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  1. Carlos....GO OFF KING!!! On another note, my guy says James is going to get that 5th spot. Stros changed his delivery up a bit so there are less moving parts now, should stop him from overthrowing and help his control. Pruitt is probably best in a multi inning relief role (even as an opener...) and Framber will probably be the lefty in the pen. Its James to lose
  2. And promptly enters his name in the transfer portal
  3. Super K says that Quay is basically a silent back to Texas and might as well be a commit but the team doesn’t want another recommit/decommit situation so they are going slow
  4. Not sure if out yet but the players are flying in tomorrow to make a big ole apology tour even the ones that haven’t reported yet. Crane wants to stop the bleeding and address it head on
  5. The relaying of it is what’s illegal. The spreadsheet is not
  6. FYI if someone says that “codebreaker” was cheating they should be completely ignored. Every single team in baseball has something similar, hell even a lot of players have it or some kind of journal. If I really wanted to I could watch games at home and do the exact same shit. Stealing signs isn’t illegal in the slightest...it’s relaying the stolen signs electronically that’s illegal. Mother fuckers are up in arms over an excel spreadsheet with Info that’s readily available to the public via tv broadcast. This season needs to hurry up and start cause these dumbs mother fuckers are grasping at straws in a slow news cycle
  7. Roach put in his CB for Quay Davis back to Texas...which means he’s probably enrolled already
  8. Nickel is his best fit probably. Use him like LSU used the honey badger
  9. They compared Max Wright to JJ Watt regularly
  10. Btw Stros think that if Pedro Leon was in this past draft he would be worth a top 10 pick. Get ready for them to go HEAVILY into the international market the next two years including trading for international bonus money. Perfect strategy to rebuild the farm. They brought in Leon for a Private workout before his public workout and were blown away. He’s short but has big power
  11. I could have written that entire article based off of just reading this thread...which that might be what Roach actually did
  12. Sorry in advance for not spoilering it I’m on my phone The 2020 cycle was a year of ups and downs for Texas. At one point, Texas went months without landing a commitment. During the summer, they went on an incredible hot streak and rose to a top-five class in the country. Along the way, Texas managed to sign an incredibly talented quarterback class, performed a high-wire act with several five-star running backs. And smashed recruiting rival Texas A&M in several high-profile head-to-head battles. A tumultuous season led to several decommitments, but Texas was able to counter after making several staff changes to salvage the class. As always, there was drama, intrigue, and plenty of crazy moments behind closed doors. As we do each year, Horns247 has a full rundown of how exactly the 2020 class played out. Alabama Health InsurancePaid content by Health Insurance So without further ado, we take you behind the scenes in the second of a two-part look at the 2020 Texas signing class. — Despite what you read elsewhere, I’m fairly confident in saying that Texas really never trailed in the recruitment of Alfred Collins. In the beginning, Texas A&M actually held a ton of momentum, but at worst, Texas was tied for the lead. The Longhorns really began to stretch their lead in the spring. Over the summer, Texas really hammered it home and opened a big lead. I was told that Collins gave Texas a silent commitment over the summer during the Stars at Night camp. I was told he re-affirmed that commitment on the field at the Louisiana Tech game and again on his official visit. There was a period of time where Oklahoma closed the gap, but they never really wrestled control away from Texas. Oscar Giles came through huge in this recruitment. I’ve mentioned several times that Giles really connects with certain prospects on a different level and Collins was one of them along with Vernon Broughton. — If there was any doubt about this recruitment going into the new year, it was shot to pieces during check-in at the All-American Bowl. From the moment Collins arrived in San Antonio, he was flanked by a combination of Prince Dorbah, Xavion Alford, and Bijan Robinson. Collins spent pretty much the entire week with that crew and I was told during the bowl week that the staff was starting to extend the lead over Oklahoma once again. Baylor had a brief appearance near the end of the cycle, but I was told that despite Collins' relationship with Matt Rhule the Bears were never a serious contender to overtake Oklahoma or Texas. Collins never really looked back after that and made his choice public on National Signing Day. Texas was the program to beat all along for Broughton and Alfred Collins. (Photo: Mike Roach, 247Sports) — Broughton’s recruitment was somewhat similar to that of Collins. Texas lead pretty much the entire way, but several schools took their turn in the spotlight to put a scare in the Longhorns. Texas simply outworked everyone early in this recruitment: Giles forged a strong relationship with Broughton and Craig Naivarworked as his area recruiter. Broughton took his official visit in May with Logan Parr, Jake Majors and Jaylen Garth. The offensive line group did all they could to bond with him early. Broughton then visited Arkansas and we received credible information he might have given Arkansas a silent commitment and was possibly working on a video. Texas A&M started to make a push in the summer and there was a period of time where the whispers around Broughton said he’d be an Aggie. Through it all, one source I was in touch with kept telling me with unshaken confidence that he would be at Texas. The breakthrough moment in that recruitment was when Texas sent Broughton’s family an edit entitled “It takes a village.” In the edit, it outlined a plan for athletic, academic, personal, and spiritual development at Texas. — That family pitch resonated with Broughton’s mother, a former college coach, and a current educator. Broughton was set to make his announcement on a Monday (the first day of Big 12 media days) and shot a video that week weekend. Instead, he delayed and went dark on most media members he’d been in contact with. I finally was able to get through to Broughton who told me the decision was made and the video was