The group of Texas defensive backs in this recruiting cycle is as loaded as it’s been in years.
Of the top ten players in the state, six will play in the defensive backfield at the collegiate level. 14 of the top 50 in the state are DBs – linebackers are second with nine.
Virtually every year there’s a position group that’s more stocked than the rest in Texas. And with assistant coach Duane Akina’s track record of putting defensive backs in the NFL, it seemed a matter of how many of these elite DBs would choose Texas when the 2014 cycle began.
However, with dominoes falling left and right this summer, the question has now shifted to if the Horns can land any of the top defensive backs.
After visits to out-of-state powers over the last two weeks, rumors are swirling that two players squarely in Texas’ sights are leaning towards committing soon to play college football elsewhere.
Jamal Adams, rated as the No. 3 safety in America by 247Sports composite rankings and once thought to be a virtual lock to the Longhorns, returned from a visit to the University of Florida with nothing but positives to say about the Gators. The same appears to be true for Arrion Springs, the nation’s No. 10 corner, after a trip to the University of Oregon over the weekend.
Springs plans on announcing his college decision at “The Opening” next week in Oregon – he’s expected to choose between Texas and Oregon. Jamal Adams tweeted Sunday that he plans on announcing in August – Texas, Florida and Texas A&M are his top choices.
— Max Olson (@max_olson) June 21, 2013
Should the Longhorns miss out on both of these prospects – a very real possibility at this point – they’ll shockingly be on the outside looking in for each of the top 12 in-state defensive backs in the class.
Texas A&M and LSU are the biggest winners right now. The Aggies already have four of the top 12 verbally committed, and LSU has two with a strong likelihood of landing a third in Tony Brown, the No. 1 defensive back in Texas.
So where does that leave Texas?
The Longhorns have one defensive back currently on board, three-star corner Jermaine Roberts of New Orleans, La.
Four-star Houston Lamar safety John Bonney likes Texas, and there’s also four-star outside linebacker Edwin Freeman who is very high on the Longhorns and could be a candidate to move to safety in college. Neither player has set an announcement date.
Blame it on the SEC’s increased presence on the Lone Star State recruiting trail, or blame it on Texas’ historically bad defense of 2012. However you want to look at it, Texas’ struggles on the recruiting trail may be most glaring if the current rumors hold and it misses out on Adams and Springs and ends up whiffing on the top dozen in an incredibly loaded in-state class of defensive backs.
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