Coming into the Texas second Junior Day, Cy Falls athlete Jacorey Warrick was considered to be at or near the top of the Texas board as an athlete, but he was far from a lock to receive an offer and on Saturday evening, it seemed that he hadn't. So it was a bit of a surprise then when Texas received a second CFISD pledge on Sunday afternoon when Warrick added his name to that of Cy Woods linebacker Deoundrei Davis, who committed earlier in the day.
The 5-11, 170-pounder who could project on either side of the ball in college impressed Texas coaches, particularly Duane Akina, with his performance as a cornerback at the 2011 Longhorn summer camp. The second surprise in the commitment of Warrick was the news from his high school coach that Texas is looking at him as a slot receiver, which could have an interesting impact on recruiting at the position.
Initially, it looked like the number for wide receiver was going to be two, but now it could go as high as four, depending on where the coaches choose to count Ricky Seals-Jones, who has made it clear that he wants to start out there at Texas and will have the opportunity to do so, as well as Warrick.
Texas would surely still take Dallas Skyline WR Ra'Shaad Samples, as the skill sets there aren't exactly redundant, but both are smaller receivers. The moving part here is clearly West Mesquite wide receiver Eldridge Massington, who does not seem to have received an offer from Texas this weekend (and given the two commitments today, that is as hard to tell as ever). Vastly different players, the take of Warrick as a wide receiver, at least to start, doesn't do anything positive for Massington and his odds of receiving an offer from the 'Horns
Still, the point is that it's hard to tell right now if there are one or two spots left at wide receiver and where the coaches are classifying guys like RSJ and Warrick. It would hardly be a shock to see the latter end up at defensive back before things are said and done at Texas, though he does have the makeup of a successful collegiate wide receiver.
Jacorey Warrick #11 Cy Falls High School c/o 2013 (Junior Highlights) (via tltolden)
As potential slot guy, Warrick has the change of direction ability, acceleration and top-end speed that should lessen any sting from losinga few months ago and ranks right up there with any guy Texas has signed in the last three classes, in competition with Kendall Sanders.
Initially, one thing that stands out about Warrick is just how many tackles he breaks. Whether he's spinning out of them or just running through arm tackles and maintaining his balance he gets it done. Having some serious shake and jump-cut ability doesn't hurt either.
But all that talk fails to do justice to what is perhaps the strongest attribute that Warrick has -- his suddenness and first-step acceleration is as close to elite as it gets if it isn't flat-out elite in the first place. Like a lot of kids who get classified as athletes out of high school, Warrick has all the tools of a slot receiver and a defensive back.
Here's what his coach told Orangebloods about his star player ($):
I think they talked to him about a Jordan Shipley role, working in the slot. He's very, very explosive. He can jump out of the gym. You can't teach athleticism. He adjusts to the ball. But the best thing about him is he's a yes sir kind of kid. He asks what he needs to do to get better. He makes others better around him. Texas got a kid they can trust in the classroom, outside of the classroom and in the community.
Worst-case scenario, he doesn't assail the depth chart at wide receiver and makes the switch to defense. Judging by the returns on his brief work at cornerback for the Texas coaches, the speed merchant could probably quickly and easily threaten the depth chart there with a little bit of refinement.
So even though it was a bit of a surprise that Warrick will probably start out on offense at Texas, it's not hard to see why the brain trust on that side of the ball is willing to give him a shot there. No doubt when the staff sat down to talk about it, the value that Warrick could bring to both sides of the ball helped make the decision much easier.
In the past, Warrick probably would have received an offer and committed on the Junior Day itself. Either that or the staff wouldn't have been able to come to a consensus and could have potentially missed on him because of the lack of communication between offensive and defensive coaches.
The change in strategy from the Texas staff is apparent with a kid like Warrick, who grew up watching the Longhorns and whose father is a Texas Ex. In the past, he would have been offered at the Junior Day and committed on the spot, but in the new low-pressure approach he received his offer after he left or Austin or just chose not to publicize it on Saturday. Either way, it went down on Sunday afternoon and the outcome was in favor of the home-state 'Horns.
Jordan Ecco from Crimson and Cream Machine had an interesting take on OU recruiting early as it pertains to guys like Warrick, as the Sooners had offered the speedy playmaker (as had LSU), but simply had to wait to see what would happen with Texas before being able to assess whether or not Oklahoma had a chance to land him.
The resounding answer? No. Sounds like Warrick is TGOD.
So while the paradigm has shifted the timing of commitments, the Longhorns are once again rolling in recruiting, albeit in a more selective manner, with the outcome still being the same. Still dictating.
Joneses, and all that.