Since the offer out to Dallas Skyline wide receiver Ra'Shaad Samples still seems to be committable with three prospects already in the fold at the position in 2013 -- Dallas Jesuit's Jake Oliver, Houston Cy Falls' Jacorey Warrick, and Sealy's Ricky Seals-Jones -- it appears that the Longhorns have another spot open still.
The current timetable with Samples isn't clear and his injury back in March has slowed down his recruitment a bit (even none of his offers have been revoked), so the Texas coaching staff has been taking advantage of the spring evaluation period to look at other wide receiver prospects in a deep year in the state.
Fort Worth Southwest's Robbie Rhodes, who was unable to attend the second Junior Day, and West Mesquite's Eldridge Massington, who did make the trip with teammate Kameron Miles, appear to be at the top of the list, as Texas is expected to drop in on Massington in the near future.
Rhodes tied a national record last fall with eight touchdown receptions against Fort Worth Arlington Heights and Longhorn commit A'Shawn Robinson and has been on the radar, so it wasn't a surprise to find out that position coach and area recruiter Darrell Wyatt stopped by last Friday to check on Rhodes.
It's been a low-key recruitment so far for Rhodes, who can't even name his current offer list ($):
I'm not even sure who I have offers from. I know Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech have (offered). I've been in basketball and now track, so I haven't been thinking about recruiting.
The current plan is for Rhodes to visit Texas if he can make it to the state track meet. An offer probably isn't likely if he does make it in, but it will at least confirm his interest as the coaches continue to evaluate the position.
Robbie Rhodes (junior offensive highlights) (via 247SportsStudio)
At a little over 6-0 and 185 pounds, the measurables don't stand out with Rhodes, who is relatively similar to Ra'Shaad Samples or former Skyline receiver Mike Davis in his ability to quickly eat a defender's cushion to get open on deep passes, though Rhodes probably has better speed than either. Bottom line for defensive backs going against Rhodes -- there's so little evidence of him running any hitches, square ins, or squares outs, throws his quarterback likely isn't capable of making, so it would probably be worth getting into a backpedal quickly when he comes hard off the line of scrimmage.
The result, though, is that his highlights show little about how he performs as a route runner. Can he sink his hips to get in and out of his breaks or is he as raw in that regard as another recent Fort Worth product, current MIssouri Tiger and former Longhorn, Darius White?
Interestingly, Rhodes' highlights are filled with plays in which he both creates separation and makes plays in traffic. Seems impossible, right? Not with a quarterback who consistently underthrows the ball. As a result, there's ample evidence of Rhodes using his superior body control to find and adjust to the ball in the air, though he doesn't have the height and high-point ball skills of other prospects in the class like Whitehouse's Dylan Cantrell, a Texas Tech commit, or Oliver, the Texas pledge.
In terms of post-catch ability, there isn't a lot on film, other than a brief look at some impressive acceleration and the slightest evidence of some shiftiness and vision in traffic while working out of the Wildcat. Unfortunately, the longer highlights that are likely on Hudl are set on private for Rhodes.
Of the two, Massington is the more highly-regarded national prospect, now featuring more than 20 offers. At the last check-in with the big, speedy receiver, Massington had just ran a 10.66 FAT 100m at a track meet, which I characterized as "sick fast" for someone his size -- 6-3 and around 200 pounds. Then Massington went ahead and ran a 10.55 100m last weekend, officially in the "unreal fast" category.
The preference here continues to be for Massington, who represents the least redundant skillset of the three. Will the Texas coaches agree?
Which of these three receivers should Texas pursue the hardest?
Ra'Shaad Samples (134 votes)
Eldridge Massington (477 votes)
Robbie Rhodes (37 votes)
648 total votes