Widely considered to be the top prospect in the country, Denton Ryan defensive lineman Mario Edwards eliminated the Texas Longhorns ($) from consideration on Thursday afternoon, as reported by Hookem.com.
The Florida State commit just completed his official visit to Florida State last weekend and reportedly re-affirmed his commitment to the Seminoles on that trip, but still plans on visiting LSU this weekend.
It's unclear exactly why Texas fell out of the race for Edwards, though momentum clearly slowed down for the Longhorns in recent weeks after positive buzz surrounded a trip to Austin in early December that appeared to vault Texas in to serious contention for the first time since early in his recruitment. However, there had been reports in recent days that the coaching staff was having trouble securing an in-home visit time.
With the news earlier Thursday that another Florida State commit, tight end Christo Kourtzidis, cancelled his short-lived plans to take an official visit this weekend, Seminole head coach Jimbo Fisher has had quite the day on the recruiting trail against the Longhorns. Score it a resounding 2-0, Jimbo. Down go the 'Horns!
If there's good news, it's that the Texas staff took its best shot with Edwards and simply fell short, most likely due in large part to the fact that Mario Edwards, Sr played his college football at Florida State and the early commitment of his son allowed the coaching staff in Tallahassee to spend much more time building a relationship with the big defensive lineman. Not to mention the relationships that MEj built with other prospects headed there.
Additionally, the Longhorns already have a strong class, particularly on the interior, where Texas currently has commitments from four defensive tackles, with defensive end Hassan Ridgeway being another guy who could eventually move inside or play there situationally. And while the 300-pound Edwards could still play some at defensive end in college since he has managed to maintain his quickness, he's not going to be the pure speed rusher at the next level that Texas really needs.
There's still a chance that the 'Horns could fill that need with LSU commit Torshiro Davis, conventional wisdom with his recruitment still maintains that it could be, uh, difficult for he and his family to make the decision to leave the state for college. LSU fans are crazy, after all.