When the Texas Longhorns play the annual Orange-White game on Sunday, the school will host a variety of high-profile 2013 targets, as well as get an early start on the 2014 class by inviting top sophomore prospects into town.
The spring game represents the final major recruiting weekend for the spring, with the next significant on-campus event not occurring until the first summer camp in June.
As a result, it's the last time to make a major impact on targets in the 2013 class. Sure, the coaching staff will be out on the road attending spring workouts and continuing evaluations, particularly in the defensive backfield, but that's far different from having the kids on campus and around the entire coaching staff.
Even with the late cancellation from Oklahoma cornerback Stanvon Taylor, there will be a number of important defensive back targets in Austin for the game. The two most important visitors are from out of state -- Chandler Hamilton (AZ) cornerback Cole Luke, the top target at his position, and Rossville Ridgeland (GA) safety Vonn Bell, one of the top safeties in the country.
Don't forget about the in-state targets either, as Bastrop cornerback Antwuan Davis and Fort Bend Dulles defensive back Maurice Smith will also be in attendance. West Mesquite safety Kameron Miles will not make it down, not a particularly good sign for his recruitment, as he seems in danger of falling off the radar, especially since position coach Duane Akina prefers more versatility than a pure safety like Miles can provide.
For the in-state players, the trip will simply provide another look at the program -- both Davis and Smith are pretty familiar with the coaches and the campus after multiple visits this spring. For Luke and Bell, however, the visit is monumental -- Texas may not be able to get either on campus for a summer camp, making this the only trip to Austin before a possible official visit. Bell's verbal offer should become official, while Luke is virtually certain to receive his formal offer.
Depending on how the other visits go for Bell on his current trip that will take him to several other schools, he could commit before the end of the summer, which would likely make this weekend his only trip to Austin. In general, it's extremely difficult to land players with few or no ties to the program after only one visit -- that simple fact makes both Bell and Luke longshots.
Good thing, then, that Davis and Smith really like Texas and both could commit on the spot if offered. The odds are that at least one will receive an offer some time this spring, with Smith the most likely candidate currently, having only helped his case last weekend by answering questions about his ability to play cornerback.
Several high-profile targets will probably not be in Austin for the game -- Dallas Kimball defensive tackle Justin Manning and Dallas Skyline wide receiver Ra'Shaad Samples. The latter will presumably opt to stay at home due to his ankle injury last weekend, while it's less clear on Manning, though the vibe seems to be that he will not make it.
Put Alief Taylor defensive end Torrodney Prevot in the possible category, as he's planning on attending the LSU spring game on Saturday and may not make the trip to Austin the following day.
On the positive side, DeSoto (don't call him an) APB Dontre Wilson will make the journey from the Metroplex, an important visit for him after his spring break jaunt out to Eugene greatly helped the Ducks. Wilson is down to Oklahoma State, Texas, and Oregon, with a chance he will visit Ohio State, which recently offered. Wilson's recruitment is very much back where it was prior to the first Junior Day in regards to Texas, as the 'Horns will once again have to sell him on a vision of how he will be used in the Longhorn offense.
San Antonio Madison defensive tackle Vincent Taylor will make the short drive up from San Antonio. He's still hoping for a Texas offer, but it's unlikely that one will be forthcoming this weekend.
After the 'Horns only hosted a handful of 2013 recruits last year, the hope is that a much larger number will make it in this weekend, possibly as many as 250 or so, a group that will include Fort Bend Bush QB Ronald Monroe, one of the early top prospects at this position in the class and Hoza Scott, the La Porte linebacker considered the best player in the state by Orangebloods in the first release of the LSR. Other possible eventual targets include Denton Guyer quarterback Jerrod Heard and Dallas Skyline cornerback Cedric Collins, who has started both years at Skyline and locked down current commit Jake Oliver last fall.