As the West Virginia Mountaineers and a boatload of rowdy fans descend upon Austin for Saturday's big-time showdown, so too will a number of top Texas targets in the 2013 and 2014 classes.
The last time that the Texas Longhorns played a home game of this magnitude, the prospects who will be in attendance for the game were in middle school. That would be the contest against Missouri in 2008, when the Colt McCoy-led Longhorns put an unexpected beatdown on the Tigers and quarterback Chase Daniel, who was looking to prove on a big stage that Texas was wrong to pass him over as a recruit.
That shouldn't be a problem for any of the high school stars who will watch the game from the stands.
With 14 commits in the 2013 class and around four open spots before any late-season or postseason attrition hits, the Longhorns are mostly finished in the 2013 class. However, since the decommitment of Ricky Seals-Jones in June, the Longhorns have had little positive news on the recruiting front, with top commit A'taking visits and offensive line target Caleb Benenoch dropping Texas from their spot as his leader.
It's not clear at this time whether Robinson will make it to Austin for the game, but there has been some talk about him coming down from Fort Worth for it. Robinson recently visited Florida State for the Clemson game and plans on taking official visits to Alabama and USC, making it a critical time to get him back on campus. Despite the planned trips, Robinson has not decommitted.
Benenoch, from Katy Seven Lakes, is confirmed as a visitor. A close friend of class bellcow Jake Raulerson, Benenoch has already been in College Station for an A&M game and Norman for the Kansas State game. A longtime Longhorn fan, there were rumors that he was a silent commit after receiving his offer following a strong performance at a summer camp in June, but Benenoch has slowed down that talk by claiming that he no longer has a leader. He will visit UCLA after the season.
The other top 2013 target confirmed to be in town is Chandler (AZ) Hamilton cornerback Cole Luke, who named Texas, Notre Dame, and USC as his leaders in August, though Oklahoma still appears to be in the mix. USC currently has a full class. 247Sports Texas affiliate Hookem.com has been reporting for some time that the 'Horns are in the driver's seat with Luke.
Other than a handful of 2013 pledges, there will also be some top 2014 targets at Darrel K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday evening, including elite cornerback Tony Brown, whose track star sister's destination may well impact his own, defensive end Myles Garrett, the physical freak from Arlington Martin who plays wide receiver in the summer at times, for the Martin 7-on-7 squad, Lewisville Hebron safety Jamal Adams, whose visit will be his third since the summer.
The list continues with Brenham cornerback Darrion Johnson, who has started receiving increased interest from Texas in recent days, top wide receiver target Kd Cannon, with whom Texas needs to make up some ground, and Mansfield Timberview defensive back Brandon Simmons, who may bring along his talented teammate Edward Paris.
Uncomfirmed visitors in the 2013 class include Waco lineman Andrew Billilngs, who already visited for the New Mexico game and has pushed back his commitment timetable after planning to pledge before his senior season, and Livingston athlete Chevoski Collins, who told ESPN that he won't be visiting prior to making his commitment public on Monday in a ceremony at his high school.
As high as the stakes are on the field for Texas this weekend against a top-10 opponent and new conference rival, so too are the stakes high on the recruiting front as Longhorns fans hope for some positive recruiting news to emerge from the weekend after a spell of negativity.