done, but he was in no rush. He was overwhelmed by the media attention around him and wanted to just turn off his phone and be a kid. The delay gave Texas A&M the opportunity to get back in on him, but he never really listened. Near the end of the cycle, Broughton hadn’t received admittance to Texas, so the family reached out to several other programs to see if they could take them as an early enrollee. The Texas staff was able to calm them down and reassure everyone in Broughton's camp. Broughton was admitted a few days later. Did Fillinger simply have second thoughts about being a Longhorn? (Photo: 247Sports) — Princely Umanmielen’s recruitment was a roller coaster from the beginning. After visiting Texas what felt like 50 times in the months of January and February, Umanmielen spent the spring talking down the three-man front Todd Orlando preferred as a base alignment. As he talked more and more with schools like Oklahoma and Texas A&M, Texas began to get hot on the recruiting trail. After landing Broughton and Van Fillinger, Umanmielen decided he wanted to get in on the fun when he committed Aug. 12. I was told at the time that he likely wouldn’t stick if things got tough for Texas and that came to fruition. On Oct. 23, just a week or two after I visited Umanmielen for a game where he told me he had no plans to decommit, he opened up his recruitment. Behind the scenes, Umanmielen talked about how he heard negative reports on the program from Javonne Shepherd and Bru McCoy. From what I understand, there was some mixed reaction at Texas as some felt that Umanmielen might not be a culture fit for the program. Umanmielen became a priority for the Texas staff when Chris Ash took over, but it took some time for Umanmielen to reciprocate any interest. Once Texas was able to get him on campus for an unofficial visit during the Elite Day, there began to be some optimism in Austin. There was a feeling that Umanmielen might run out of options and land at Texas, but Florida and Baylor pushed hard. I was told that the official visit Umanmielen took to Austin “couldn’t have gone better,” but Florida and Baylor had the most buzz leading up to his commitment announcement on National Signing Day. After feeling like they were out of it because of his parents' preference to have him stay inside the state, the blessing was given if Florida were the pick and the Gators pushed hard in the last 24 hours. Texas never quite felt like they were able to regain the edge and I was told Umanmielen didn’t think that he was necessarily a fit for the Longhorns either. — Things came together quickly when Van Fillinger committed. Texas identified him early and they were able to get him in for two unofficial visits during the summer. Fillinger grew up a huge fan of Michigan and the thought was that he’d eventually end up in Ann Arbor. Michigan was looking at other options when Fillinger wanted to commit and Texas ended up being the pick. After an easy two months, Fillinger began seriously looking around behind the scenes and Utah tried to capitalize on Texas' struggles. While Fillinger and his mother were telling Texas that everything was good, he was secretly visiting Utah often. By the end of his time as a member of the recruiting class, it was one of the worst-kept secrets out there. Fillinger told me he notified Tom Herman that he was decommitting by sending a text message and he later lamented that he drug things on too long and should have separated from the program earlier. He knew Texas wasn’t the place for him, but he was having a hard time opening things up. After talking to Fillinger during the All-American Bowl week, I just think he was a young kid who learned some valuable lessons about how to deal with tough decisions. — There isn’t much to say about how Texas was able to snag Sawyer Goram-Welch. The Longview product wanted to play Power Five football and he wanted to play it in-state. Texas A&M was a dream school for him, but the Aggies asked him to flip to the offensive line. He wanted to stay on the defensive line. Goram-Welch eventually picked Oklahoma State, but Texas did a great job evaluating him and keeping in contact. When they were ready to move, Goram-Welch made the decision to flip quickly. — There was a lot of hype around Justin Floweearly in his recruitment. I can confirm that he was telling people Texas would be one of the top schools on his list. After missing several visit opportunities, things just never really materialized. It’s a good lesson in actions speaking louder than words. Flowe and Len'Neth Whiteheadare why I always say that I can’t take an out of state kid seriously until he visits. How close did come to keeping White away from LSU? (Photo: Billy Embody, 247Sports) — If we’re talking about missed opportunities, I think that Texas missed a big one with Cy-Creek linebacker Josh White. When he was committed to Oklahoma State, White told me and others that he’d commit on the spot if Texas offered. While the Longhorns waited for Todd Orlando to give the thumbs up and sign off on an offer, LSU moved in and got his recruitment wrapped up quickly. Once committed, White made a couple of secret visits to Texas, but nothing really came of it. This was a classic case of being too late on an in-state kid. — The Longhorns could have had Brennon Scott if they wanted him, but his physical development and spring evaluation weren’t the best. By the time Scott was ready to pick a school, Texas no longer had an offer for him. Scott committed to Kansas, but he ended up signing with UNLV after opening things back up. The Longhorns did a good job in their pursuit of Dorbah. (Photo: 247Sports) — Prince Dorbah’s recruitment was pretty easy to read from the beginning. A source at Highland Park told me early in the process that Texas would be the place Dorbah would be most comfortable because there would be many people like his friends at Highland Park. Dorbah made no secret of the fact Texas was his leader early on and he actually committed during the Heat Wave pool party despite not being in attendance. Dorbah never wavered after that and was resolute regarding his commitment any time I checked with him. Tim Beck also was big in this recruitment. He once coached Dorbah’s mentor and was able to get in with Dorbah and his family from the beginning. — Darius Snow was a priority target for Craig Naivar when he was first offered, but as his body developed to be more of a linebacker, Texas decided to go in a different direction. Snow was probably headed to his father’s alma mater of