Longhorn?” It wouldn’t shock me if Mack received his desired response right then and there. Highway accurately described his abilities, I’ll just add that Rhodes is getting the hard sell from Baylor about being the next Kendall Wright.