Jim and Jackson Jeffcoat to attend Tech game. This news broke over in the FanShots several days ago, but it's worth addressing in more depth here. After attending the BYU-Oklahoma game almost two weeks ago, Jeffcoat will take his official visit for the biggest home game of the season as the Longhorns attempt to revenge the loss in Lubbock last season and the entire nation watches the prime time match up. If DKR is ever rockin', it should be on Saturday evening.
More importantly, Jeffcoat and his father will have a chance to see Will Muschamp's defense tee off against an immobile quarterback and an offense that has struggled to run the ball early in the season. Sergio Kindle should finally be set loose jumping gaps and attempting to confuse the Tech offensive linemen and Alex Okafor should also see time in the Buck position that Jeffcoat would play at Texas.
[Update]: Jackson Jeffcoat is ill and will not make the trip (check comment section). Bad news indeed. I guess you can disregard this entire section and the speculation therein.
It's hard to overstate the importance of having Jim Jeffcoat in attendance -- because Houston doesn't have a game this weekend, it will likely be the only official visit upon which he will accompany his son. The Cougars also play Tech the following week, meaning that Jeffcoat will be there scouting the Red Raiders and hopefully he has a chance to pick Muschamp's mind about slowing down Tech after the game. If that does indeed occur, both Jeffcoats should have a much higher level of comfort with Muschamp and appreciation of his incisive defensive mind.
In a rare interview ($), Jackson revealed that he is still considering six teams -- Texas, USC, Oklahoma, Arizona State, Houston, and Florida. It's hard to speculate about leaders because Jim Jeffcoat keeps things under wraps, but Texas OU, and USC appear to be the leaders and have been for some time (though this guy thinks OU and USC ($) are out in front), but an important factor in the decision will be where Kevin Sumliln and Jim Jeffcoat end up at the end of the year. It's probably too early to get a good read on what major coaching vacancies will be available, but if the Cougars can continue their run of success after beating Oklahoma State this season, Sumlin will deservedly be on the short list for a lot of vacancies and Jeffcoat may well join him on a future staff. Any upward movement could have a major impact on Jackson's eventual decision and vault an as-yet-unknown team into contention.
Along with mentioning that he still has some desire to play basketball at the next year, which may fall by the wayside eventually as football is clearly Jeffcoat's path to making a ton of money, even if basketball has been a life-long love, the younger Jeffcoat also said that he wants to win a national championship, but isn't opposed to helping a team build towards a national championship. Unlike Ahmad Dixon, that sentiment probably won't led him to think he can elevate a program like Baylor to national championship contention, but it is probably the reason Houston is still in the mix, besides the obvious aspect of the presence of his father on the coaching staff.
Jeffcoat's presence and the presence of numerous other recruits at the game (I'll have a full list early next week after confirmation) means that revenge and remaining alive in the race towards Pasadena won't be the only factors in play this weekend -- the future of the program will be as well.
Another 2012 back on the radar. Wimberly's Dennis Smith isn't the only 2012 running back making a name for himself in the state of Texas -- add Aledo's Jonathan Gray to the mix as well, the son of former Texas Tech running back James Gray. And it's not just through the early part of this season that Gray has been performing well at the varsity level -- last season he gained 970 yards. Gray is 5-10, 185 pounds, reportedly runs a 4.5, and has gained 564 yards on 86 carries this season, to go along with six touchdowns. Against Grapevine in Week 1, Gray racked up 306 yards and four touchdowns, despite resting for the last quarter and a half in the blowout. He opened the game with a 68 yards for a touchdowns and took an early screen pass 47 yards to paydirt. As a freshman this spring, Gray ran a 10.92 100m to finish first in the ACU Regional qualifiers meet.
Westerman high on USC. When 2011 offensive line prospect Christian Westerman and his family visited Austin for a camp this summer, the elder Westerman came away raving about how much the family enjoyed the visit. Christian Westerman, of course, is one of top offensive linemen in the country in the 2011 class and will be a top target for the Longhorns as signing several tackles is one of the top priorities in the class. As much as the Westerman's liked Texas, the Longhorns will face some serious competition from one of the usual suspects in these national recruiting battles -- USC ($). Per the father:
Christian has always liked USC. I would say he has 100 t-shirts in his closet and about 20 of them have college logos on them, I would say 12 of them are USC. He also has a USC schedule poster on his wall.
