Texas head coach Charlie Strong walks among his players before their game against Kansas. Texas defeats Kansas 59-20 in their Big 12 football game at Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium in Austin, TX. Saturday night November 7, 2015. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Football

A top three recruiting class for Texas? One pledge says it’ll happen

Hemphill-Mapps makes promise, but can Horns deliver?

Posted January 21st, 2016

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Story highlights
  • Ranked No. 33 currently, Texas would need to jump 30 spots in less than two weeks for Hemphill-Mapps to make good on his promise
  • Texas has acquired the assistance of a WWE superstar in battle with Baylor for top lineman
  • Several recruits are expected to visit Texas this weekend, including Michigan commit Jordan Elliot

The 2016 recruit who has been committed to Texas for the longest time is making a prediction.

Actually, it’s a promise.

According to Manvel receiver Reggie Hemphill-Mapps, the Longhorns are about to secure a top-three recruiting class. He tweeted as much on Wednesday, and if Reggie Soothsayer proves to be on the mark, that would mean Texas will have jumped a whole thirty spots in the rankings by the close of national signing day on Feb. 3.

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Is Hemphill-Mapps clamoring for retweets or does he know something the rest of us will soon discover?

At present, 14 players make up Charlie Strong’s second full recruiting class at Texas, meaning there are, give or take, 11 spots still to be filled in a standard 25-man class.

According to the 247Sports class calculator, it does not require much imagination to come up with a scenario in which Texas does indeed sign a top-three class.

Reggie, you have our attention.

Hemphill-Mapps‘, uh, map for climbing in the rankings includes bringing along passengers and top-100 recruits Brandon Jones (safety, Nacogdoches), Patrick Hudson (guard, Silsbee), and linebackers Jeffrey McCulloch (Aldine Davis), Erick Fowler (Manor) and Dontavious Jackson (Alief Elsik).

Texas only recently started seeing a reciprocation of its love to Hudson, a long-time Baylor commitment and the No. 4 player on the American Statesman’s Fabulous 55. This week, he visited UT for a rare mid-week trip and tweeted a photo of a before-and-after dinner plate at Vince Young Steakhouse. His dining companions included not only Young, but also WWE superstar Mark Henry, who also is from Silsbee. Two Pats — Longhorns guard Patrick Vahe and strength coach Pat Moorer — ate with them.

https://twitter.com/pathud20/status/690001446264295424

Signing Hudson, which looked to be a fantasy as recently as a week ago, appears to be a priority of Texas’ and would go a long way toward helping Hemphill-Mapps deliver on his promise.

The next path to top-three status consists of defensive tackles Jordan Elliott (Houston Westside), Chris Daniels (Euless Trinity) and Stephon Taylor (New Orleans). Facing a thin depth chart for 2016, Strong will probably take as many defensive tackles as are willing to come.

Sprinkle in commitments from skilled position players Kyle Porter (running back, Katy), Eric Cuffee (cornerback, Waco) and Lil’Jordan Humphrey (receiver, Southlake Carroll) and, wouldn’t you know it, Texas fits in snugly behind Ohio State and LSU with the nation’s No. 3 class.

That incredible haul would give the Horns 276.31 points, according to the 247Sports point system, which doesn’t mean much except that it would produce a signing day story even more improbable than the one that arose last year, when Strong’s staff hustled in the winter months to put together the No. 9 class.

2016 Texas Longhorns recruiting class

Here's a look at the recruits who have committed to Texas coach Charlie Strong for the 2016 recruiting cycle. Star rankings from 247sports. Oral commitments are non-binding. National signing day is Feb. 3.

PlayerPos.SchoolStarsCommitted
Collin JohnsonWRSan Jose (V. Christ.), Calif.44/17/2014
Reggie Hemphill-MappsWRManvel310/4/2014
Demarco BoydILBGilmer31/30/2015
Shane BuecheleQBArlington Lamar42/23/2015
Tope ImadeOGArlington Bowie35/26/2015
Gerald WilbonDTDestrehan (La.)36/17/2015
Peyton AucoinTENew Orleans (La.) Martin37/24/2015
Malcolm RoachDEBaton Rouge (La.)311/6/2015
Andrew FitzgeraldDEFlower Mound411/12/2015
Denzel OkaforGLewisville411/14/2015
Davion CurtisWRTemple311/19/2015
Jean DelanceOTNorth Mesquite41/2/16
Zach ShackelfordGBelton31/17/16
Eric CuffeeCBWaco41/28/16
Lil'Jordan HumphreyWRSouthlake Carroll31/30/16
Kyle PorterRBKaty42/2/16
D'Andre Christmas-GilesDTNew Orleans (La.)32/2/16
Marcel SouthallDTDuncanville32/3/16
Chris DanielsDTEuless Trinity42/3/16
Brandon JonesSNacogdoches42/3/16
Erick FowlerLBManor42/3/16
Chris BrownSAlief Elsik32/3/16
Jeffrey McCullochLBAldine Davis42/3/16
Jordan ElliottDTHouston Westside42/3/16
Devin DuvernayWRSachse46/22/16
JP UrquidezOTCopperas Cove46/25/16

But again, it’s possible Hemphill-Mapps will be eating the words of his tweet come signing day. Think about it: can a team that lost games in 2015 because of a missed extra point and a botched punt conceivably finally have things go its way and hit on such a high percentage of marquee players? And, too, Texas’ proposed flurry of activity does not take into consideration the signings by other teams that could push Texas out of the top three.

More challenging yet will be Texas’ need to wrest several recruits out of their commitments to other schools. Thursday was a good start after Daniels, who visited UT last week, backed out of his pledge to Oklahoma and announced he was re-opening his recruitment, but there is work to be done with Hudson (Baylor), Fowler (LSU) and Elliott (Michigan).

The blitz to signing day continues this weekend when Texas hosts Porter and Elliott along with Oklahoma commit Parrish Cobb (cornerback, Waco La Vega) and Stanford commit Michael Williams (defensive tackle, Fort Worth All Saints Episcopal). Joining them will be Alief Elsik safety Chris Brown and Longhorns pledge Obi Eboh, a cornerback from Southlake Carroll who has been flirting with the idea of flipping to Stanford.

For updates, follow @reggiehemphill5.

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