Joshua Eaton | Top List | My Take
– Super K
2020 elite CB, Joshua Eaton (Aldine MacArthur) released his list of top 12 schools, recently…
Last time I spoke with Josh, the plan remained for him to take his time and make a decision sometime in the fall or near signing day. I don’t believe that has changed.
Josh has been to Texas on a number of occasions and I plan on checking with to see if a return trip is upcoming. I think there a few schools in that list that are probably sitting a little further back than others.
Schools like Auburn, Arkansas, perhaps even TCU, Oregon and Ohio State are schools I haven’t heard Josh talk about much. That isn’t to say they aren’t contenders but as I wade through this based on what I know, they don’t strike me as the biggest threats to Texas.
Schools I think do pose the bigger threats to Texas are LSU, TAMU, Florida, Alabama, and OU.
A few thoughts however, on those schools…
***I always got the impression that LSU was a bit of a dream school for Josh. However, with Elias Ricks already committed, I’ve heard that LSU is looking at only taking two cornerbacks. Not sure how likely it is that a position will be open there by this fall/signing day.
***OU is interesting in that Josh has spent a lot of time in Oklahoma. His paternal uncle lives there so he has a lot of familiarity with the area. However, he has yet to make the visit to OU. If he does, I think they become a bit of a threat. The issue again, however, is OU is likely to approach their total number of takes this summer.
***Florida was a school Josh also mentioned early on as one he likes. One issue I’ve heard they may be having though is that they’ve already taken two out of state defensive backs and my sources over there have indicated that they don’t want to snub their in-state high school coaches/programs.
***Josh has been to Texas A&M. It’s close. He has friends there. I think they’re going to remain a threat just as is the situation with a lot of in-state kids.
***Alabama is Alabama.
***The last time I spoke with Josh I got the sense that his most recent Texas visit was the best he had to Austin. Would be great if the Longhorns can get this extremely talented cornerback back on campus for the big summer recruiting event in June.
TFB Talking Point | Impact of Bru McCoy Potentially Leaving
– Darius Terrell
It’s hard to truly wrap my head around everything that has transpired over this Memorial Day weekend. Rumors started circulating on Saturday night that Texas Freshman Wide Receiver Bru McCoy was seriously considering transferring back to USC, after initially enrolling at USC and transferring to Texas a few weeks later.
If this comes to fruition (all signs are pointing towards it being true), I can’t remember a scenario where a player signed with an FBS school, transferred from the school to another FBS school a few weeks later, and then returned to the original school that he initially started with. This all happened within a span of five months, by the way.
Without knowing Bru McCoy or his family at all, and only having my outside knowledge of what life is like for kids growing up in sunny Southern California or living in a community like Santa Ana, this looked to me like a simple case of buyer’s remorse on the part of young McCoy.
Try to put yourself in the shoes of an 18-year-old star athlete for a second: You’ve just returned home from your first semester of college for your high school graduation. You haven’t seen many of your closest friends in months, possibly even a girlfriend. You’ve been going through a tremendous adjustment being away from home and outside of your social bubble over 1,400 miles away from familiarity. At home, you’re a hero. They’ve just retired your high school jersey in a ceremony, immortalizing you. Everyone loves you and is telling you how amazing you are and how they wish they could see you play and support you. The kids in the community are looking up to you in awe. You used to be that little kid looking up to the older high school players.
You left all of this to go sweat your butt off under the Texas sun? Where you’re starting all over again? Where you might have to sit out a year anyway? Why? For what?
That’s how a 5-Star out-of-state recruit can go home for a break before summer workouts are scheduled to begin and never return.
If you’re Texas, you have no choice but to move on. McCoy, had he been ruled eligible, would have played as a true Freshman without a doubt, but his impact likely would have been minimal in 2019 with what Texas returns in the Wide Receiver room. He was a luxury addition to the class as far as next season is concerned. The sting of his loss will be felt in what he potentially could have been in 2020 and beyond for the Longhorns. Last week, I had 2019 WR recruit Jake Smith listed under the category of “May Play” due to the logjam ahead of him and mentioned that Texas would have to get creative to find ways to get the ball in his hands. The departure of McCoy now increases the odds that we see Smith substantially next fall, in my opinion.