Christian just received his offer from USC and while no early commitment is imminent, the Trojans are clearly the early leader and the Longhorns will have a lot of ground to make up, meaning another visit to Austin in the spring for a Junior Day, a visit in the summer for a camp, or an official visit next fall if the recruitment lasts long will be extremely important.
Until something substantive happens, just marinate for a bit on the oddity of this late-night email that Urban Meyer sent Westerman:
I was watching your film today and I liked it so much, I couldn't sleep. That's why I'm sending this e-mail so late.
Chris Westerman said that the email came in at 12:30 am, but didn't specify if that was when Christian received the email or when Meyer sent it. If Meyer did indeed sent it at 12:30 Mountain Time, he would have sent it at 2:30 Eastern Time. Strange.
Dorsey underrated member of 2009 class. Underrated by Texas fans, that is -- he's the no. 2 defensive tackle in the country according to ESPN Scouts, Inc. Ashton Dorsey, the youngest in a line of Division I-football playing brothers, is a stud recruit from Tyler John Tyler, but is probably underrated by Texas fans because both Taylor Bible and De'Aires Cotton committed at the first Junior Day, leaving Dorsey's commitment at the second Junior Day as something of an afterthought.
As IT's Jeff Howe found out last week ($), Dorsey is deserving of that no. 2 ranking in the country. While he doesn't have the unbelievable quickness coming off the ball that Taylor Bible has, Dorsey still has outstanding quickness for a defensive tackle. According to Howe, he's even quicker in person than he is in on film and capable of playing either defensive tackle position at Texas:
He is a true gap-penetrating tackle who has tremendous burst off of the ball. I did not see any time to where he was a hair late to react to the snap and he was the guy initiating contact at the line of scrimmage. He faced constant double teams throughout the game and he did a great job at splitting them. He doesn't turn his shoulders and leave himself open to be blocked, he just does a great job of keeping a low pad level and using his speed and quickness to get into the backfield.
He could not be blocked by one guy. It was really something to watch as several times during the game he blew by his blocker before the man across from him had a chance to get out of his stance. That further shows his quickness and explosion off of the ball.
He moves very well laterally and is quick on his feet. One he gets through the line he knows what to do and has good change of direction ability and he can get down the line to make a play quickly because of his speed.
I was very surprised at his strength. Most high school coaches will ask guys who get double teamed to just hold their gap and that is when Dorsey shows his strength by really digging in generating a lot of power in his hips, looking a lot like guys like Miller and Calvin Howell in that regard.
If anything, Howe's endorsement is much more ringing than even the assessment of ESPN Scouts, Inc., the same group that evaluated him second best in the country behind Bible, focusing mostly on his ability to get off the ball quickly and use his strength and leverage to knock opposing players into the offensive backfield. A lean athlete for a defensive tackle, Dorsey is clearly a gap-pentrating tackle with the ability to get to the quarterback and be disruptive in the backfield, making him a good fit next to a player like Cotton who is more adept at holding the middle of the line. With players like Calvin Howell, Derek Johnson, Tevin Mims, Bible, Cotton, and Dorsey, the future of the defensive tackle position looks bright indeed.
From the Land of Miscellany. Besides longshot Enes Kanter, DeSoto forward Keith Davis is the main frontcourt target left on the board with Michael Cobbins' commitment and James Johnson dropping the Longhorns from consideration. Though Davis no longer talking like a commitment to Texas is imminent, the Longhorns are still in contention ($), along with Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Florida, and Cincinnati...Baltimore guard Josh Selby is no longer considering the Longhorns, but Findlay Prep's Cory Joseph is still a possibility ($), as Longhorn coaches travelled to Nevada to see Joseph at his school and went all the way to Ontario to meet with his mother. [Update]: Joseph will be in town ($) this weekend with Tristan Thompson...Inside Texas is now putting out three podcasts every week, with the Tuesday podcast focusing on recruiting. This week's installment is only the second, but it's one of the best places to find free recruiting news about the Longhorns...Abilene running back Herschel Sims took a visit to Texas Tech ($) last weekend and holds an offer from the Red Raiders, as well as from Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.