Michigan State anyhow, but Texas stopped pursuing in the spring. — The Longhorns got in late on Jaqwondis Burns after Todd Orlando saw made an in-game during the fall. There was a lot of momentum for Burns to stay home, but Orlando's firing pretty much put an end to it. There were also some negative voices in his ear when it came to Texas. He chose Minnesota after taking a few visits. — Jaylan Ford is a player I’ve been high on for a few years. I thought he was an automatic eval in a state that struggles to produce linebackers. Texas quietly saw Ford a few times during the late fall and went in-home before signing day. After losing multiple players to Utah, Texas began to quietly pursue. The night before signing day, I was told by a Utah source that Texas was heavily involved. On signing day, I was told Texas sent a National Letter of Intent to Ford. While I was verifying this news, Ford sent his letter and announced he would be a Longhorn the following day. Ringo's recruitment was one the wildest to follow in the cycle. (Photo: 247Sports) — The recruitment of Kelee Ringo was crazy to follow and is one where some good lessons can be learned. Ringo came to Austin during spring break on his own dime and spent the entire week on campus. At that time, he told multiple people at Texas he would be a Longhorn and that nobody else was really close for him. As long as Texas could keep getting him back on campus they had a great shot. Enter Georgia. The Bulldogs hosted Ringo a few times themselves and had him in for their spring game. Coming out of that weekend, the word was that momentum totally flipped in favor of the SEC program. Ringo talked a few times about making a return to Austin for more visits, but he never made it back to Texas. Late in August, the word was going around that Ringo was a silent commit to Georgia. When I went out to see him in the fall, he was adamant that he wanted to make an official visit to Austin. Ringo had a strong relationship with Jason Washington and Tim Beck and, to their credit, both coaches pursued him hard in the final weeks despite the uncertainty about their future. Ringo’s playoffs ran up against the dead period and Georgia was scheduled to receive a visit right before signing day. Beck tried to get Ringo in for a mid-week visit right before to at least give them a shot, but they couldn’t make the schedule work. Texas made a strong push at the end of his recruitment to have Ringo hold off of signing and visit in January, but he ended up signing with Dawgs early. Ringo had some fun at the All-American Bowl by showing up in Texas gear and taking a picture with Texas commits, but he told me early that week it wouldn’t be Texas. — Like Chad Lindberg, Jahari Rogers was a guy I was sure would end up at Texas. When the Longhorns made a push for him in the spring, they started to open up a huge lead. In fact, there were credible rumors out there that Rogers filmed a commitment video for Texas around the same time Ja’Quinden Jackson did. Florida kept pushing for him and they were able to get close to those around Rogers to question the developmental track record of Jason Washington. After telling Texas he was coming, Rogers suddenly began to back off a bit. Ra'Shaad Samples was close to Rogers and his departure wasn’t a total secret behind the scenes. Rogers went on to commit to Florida, but he kept his eyes on Texas early in the fall. When Florida began to thrive as Texas struggled, that pretty much shut the door on any chance the Longhorns had to flip him. — I won’t say that waiting to offer Jalen Kimberwas the ultimate factor that hurt Texas, but they had an opportunity to be aggressive after seeing Kimber perform very well at the Stars at Night camp going into his junior season. Texas A&M offered by the time Texas came around, and the Aggies held a lot of early momentum. In fact, Kimber wanted to give a commitment to Jimbo Fisher at last year’s Super Bowl party weekend, but the A&M staff asked him to hold off. Kimber went on to visit Georgia and fell in love with the campus and program. Jason Washington worked really hard to establish a strong relationship, but in the end, Georgia simply impressed him more. Kimber is not a Texas native, so he had no problem going out of state. Crawford proved to be a tremendous evaluation by the staff. (Photo: Andrew Ivins, 247Sports) — Texas made an impressive eval early when the staff found Kitan Crawford. The Longhorns were able to recruit him hard throughout the spring when it was clear he would develop into a strong prospect and they had a big lead before schools like Oklahoma and Texas A&M could get in on him late in the spring. Texas basically ran wire-to-wire as the leader despite some interest in Tennessee. Crawford was set to make a decision at his spring game, but he decided to take a few visits to the new schools coming in for him. He committed to Texas on Jun. 21 and was a low-maintenance prospect until the staff turnover. When news broke that Jason Washingtonmight be fired, Crawford began to look around behind the scenes. Texas was able to go in-home several times and Washington did his part to keep him in the class despite his murky future. — Ethan Pouncey left just as quickly as he arrived. Texas knew they could go in on Pouncey late because of the link with his brother and he called out of nowhere to commit one night during the summer. Pouncey had some injury issues he was dealing with that would keep him out for the season and I was told he didn’t have the injury repaired. Instead, he was hoping it would work itself out once he got to college as an early enrollee. Pouncey decommitted in the middle of a string of decommitments, but his future with Texas was always was tied to his brother. When Jordan Pouncey announced an intention to transfer, the younger Pouncey was gone, no questions asked. — Texas really liked Dwight McGlothern early, but some off-field issues and transfers to three schools in four years made them take a step back. The Longhorns offered Joshua Eatonwith McGlothern on campus and I’m told they made an effort to let McGlothern know they were taking a step back. To his credit, McGlothern got his grades in order, kept his nose clean at Klein Oak and he found a home at LSU late in the cycle. — Eaton’s recruitment was shaky from the beginning. When Texas offered originally, Eaton was close to shutting things down and making a quick commitment before getting a push from Texas A&M. As Eaton went on through the spring, he struggled during some evaluation opportunities while