The Upcoming Second Junior Day

The second and final Junior Day will occur on February 28th. It won't attract the same level of talent that the first drew, but there might be more intrigue about who receives an offer. With most of the elite players already with offers expected to make decisions late in the process, Mack Brown and company have to decide if they want to offer other players at the position to provide depth and insurance against losing the elite players late. Here's a list of the attendees currently confirmed and some commentary.

National recruits

  • DeMarco Cobbs (wide receiver) - His coach also doubles as athletic director and had a scheduling conflict and couldn't logistically make it down to Austin and then return in time to fulfill his other obligations. A lot of talk surrounded Andy Staples' 200-mile rule for recruiting, which a lot of skepticism regarding it. For kids who can't fly, finding a ride can be difficult. For others, like Dre Kirkpatrick, the long drive simply illustrates how far away from home they are considering going. Cobbs has serious interest in the Longhorns and looks like a straight Michael Crabtree clone, right down to playing quarterback in high school, projecting as a receiver, but possessing the ability to play pretty much anywhere on the football field.
  • Jake Matthews (offensive tackle) - Texas received false information from somewhere indicating that Matthews was a soft verbal to USC, explaining why he was offered so late. He also seems to like Texas more than initially thought, so the Longhorns could have a chance with the Fort Bend Elkins product and progeny of a football family.

Offer

  • Traylon Shead (running back) - With numbers tight at the running back position, Shead's upcoming offer at the Junior Day, which may be as an athlete, could be the only offer that goes out to a running back besides Lache Seastrunk. In his three seasons at the high school level, Shead has produced 8,000 yards already, albeit against 1A competition, which is the greatest question mark surrounding Shead -- how will he adjust to the speed of the college game? Shead really likes Texas and could well commit over the weekend.

Intriguing

  • DeAndrew White (wide receiver) - I personally like what I see from White's highlights and he fits a need in the class for a smaller receiver with great speed. He really likes Texas and could commit quickly if offered.
  • Cedric Steward (defensive tackle) - The top defensive tackles have gone off the board quickly, which the top two attending Texas -- Taylor Bible and DeAires Cotton, and Daniel Noble and Jay Guy also making early decisions. The Longhorns could stay with the two they already have, but also could decide to take another like Steward, who is already 290 pounds, but said to be explosive off the ball.
  • James Haynes (athlete) - At 6-1, 180 pounds and with incredible speed (a reported time of 4.36 in the 40), Haynes probably projects as a cornerback in college, a position of need for the class, without a current commitment at the position. I think Haynes leaves with an offer.
  • Kris Catlin (linebacker) - Since Texas will probably take four linebackers in the class and has two commitments, with one other offer out (Corey Nelson), meaning one of the two linebackers visiting for the Junior Day will probably receive an offer. Catlin seems the most likely and has good size for the positions already (6-2, 220), but doesn't have the speed of guys like Aaron Benson or Corey Nelson (4.6 40). Catlin likes the Longhorns a lot and would probably commit if offered.
  • Clarence Lee (defensive end) - The best comparison for Lee in terms of his current size is probably Brian Orakpo, who arrived at Texas weighing about 210 pounds, the current listed weight for the 6-4 Lee. Clearly, he needs to put on some serious weight before he could ever think about seeing the field in college, the most intriguing feature of Lee is his speed -- 4.55 in the 40, which is obviously excellent for a defensive end. Lee also played some outside linebacker ($) during his junior season, making him a possible candidate for the Buck Package at Texas, which may appeal to Will Muschamp. Lee could also end up at tight end with his size and speed.
  • Darian Lazard (athlete) - Roughly a Top 50 player in the state and high school quarterback, Lazard probably projects as a receiver or defensive back in college. There isn't much information on him, so it's not clear how fast he is. The only reason he makes the "intriguing" list is because of his relatively high ranking (54 on the LSR).
  • Bryant Jackson (safety) - Jackson is still pretty slight at 175 pounds, but his 6-3 makes him appealing as a safety, particularly when combined with his speed (4.48 40). The coaching staff thinks highly enough of him to have invited him to the first Junior Day, but Jackson couldn't make it.

