Unlike the previous coaching staff, Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong and his assistants aren't hesitant to hand out offers, especially to out-of-state prospects, but evaluations on players in the state of Texas have continued and resulted in three new offers out in the last several days.
Horns now targeting George Ranch defensive tackle
Finding defensive tackles in the state of Texas has been a difficult proposition for the Horns in recent years and it's the case again in the 2015 class -- DeSoto commit Bryce English is well less than six feet tall and is ranked as the No. 127 player in the state by 247Sports, while Texas trails for Dallas Bishop Dunne's Darrion Daniels.
Enter George Ranch defensive tackle Kingsley Keke, a 6'3, 290-pounder who has grown from a defensive end as a sophomore and has played in multiple fronts in high school -- with his athleticism, he's a player who can play up and down the line of scrimmage at this time and has the frame to perhaps retain his movement abilities at well over 300 pounds.
In terms of skill level and developmental trajectory, Keke looks a lot like Hassan Ridgeway, with a massively powerful body.
His punch is evident in one play on his highlight reel that shows him knocking an offensive tackle back into his quarterback before Keke makes the play on the passer.
For a young player, he does a nice job of bringing his hands consistently and packs a significant amount of power with them. When he uses his leverage effectively, it's a combination that is essentially impossible to stop for overmatched opponents.
And he also impacts passing lanes, knowing when to track the eyes of the quarterback and get his hands on the football, something that he does with frequency.
Ranked as a consensus three-star prospect, 247Sports has Keke rated at 89 and the No. 16 strong side defensive end in the country and the No. 47 player in the state. At some point, like right now, the services should change his projection to defensive tackle with the weight that he's carrying, a move that would probably help with his Composite rankings since defensive tackles are so much more valuable.
He also holds offers from 15 other programs, including Baylor, Florida, Houston, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State, North Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, TCU, and Texas Tech. The offer from the Sooners came hours before the Longhorns officially entered his recruitment.
Based on the fact that Keke has made several recent trips to campus and wants to take another in the near future, Texas should be in good shape to land his services, perhaps sooner rather than later.
Another in-state DB offer out
Other than Fort Bend Ridge Point cornerback Jordan Tolbert, who has a range of skills that make him an appealing prospect, the staff has mostly targeted bigger defensive backs like 6'3 Roney Elam and 6'2 Holton Hill.
On Thursday, a new offer went out to another big defensive back, this time Converse Judson's Keivon Ramsey, who goes 6'1 and 170 pounds.
Listed as a cornerback by the services, Ramsey played safety as a junior. A consensus three-star prospect, 247Sports has him as a four star, the No. 22 cornerback nationally and the No. 31 player in Texas.
He has offers from Baylor, Oklahoma, Oregon State, and UTSA, so there isn't currently a great deal of competition for his services.
Experienced in zone coverage, Ramsey has a knack for making plays on the football, but it's hard to project him as a cornerback based on his film because he doesn't play the position.
Texas again in the mix for Hemphill
Back in late January, the Texas staff stopped by Manvel High School to let the staff there know that they would not be honoring the offer of 2016 wide receiver Reggie Hemphill, who became the youngest commit in school history last summer.
Now, a little more than two months later, without the benefit of the spring evaluation period or doing anything other than looking at this film again and perhaps doing some research into his personal and academic progress, the Horns have once again extended an offer to the 6'1, 170-pounder, raising the question of why exactly the offer was pulled in the first place.
Why didn't the staff let him stay committed while whatever evaluations were done and then make a decision?
There's no easy answer regarding the clearly talented prospect, who also holds offers from Oklahoma and Michigan State, with high interest in Baylor and Texas A&M.