There were reports on social media last week that Kansas St. Wide Receiver Isaiah Zuber was looking to transfer after graduating this spring and that he has an interest in Texas. Zuber has a connection to the Texas staff after Andre Coleman was hired on as an analyst earlier this spring after previously serving as Offensive Coordinator and Wide Receivers Coach for Zuber and the Wildcats. My initial reaction was that I didn’t see any way that Texas would have room for Zuber or be interested. After McCoy’s departure, Zuber and Texas seems to make a lot more sense as a mutually beneficial match for 2019 with Zuber’s ability in the return game and his versatility to play the slot or outside.
Notebook | Let’s Talk Running Backs
– Super K
Not to pile on but it’s been a rough go in running back recruiting. Want to go through a few of the guys Texas offered in this cycle to take stock of where things are…
***Jo’Quavious Marks (Atlanta, GA) was an early running back offer. There seemed to be some promise there. He was even planning on taking an unofficial visit in the fall. That was cancelled. Then a possible visit was expected in the spring. That didn’t happen. Marks recently committed to Mississippi State.
***Kobe Pryor was another Georgia running back who picked up a Texas offer relatively early. He seemed certain he’d at least take a visit. I was convinced enough, as you all know, to go out to Georgia and see him.
That visit also never materialized and he is now committed to Clemson.
***Seth McGowan was an in-state guy that Texas wanted and offered. Texas didn’t land in his top eight. His final two are OU and UGA.
If I’m the head man at Texas, I’m livid if we don’t make a top eight for an in-state kid. Someone is going to be held accountable unless there is a very very good reason and it better be an anomaly.
***But, if Zach Evans list is indeed his real list then it wasn’t anomaly as we all saw Texas land outside the top five.
This quote from a recent interview Evans gave to 247sports about why he chose to leave Texas out of his top list is noteworthy…
“It’s just … you don’t know how to put it,” Evans told 247Sports as a part of a wide-ranging interview. “I don’t want to be disrespectful. I ain’t saying (Texas) can’t win a natty. It’s just at the moment [Texas is] not quite there. You beat Georgia but you barely beat Georgia. What about when it comes to a Bama or go to a Clemson?
“Texas is a good school, they coming up. It’s just … I don’t know.”
I think a number of folks already pointed out the obvious…
– Texas beat the very team, Georgia, referenced in the quote and Georgia landed in the top five. And, it’s hard to see how LSU appears close.
– But I still wonder if part of what is factoring into this is Kendall Milton and his teammate Damieon George.
– I’m sure Texas fans (and by extension Big 12 fans) will really savor back to back SEC wins should the Horns be able to beat LSU this fall.
– But the bottom line is there has to be some accountability here. Evans is an in-state player and if it was just one guy then…ok. But it’s not.
***Jase McClellan is another in-state kid that Texas has so far missed on as he’s committed to Oklahoma.
OU was one of his first offers. Texas waited nearly a full year later to offer Jase. Normally I wouldn’t mind that but there are just too many examples of Texas offering in-state kids late and it costs them.
***Bijan Robinson is the out of state prospect where Texas could get a much needed win. Here again though, they were actually one of his later offers. They’ve been fortunate that Beck and Carrington have built a solid relationship with Robinson.
When I first saw Robinson earlier this year it was about three weeks after his offer. He didn’t mention a single coach by name with the exception of Bryan Carrington. Tim Beck’s Arizona ties seem to be helping quite a bit as well.
Texas has a real shot here with an official visit on the way but it doesn’t need to be this difficult in general.
***Kendall Milton was a guy they liked early on. They managed to get him on campus. Things didn’t work out. No harm no foul. Except it sounds like, again, their reaction to the news of Milton not including them in the top four wasn’t ideal. And I still wonder if that information was passed on to Zach Evans.
***I recently made an argument that Texas should seriously consider offering one of the other talented in-state running backs. Darius and I both like Kevontre Bradford (Lancaster). Also Taye McWilliams (Lamar Consolidated) is a freak.
But instead, Texas chose to offer another out of state prospect in TCU commit, Dominic Richardson (OKC). Richardson is a nice player but he doesn’t hold an offer from either OU or OSU. It’s hard not to think that some in-state coaches are looking at that and scratching their heads. It’s one thing when you offer Kendall Milton out of state. But if you’re offering guys out of state that you can find in-state…I don’t know.
The good news is Richardson tells me he plans on visiting Texas.
Update & My Take | Ja’Quinden Jackson
– Super K
***Ja’Quinden Jackson has announced that his commitment is coming soon…
Look for Texas and LSU to battle in this one. This may or may not be *part* of the potential good news I’ve been mentioning.