Texas surged with guys like Crawford and Rogers. Texas re-engaged Eaton in the summer and took a commitment from him knowing he had a high ceiling for development and some high-end traits. Eaton went on to visit Oklahoma during the season and gradually began to separate himself from the Texas class. There was a point where Tom Hermanattempted to get in contact with him and Eaton would not call him back. Oklahoma pushed hard and Eaton ended up de-committing and flipping to the Sooners. — Texas got in way too late on Ennis Rakestraw. He ended up signing with Missouri out of a sense of loyalty, but Jay Valai was a big factor down the stretch in getting Texas a place at the table on signing day. Rakestraw told me that Valai was one of the most real coaches he’d ever met and, given more time, Valai might have landed him. Jones was a prospect Texas wanted, but he signed with Texas A&M. (Photo: Brian Perroni, 247Sports) — Jaylon Jones had a recruitment that probably took years off of Jason Washington’s life. Texas was in early on Jones after landing Caden Sterns from the same high school (Cibolo Steele) and the Longhorns felt they were in a great position. In fact, Jones’ parents spoke very highly of Washington’s recruiting style and coaching ability, and they were somewhat Texas fans themselves. Their son, on the other hand, felt more of a connection with Maurice Linguist and Jimbo Fisher. While he had a relationship with Washington, he didn’t feel that Herman was recruiting him as hard as Fisher did. Once Jones made his commitment to the Aggies, he never looked back and put pen to paper in December. — Texas pursued Xavion Alford throughout the spring and despite many changes at the top of his list, the Longhorns never seemed to slide. They were always co-leaders with Auburn, LSU and eventually Texas A&M. The Aggies slow-played Alford early in the cycle and tried to come on strong in the summer. In the end, Craig Naivar outworked everyone else and landed him. Alford went on to be one of the leaders in the class and despite some shaky moments late in the cycle, he decided that he committed to Texas for the entire package. During the All-American Bowl, Alford was the main vocal recruiter for Texas. — Texas felt good about where things stood with Lathan Ransom coming out of his official visit. He was trending toward LSU early and while the Longhorns felt they overcame the surge of Tiger momentum, they were worried about his upcoming trip to Ohio State. Those feelings turned out to be confirmation more than a revelation when Ransom went to Ohio State the week after visiting Austin and committed to the Buckeyes. Ransom and his family connected well with Naivar , but they saw more potential for development and winning at Ohio State. — Speaking of Naivar, it was a tough year for him after assembling some remarkable talent in his safety room over the last few years. Texas was the runaway leader for Chris Thompson through most of the spring and Thompson even made a commitment video. His video was supposed to be a continuation of Ja’Quinden Jackson’s, but Thompson wanted to make some other visits. Thompson’s family told Texas several times there would be nothing to worry about and he just wanted to take some other trips. Thompson even called me from his official visit to tell me he was pretty much sold on being at Texas. Auburn kept working though. 18COMMENTS When I checked in with Auburn sources, they were even surprised to hear that I was getting some legitimate buzz on the Tigers. In the week leading up to the decision, things started to feel very shaky. Information all but shut down and his video began to be re-shot. I was told it was just to add some more scenes and had nothing to do with the decision, but the ending was re-worked. I was told by sources near Thompson the night before his announcement that Texas would be the pick, but I was warned by others that Auburn was actually the school. In the end, Auburn pitched Thompson on a plan for him not only as a football player but as a student and a professional. He felt that approach fit him and he wanted to forge his own path after being considered a Texas lean for so long. — Things with Bryson Washington played out the same way. After being high on Texas early, Oklahoma started to surge for him and Washington gave the Sooners a silent commitment in the spring. Texas continued to work on him and Naivar was able to get Washington on campus a few times before his official visit. The Longhorns did everything they could during the official visit. They even connected Washington with members the Texas Rangers with Washington pondering a future in law enforcement. The Longhorns thought they might be able to flip him with a strong year, but the opportunity never materialized. Like Jones, I heard from the Washington side of things that Lincoln Riley was more involved in the recruitment from a head coach perspective and Washington felt that he barely had a relationship with Herman. — After offering Ryan Watts early, both parties went their separate ways. There weren’t many juicy details there. I think both sides found better fits elsewhere. — Texas got in on Drew Sanders late after he was already committed to Oklahoma. I’m not sure there would have been much interest there as it was. — I spoke with Darnell Washington during The Opening Finals and he told me he was interested in Texas, but they were pitching the tight end on playing defensive end in Austin. — Texas offered Michael Henderson with the idea of him being a jumbo athlete, but he was always more infatuated with Oklahoma. It was no surprise when he committed to the Sooners. — Texas faced its share of negative recruiting this year. I was told of multiple occasions where other schools played the Zach Smith podcast for recruits and their families in an effort to target Herman from moral standpoint. Many opposing coaches were also said to point out the potential for staff changes with most of the coaches in the last year of their contracts, which turned out to be a legitimate concern. When we say negative recruiting, it doesn’t mean it isn’t true. — I spoke on multiple occasions about how prospects felt Herman wasn’t as involved in their recruitments as other coaches. I think it’s important to note that no two recruitments are alike and there were just as many folks that would tell you nobody was more involved than Herman. It’s important to remember that what I’m told comes from a variety of different viewpoints. I try to filter them, find what makes sense and report the truth.
