Morning Coffee Looks At the Newest 2010 Commits

Early analysis of the first three commitments (Bible, Hopkins, and Harris) is here.

Horns_bullet_mediumDarius Terrell makes his pledge

Instant analysis - Terrell's commitment certainly ranks as one of the most unsurprising of the 10 current Longhorn commitments for 2010. He's been a Texas lean for a long time and every recruiting service was predicting he would end the weekend as a Longhorn. Even with so many talented receivers in the state, Terrell's offer wasn't as much of a surprise as the offer extended to John Harris, simply because Terrell was a virtual lock to commit and he does rank among the best in the state. As mentioned below, Terrell could well move to tight end, so he might not necessarily count against the four wide receivers the 'Horns are expected to take in 2010.

Instant scouting report - On film, Terrell doesn't seem to do anything other than catch the ball in traffic, often using his strong leaping ability to do so. His quarterback has the confidence that he can go up and get the ball, even when there isn't any separation (there often isn't) and Terrell does high point the ball particularly well. There isn't anything on his highlight film showing an ability to create much separation or make plays after the catch. The Texas coaches reportedly talked to him ($) about playing inside receiver or switching to tight end. Terrell isn't as big yet (205 pounds) as a guy like Bowie's DeAndre Perry (215 pounds), who also will probably switch to tight end in college, but Terrell does have the height (6-3) and ability to catch the ball in traffic that will serve him well if he does end up switching positions, or even if he stays at wide receiver. Like John Harris, Terrell isn't particularly explosive, but uses his body well. Also on the plus side for Terrell is that he went against the best cornerback in the state in practice when he faced off against DeSoto teammate Adrian White.

 

Horns_bullet_mediumTevin Jackson first linebacker to commit

Instant analysis - I would put Jackson in the John Harris category of relative surprises. Obviously, once a guy gets an invite to a Junior Day, an offer is probably forthcoming to the great majority of those guys and Jackson is no exception. What Jackson's commitment means is that the Longhorns will probably offer one of the group of Caleb Lavey, Kurt Killens, Shaun Lewis, and Kris Catlin, though it doesn't look good for the first two. If Corey Nelson commits, the class could be done, but conventional wisdom is that Texas takes four linebackers, meaning another offer could go out at the next Junior Day or possibly before if a player takes a visit to campus.

Instant scouting report - There isn't a lot of information out there about Jackson, but the word is that he's rising quickly and could be poised for a strong, breakout senior season. Since Corey Nelson and Aaron Benson are both six-footers, Jackson provides some size for the class, at around 6-2 and 200 pounds. He also has long arms and is nearly as fast ($) as the two more highly-ranked linebackers, running a 4.6, which isn't blazing, but certainly adequate for the position. Besides his sideline-to-sideline range, Jackson has strong pass rushing skills, notching seven sacks as a junior, while making nearly 100 tackles.

Horns_bullet_mediumAdrian Phillips follows Garland teammate

Instant analysis - Phillips was a kid who was a little bit under the radar before the Junior Day, without even a lot of speculation that he would receive an offer, much less commit. So much for that. Phillips projects as a cornerback at Texas (he plays safety on defense for Garland), though the coaches will give him a chance at receiver if he wants it, offering him as an athlete. I imagine he would take a look at the numbers and head over to practice with the defensive players. The concern on the defensive side of the ball is that he didn't get a lot of reps there in high school due to his offensive duties. That probably won't be a huge problem since Adrian White, if he commits, would be the player expected to contribute early and Phillips will likely receive plenty of reps at Texas before seeing a lot of playing time.

Instant scouting report - Adrian Phillips played a similar jack-of-all-trades role to the one that Trovon Reed played for his high school team, though Phillips also played some defense, in addition to his roles passing, carrying, and catching the football, accounting for more than 2,000 total yards and earning the Offensive Player of the Year award for his district. The Longhorns will probably put him on the defensive side of the ball, where he has the fluidity in his hips to be able to turn and run, the most important skill for a cornerback besides speed. He only had 17 tackles on defense as a junior, but played more on that side of the ball as a sophomore, making 32 tackles and intercepting two passes.

Horns_bullet_mediumAaron Benson continues Cedar Hill pipeline

Instant analysis - When linebacker Aaron Benson makes his commitment to Texas official nearly a year from now by signing his LOI, he will become the third player in three years to attend Texas after graduating from Cedar Hill High School, following defensive tackle Jarvis Humphrey in 2008 and guard Thomas Ashcraft in 2009. The Texas coaches and players going back and forth have no doubt blazed a path from Cedar Hill to Austin. Suffice it to say that Aaron Benson didn't have any trouble having his way to the Junior Day this weekend, giving his commitment to the Texas coaches on Monday. His family ties no doubt made the decision easier for him, as Aaron is Cedric's cousin.

Instant scouting report - Benson and Corey Nelson are nearly even for the honor of being ranked as the top linebacker in their class, but any separation is probably mostly irrelevant. Bobby Bragg has a quick summary of Benson as a football player:

At a shade over 6-0 and 207 pounds, the Cedar Hill junior has the ideal frame and body type for a linebacker. Benson has the ability to turn, run and chase the ball. While he doesn't always break down at this point, he quickly makes up for mistakes with speed and a non-stop motor. Moved outside from the middle in 2008 and took off as a player.

