Tidbits From Recruiting Visits | Feb. 1
– CJ Vogel
Texas hosted an impressive amount of talent in the 2021 and 2022 classes this past weekend, following an even more impressive Elite Day two weeks earlier. The staff is not wasting any time with the younger classes, a complete 180º turn from previous habits.
The reviews immediately following the visit were high from each recruit I talked to. However, there were more kids on campus than I was able to talk to.
Offers Given Out
Isaiah Nwokobia – 2021 Skyline DB
Romario Noel – 2021 Cy Ranch DB
Calen Bullock – 2021 DB (Pasedena, CA)
Bullock wasn’t on campus, but still got the call and received an offer.
Jalyon Guilbeau – 2022 Port Arthur Memorial CB
Elijah Arroyo – 2021 Frisco Independence TE
Martrell Harris Jr. – 2022 The Woodlands OLB
Destyn Pazon – 2021 (New Orleans, LA) WR
2021 DB Dalton Johnson – Katy HS
Johnson has flown under the radar a bit during his recruitment, but make no mistake, he’s a talented DB. Perhaps being in the same defensive secondary as Hunter Washington and Bobby Taylor has kept the spotlight off of Johnson so far, but high profile offers should be on the way soon
As for the visit, Johnson said he spent time with Defensive Coordinator Chris Ash. Johnson told me Ash pitched Johnson as a safety in the defensive scheme that would specialize in rolling down into the box, something Johnson was a fan of. At the moment, Johnson said he doesn’t have any visits planned in the near future, and he left real impressed by the Longhorns and their facilities.
2021 DE Dave Babalola – George Ranch HS
“This place is beautiful, everything about it is extraordinary. It’s always something new everywhere you go. Just like ‘Wow!’ It brings a smile to my face. This is where you want to be!”
If I left the rest of Babalola’s paragraph empty, that alone would give you a pretty good sense of how he thought the visit went. Babalola was able to talk to Defensive Coordinator Chris Ash and DL Coach Oscar Giles. It’s interesting to note that Giles is close friends with Babalola’s HS coach, someone Babalola describes as “an uncle figure” to him. Texas is currently pitching Babalola at the Jack LB position, which is something that Babalola is very high on. In the end, Texas made a huge impression on the George Ranch prospect.
2021 WR Teddy Knox – The Woodlands HS
Knox is a highly talented wide receiver from The Woodlands who has received offers from some of the biggest programs around the nation. Knox spent a lot of time with new WR coach Andre Coleman who pitched using Knox in the slot in the Longhorns’ offense. The staff also pitched the idea of using Knox as a returner on special teams, which really peaked his interest.
Right now, Knox says Texas is “definitely” in his top group, along with Alabama, Baylor and Mississippi State so far. A positive for Texas that stands out to Knox is the tempo of the Longhorns’ offense. He really likes an offense that moves the ball and is able to get a lot of snaps off in a hurry.
2022 LB Martrell Harris Jr. – The Woodlands HS
Harris Jr. left Saturday’s visit with an offer from Texas, one that he was not expecting. The staff surprised Harris Jr. with an offer at the Texas-Iowa State basketball game which he described as really cool. Getting on campus allowed for Harris Jr. to create a relationship with the new coaching staff, specifically LB Coach Coleman Hutzler who pitched using Harris Jr. as an outside linebacker at the next level.
Harris Jr. said he camped with the Longhorns over the summer where he originally got on the Longhorns’ radar. Harris Jr. made the trip with his high school teammate Teddy Knox and said he hopes to make it up back to campus in the fall for a game. Texas was the third offer for Harris Jr., which is a huge factor in terms of getting ahead in his recruitment.
2022 CB Julian Humphrey – Clear Lake HS
I’ve talked about Humphrey before, most notably as someone who really impressed me at the All American Bowl Combine, getting him on campus was big. Humphrey previously told me that he grew up a fan of LSU, TCU and Texas, however getting on campus this weekend was big for his recruitment.