  13. Part 1 The 2020 cycle was a year of ups and downs for Texas. At one point, Texas went months without landing a commitment. During the summer, they went on an incredible hot streak and rose to a top-five class in the country. Along the way, Texas managed to sign an incredibly talented quarterback class, performed a high-wire act with several five-star running backs. And smashed recruiting rival Texas A&M in several high-profile head-to-head battles. A tumultuous season led to several decommitments, but Texas was able to counter after making several staff changes to salvage the class. As always, there was drama, intrigue, and plenty of crazy moments behind closed doors. As we do each year, Horns247 has a full rundown of how exactly the 2020 class played out. Leftover 2019 Subaru Outbacks May Be Surprisingly CheapPaid content by SUVs So without further ado, we take you behind the scenes of the 2020 Texas signing class in this first of two parts of Horns247's annual post-National Signing Day look back at how things unfolded in the recruiting cycle that was. The story of Evans' wild recruitment can't be told without mentioning the Longhorns. (Photo: Brian Perroni, 247Sports) — We’ll start with the star of the Texas recruiting class, Bijan Robinson. Tim Beck found Robinson through his coaching connections in Arizona and brought his name to the table. Robinson took an unofficial visit to Texas during the spring along with some assistant coaches and teammate Jonah Miller, but before that time, he really wasn’t considering the Longhorns. Texas did a fantastic job on that visit and put themselves into the running with several other programs to land Robinson. Fast forward to May. I was newly thrust into the full-time recruiting role at Horns247 and trying to play catch-up with out-of-state prospects. I was able to connect with a source near Robinson at that time who told me if they were wagering in Las Vegas, Texas would be the heavy favorite. It was at that time I started to report confidence towards Texas landing Robinson. When Robinson visited Texas officially in June for the Heat Wave pool party, many in the offices at Moncrief thought he was coming to commit. Following the visit, sources at Texas told me they felt everything went as well as it could have and they expected the five-star back to join the class. — Then there was the following week when Robinson arrived in Atlanta for a national combine. Reporters from another outlet quickly picked up a ton of Ohio State buzz for Robinson. This took sources in Austin by surprise as Robinson had just come off a very strong visit and gave very strong indications he would end up at Texas. As it turned out, Robinson was spending a lot of time with Ohio State commits during the event and he himself admitted that he was caught up in the hype of it all. During that time, communication with Texas dwindled and the staff started to investigate other options. Robinson and his coaches re-established communication with Beck and Stan Drayton in mid-July and it started becoming clear that Robinson would indeed end up at Texas. After committing to the Longhorns, Robinson toyed around with the idea of taking other visits, but he told me during the All-American Bowl that he decided to shut things down and stick with Texas mid-season. — Speaking of running backs, Texas really walked the high-wire attempting to land an elite back this year. Galena Park North Shore's Zachary Evans was at the top of the board for the 2020 class since the moment he was offered. I could probably do an entire behind-the-scenes article on what I heard regarding Evans’ recruitment, but I’ll try to stick to the things I know well. When I first met Evans, I thought he was a very smart kid who was handling the recruiting scene well. At some point in the process (at least in my opinion) something changed with him. Evans made several early visits to Texas during his sophomore and junior seasons and sources indicated on several occasions during those times that he could be close to committing. Around December 2018, things began to change with Evans. It culminated in a baffling scene following North Shore’s electric win over Duncanville in the state final. Following the memorable Hail Mary, Evans took off for the locker room while the rest of his team received medals and their trophy. Evans was later brought out by a coach to celebrate with his team, but he ended up sitting around on the bench. It was at that time that I looked at some other media members around me and raised my eyebrows. Going into the spring, Evans started to make it clear he was not a Texas lean in the slightest. As Evans talked more and more about being a package deal with high school teammate Damieon George, I began to hear that schools were starting to become wary of the five-star talent. Texas pushed to have Evans visit in May while they were hosting several others on the weekend of the JMBLYA concert in Austin. Evans was on his way to Austin when word got out that the concert was canceled due to weather. Evans told reporters he’d been to campus enough and didn’t need to come again. — I knew that Texas was in for a tough fight with Evans, but I began to realize how tough it was going to be when I stopped by North Shore in the spring. At that time, I’d spoken with Evans on several occasions and his explanation of what he was looking for was different each time. In a 15-minute conversation I had with Evans during the spring, he started hinting that Texas and Texas A&M wouldn’t make his upcoming cut of top schools. Evans was brutally honest when asked on the record why Texas didn’t make it, though he wasn’t necessarily wrong. Shortly after cutting all in-state schools from his list, Evans made it known he would unofficially visit Texas and Texas A&M. Evans came in during the summer unannounced on the Friday before Bijan Robinson was set to arrive in town for his official visit. Evans came in on a bit of a secret visit and there were even those in the building that didn’t know. I was told Evans came