The Texas Longhorns held their second Junior Day on Saturday, bringing a handful of top prospects into town, showing them the campus, and allowing them to watch a practice.
In the past, the second Junior Day didn't typically feature many offers offers, as most of the prospects in attendance were still under evaluation from the 'Horns. Other than some of the top prospects in attendance who already received their offers, that was the case again on Saturday.
Here's the breakdown on what went down on a commitment-less Junior Day for the 'Horns.
New offers out
Not counting Terrell Cuney, who may or may not have had an offer entering the event, the Longhorns extended new offers to four players at the event.
New Orleans St. Augustine cornerback Jermaine Roberts, a teammate of five-star running back Leonard Fournette. The 5-9, 175-pounder is a consensus four-star prospect and rated as the . An update from Taylor Hamm at Gigem247 teased that "Texas will be a player" for Roberts.
The cornerback came in with his teammate Joseph Paul, a consensus three-star prospect whose height (6-4) and weight (335 pounds) suggest a college future on the interior of the line. Paul has offers from Florida, Florida State, and Texas A&M, as well as one from the 'Horns, which may have been extended about 10 days ago.
An expected offer to an in-state safety went down as well -- former Clemson commit Dylan Sumner-Gardner, the highly-considered West Mesquite prospect, received his on Saturday, announcing it on his Twitter account moments after his coaches informed the services:
Texas Just Offered # Longhorn #HooKEm— TheRealDylanGardner (@_DGardner10) February 23, 2013
One of the relatively surprising visitors was Oklahoma commit Armanti Foreman, a dynamic slot receiver prospect from Texas City who made it in with his brother D'Onta, who is still looking for his first offer. It's not clear how much interest Foreman has in Texas, but he does have a committable offer now.
Here's what Foreman said about his commitment status:
The word choice of saying that he's with rolling with his pledge to the Sooners "right now" could be significant, as it leaves open the possibility that he could change his mind in the future. Or it could mean nothing.
The 'Horns also continued to target defensive ends in the class, a major need, by extending an offer to Abilene product Jake McMillon, a 6-3, 240-pound weakside prospect who currently holds offer from SMU and Texas State.
Three important visitors didn't make it
Every Junior Day, there are a handful of prospects who don't end up making it to campus, normally for a variety of reasons.
After missing the first Junior Day, Dallas Bishop Dunne offensive tackle Jovan Pruitt decided instead to attend a girls basketball game on Saturday. A strong offer candidate had he made it in, Pruitt will now probably have to visit at some other point this spring or summer to receive his offer.
The Longhorns are moving slowly on offensive linemen after securing the commitment from Demetrius Knox and offering Cuney, so the spot that would be available for Pruitt isn't likely to get filled up, he just needs to get to campus.
The higher-profile visitor who didn't end up making the trip is Louisiana product Leonard Fournette, who ended up having a track meet instead. The Longhorns already have two excellent ball-carriers committed in the class in Daniel Gresham of Fort Worth All Saints and Aldine Eisenhower's Donald Catalon, so Fournette would be a luxury take and the Longhorns considered a longshot even if he had made it to campus. If Fournette does take a trip to Austin at some point, the 'Horns may have a chance, but probably not a strong one even in that scenario.
Brenham cornerback Darrion Johnson had tweeted several days ago about attending, but had a family situation come up that kept him from doing so:
Wish I would have made the Jr day to see @coachakina do his thing.. But family first.. Prolly go in a few weeks— Darrion Martin (@tha_lucky7) February 24, 2013
Kd Cannon makes it to town
One of the question marks heading into the event was whether the elite deep threat from Mount Pleasant would be able to make his way to Austin to see practice, an important first step in convincing him that the Texas offense is a good fit for his immense talent.
Cannon did indeed make it in after visiting Baylor late in the week, though his Twitter feed was rather quiet. He did tweet out this picture:
At Texas twitter.com/IAmTheOne_9/st…— I Am Kd Cannon™ (@IAmTheOne_9) February 23, 2013
Parsing the Twitter feed of recruits on a Junior Day visit isn't always the best way to determine how much they liked it, but it seems worth pointing out that Cannon wasn't throwing his horns up in the picture and wasn't as effusive about his visit to Texas as he was about his trip to Waco, where he said that he was "having fun."
