- 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.
We finishing top 3 I promise 🐂
— Houston Reggie♐️🅱️👌🏾 (@ReggieHemphill) January 21, 2016
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.
— Jacob Brooks (@Peti___) January 21, 2016
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 classHere'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.
|Collin Johnson||WR||San Jose (V. Christ.), Calif.||4||4/17/2014|
|Shane Buechele||QB||Arlington Lamar||4||2/23/2015|
|Tope Imade||OG||Arlington Bowie||3||5/26/2015|
|Gerald Wilbon||DT||Destrehan (La.)||3||6/17/2015|
|Peyton Aucoin||TE||New Orleans (La.) Martin||3||7/24/2015|
|Malcolm Roach||DE||Baton Rouge (La.)||3||11/6/2015|
|Andrew Fitzgerald||DE||Flower Mound||4||11/12/2015|
|Jean Delance||OT||North Mesquite||4||1/2/16|
|Lil'Jordan Humphrey||WR||Southlake Carroll||3||1/30/16|
|D'Andre Christmas-Giles||DT||New Orleans (La.)||3||2/2/16|
|Chris Daniels||DT||Euless Trinity||4||2/3/16|
|Chris Brown||S||Alief Elsik||3||2/3/16|
|Jeffrey McCulloch||LB||Aldine Davis||4||2/3/16|
|Jordan Elliott||DT||Houston Westside||4||2/3/16|
|JP Urquidez||OT||Copperas Cove||4||6/25/16|
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.