There had been growing buzz in recent weeks that 2013 Belton tight end Durham Smythe was having second thoughts about his commitment to Texas, fueled by his absence at the team's football banquet. On Wednesday, news broke there was indeed some fire causing all that smoke, as Hookem.com broke the news that Smythe has decommitted from Texas, according to his head coach.
While Smythe was far from the top prospect in the 2013 class -- he's ranked 56th in the state in the 247Sports composite -- the 6-5, 230-pounder was far more important to the class than his three-star composite ranking would indicate. After all, the Longhorns have been searching for a tight end capable of catching and blocking for years and Smythe looked like the best chance of that finally happening.
For years the strategy at Texas was to take high school wide receivers and turn them into tight ends, a tactic that achieved remarkably little success outside of Jermichael Finley, though the jury is still far from out on redshirt freshman MJ McFarland.
As a natural pass catcher with good speed for his size with experience working as an in-line blocker, Smythe was the most well-rounded tight end prospect Texas had landed in years.
Now the Longhorns are left with only a blocking tighe end in junior college prospect Greg Swaim in the 2013 class and a 2014 class that is currently bereft of any legitimate prospects at the position.
Texas has now lost four commits from the 2013 class, an unusually high number. There's also the increasing possibility that A'Shawn Robinson could become the fifth if his mother does not succeed in keeping him close to home.
As for Smythe's future, he strongly considered Stanford before making his decision, taking a visit out to Palo Alto before pledging to Texas in March. Stanford does already have two tight ends committed among the 10 current pledges in their class. Notre Dame is also a school that was in the mix for Smythe before he pledged.