in to apologize to the staff over the comments he made to the press when he cut them. This was almost disastrous for the Longhorns and their chances with Robinson. When he and his coaches saw that Texas was hosting Evans, it caused them to take a step back and talk about it. The Texas staff was able to smooth things over thanks in part to Drayton’s relationship with Robinson and Beck’s relationship with his coaching staff. — Following that mid-summer visit, Texas eventually landed Robinson and Evans never really showed any serious interest in Texas. I unplugged a bit from his recruitment and only caught hearsay from coaches and others in the media. Evans went on to have an up-and-down season and a wild ending to his recruitment. In fact, on signing day in December, I was told that Evans was calling around to schools looking for them to send him a National Letter of Intent. After being turned down by several programs, Georgia bit and Evans signed with them. As soon as I heard he had signed during the early period, I quickly heard that he was already regretting the letter and was trying to get out of it. I thought it would be a funny footnote for this article, but nothing would come of it. It turns out I was wrong. — The third major running back in the mix was Jase McClellan. Let’s go all the way back to when McClellan committed to Oklahoma. The five-star back came to Texas during the summer for Stars at Night with expectations of getting an offer and plans to commit on the spot. McClellan was not offered on that night and he went to Oklahoma the next week and committed. After holding that commitment for nearly two years, Texas was able to get McClellan to officially visit. A source close to McClellan told me that he was very gettable. In fact, I was told back in the spring that this source would be very surprised if McClellan signed with Oklahoma. The source told me that Georgia or Alabama would probably be the beneficiaries, but Texas always held some allure for him. When McClellan made his visit, I’m told that the staff felt they did everything they could, but they never got the feeling they made much of an impact. McClellan’s mother was high on Texas, but it seemed she may have wanted it more for Jase than he wanted it for himself. — Jo’Quavious Marks, Kendall Milton, and Dominic Richardson all showed some interest in Texas during the cycle, but they weren’t serious enough about the Longhorns to ever make a real visit. Texas eventually offered EJ Smith during the spring, but they never really pursued with any fervor. In the end, Smith didn’t seem to be that interested in Texas after they waited around and they didn’t even seem into recruiting him hard after they offered. Seth McGowan might have been attainable had Texas offered earlier, but sources near the four-star Mesquite Poteet running back said that Oklahoma was always the dream school. Jordan's recruitment took a few turns where his silence spoke volumes. (Photo: 247Sports) — The recruitment of Ty Jordan was odd. Texas was one of the first schools to offer the electric speedster and it seemed like he would pull the trigger at any time. Jordan decided to stretch things out and was dealing with his mother’s illness. Texas seemed to back off for most of the year while Jordan started looking out of state. When Texas re-engaged during the summer, they were able to reel him in and grab a commitment. Jordan became incredibly withdrawn from media during the fall and it was understandable as he was dealing with a lot at the time. When rumors popped up that he was looking elsewhere, sources around Jordan told me that it would be a matter of when and not if. After an in-home visit from Texas, I was told that Jordan was going to go ahead with the flip. In the end, Jordan decided to do it with as little fanfare as possible and confirmations were difficult because he never posted anything from his social accounts and wouldn’t respond to media requests. — Texas simply got in on running back Kevontre Bradford too late. Lancaster head coach Chris Gilbert has a strong relationship with Tom Herman, and the staff encouraged Bradford to give Texas a chance and take a visit. Bradford was all set to take multiple visits to Texas in the last week of the recruiting period, but he ended up committing to LSU on his official visit. I’m told the feedback given to the Texas staff was that they needed to have a Dallas guy recruiting their area and Bradford felt too much like a backup plan. — The Texas quarterback class came together in an odd way. Hudson Card was offered, took a few weeks to consider the offer, and then committed. Georgia made a credible threat down the stretch and I’m told Card and his family considered taking an official visit, but in the end, they decided that they were too far down the road with Texas. From the moment Ja'Quinden Jackson was offered, we were told that it would be a huge shock if he ended up anywhere other than Texas. Jackson made it pretty simple and filmed a video with an unfinished ending (more on that later). Multiple schools came at Jackson late, but he never really wavered. There were some tight moments during the in-home visits because of Jackson’s close relationship with Tim Beck. In the end, Jackson and Hudson Card were two of the more low-maintenance recruitments during the cycle. Did Texas simply botch the recruitment of Smith-Njigba? (Photo: 247Sports) — Following the 2018 Texas Heat Wave, Demond Demas spoke highly of Texas and told reporters they would be the only in-state school in his top five. When asked specifically about Texas A&M, he told reporters off the record that they wouldn’t be a factor in his recruitment. Less than two months later, Demas committed while on a visit to Texas A&M. He immediately returned to Texas the next week and was in the middle of the locker room celebration following the Texas win over USC. Demas made a few other trips to Texas, but ultimately, he stuck with the Aggies. It was one of the quicker turns I’ve ever seen in a recruitment. When I spoke to Demas