TFB Thirsty Thursday | Evans, McCoy, New Offers, & Potential Good News
– Darius Terrell
Welcome back to another edition of Thirsty Thursdays! As always, I’m here to try to help quench your thirst for Longhorn Football in the drought of the offseason, along with other topics of interest in Longhorn sports this week.
It’s been quite a week for Longhorn football fans. There are a few things to get into today, but I would be remiss if I started off today’s segment anywhere besides North Shore all-everything Running Back Zachary Evans. Evans, who has been priority #1 for Texas when it comes to the class of 2020 for nearly a year, excluded the Longhorns from a list that included Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Ohio State, and Oklahoma.
In an interview that was released by Chris Hummer following the public announcement of his list, Evans would go on to explain why Texas didn’t make the cut.
“I don’t want to be disrespectful. I ain’t saying Texas can’t win a natty. It’s just at the moment Texas isn’t quite there. You beat Georgia, but you barely beat Georgia. What about when it comes to a Bama or a Clemson? Texas is a good school, they coming up. It’s just …. I don’t know.”
Listen, I never subscribed to the idea that many were saying publically about Texas being Evans’ leader. He has stated on numerous occasions that he would be attending the same school as close friend and high school teammate Damieon George, who Texas may or may not be currently prioritizing as a member of this year’s class with three Offensive Line commits in the fold already and all indications pointing to them being in good standing for a few others. With that being said and understood, to see the Longhorns’ 2018 season completely dismissed by a prominent in-state recruit was a shock to see.
Just looking at his finalists one by one, I thought that the facts about a few of them were interesting:
Alabama is Alabama. They have been the standard in college football for nearly a decade straight.
LSU has never been a part of the CFP Playoffs and has lost a minimum of 3 games in seven straight seasons.
Georgia has not won a National Championship since 1980, has one CFP Playoff appearance (1-1) and has one SEC Conference title in the past 14 seasons.
Ohio State has been a part of 2 CFP Playoffs (2-1), 3 conference titles in the past 5 seasons, and 3 National Championship appearances since 2006.
Oklahoma has won 4 straight Big XII titles and made 2 CFP Playoff appearances (0-2).
Going by the logic of the quote that was given, it would appear that Evans and George are likely headed to Alabama. The inclusion of Oklahoma, who Evans hasn’t visited in over a full calendar year, is a puzzling one.
Texas isn’t going to throw in the towel on Evans and they shouldn’t. He is a Texas kid that plays ball in what is supposed to be Tom Herman’s specialty, the city of Houston. There were always going to be twists and turns in this recruitment and I’d be surprised if Evans and George don’t eventually find their way back to Austin at some point.
The 2020 class would have been somewhere between 2-4 years old when Vince Young led Texas to back-to-back Rose Bowl victories and National Championship over Michigan and USC. They were 6-8 years old when Colt McCoy led Texas to a Fiesta Bowl victory over Ohio State and the last time that Texas faced Alabama on the biggest stage of them all. What that means is that during the years that they were likely paying the most attention and becoming serious about football (ages 12-15), Texas was going through the transition of life after Mack Brown (Charlie Strong era), which wasn’t pretty.
While I fully understand the frustration and confusion from fans, I’d caution those that are ready to hit the panic button on Texas recruiting. After all, Texas has yet to finish outside of the Top 5 during a full recruiting cycle during Coach Herman’s tenure.
A quick look at a few RB targets with Texas offers that are still on the board:
Bijan Robinson – Texas put themselves squarely in the race for Robinson after he visited a few weeks ago. He’s expected back on campus in June for an official.
Ty Jordan – Things have been quiet with Jordan for a while. He received an offer a long time ago and has stated that he will take his time with the process.
Dominic Richardson – Richardson is an Oklahoma native that picked up a Texas offer last week. He’s currently committed to TCU, but has stated on multiple occasions that he intends to give Texas a visit.
Devon Achane – Although he’s more of a hybrid player than pure Running Back, Achane picked up a Texas offer a few weeks ago and Super K has reported that Texas will likely draw serious consideration here.
Re-recruiting Bru McCoy and Big WR Targets visiting soon
Texas appears to be making one final pitch to Freshman WR Bru McCoy. McCoy has not been present for team workouts that began on Tuesday, May 28. While Texas fans shouldn’t get their hopes up at all, the fact that he and his family are willing to meet with members from the program and allow them into their home does give reason for the smallest sliver of optimism.