Humphrey was able to meet the new coaching staff and facilities, he especially took high interest in the North Endzone where the new Texas HOF was installed last summer. Humphrey said he was able to spend a lot of time with CB Coach Jay Valai, where he was coached up on certain coverage techniques. Humphrey said he was told he had perfect size to play at the next level by Valai and hopes to visit again in the near future, specifically in the fall for a game.
Juwan Mitchell | Post Portal | Sourced
– Super K
As you all know, Texas linebacker, Juwan Mitchell entered the transfer portal, last week.
I am told that Texas is still hoping to find a way to keep Mitchell in the fold. His experience is something the staff would like to hold on to.
I don’t know what will come of this but it sounds like there is at least a possibility that Texas and Mitchell could work things out.
Princely Umanmielen | Final Schools & the Latest
– Super K
Princely Umanmielen took his final official visits this past weekend which included a late week visit to Texas and then a weekend visit to Baylor.
Umanmielen is down to four schools which includes Auburn, Texas, Baylor and Florida but he never visited Auburn so it’s safe to eliminate them.
***Texas – with Texas Princely has a tremendous relationship with the players and he’s comfortable at the school. He’s spent a lot of time there and one source said about the visit this weekend, “it’s like he’s one of the players already”. Again, the comfort level is there. Also, it’s close to home which appeals to the family.
***Baylor – Once Rhule left, it appeared Baylor was out but Arranda made quite the impression on Princely. Also, Baylor hired LSU’s DL coach who Princely had a previous relationship with. That worked in Baylor’s favor. Again, it’s close, as well.
***Florida – The Florida visit had a pretty strong impact on Princely. I get the sense he really liked the school and the area and Mullen flew out to Texas to meet his family. Also, the appeal of the SEC is strong.
I wouldn’t say Texas is necessarily out of it but I’d still lean towards Princely going elsewhere. I think the appeal of Florida may be too strong in the end but this one might still have some twists and turns.
Ennis Rakestraw | Post Visit | The Latest
– Super K
This past weekend 2020 CB, Ennis Rakestraw (Duncanville) took his official visit to Texas. Rakestraw is down to a top three of Texas, Missouri and Alabama.
Rakestraw has the longest standing relationship with the Missouri staff. They’ve been recruiting Ennis since last spring and offered him this fall. So, going into this visit, I felt they were in the lead.
So could Texas do enough to bridge the relationship gap?
I spoke with Rakestraw last night. I asked him to go through each of his final three schools and discuss why he would or wouldn’t choose that particular school.
If he chose Alabama, Rakestraw said it would be because it was his dream school. He also added that coach Saban runs a successful program and they’ve done a great job of putting guys into the league.
If he doesn’t choose Alabama, he says it would likely be because of the depth at Alabama. The possibility of getting on the field early isn’t as great.
If he chose Missouri, Ennis says it would be due to the relationships he has with the staff.
If he didn’t choose Missouri, he says it would be due to the distance from home and the convenience for his family making it to games. He actually specifically brought up Texas as being more convenient for his family.
If he chose Texas, Ennis says, “why wouldn’t I choose Texas? I mean, it’s my home state. It’s Texas and it’s convenient for my family”
And if he didn’t go Ennis said very simply, “it would’ve been because of the relationships but after this visit I got that figured out”. In other words, there no longer seems to be any reason for him not to choose Texas.
I came away from that conversation feeling pretty confident that Texas is now the team to beat. Whatever advantage Missouri may have had in terms of relationships, Ennis indicated that Texas evened the playing field. Where Missouri can’t compete with Texas is in distance to home and the status of the University of Texas in the mind of a Texas native.
Rakestraw says he will announce his decision on Wednesday morning and I think you’ll be glad you tuned in for it.
UPDATED (9:00 AM Monday Morning): After speaking with Rakestraw, I got the sense that Texas had taken the lead. This morning, I spoke with a source close to Rakestraw and I’m going to have hedge. Source still feels it’s Missouri. I didn’t get that read over the phone from Ennis but given how close this source is, I have to take their information into account.