New Texas target Sebastian Larue at the Under Armour game - Bud Elliott (SB Nation)
Breaking down where Texas stands as the staff tries to close out strong with the 2013 recruiting class.
Texas trying to secure visit from Larue. One member of the wave of recent decommitments from USC is Santa Monica (CA) wide receiver Sebastian Larue, a darty 5-11, 190-pound speed merchant who has been in contact with Texas recently ($).
Now that former target Cameron Echols-Luper has committed to TCU, Larue is the final wide receiver prospect left that Texas is pursuing in an effort to find a replacement for Marquise Goodwin.
The problem will be getting Larue on campus. He's heading to Texas A&M this weekend and Notre Dame the next, while Texas Tech, Washington St., and Miami are all trying to get him to visit on the final weekend before Signing Day. Basically, Texas is in a serious battle just to get him on campus.
A four-star prospect ranked as a consensus top-20 wide receiver in the nation, Larue participated in the 2013 Under Armour All-American game at the start of the month.
Barber newest running back on the board. The Longhorns are trying to get South Plantation (FL) running back Alex Collins on campus, the no. 1 all-purpose back in the country by 247Sports. Collins seems to be down to Miami, Arkansas, and Florida, with official visits scheduled to Miami and Arkansas in the coming weeks. He could visit the weekend before Signing Day, but he seems like an extreme longshot.
Perhaps a more likely alternative, and perhaps the most likely alternative left unless new running back coach Larry Porter has more players he recruited at Arizona St. that Texas might be interested in, is Alpharetta (GA) Milton running back Peyton Barber, a 5-11, 225-pound consensus three-star prospect (ESPN has him as a four-star) who is currently committed to Ole Miss, but had planned an official visit to Tennessee this weekend and one to Miami just before Signing Day.
Because of the Porter connection, Barber will visit Texas this weekend for an official and gives him the tie to the Longhorns that is always so crucial at this stage of the game. Given that he plans to be on campus and Collins has not yet set up a trip, it seems as if the 'Horns have a better shot with Barber, though it would be tough to place odds on how likely the Georgia product is to flip.
What does Barber bring to the table? Well, at between 220 and 225 pounds, he's not going to be a home-run threat like Daje Johnson, notably getting caught by a defender with an angle just as he crossed the goalline on one long run.
What makes Barber so effective is that he runs behind his pads, gets his legs churning on contact, has a solid stiffarm, and has good feet to jump and slide cut to find holes and doesn't waste any time hitting them. A one-cut runner who doesn't try to cut things back against the grain, he should be a reliable back capable of maximizing runs in college.
Decision could come from Desmond Harrison this week. The Contra Costa offensive tackle is the final target along the offensive line for Texas, though the staff is ready to pounce on Baylor commit Rami Hammad if Harrison opts for Arizona St. or USC, his other two finalists ($) -- it seems as if Oklahoma has fallen out of the running, not USC, as was once thought. Each of those three schools will visit Harrison at the end of the week, with a decision expected soon after.
Texas has the advantage of Harrison having spent time in the Houston area as a youngster, while Arizona St. has signed Harrison's close friend at Contra Costa, Demetrius Cherry, a three-star defensive lineman. If it comes down to having a good chance of starting, Arizona St. may have the advantage over Texas -- while the 'Horns would allow Harrison to compete for a starting job, the Sun Devils can essentially offer the starting right tackle job to Harrison, as it is currently vacant. At USC, the situation is even less appealing than Texas, as every member of the three-deep at both tackle positions will return next season.
Call Texas the leader in terms of familiarity with the state, but Arizona St. the slight but significant leader in opportunity and familiarity with Harrison's connection to two former Contra Costa teammates heading to the metro Phoenix area.
The latest on De'Vondre Campbell. Despite the snafu from the Hutchinson CC PR staff, the Longhorns have appeared to be in good shape to land the rangy linebacker prospect for the last several weeks. That may have changed ($) after Campbell went out to Manhattan to visit Kansas St. last weekend.
Here's what his linebacker coach relayed about the trip:
He told me that he really enjoyed himself on the visit. He said that right now, he was leaning toward Kansas State, but he wants to take one more visit.
The final destination is not yet clear for Campbell, who has also visited Texas, Minnesota, and Tennessee, the school to which he was formerly committed.
What type of connection does Campbell have to Kansas St.? Besides their previous success with junior college players, his position coach at Hutchinson played there. Has he been an influence in Campbell now saying that he's leaning towards the Wildcats?
He claims that he isn't, and assuming that he is gets into the realm of conspiracy theories, so the bigger factor is probably that KSU is losing four of six players on their linebacker two-deep, while the Longhorns return everyone, including Jordan Hicks. If early playing time is the primary factor for Campbell, who will have four seasons to complete three years of eligibility, the Wildcats will land his services. And won't need the help of his position coach to do so.