As mentioned in the Talking Point earlier this week, if Texas loses McCoy his departure will likely be addressed by adding another Wide Receiver in the 2020 class. Texas has some big visits at the position coming up very soon.
Troy Omeire is rated #11 overall in my Texas Top 25 for 2020 and he is scheduled to take his official visit to Texas on the weekend of June 21. Omeire loves how Texas utilizes big Receivers and the Longhorns get the benefit of getting him after his A&M visit, giving them a better chance to make a final impression.
Johnny Wilson, who is one of the top Wide Receivers in the entire country, is also expected to be in town on the weekend of June 21. The 6’6 Wilson has maintained Texas as one of his top schools despite never being to Austin. If you’re Texas, you have to like your chances after being included in the top 5 for a kid that has never visited and has already done his own research about the program. While the Bru McCoy situation may have an impact on some, Collin Johnson’s development at Texas appears to have had a huge positive impact on this one.
Texas also sits in good standing with guys like in-state targets Quentin Johnston and Kelvontay Dixon.
New “OOS” 2020 WR Offer
On Monday, the Horns extended an offer to Las Vegas (Bishop Gorman), Nevada, 2020 Wide Receiver Rome Odunze. The offer to Odunze may or may not have something to do with the Bru McCoy situation but the timing is interesting. Odunze’s stock appears to be heating up big-time as he has picked up offers from Oklahoma, Alabama, and Ohio State as well over the past week and a half.
Reports began to surface on Tuesday night that Michigan Assistant Coach Luke Yaklich will indeed join Shaka Smart on his staff at Texas. As the tweet mentions, Yaklich is being brought onboard for his defensive acumen. In the three seasons prior to Yaklich’s arrival at Michigan, according to Kenpom.com (advanced stats for College hoops) the Wolverine’s adjusted defensive efficiency looked like this: 94.0, 100.5, 100.5. In the three years that Yaklich was on campus, that number looked like this: 99.2, 90.5, 86.2. Those last two ratings were good for second-best in college basketball the past two seasons.
Yaklich began his collegiate coaching career in 2013, after he was hired at Illinois State (his alma mater) as an assistant where he would remain for three seasons before being hired away by John Beilein at Michigan.
Texas hired their “Offensive Coordinator” last off-season when Coach Smart was able to hire Neill Berry away from Iowa State. Texas now has their “Defensive Coordinator” in Luke Yaklich and if the numbers are any indicator, he is a very good one.
On an interesting note, Michigan did lose a commitment from their 2019 class from 6’7 Denton (Guyer) Wing Jalen Wilson, who is a consensus top 50 recruit in the class. Wilson’s primary recruiter to Michigan was Yaklich.
Does this mean that Texas has a shot at a late addition of Wilson? I find it unlikely. Texas does have an available scholarship with Elijah Mitrou-Long transferring to UNLV, but all of the chatter in North Texas concerning Wilson is that he is likely headed to Kansas to play for Bill Self.
“Catching Up” with Jake Majors
Back in February, Texas added a commitment from Jake Majors shortly after extending an offer to the talented mauler from Prosper. Majors is currently rated #24 overall in my Texas Top 25 for 2020 and the top interior OL prospect available in-state. I was able to catch up with him and pick his brain a little.
Pancake Block or stone a guy in Pass Pro? Pancake Block all day.
Braces or no Knee Braces? Braces for sure.
Gloves or Tape? Gloves.
Gatorade of Powerade? Gatorade.
Favorite Drill? 1 on 1 Pass Pro.
Why Texas? “I love the state of Texas. I was born and raised in the state of Texas and what’s better than playing at the best college in Texas.”
What stood out about Coach Hand from the other OL coaches that recruited you? “Coach Hand is arguably one of the best OL coaches in the nation. His love for the position and the way that he coaches will help me become the player that I want to be.”
Thoughts on moving inside (G or C) at the next level? “I’m ready for the new position. I love being nasty in the trenches so moving more towards the middle of the line will bring a new look for me to the game.”
Any good news on the horizon for UT fans? “No news as of right now but be patient. Hook Em.”
Expanding upon that last part from Majors about fans being patient with recruiting news, I think that that is some wise advice from the young man.
Duncanville 2020 Star QB Ja’Quinden Jackson is on record stating that he didn’t plan on announcing his college commitment until the Under Armour All-American Game in January of 2020. Things appear to have changed in a hurry, as Jackson let it be known on social media that he would be making his choice known soon. Could this be Texas playing a major recruiting card in response to some negative recruiting momentum this week? Stay tuned.