Horns finally offer DeAndrew White. For the explosive Galena Park North Shore receiver, his Texas offer was a long time in coming. It finally came from Oscar Giles about two weeks ago and the Longhorns will be in the mix for White, but the late nature of the offer probably means that the Longhorns have some serious ground to make it up to secure his services. The good news is that White said he doesn't have a top five and has not yet set up his official visits, which he plans to take in October. He cited Florida, Alabama, Baylor, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech as the schools recruiting him the hardest.
White had this to say about Texas:
I talked to them last week. They wanted me to go to their game against Texas Tech, but I couldn't make it.They are there with everybody else. I'm still exploring all of my options. When I visit schools, I'll know the school for me. It will have the right atmosphere.
White attended the second Junior Day in February, but was one of the few players not offered at that time. Back in the middle of February, he acknowledged that Texas was his "dream team" ($) growing up, but the lack of an offer for so long may well have rubbed White the wrong way. The mitigating factor there is that White didn't receive an offer from Texas earlier because of concerns about either his grades or his test scores -- apparently he has gotten them in order since the spring.
It's not clear if White's offer has any bearing on the recruitment of Darius White, which has gone quiet as the high school season has begun, but the Longhorns have not offered any receivers since the de-commitment of Ross Apo some months ago, so perhaps it's not a surprise the Longhorns would eventually try to fill Apo's now-vacant spot.
Blessed with track star speed, White is one of the fastest players in the state of Texas, but doesn't have a lot of shake in his hips. In a lot of ways, he's a slightly smaller version of Chris Jones, the star Daingerfield receiver and Texas commit -- both players are extremely quick and fast, with elite top-end speed and neither one wastes time trying to make players miss, they simply plant and cut, then blow up angles with their speed. Because of the similarities, White doesn't fill a big need in the class, but the Longhorn coaching staff has shown an increased commitment to get the fastest players on the field, a commitment that bodes well for White's recruitment. As with any recruit, the key will be to get White on campus and remind him why he liked Texas so much growing up.
Thompson and Joseph take official visits. Findlay prep star combo guard Cory Joseph is one of the final targets for the Longhorns in the 2010 class. With Jeremy Lamb's commitment to UConn and Josh Selby exploring other options, Joseph is the last guard on the radar. Considering the connections to Findlay Prep with Avery Bradley already on campus and Tristan Thompson set to arrive next season and Joseph's connection to fellow Canadian Myck Kabongo, a 2011 Texas commitment, the Longhorns have a strong shot at landing Joseph and making the Canadian duo a triumvirate.
Those connections by themselves were probably enough to gain the attention of Joseph, but his desire to play point guard may play a role in his eventual decision -- while there is some speculation that Dogus Balbay may leave school after this season to pursue a professional career in Turkey, those are simply rumors at this point, leaving Balbay, Jai Lucas, and J'Covan Brown as point guard options in 2010, as well as Varez Ward, who initiated the offense with great success against Duke in the NCAA Tournament. Kabongo will arrive the next season, though Joseph can play the off-guard position with his ability to knock down open shots and that's probably his greatest strength at this point. Given the depth at the point guard position, that may be the single greatest deterrent to Joseph coming to Texas.
Accompanying Joseph on the trip was 2010 forward Tristan Thompson, who already has a great familiarity ($) with the program because of Avery Bradley:
By now, I know about everything about the university and program. I think I know as much as the players that are already on the team at this point. It's never disappointing when I visit Texas.
While Thompson has fallen a bit in some of the recruiting rankings of late, he's still a prodigious talent, but the question is how much more he can refine his game before stepping onto campus, where he may only spend a single season. Stay tuned for a Recruiting Spotlight on Thompson in the near future.
Sims enjoys Texas visit. In a deep running back class in 2011, Abilene's Herschel Sims may be the perfect fit for the Texas offense with his speed and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. He visited Texas ($) over the weekend and seemed to enjoy himself:
It was amazing. I loved it down there. The fans were amazing, to be a part of a new record crowd, close to 102 thousand. It was a good football game. The campus, the field house and the facilities were unbelievable. It was nice and I just liked it. They seemed like they have fun doing what they do down there.
As mentioned in this space two weeks ago, Sims may be one of the best fits in the deep running back class for the Longhorns and his interest does appear to be genuine, a major positive given the current leanings of Bradley Marquez, Aaron Green, and, to a lesser extent Malcolm Brown.
Onyegbule strong candidate for February offer. Even though the Longhorns have been taking some smaller wide receivers recently and just offered DeAndrew White, if the offense continues to feature the short, controlled passing game, having taller, stronger receivers makes sense. Arlington wide receiver Miles Onyegbule, at 6-4, 200 pounds, fits that mold. Like many current and former Texas players, he's also of Nigerian descent -- while I try not to make blanket generalizations, all of the Nigerian players who have come through the program have been excellent, hardworking kids and, once again, Onyegbule fits that mold as well, making him a strong candidate to receive an offer at the first Junior Day in February.
Throughout the early part of the recruiting process, Onyegbule has reciprocated that interest, declaring Texas his top school ($) back in July. Of course, things can change and it's always interesting to see how much recruits mention a school when not talking to writers covering a different school. Discussing the current state of his recruitment, Onyegbule still has the Longhorns at the top of his list ($):
Miami and Texas send me handwritten stuff every day. Mack Brown sends me birthday cards and coach (Bruce) Chambers says that he can't wait for me to get up there...Texas is my top school right now. They show me so much love. I can't lose with interest from them.
Certainly good news for Texas, but probably not great news for other wide receivers hoping for offers in the class, as Onyegbule looks like he may receive an offer and commit and Jaxon Shipley clearly falls into the same category. That leaves the question of whether or not the Longhorns will pursue the two players who may be the top receivers in the state -- Waxahachie's LaDarius Brown and Whitehouse's Trey Metoyer, who is probably an early OU lean, but has been putting up ridiculous numbers in the early part of the season.