Little chance

  • Princeton Collins (running back) - I would have put the odds higher for an offer for Collins had Shead not already received one. The Westwood product has a similar skill set as Lache Seastrunk and the coaches could go in that direction if they decide they need a smaller running back who can play some receiver, though that seems unlikely at this point.
  • Dontae Williams (running back) - Williams has a nice set of skills, but will likely lose out in the numbers game. For his sake, hopefully a program offers him soon to end the suspense -- he's good enough to get offers from major programs, but they are probably scared off by the lack of film on him from his junior year due to injuries and Hurricane Ike.
  • Eddie Johnson (wide receiver) - The problem for Johnson is that the Longhorns already have two commitments from other tall receivers who aren't particularly fast. No need to offer a third.
  • Earl Hines (linebacker) - Hines has the same appealing height as Kris Catlin (6-2) and is a little faster (4.55 40), but wants to go out of state ($), landing him on this list. I don't the Longhorns offer unless Hines makes it clear to the staff that he is strongly considering coming to Austin to play football.
  • DeAndre Perry (wide receiver) - Though Perry plays receiver at Austin Bowie, he projects as a pass-catching tight end because he already weighs 220 pounds. He would have made the "intriguing" list, but he's too similar to Darius Terrell to make it likely that the Longhorns want another player.
  • Quentin Parks (wide receiver) - Parks is another big receiver who projects as a tight end. He won't receive an offer for the same reason Perry probably won't.
  • Nate Askew (wide receiver) - Ditto the above two players.
  • Marcus Mallett (linebacker) - Mallett is registering late on the recruiting radar. There isn't much information on the internet about him, which makes it seem unlikely that he would get an offer, though he is apparently fast and hits hard.

Three new teammate duos

  • Lancaster's Tyler Stephenson and Quinton Hayes (defensive backs) - Interestingly enough, both of these players are defensive backs, with Texas probably needing some depth at the position. With Ahmad Dixon secured and offers currently out to Carrington Byndom and White, the Longhorns may offer one or both of the Lancaster players.
  • Channelview's Cedric Steward (see above) and Chris Hawkins (wide receiver) - Both of these players are showing up relatively late on the recruiting radar, but Hawkins is particularly late because he didn't play receiver ($) until his junior season. An intriguing blend of size (6-2) and speed (4.4), Hawkins averaged 37 yards a catch during his junior season. Hawkins also really likes Texas, calling it "the school I want to go to." Sounds like he would probably commit if offered.
  • San Antonio Madison's Kris Catlin (linebacker) and Nate Askew (tight end) - Catlin looks like a strong possibility for an offer, but Askew is harder to read. The only true tight end the Longhorns are bringing in for either Junior Day, whether he receives an offer will go a long way towards determining how the coaching staff feels about Darius Terrell's ability to play the position and if Terrell counts against the four wide receives likely to be taken in the class.

Notable absences

  • Tai-ler Jones - Missed the first Junior Day because he didn't try to arrange transportation until the last second and then it didn't come together. He's leaning towards going to the UNC Junior Day. Whatever. There doesn't seem to be much interest there.
  • Rashod Favors - With it becoming increasingly likely that an offer to Rashad Favors would basicaly be as a linebacker, any mutual interest between Favors and Texas seems to have declined, coming to a head with Favors deciding to visit Stillwater instead of Austin. That's right, there is actually competition on some Junior Days and Favors chose Poke Country. Over Austin. Unusual, no? The apparent reason is that his high school teammates Darius White and Dominique Sanders were headed to Stillwater and Favors decided to join them.
  • Jay Guy - The news in the last several days out of Cedar Hill has defensive tackle Jay Guy committing to Cal over Stanford. Guy really liked Texas but is undersized and didn't have the interest reciprocated, unfortunately for him. Still, receiving offers from programs with such high admissions standards says a lot of Guy off the football field. Good luck to him in Cali.

Outlook

The Longhorns will probably only offer around five of the 20 or so players who will end up attending. Expect the vast majority of those players to commit either on the spot or in the week or two following, resulting in the 2010 class being about 75% done less than a month after the previous class signed. An offer could potentially go out to a player like Evan Washington or another offensive lineman, but Texas will essentially have all their offers out after this second Junior Day and then it will be be a waiting game to see how many of the high-profile players decide to commit over the coming year. Besides offensive line, the only other position that might get a late offer is defensive end, where the coaches might want to guarantee that they get at least one commitment while waiting for Jackson Jeffcoat and Reggie Wilson to make their decisions. A few names will undoubtedly find their way onto the Longhorns' recruiting radar as the spring turns into the summer, so stay tuned for that.

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