As the Texas Longhorns get deeper in to the 2013 football season, it's worth assessing the entire scholarship chart to take a deeper look into the immediate and distant future for the program at each position.
(Italics indicate a player who is committed but not yet signed.)
|1||Adrian Phillips||Quandre Diggs||Duke Thomas||Bryson Echols|
|2||Carrington Byndom||Mykkele Thompson||Kevin Vaccaro||Adrian Colbert|
|3||Quandre Diggs||Leroy Scott||Bryson Echols||Antwuan Davis|
|4||Mykkele Thompson||Sheroid Evans||Adrian Colbert||Erik Huhn|
|5||Leroy Scott||Josh Turner||Antwuan Davis||Chevoski Collins|
|6||Sheroid Evans||Duke Thomas||Erik Huhn||John Bonney|
|7||Josh Turner||Kevin Vaccaro||Chevoski Collins||Jermaine Roberts|
|8||Duke Thomas||Bryson Echols||John Bonney||Jason Hall|
|9||Kevin Vaccaro||Adrian Colbert||Jermaine Roberts||Jalen Campbell|
|10||Bryson Echols||Antwuan Davis||Jason Hall||Johnny Shaw|
|11||Adrian Colbert||Erik Huhn||Jalen Campbell|
|12||Antwuan Davis||Chevoski Collins||Johnny Shaw|
|13||Erik Huhn||John Bonney|
|14||Chevoski Collins||Jermaine Roberts|
The outlook for the future has also been diminished by the lack of in-state recruiting success with the extremely deep and talented 2014 class in Texas -- the Horns have already missed on Edward Paris, Dylan Sumner-Gardner, and Nick Harvey. And the prognosis with Jamal Adams and Tony Brown isn't a great deal better, though Texas may still have a shot at Nick Watkins, whose recruitment has mostly been a mystery other than the fact that he appears high on Notre Dame. Edwin Freeman is also still in the mix and has the Aggies as his leader at the moment, though he's likely to end up at outside linebacker, the position at which every other school is recruiting him.
Fortunately, Texas was able to land John Bonney and may have an underrated prospect in the physical Jason Hall. Meanwhile, if things go south again for the Longhorns, it may be hard to hang on to Jermaine Roberts, who made noises about visiting Ohio State after he received an offer from the Buckeyes following his commitment to Texas and may be willing to open up his recruitment if there are coaching changes, according to reports from 247Sports.
In 2015, the Longhorns have already landed two prospects, but have been trouble getting star Fort Bend Marshall cornerback Kendall Sheffield on campus and are probably trailing the Aggies at this time for his services. After landing on the commitment watch list back in July, Gilmer cornerback Kris Boyd now has Oregon in the lead.
Beyond recruiting, the year that stands out on this chart is 2015, when the Longhorns will have to replace five departing seniors, including what will probably be four of the top contributors. Texas had a similar problem heading into 2011 after losing Curtis Brown, Chykie Brown, and Aaron Williams to the NFL and young players like Carrington Byndom and Quandre Diggs were able to step in relatively seamlessly.
There was some positive buzz around Bryson Echols in fall camp and the expectations have always been high for Adrian Colbert since he committed. Same for the speedy Antwuan Davis. If one of those three has trouble putting it together, it's going to put a significant amount of pressure on younger players or less heralded recruits to step into that void, which is why landing an early-impact player like Adams would be so huge for this class.
Adams, however, looks headed for Florida at this time and has said repeatedly that he's looking for early playing time, which the Gators can offer and the Longhorns cannot to the same extent, even though there will be two starting position open next year. The versatile prospect would be a perfect replacement for Phillips, who is asked to handle a variety of tasks for the Longhorns right now.
Maybe Duane Akina can pull that one off at the last second and some more success on the field would go a long way towards that, as Adams has always said in the past that how Texas plays this year would impact his decision.