Texas coach Charlie Strong, shown during a preseason workout, needs a strong closing kick on the recruiting trail. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Football

Will Eric Cuffee’s commitment kickstart the Longhorns stretch run?

Waco cornerback becomes the Longhorns' 14th recruit for 2016 class

Posted January 28th, 2016

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Some of the most ardent Texas fans believe coach Charlie Strong is about to start an incredible closing sprint and finish with a top-10 recruiting class.

If that is indeed what’s about to happen, then recruits need to start making some final decisions.

On Thursday, cornerback Eric Cuffee, a four-star cornerback from Waco, announced on ESPN he was pledging to the Longhorns. He becomes the 14th player in UT’s 2016 recruiting class, which currently ranks anywhere from 33rd to 50th nationally depending on the recruiting website.

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“Coach Strong has something great going on at the University of Texas, and I want to be a part of something great,” Cuffee said on ESPN. “He’s the best coach in all of college football.”

Cuffee (5-11, 188 pounds) is considered the state’s 43rd-best overall prospect, according to 247sports. He reportedly chose Texas over Texas A&M.

https://twitter.com/JaeRican27/status/692856974216572928

Almost immediately, Strong tweeted, “Big time addition to the Longhorn Family! #LetsRide.”

Several other highly-coveted recruits are considered leaning toward Texas, although none have made final decisions.

Lil’Jordan Humphrey, a three-star receiver from Southlake Carroll, is expected to announce his decision on Saturday. A handful of other top targets will not announce their decisions until national signing day on Wednesday.

For those reading tea leaves, D’Andre Christmas-Giles, a four-star defensive tackle, tweeted “#HookEm” on Wednesday afternoon. Christmas-Giles is believed to be considering Texas, LSU and TCU. Jordan Elliott, a four-star defensive tackle, also backed out of his commitment to Michigan. It’s thought he’s giving the Longhorns a long look now.

Multiple Texas-related recruiting websites have characterized signing day as an boom-or-bust proposition.

After looking at the recruiting rankings earlier this month, Fox Sports columnist Bruce Feldman questioned Strong’s stability in Austin. “How is Charlie Strong supposed to win at Texas when Longhorns are losing the recruiting war?,” blared a headline in the Dallas Morning News on Thursday.

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

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