Horns_bullet_mediumAhmad Dixon joins Trey Graham at Texas

Instant analysis - Even this early in the process, it may be a little easy to take Dixon's commitment for granted, since it was expected leading up to the weekend. Don't take him for granted. He's one of the best players in the state and Gerry Hamilton likes him as much as the top two safety prospects from Texas last year, Craig Loston and Kevin Brent, respectively, considered two of the best to come out of Texas in a long time. The question about Dixon is with his grades ($), as he has a 2.3 core GPA, or seven-tenths of a point lower than Texas coaches prefer. He attributes the poor grades to lack of effort his first two years in high school and claims that he is working hard in the classroom now and will raise his grades. He's the only player currently in the class for whom grades are a concern. If effort was the only concern, then there shouldn't be any problems with his SAT and ACT scores, which he either just took or is about to take. His scores on those tests might be worth keeping an eye on, as well.

Instant scouting report - Covering Eryon Barnett and Kenny Vaccaro for the Recruiting Spotlight lead me to bemoan a little bit the lack of a big, physical presence in the defensive backfield for Texas. Consider that complaint answered. Dixon is extremely physical, has good size at 6-1, and is able to use his speed to generate the momentum to make ball carriers or receivers pay for entering his area. Basically, there isn't a whole lot more to say at this point other than he plays the position as a college coach would want it played and even has enough hip fluidity for Will Muschamp to talk to him a little bit about playing corner.

Horns_bullet_mediumDe'Aires Cotton becomes second DT commit

Instant analysis - Alief Taylor's De'Aires Cotton became the second defensive tackle to commit to Texas during the Junior Day weekend, joining the more highly-ranked Taylor Bible. With both players in the fold, recruiting at the position is probably finished unless the coaches want to go after an OOS stud or decide to offer Jay Guy, a kid who really likes Texas, but doesn't seem likely to get an offer right now.

Instant scouting report - Cotton is more of a space-eater than Bible inside since he doesn't have the same quickness, but has a larger frame and can add more weight than Bible. Already a solid player, Cotton's coach at Alief Taylor, Trevor White, spoke about him ($):

He plays with good leverage, gets good extension with the arms and hands, he's got good feet and he gets off blocks extremely well. One of the things is that he's an aggressive kid and a thing I'll ask him to do next year is play more laterally at the line of scrimmage. Do some squeezing. One other thing we are going to ask him to do is tie up and demand some double teams. Work on some gap control.

As far as what technique Cotton will play in college, White provides some good information:

I think he'll play a three. That's probably where he'll best be suited because he's athletic enough to expand with a gap as opposed to a zero tech where he's working to plug. I think he can do that (zero), but he has the ability to move laterally and make plays. He actually played some five tech this year for us, so he's played the nose, the three and some five. Programs that play an even and odd front are recruiting him. In an even front, he'll probably project as a three.

Good stuff, Coach White.

Horns_bullet_mediumCase McCoy tags along with older brother, Colt

Instant analysis - There is a fair amount of questioning surrounding Case and his ability to play at Texas, with some wondering if he is only receiving an offer because of his brother. In addition, those thinking along the same lines wonder if expectations are now too high for Case because of the improvement his brother made while at Texas. Personally, I don't agree with either one of those theories. Case will enter college with four years of high school experience and will have a chance to develop longer than Colt was able to, finally fulfilling the expected path for his older brother. And if the Longhorns need him to start at quarterback, he will be ready. He's a McCoy, with all the competitiveness and work ethic that made his older brother what he is today.

Instant scouting report - Since there isn't a lot more to say than what I've already said about McCoy, I'll just re-state what I've already said (see comments) about him:

Graham rolls him out a lot in either direction and he throws well on the run, going both right and left. In terms of his arm strength and delivery, he looks much like Colt, delivering the ball from the same slot, with a wind up that’s longer than Colt because it starts lower. He doesn’t have a cannon, but he can make most throws. You probably aren’t going to ask him to throw a lot of outs to the opposite hash, but Texas doesn’t ask that of Colt either and he should have won the Heisman. Athletically, he looks pretty similar and can probably add a little speed like Colt did. His decision-making seems like it could use some work, having thrown 10 and 11 interceptions the last two years, with only 17 touchdown passes. It looks like he tries to fit the ball into some pretty tight windows, which is probably the cause of that.

Looking at McCoy, physically it's his skinniness that jumps out. His father and coach, Brad McCoy (did you know that he played at ACU with Jordan Shipley's dad? No? Didn't think so...), says that Case is further along physically ($) than his older brother at the same age. The gap might be larger, but Case plays basketball and runs track, so he doesn't have an off-season to devote solely to weight work. It might be in his best interest to drop those sports for his senior year, though he will almost certainly get a year to redshirt at Texas to hit the weights hard. There is some speculation that Case doesn't have the frame of his older brother to allow the growth that Colt experienced at Texas and from pictures it's the thinness of his joints that is a concern. Ultimately, it won't be until Case gets on a full-time weight program that questions about his ability to add muscle will be answered.

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