in the spring following The Opening Regional in Houston he talked about taking all of his visits, including one to Austin. At that point, I was told Texas wasn’t really pursuing Demas anymore and didn’t feel that his interest in the Longhorns was sincere. — Jaxon Smith-Njigba is probably the biggest miss in this class. Not so much from a head-to-head standpoint, but the way the recruitment went down had to be frustrating from a Texas perspective. The Longhorns were actually very early to make contact with Smith-Njigba in his career, but they waited to pull the trigger on an offer. Early on, Smith-Njigba told me a Texas offer would be hard to beat by just about anyone. As time wore on, I was told that sources on staff questioned Smith-Njigba’s athletic ability and ceiling. Ohio State offered him and Smith-Njigba decided early on to be a Buckeye. Things didn't pick up again until last September when (with Texas on a recruiting hot streak) the two sides resumed contact behind the scenes. Texas started to push hard and was prepared to offer if Smith-Njigba would listen. Smith-Njigba started to make plans to make an official visit the week of the LSU game. I was never told that he would definitely flip, but I was told that the Texas offer would absolutely make him think twice. In the end, Smith-Njigba and his father discussed it and decided not to visit Texas since they’d already given their word to Ohio State. Johnston was one of two wide receivers Texas wanted who wound up signing with TCU. (Photo: Mike Roach, 247Sports) — Quentin Johnston was all Texas for the majority of the cycle. The Temple wide receiver made multiple visits to Austin and struck up a strong relationship with Drew Mehringer. Malcolm Kelly was the only reason TCU was in it during the summer and he kept in contact during the fall. When Mehringer was fired, Johnston told everyone that he was still strongly committed, but the word behind the scenes was that he was definitely looking around. Johnston’s contact with just about everyone dropped and even his coaches didn’t know what was going on down the stretch. He wanted to make the switch on signing day to keep everything quiet, but too many reports got out beforehand. I’m told that the split with Mehringer was enough to make Johnston think, but the TCU staff hammered home the instability at Texas. Little did Johnston know, some members of the TCU offensive staff would leave Fort Worth following signing day. — Savion Williams felt like a kid who could be flipped when Texas started to pursue in January. He indicated to the Texas staff that he would be very receptive to hearing from them and when Texas offered, Williams immediately scheduled an official visit for the last weekend of the year. Not wanting Texas to get involved, their competitors went to work to shut down the visit. When Williams officially visited TCU late in the cycle, the TCU staff did all they could to shut things down. They succeeded and, in the end, Malcolm Kelly was a decent-sized thorn in the side of the Longhorns. Texas tried during the last week to get back in it with Williams, but the damage was done. Suddenly, those near Williams started talking about how late Texas was getting into the recruitment. — Kelvontay Dixon was way more of an adventure than I thought he’d be. There was a time when Texas appeared to be dis-engaged with Dixon and he started to pay attention to other programs. He eventually started to contact Texas and he visited several times throughout the year. Even before Chad Morris was done for at Arkansas, Dixon was giving indications he was ready to flip to Texas. Dixon liked the recruiting process even if he didn’t love the media attention, though. He stretched out his time with Arkansas before decommitting and he took it almost to the finish line before making it official to Texas. He gave silent indications on several occasions and he told sources at Texas during his official visit he’d be a Longhorn. Despite officially visiting Houston the last weekend of the season, Dixon was basically done for a while. How close did Texas come to getting back in it with Cooper? (Photo: 247Sports) — Maryland Heights (Mo.) Pattonville high school athlete Mookie Cooper was the second commit of the Texas class, but he decommitted less than a month after committing in February. We were on commit watch with Cooper going back to June of 2018 when he gave indications to the Texas staff that the Longhorns would be the pick. Cooper told others he made a decision too quickly, but I was told that there were some outside influencers that came into his recruitment. Cooper told reporters at The Opening Finals that he intended to take all of his officials, but off the record, he told us he’d be committing before taking any additional visits. Mehringer went to see Cooper during one of the bye weeks in the fall, but Texas couldn’t get him interested enough to return to campus. The success of Ohio State and struggles in Austin certainly didn’t help. — There was a period of time where Texas felt like it was in a strong position for Calabasas (Calif.) wide receiver Johnny Wilson. Wilson and his family made a trip to Austin and planned to return during the fall. Wilson’s family was looking to get out of California and they had friends in the Austin area. I was told that at one point, Texas felt like it had a lead, but the Longhorns were worried about Wilson returning to Oregon for another summer visit. Wilson eventually committed to Oregon on that trip and Texas didn’t get another shot. Mehringer kept trying throughout the cycle, but Wilson had moved on. I was told by a few sources in California that they were worried about Wilson’s toughness and ability to play with physicality. — Troy Omeire had the most back-and-forth recruitment of the spring. Texas and Texas A&M took turns grabbing the lead and at one point, LSU was in prime position if it wanted to push. I was told that Omeire gave silent commitments to Texas and Texas A&M on several occasions before he announced a commitment to the Aggies. But