Darius White speaks. Life is not particularly simple these days for Darius White. No, not for someone who receives constant phone calls, text messages, emails, all from people wanting to know his latest favorite, or his latest list, or latest trips planned, or if he's going to be a package deal with his Dunbar teammates. On and on. Inquiring minds want to know.
The inquiring minds of Texas fans want to know about his visit last week for the first summer camp ($). On that front, White is not particularly forthcoming:
It was fun. It was interesting. I like it. Everybody was cool. We just went out there and played ball.
Likewise, as he has for some time, White is playing coy about his favorites, saying that he has no leader among his top schools: Texas, Oklahoma, USC, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech. For the moment, White says "they're all equal." White has not yet had a chance to visit USC or Oklahoma State, but he will be making a trip up to Stillwater in the near future with his teammates Rashaod Favors and Dominique Sanders, as well as to Oklahoma and Texas Tech.
Much recent speculation has surrounded whether or not schools will offer White's teammates in an effort to gain a commitment from the superstar wide receiver. Given that Texas did not invite either one down for the summer camp for another evaluations, it's probably safe to say that neither are in line to receive an offer. And for his part, White says that it would be great to play with his current teammates again in college, but, in his words, "if we don't, we don't."
As for a timetable on a decision, White plays it coy once again, saying that only his mother knows about that, most likely because they need to find time in their busy schedules to sit down and talk about it. White does say that he is "kind of winding things down a lot." Cryptic recruitspeak of the highest degree.
And so, the only certainty in the recruitment of Darius White continues to be the great prevalence of uncertainty. To channel my inner Kurt Vonnegut, "So it goes."
Another camp, different intentions. If last week's camp was about getting some uncommitted recruits on campus (White = success, Seastrunk = epic fail) and letting the committed players bond and become more familiar with their future teammates, this weekend's camp is more about the coaches going through their evaluation process and becoming more familiar with the individual skill sets of the players in attendance. Likewise, it's also a chance for the players to develop a familiarity with the coaches and start establishing the comfort level that so many of the 2010 early commits referenced when they made their decisions.
Besides a select few recruits who attended a Junior Day, this weekend's camp will be the biggest recruiting weekend so far for the 2011 class, even more important than the spring game, as the players will have much more contact with the coaching staff during this visit, with the attention much more personal.
Who will be there? The updated list for expected June 14th camp attendees (as always with these camps, this list is not complete and the players listed are not guaranteed to attend):
- David Ash, Belton, quarterback
- Dexter Foreman, Manvel, quarterback
- Preston Conder, Whitehouse, quarterback
- Aaryn Sharp, Round Rock Stony Point, quarterback (update)
- Donte Clark, Fort Bend Elkins, running back (update)
- Aaron Green, SA Madison, running back
- Donovonn Young, Humble, running back
- Bradley Marquez, Odessa, running back
- Malcolm Brown, Cibolo Steele, running back
- Jermichael Selders, Cy Creek, running back
- Joe Bergeron, Mesquite, running back/fullback
- Herschel Sims, Abilene, running back
- , LaMarque, running back (2012)
- Jaxon Shpley, Brownwood, wide receiver (update)
- Trey Metoyer, Whitehouse, wide receiver
- Christian Jones, Spring Westfield, wide receiver
- CJ McElroy, Clear Creek, wide receiver
- Jafus Gaines, Houston Chavez, wide receiver
- Devonte Thomas, West Sabine, wide receiver
- LaDarrin Robertson, Longview, wide receiver/tight end
- Max Brown, Pearland Dawson, tight end (update)
- Sedrick Flowers, North Shore, guard
- Garrett Greenlea, Klein Collins, offensive tackle
- Spencer Drango, Cedar Park, offensive tackle
- Taylor Doyle, Lake Travis, offensive tackle
- Trey Brown, Lancaster, linebacker
- Kendall Thompson, Carthage, linebacker
- Trevon Randle, Clear Springs, linebacker
- Donnie Baggs, Clear Springs, linebacker
- Chet Moss, Cedar Park, linebacker
- Trey Owens, Humble, linebacker
- Anthony Wallace, Skyline, linebacker/defensive end
- Lance Skyler, Lancaster, defensive end
- Keenan Brown, Lamar Consolidated, defensive end/tight end
- Nathan Hughes, Klein Oak, defensive end
- Cedric Reed, Cleveland, defensive end
- James Rushing, Memorial, defensive end
- Jermauria Rasco, Evangel Christian, defensive end (may not be able to make it)
- , Westfield, defensive tackle
- Antonio Wright, LaMarque, defensive tackle
- Marquise Anderson, Cibolo Steele, defensive tackle
- Quincy Aldridge - Whitehouse, safety
- Quandre Diggs, Angleton, safety
- Will Harlos, Somerset, safety
- Franklin Shannon, Skyline, safety
- Alfonso Harleston, Humble, safety
- Leroy Scott, South Houston, cornerback
- Stephen Williams, Stony Point, athlete
- Anthony Webb, LaPorte, athlete
- Henry Josey, Angleton, athlete (2010) (ran a 4.45 ($) at a recent SMU camp, could be rising quickly)
- Desmond Roland, Lake Highlands, athlete
- Cameron Brown, Austin LBJ, athlete
- Tyson Coleman, Lake Oswego, athlete (update)
- Driphus Jackson, Cedar Hill, athlete (update)
Notes on the attendees. I don't have the time to talk about all these guys (and frankly there isn't much out there about quite a few of them), so I'll touch on some highlights. Many of the players expected to be top targets in the class are going to be in attendance: Green, Brown, Drango, Metoyer, Moss, Anderson, Scott, just to name a few. Jermauria Rasco, perhaps on track to become the no. 1 overall prospect in the nation, is probably the most important player to get on campus, as he enjoyed a recent trip to LSU ($) -- his attendance at the camp could help the Longhorns make up any ground lost to Les Miles and company (of course, some of this just sounds stupid because it's so early, but, hey, Rasco's that good).
