Texas head coach Charlie Strong on the sidelines during a 23-9 win against Kansas State at Royal Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015. (Deborah Cannon/American-Statesman/TNS)

Football

20 for 20: A Texas recruiting primer, 20 days from national signing day (Part 4)

Posted January 14th, 2016

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This is our second annual 20 for 20 project, a Longhorns recruiting primer aimed for 20 days out of national signing day.

Here are Nos. 16-20. (Nos. 1-5 were on Monday; 6-10 were on Tuesday; 11-15 were on Wednesday)

16. HAS TEXAS HAD ANY DECOMMITMENTS?

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Yes, two — receivers Tren’Davian Dickson and Reggie Hemphill-Mapps. Hemphill-Mapps, of Manvel, committed to Texas way back in August 2013 when Mack Brown was still coach and then re-opened his recruitment when Brown was fired four months later. He patched things up with Texas in October 2014 and has been firm ever since. Dickson, of Navasota, had a similar recruiting experience. He chose Baylor in July 2014, changed his mind seven months later, and then committed to Texas in July 2015. But concerns about Texas’ offensive struggles caused Dickson to sour on the Longhorns in November and turn back to Baylor, where he’s enrolled for the spring semester.

17. HOW MANY TEXAS RECRUITS ONCE PLEDGED ELSEWHERE?

Two. Offensive tackle Jean Delance was committed to Oklahoma for more than three months before he re-opened his recruitment in March 2015. He held off on making plans until early this month, when he chose Texas over Michigan on live TV at the Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando, Fla. Davion Curtis was ticketed for Georgia before Texas came through with an offer after Dickson had de-committed in November.

University of Texas assistant coach, Brick Haley, defensive line, speaks to the media during a press conference with first year coaches held at the University of Texas' Moncrief - Neuhaus Athletic Center, in Austin, Texas, on Monday, June 8, 2015. (Rodolfo Gonzalez / AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
University of Texas assistant coach Brick Haley has facilitated the commitments of defensive linemen Malcolm Roach and Gerald Wilbon to the 2016 recruiting class for the Longhorns. (Rodolfo Gonzalez / AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

18. HOW HAVE TEXAS’ NEW ASSISTANTS FARED IN RECRUITING?

So far, just OK. Former LSU assistant Brick Haley returned to his base in Louisiana and nabbed a pair of three-star defensive linemen — Malcolm Roach and Gerald Wilbon — who are not ranked among the state’s top 20 players. Jay Norvell was credited with landing big-time receiver Tren’Davian Dickson, but couldn’t hold onto him in part because the offense Norvell employed in 2015 struggled to pass the ball. Yet Norvell has enjoyed some success and was the point man for defensive end Andrew Fitzgerald and guard Denzel Okafor. Curiously, Jeff Traylor, the former Gilmer coach who was brought on staff to build Texas’ relationships in the state, has landed just one commitment — from Louisiana tight end Peyton Aucoin.

19. ARE THERE ANY EARLY ENROLLEES FOR TEXAS?

Yes, three of them. Shane Buechele will participate in spring ball and try to play catch-up in an open quarterback competition. Collin Johnson (Kirk) and Demarco Boyd (Kris) will reunite will their brothers who were freshmen on last year’s team. Classes resume on Jan. 19.

The Dragons held Chap QB Sam Ehlinger (4) to 45 yards on 19 carries during the 16-14 loss to Round Rock during the Region II Bidistrict Playoff Round on Friday night, November 14th, 2014 at Westlake. PAUL BRICK FOR AUSTIN COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS.
Westlake quarterback Sam Ehlinger is one of the early commits to Charlie Strong’s Class of 2017. PAUL BRICK FOR AUSTIN COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS.

20. WHAT WILL TEXAS TARGET IN 2017?

Defensive line. And early results are promising.

Among Texas’ four 2017 commitments is Liberty-Eylau’s Lagaryonn Carson, the nation’s No. 2 strong side defensive end and the No. 70 overall player. Though Carson is a big get, the Longhorns still need help on the interior of the defensive line, and will go hard after Bellaire Episcopal’s Marvin Wilson. Wilson, the state’s top player and the county’s top defensive tackle, will be able to go anywhere he wants, but his November visit to Texas signals interest in the Horns. Also committed to Texas are John Tyler receiver Damion Miller, Westlake quarterback Sam Ehlinger, and Bullard tight end Major Tennison.

Monday: Nos. 1-5 20 for 20.

Tuesday: Nos. 6-10 20 for 20

Wednesday: Nos. 11-15 20 for 20

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