Texas never gave up on Omeire and sources at Austin told me they were “still swinging.” Omeire had stronger relationships with Texas A&M when he made the initial commitment, but he didn’t feel the offensive fit was there. In the end, Omeire had a conversation with a coach at his school about his future and he decided that Texas would utilize big receivers much better than Texas A&M could. Down the stretch, there were rumors that Omeire might be looking around, but he was pretty much locked in from the time he flipped his commitment. Why did things suddenly stop between Texas and Bunkley-Shelton? (Photo: Brandon Huffman, 247Sports) — LV Bunkley-Shelton drew the attention of every staffer on the field during the Texas satellite camp at Cal Lutheran in June. After killing it at the camp, Bunkley-Shelton was offered by Mehringer and Herman. Bunkley-Shelton immediately started to look into Texas and it sounded positive for the Longhorns. Bunkley-Shelton came to Austin in August and gave a silent commitment to the Texas coaches at that time. As the fall wore on, however, it appeared that Bunkley-Shelton might have some qualifying issues and Texas decided to go another direction. — Loic Fouonji was a player Mehringer liked a lot early in the spring and Texas eventually decided to offer after the evaluation period. Fouonji and his family didn’t grow up in Texas, so the Longhorns didn’t carry any more weight than other schools in his recruitment. Combine that with the fact that Texas didn’t push as hard as it could have early and the Longhorns lost whatever momentum they might have had early. Fouonji blew up during his senior season and Texas decided to push hard. By then it was way too late and Texas Tech had put way more work into the recruitment. Fouonji’s visit to Texas was described to me as “fine,” but he never seemed warm to the idea of coming to Austin. — Texas could have landed Javian Hester if it pushed, but with low receiver numbers and a congested group, Texas ultimately decided to pass. Hester told reporters in July that Texas was unquestionably the leader in his recruitment and he would likely be a Longhorn once he made his commitment. With Quentin Johnston already on board and things going well with Troy Omeire, Texas ultimately decided to go in another direction. — Things came together quickly for Dajon Harrison. Texas obviously knew about the local prospect, but they hadn’t moved on him. Harrison was on the verge of making a commitment to Kansas State. On the day Harrison was going to commit, Bryan Carrington texted him to indicate interest. Communication picked up and Harrison committed on the spot once offered. — Tight end recruiting was a mixed bag for Texas. Jalin Conyers was the only prospect Texas seemed seriously interested in and he didn’t show much interest after initially visiting. Texas decided to lean on a guy like Jaden Hullaby, who could fill a number of roles. Hullaby’s recruitment featured very little stress and there was no real build-up to it. Lindberg went from a perceived heavy lean to out of the picture for the Longhorns. (Photo: Andrew Ivins, 247Sports) — When this cycle began, I would have lost a lot of money betting on Chad Lindberg to be a part of this class. The truth is, Lindberg felt as much of a lock as anyone on the board. What we learned this year is kids don’t like to be considered locks. Lindberg visited Texas more than any other school over the last two years and everything looked like it was lining up for him to be a member of the class. When Lindberg made his official visit to Texas in May, he was there with several other offensive linemen. Despite strong feelings on the Texas side, Lindberg simply wanted to create his own path. Even his mother was sold on Texas, but Lindberg was never quite there. Georgia and offensive line coach Sam Pittmandid a great job recruiting Lindberg and that put the Bulldogs in position to land him. When Pittman was hired at Arkansas, Lindberg briefly considered opening up his recruitment and considering Texas, but he decided to stick to his commitment. I told Lindberg late in the year that I would have bet anything he would have been at Texas. He told me that he always saw himself there before the process but as it went on, he just didn’t feel it was the right fit for him. In this case, I don’t think there was anything more Texas could have done. — The rest of the Texas offensive line class came together quickly and without much fanfare. Logan Parr was one of the earliest commits in the group, Jake Majors followed quickly after and Jaylen Garth shut things down in the spring as Texas ran way out in front in that recruitment. None of those guys ever considered going elsewhere and they were all big recruiters. Texas brought Andrej Karic in during the summer and Karic shut it down after the Longhorns offered. Karic would have probably been ranked higher and considered earlier, but there was some talk of grade issues in his younger years. In the end, Karic was able to get things turned around and Texas saw what they needed to in the way of transcripts. Karic didn’t look back after committing and the offensive line group ended up being one of the strongest parts of this class. — Texas already held commitments from Parr and Majors and they were feeling very good about where they stood with Garth when they held their junior day last year. Texas A&M pledges Akinola Ogunbiyi and Smart Chibuzoshowed up on campus for the event and I was told by multiple sources that Ogunbiyi spoke to the Texas staff about flipping his commitment. 37COMMENTS The staff decided to hold him off since they were still sorting out the offensive line group. Ogunbiyi later went on to publicly flirt with Oklahoma and Georgia before committing to the Bulldogs. He then ended the year by coming back to the Texas A&M class and he signed with Aggies in December.
  14. Mike Roach Close to putting in a Prairie View crystal ball for long time Texas offer Jordon Williams. Stay tuned
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