A big deal? Perhaps not, but what may be more significant is the fact that he now has pictures from that trip as his Twitter avatar and cover image. The Bears have been putting in major work with Cannon, perhaps more than the Longhorns, so the sense continues to be that Texas is working to make up ground with him.
If that happened on Saturday, it wasn't apparent from his comments on social media.
CJ Reese really wants to be a Longhorn
One of the longhots to receive an offer on Saturday is San Antonio Madison defensive lineman CJ Reese, who is still looking for his first offer and isn't ranked by 247Sports or the composite by the same service.
Reese shared his thoughts on the visit in the early afternoon:
Going back to the facility , Lunch time now ! Its Been great since I been here ! Still waiting for it tho... #HookEm— Chocolate Drizzle ® (@cj_reese) February 23, 2013
He wasn't shy about sharing his feelings for Texas, either:
Reese plays all along the defensive line and may have the most upside at defensive tackle, but he's only 260 pounds right now, so it appears the Longhorns will remain in evaluation mode with him.
In some ways, the situation is very similar to what happened last spring with another Madison player, Vincent Taylor, the defensive tackle who ended up at Oklahoma State. Taylor never received the offer from Texas that he wanted so much.
The story may end up being different for Reese, but he may have to wait a while for it to happen, especially since the coaches know that they can probably land him whenever they want.
No offer for Alaka, either
Cy Falls linebacker Otaro Alaka is a rangy athlete at his position and a former teammate of 2013 signee Jacorey Warrick. He's also got an impressive offer list and is extremely high on Texas. High enough that he might have committed on the spot or in the next several days had he received an offer from the 'Horns during his visit.
However, the offer didn't happen, so Alaka will have to wait with his offers from schools like Arkansas, Cal, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech, an impressive list now after his recruitment has taken off in recent weeks.
GoHornsGo90 wasn't particularly happy about the 'Horns waiting on pulling the trigger with an offer for Alaka:
No UT offer for LB Otaro Alaka. Who really needs smart 6'3" freak athletes with sick closing speed who like to detonate ball carriers anyway— Blake Borron (@GoHornsGo90) February 23, 2013
No commitment from Cuney, but it could be coming soon
It was rather difficult to tell if Jasper center Terrell Cuney actually had a Texas offer when he visited Austin for the Junior Day, but he definitely did when he left. The lean, mobile prospect hasn't been shy about expressing his fondness for the Longhorns and has called them his leader, a relatively rare decision these days for recruits at this point in the process -- if they have one, they typically prefer to keep it to themselves now.
Cuney was probably the most active prospect on Twitter sending out pictures with various Longhorn luminaries past and present and generally appearing to enjoy his time in Austin.
Me and Vince Young, chillin at practice! twitter.com/TCuney_55/stat…— Terrell Cuney(@TCuney_55) February 23, 2013
A commitment from Cuney didn't happen while at the event, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him shut down his recruitment in favor of the 'Horns in the near future.
Rhetorical question from Washington
The Longhorns extended an offer to Nederland defensive tackle DeShawn Washington during the middle of last week, so he didn't arrive in Austin wondering about if he would leave with an offer.
He also wondered out loud on Twitter, asking a rather rhetorical question:
Holding the Texas offer certainly enables that at some point.
The bigger story with Washington on the day was probably a picture from Instagram he posted on his Twitter feed as well, which showed him with Vince Young in the stadium. In the picture, Washington appears to be about 6-0 tall, but upon closer inspection, it seems that the 6-5 Young is standing on a bit of incline, which causes him to look taller than he is. Washington also measured in at over 6-2 at a recent Next Level event, so the concerns about his actual size were overblown for a moment, but not something to worry about moving forward.
Gresham flies in
Neither All Saints product was expected to make the second Junior Day, but Gresham decided to take matters into his own hands after his ride fell through, securing an airline ticket and flying from the Metroplex down to Austin to take in practice and help with the recruiting efforts.