Auburn may now lead for Seastrunk. When news first broke about Lache Seastrunk visiting Auburn, I thought little of it, calling it a "dalliance" and predicting that Auburn was not going to be a serious contender for the services of the star Temple running back. That tune changed the following week when Seastrunk called his visit "the best experience I ever had."
Seastrunk made it back down to Auburn again this weekend with his close friend Trovon Reed for what Gene Chizik called the "Big Cat Weekend," a social event that brought together top Auburn targets and ended with the 20 attendees throwing toilet paper into an oak tree at Toomer's Corner along with hundreds of Auburn fans, apparently a long-time Auburn tradition. Instead of competing in football drills, the attendees played video games, and participated in home-run and pie-eating contests. Certainly a unique approach to the recruiting process, Auburn officials are now investigating possible secondary violations occurred during the event.
Seastrunk enjoyed the proceedings, again glowing with praise ($) while calling his recent visit "the best ever." Citing the warmth of the coaching staff and Auburn fans, Seastrunk gushed about people coming up to him and giving him hugs and handshakes. In a major victory for Auburn, Seastrunk's mother made it down for the trip and her son said that he could see himself playing at Auburn and that it felt like home. He did also confirm at the event that he will return to Auburn this summer for a camp.
Auburn may now be Seastrunk's leader (though that is just speculation), but he still plans on waiting to make an announcement at the Army All-American Bowl next January. In certain moments, Seastrunk makes it sound like he has already made a decision, having words for Auburn fans at the event that must make them quite excited indeed:
Y'all are going be very, very surprised what I do at the Army game. Everybody is going to be surprised. I can't release the information of what I am going to do, but you all are really going to enjoy where I go to.
Of course, in his next breath, Seastrunk said that he hasn't eliminated any schools yet and that each has a lot to offer. As a kid known for playing it coy with his real thoughts, nobody but Seastrunk really knows what is going to happen. It just doesn't look particularly good for the Longhorns at this point.
James Haynes: Off the radar, again? Bad news for Longhorn fans clamoring for West Orange-Stark athlete James Haynes -- he will not be at the Longhorn mini-camp this weekend in Austin. Beyond keeping the coaches from having a chance to take a second look at him, Haynes' absence says a lot about his desire to be a Longhorn. Instead of making the trip to Austin, Haynes elected to attend a camp held by LSU ($) on the same day. After not receiving much attention from LSU in the recent part of the recruiting process, interest of late from the Tigers ($) and the possibility of receiving an offer at the camp has put LSU back near the forefront of Haynes' mind.
Though LSU and Texas were the top two teams for Haynes at the beginning of the year, neither team extended an early offer and Haynes says that he realized going to his dream school wasn't the most important aspect of the process. As a series of questions at the Army All-American combine in January eventually eliminated every single prospect in the room save one who was going to attend his dream school, Haynes began to open his mind to schools like Oklahoma and Florida. Of course, as mentioned earlier, an offer from his childhood favorites LSU could change everything. But once again it looks like Haynes has no chance of getting an offer from the Longhorns.
DeMarco Cobbs: Back on the radar? As scholarship became limited as the spring progressed, the Longhorns lost contact with Tulsa's DeMarco Cobbs, the exremely talented athlete compared by many to Michael Crabtree and recruited by most schools as a wide receiver. Instead, the Texas coaches focused their attention on Darius White and it appeared that Cobbs had moved on by early May, narrowing his long list of suitors ($) down to 10, a list that did not include the Longhorns.
However, Cobbs now says that his interest waned not because he changed his mind about Texas being one of his "dream schools," but because he simply gave up on the Longhorns ($) a little bit too early:
My thing, I was sitting here and thinking to myself, I probably kind of closed the door on Texas a little too fast. I want to take a second look at them. Texas was one of my dream schools, a school I've watched growing up and wanted to attend.
As a result, Cobbs called Bruce Chambers last Friday to check in on the Longhorns and see where they stood with his recruitment. Chambers told Cobbs that the Longhorn coaches lost touch with Cobbs because they thought his interest had waned in them, no doubt aided by his inability to make it down to Austin for either Junior Day or the spring game. Contrary to the belief of some, Cobbs failed to make it down to Austin not because he didn't care, but because his only ride was his head coach, who was promoted to athletic director at Central this spring and couldn't miss other sporting events to drive Cobbs down to central Texas.
Once again, Cobbs is planning on making it down to Austin, either on an unofficial visit or to attend one of the two Longhorn mini-camps coming up in the next two weeks. Chambers expressed the desire of the coaching staff for Cobbs to take another visit, so it looks like Texas might again be a factor in his recruitment. Whether the coaches are keeping their options open with Cobbs because Darius White has extended his recruitment can't be known, but with the open scholarship now available after Ahmad Dixon's de-commitment, there could once again be room for DeMarco Cobbs. It would certainly be hard to turn down an athlete the caliber of Cobbs, though continued interest from Texas will probably depend entirely on the Tulsa star finally making it back down to Austin.
Hughes another top 2011 defensive end. Last season, Klein Oak defensive end Nathan Hughes played at 6-5 and 215 pounds ($), racking up 83 tackles, 22 quarterback hurries, 17 tackles for loss, six sacks, and two forced fumbles in 10 games. Next season, opponents will face a much larger Hughes -- the talented defensive end has added 25 pounds of muscle to his frame. Even at the lighter weight, Hughes had some monster performances as a sophomore, none better than the playoff game against Cy Ridge, during which he recorded 17 tackles, four quarterback hurries, two tackles for loss and one sack.
Hughes carries the 240 pounds extremely easily and his ability to hold his ground along the line of scrimmage suggests that he could eventually grow into a defensive tackle or at least a power end capable of anchoring the end of a 3-4 line when the Longhorns play with a stand-up defensive end/linebacker. Supporting the possibility of an eventual move is Hughes' speed, which is not on the level with players like Jermauria Rasco, reporting a 4.85 40.
The talk of how Hughes would fit into the Texas defense is worthwhile, as Hughes attended the spring game and Gerry Hamilton believes that Hughes would commit to the Longhorns on the spot if offered. Hughes confirmed that the Longhorns are his top choice, saying that he has followed Texas ever since moving to the greater Houston area from Alaska.
Wallace another talented Skyline prospect. A school that boasts numerous 2010 prospects, including Longhorn target Corey Nelson, there is also a great deal of talent Skyline in the 2011 class. Perhaps the top talent ($) in the class is outside linebacker/defensive end Anthony Wallace, a 6-2, 215-pounder.
A player with the lateral quickness to remain at linebacker, Wallace also has the frame to add a significant amount of weight, leading many people to project him as a pass-rushing defensive end at the next level. For his part, Wallace says that he prefers to play middle linebacker, but willingly makes the sacrifice of playing defensive end to help his team. At Texas, Wallace would probably have a chance to play both positions, playing linebacker on first and second down, then rushing the passer in third-and-long situations.
The problem for the Longhorns is that they have traditionally had problems securing commitments from Skyline players, with the likely reason being that several Skyline coaches have little love for the flagship state program. As with many of the Skyline prospects, the Longhorns would face an uphill battle if they choose to offer Wallace, as he lists Oklahoma and USC as his early favorites, citing a lack of attention from the Longhorns early in the process.