Junior Days in February didn't result in the Texas Longhorns getting a number of top targets to campus, but that will change with several key recruits this weekend, as five-star linebacker Malik Jefferson and four-star running back Chris Warren II highlight a quickly-growing visitor list.
Joining the Mesquite Poteet and Rockwall stars will be defensive end commit Charles Omenihu of Rowlett and safety/outside linebacker commit DeShon Elliott, who gave his pledge to head coach Charlie Strong and his staff on Tuesday at the start of spring practice. Omenihu has already been working hard as a recruiter and his influence may have helped convince Elliott to end his recruitment.
A local product will also be an attendance, as Pflugerville Hendrickson cornerback PJ Mbanasor will make the short trip down I-35 to campus. The 6'2, 185-pound cornerback was once committed to TCU just picked up an LSU offer on Tuesday and has seen his recruitment take off during the month of March. It's possible that he could receive an offer from the staff during his visit.
Mbanasor won't be the only cornerback in attendance, as Newton's Roney Elam, another fast-rising player in the state, will make the much-longer trip to Austin. 2013 signee Kevin Shorter's former teammate recently named Texas, Texas A&M, and LSU as his top three, with the Horns trending in his Crystal Ball.
Other visitors expected to be in attendance include Nacogdoches cornerback Jaylon Lane, who decommitted from Ole Miss on Thursday and Fort Bend Ridge Point linebacker Cameron Townsend, a longtime Texas lean whose recruitment never moved in another direction after the coaching changes, an unusual situation in that respect.
Of the prospects who will attend practice with offers, Townsend is the most likely to commit in the near future, but it's unlikely that he'll pull the trigger this weekend.
The Horns were once in a strong position with Jefferson, who is considered the top player in the state by 247Sports and is ranked as the No. 12 prospect nationally in the composite rankings, but two changes at defensive coordinator, as well as the resignation of Mack Brown, have allowed Texas A&M to surge in his recruitment.
That process has been aided by the commitment of three of the so-called Fab Five to the Aggies, leaving only Jefferson and Longview running back JaMycal Hasty as the two members of that group who have not yet pledged to A&M.
As a result, only one prediction in the Crystal Ball for Jefferson has come in for Texas in the last few months, as the Aggies now have a significant lead there.
Publicly, Jefferson has maintained his openness and the lack of a commitment suggests there's likely some real truth to that, so his first opportunity to meet with the coaching staff will be an important one.
The situation is fairly similar with Warren, who was once considered a Texas lean and visited Austin at least twice last fall. Baylor is currently considered the favorite in the Crystal Ball, but there have been some predictions for Texas recently and his recruitment would appear to be fairly wide open at this point following his ACL tear early last October.
Does the current staff like him at running back, considering that he's already 6'2 and 220 pounds? The roster doesn't have a big back right now other than D'Onta Foreman, who is likely around 210 pounds at this point, so Warren seemingly remains a target with South Oak Cliff's Jordan Stevenson already committed at the position.
The bottom line is that Strong and his staff need face time with the top prospects in the state and will get some with several key targets this weekend, aided by some help from committed players like Omenihu and Elliott.