Morning Coffee Blanks On A Title

Horns_bullet_mediumSlipping through the cracks. As I did more research around the interwebs, I realized that my list of February 28th Junior Day attendees was not complete. Here are those other attendees:

Intriguing

  • Ashton Dorsey (defensive tackle) - The younger brother of Adren Dorsey ($), currently a member of the Texas A&M football team, Ashton is 6-2, 270 pounds and already holds an offer from Oklahoma, as well as drawing interest from LSU. An honorable mention All-State performer, Dorsey recorded 65 tackles, with 20 of them for a loss, while also sacking the quarterback three times and knocking down 10 passes, an excellent indication of his awareness and ability to not only collapse the pocket, but disrupt throwing lanes when doing so. Dorsey joins Channelview's Cedric Steward as the only defensive tackle prospects attending the Junior Day and it looks like one of them could receive an offer.
  • Ross Apo (wide receiver) - Even early in the process it was apparent that the toughest evaluation job facing the Texas staff was differentiating between the bevy of talented wide receivers in the 2010 class. Apo could be in line for an offer, as Mack Brown and company have asked him to visit on Friday ($), a strong indication that he would receive an offer then. To my knowledge, every recruit who met with the coaches in the evening before the first Junior Day received offers. That would perplex me a little bit because Apo runs a 4.6 and stands 6-3, almost exactly like John Harris. To Apo's credit, he turned 37 catches last season into 11 touchdowns, while averaging more than 20 yards per catch. A factor in his recruitment may be his Mormon faith ($), as Apo is seriously considering BYU, which has already extended an offer to him.
  • Dominic Espinosa (offensive lineman) - It is hardly news by now that the numbers are tight along the offensive line, with a highly-ranked kid like Evan Washington standing only a small chance of receiving an offer. A nearly equally ranked player is Cedar Park's Dominic Espinosa (no. 18 on the LSR), who took the initiative to call the coaching staff ($) to inquire about his status on the recruiting front. Since Mack Brown places a great deal of emphasis on players who want to play for Texas, he no doubt appreciated Espinosa's call and the lineman was subsequently invited in for the next Junior Day. Espinosa could be a candidate for a grayshirt offer, meaning he would enroll in 2010, but wouldn't be on scholarship until the following season.

Little chance

  • Trey Franks (athlete) - Franks will be joining his West Orange Stark teammate James Haynes in Austin for the Junior Day on Saturday. James doesn't have much height, as he's listed at 5-9 (if a football player is actually listed at 5-9, that makes him about 5-6, right?) but looks taller on film and has decent size at 172 pounds and runs a reported 4.48, certainly legitimate speed. Franks plays defensive back, as well as receiver, which perhaps explains his invite to the Junior Day, as Texas could find his speed in a receiver like DeAndrew White, who is also taller. Toney Hurd is much more highly-rated as a cornerback and didn't receive an offer, making it hard to justify an offer for Franks, which he he has little or no chance to receive.

Horns_bullet_mediumFinally, a Lufkin star commits to Texas. Cornerback Carrington Byndom, of Jamarkus McFarland's alma matter, Lufkin High School, called Mack Brown on Monday evening to announce that he was becoming the 12th member of the 2010 Texas recruiting class. Even though Byndom has the preferred height to play cornerback (he plays safety in high school), at 6-0, he will need to spend significant time in the weight room before he will be ready to step on the field for the Longhorns, as he weighs only 170 pounds, currently.

Fluidity in the hips is a prerequisite for playing cornerback, and Byndom possesses it ($), as he is able to open, turn, and run with receivers, though he sometimes tackles too high in space and could use some work on his ball skills, as he dropped too many sure interceptions as a junior. Byndom is a legit Top 30 prospect in the state, as Oklahoma and LSU also offered, with 4.45 speed, long arms, and a D-I pedigree -- his father, CB, played at Houston ($) in the early 1980s. In addition to the athleticism that allows him to run track and play baseball, Byndom also excels in the classroom ($) -- making the honor roll at Lufkin and scoring a 1200 on his SAT.