There are nine running backs (!) expected to be in attendance, which highlights not only the depth of the 2011 class at that position, but also the tough evaluation job the Longhorn coaches have in front of them, particularly if they have to move past the top three or four. Clearly, Aaron Green and Malcolm Brown will probably be the top targets, as Sunkist alluded to in his FanPost the other day and since the Longhorns will probably take two running backs (three seems unlikely, but possible given the depth), the skills of Green and Brown would complement each other well, with Green the home-run threat on the outside with incredible explosiveness and Brown the tough, downhill runner. However, given the choice of one, I would choose Aaron Green because he fills a greater need, especially with the Lache Seastrunk recruitment seemingly headed further downhill by the second.
At this point, the Longhorns have only offered one tackle in the 2010 class (Jake Matthews), which makes it a serious need position in 2011 (in fact, possibly the position of most need). There are some good tackles in the 2011 class, notably Hutchins and Drango, though Doyle may not be far behind -- all three could possibly receive offers eventually, as Texas probably won't go after any interior lineman in the class. So, for a guy like Greenlea, this is important opportunity to show the Longhorn coaches that he deserves a look as well.
Several 2011 prospects camped last week. As mentioned earlier, some 2011 players attended the Junior Days for 2010 players -- a prestigious honor. Attending the first camp with mostly 2010 players doesn't seem to be the same type of honor, but rather borne of circumstances. For instance, many of the confirmed attendees at the first camp were players from Desoto, so they probably got a ride down to Austin from Darius Terrell and/or. The following 2011 players were confirmed to have attended last weekend, though this list is likely far from complete:
- JW Walsh, Denton Guyer, quarterback
- Antoine Jimmerson, Desoto, running back (update)
- Ryan Polite, Desoto, athlete
- , Lake Travis, athlete
- David Porter, Desoto, wide receiver
- Ty Montgomery, Dallas St. Marks, wide receiver (update)
- Keyarris Garrett, Daingerfield, wide receiver (update)
- Austin Vincent, school not known,wide receiver
- Sam Jolla, school not known, wide receiver
Westerman enjoyed Austin visit. Perhaps it may be more precise to say that the father, Chris, is thoroughly enjoying his visit ($). Were he still possessing eligibility, if he can be judged by his comments there seems little doubt that he would make a verbal commitment to the Longhorns this week, saying that he is "really, really impressed" with the Texas program.
A few choice tidbits:
Jody, my wife, and I went to the Fiesta Bowl and that was really what iced our cupcake as far as Texas because we've always liked Texas football - we know the history and tradition here. We went to that bowl game and we sat right behind their bench and we kind of took it all in and we thought, ‘Man, that's what we are talking about right there - the balance between the football program, the tradition, the education, the alumni support. It's what I call making the total man. It isn't just about an athlete. It isn't just about character or integrity. It is all a part of what Mack Brown does here. I just think it is the total package.
On the welcome by the coaching staff:
We got a real warm welcome. In fact, when we checked in, the lady said, ‘Oh, you are Christian Westerman. Mac McWhorter wanted us to tell him when you arrived.' I will tell you that they really laid out the red carpet. We met the nicest people - great coaching staff, down to earth people.
The elder Westerman also expressed that he and his family have deeply enjoyed their trip to Austin and that he is willing to move wherever his son chooses to go to college. His first comment seems to indicate that his son was not present for the Fiesta Bowl game that hooked his parents, so it's not clear how much of the visit last weekend and interest in the school is actually coming from the son or even how much influence the father will have on his son's decision.
As for the Westerman who will actually make that eventual decision (most likely), well, he sounded a lot like your average 16-year-old:
It is going pretty good. I like it. I like the coaches a lot. They are really friendly. I like the campus a lot. The facilities are great.
Quite a bit less effusive than the father, certainly, but it looks likes the Longhorns made a serious impression and will be a major factor in the recruitment of perhaps the nation's top offensive tackle in 2011.