Horns_bullet_mediumHoops recruits take in Texas/OU tilt. The game between the Longhorns and the Sooners at the Erwin Center didn't just have ramifications for the rivalry and the quest by Texas to get into the NCAA tournament -- it also had serious recruiting ramifications. No fewer than four recruits were in the stands for the game, including several highly-rated freshman (yes, freshman): 6-10 Isaiah Austin of Mansfield Legacy and 6-8 Zach Peters of Plano Prestonwood. Also in attendance were sophomores Julien Lewis of La Marque and Houston Bellaire's Sheldon McClendon.

Peters is currently the best prospect of the bunch and looks several years older than his age of 15, already standing 6-8 and possessing a physique unmatched by many seniors in high school -- kid is pretty chiseled. Perhaps it's because Peters is more physically mature than his classmates, as a dislocated hip suffered in a jet ski accident caused his parents to hold him back and home school him for a year. Ambidextrous, Peters can finish with either hand and has the ball-handling skills and agility of a point guard. leading his father, a former guard at Eastern Illinois, to project him at that position in college. Contributing to those guard skills is a solid mid-range jump shot, though he needs to release his shot higher. However, since Peters is such a match-up problem, it will be a long time before his release becomes a problem. Keep in mind, as well, that Willie Warren has a low release, but it rarely hurts him since he creates so much separation.

Unlike a lot of "finesse" bigs in the mold of European frontcourt players, Peters plays with a physicality ($) rarely found in players of his skill set. In fact, he's so physical that he's had to reign in his game in high school, as many referees won't allow the degree of banging with which he plays. His ambidexterity allows him to hit jump hooks with either hand, though he doesn't get the extension he will eventually need in college.

Major college programs are recognizing Peters' skills, as he already has offers from Texas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Duke, Illinois, and UCLA.

More information to follow about the others.

Horns_bullet_mediumJeff Capel: apparently no longer a whiny baby. Aww, the wittle baby is all grown up. Or maybe not. Demonstrating his incredible, new-found maturity, Jeff Capel has amazingly been able to utter that most horrible of names after a year of silence -- Damion James. Congratulations, Jeff, welcome to the world of adults! Having overcome his admitted "immaturity," Capel is now able to talk about begging James to stay a Sooner, an experience so humiliating that his wife, listening on the phone, started crying. That can happen when you listen to a grown man lowering himself to beg a high school student not to forsake him.

It wasn't the humiliation from begging James to go to OU that kept him from uttering James' name -- it was the prank that James played on Capel while he was begging, handing the phone to a relative, who impersonated James as Capel pleaded. Easy to see how the whole thing became a joke when Capel decided to start begging, but it's surprising that the OU coach couldn't even recognize when the voice on the other end of the line changed. James' actions were certainly on the immature side, but then so were the actions of Capel, who was supposed to be the adult in the situation and wasn't, which makes it seem strange to hold the kid to a higher standard.

Horns_bullet_mediumFrom the Land of Miscellany. San Antonio Madison's Kris Catlin, a linebacker, and Nate Askew, a tight end, chose to attend the Texas Tech Junior Day ($) after learning that neither will receive a Texas offer...Scipio Tex has your NFL Combine coverage: defensewide receivers/running backs, and offensive line/quarterback/tight end...Bill Frisbie on the wide receiver battle...A statistical look ($) at why everyone and their mother are offering Tulsa Central's DeMarco Cobbs:

As a junior, Cobbs passed for 1,012 yards and six touchdowns, rushed 130 times for 1,082 yards and 17 touchdowns, and caught six balls for 203 yards and another touchdown. Cobbs added a punt return touchdown of 86 yards and a 91-yard kickoff return for a score. He had five kick off returns for 140 yards on the season. Defensively, he added 24 tackles and two interceptions. He also blocked a punt.

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