The Sunday news that the Texas Longhorns mini camp was open to the media came as a complete surprise to yours truly, though it's questionable whether Texas would have extended a credential to yours truly had I known about it.
In any case, three uncommitted 2014 prospects stood out ($) to 247Sports analyst Jeff Howe and serve as the jumping-off point for a discussion of Texas commitment odds for those players.
The list started with Dallas Skyline defensive end Victor Evans, who surprisingly earned the top spot after measuring in at 225 pounds and reportedly showing the ability to turn the skills that sometimes flashed on film as a junior into more consistent production, which helped bolster his rating by 247Sports. If he has the type of junior season he is capable of producing, aided by his increase in weight, Evans will only continue that ascension.
Texas commitment odds: 95%
Take: Evans may take a couple of visits before making his decision, including to Michigan State, but the Longhorns are the favorite and this prediction percentage is even lower than the 247Sports Crystal Ball, in which every analyst as Texas as the eventual winner in the Evans sweepstakes. It's possible a visit could change his mind, but right now it doesn't seem likely, as much as the recruiting process is becoming a whirlwind for a player who was underrecruited until recently.
Then there's San Antonio Roosevelt cornerback Arrion Springs, the kid who was still upset last summer over the Texas win over USC in 2005 and has planned to go out of state all along, but was willing to work out for Texas and has received the full DBU sales pitch from defensive back coach Duane Akina, which has at least given the 'Horns a fighting chance.
Texas commitment odds: 10%
Take: Unless heavy sanctions come down on Oregon, his current favorite and likely destination pending a summer visit, or Springs decides that he needs to take a visit to Florida State, which recently offered him, Texas is still on the outside looking in at the end in all likelihood. Still, mad props to Akina for his efforts, even if they end up for nothing.
At one point, it looked like Arlington Bowie safety/outside linebacker Edwin Freeman had fallen off the Texas radar as contact decreased with the longtime Texas fan after he received his offer last August. Then interest picked back up again and the 'Horns put themselves in strong position, in part because the 212-pounder liked the school so much growing up, but also because Akina kept whispering sweet nothings into his ear about playing safety when it was becoming increasingly obvious that Freeman will end up as a hybrid player in college. Another smooth move by the architect of DBU.
Texas commitment odds: 90%
Take: This is higher than the current industry projection from the Crystal Ball. TCU is still a threat, no doubt, especially because former Bowie head coach Kenny Perry took a personnel job on Gary Patterson's staff, but that would seem to be the only reason to predict the Horned Frogs to come out on top in his recruitment.
Those three players hardly represent all the uncommitted targets for the 'Horns, including the two most important in Lewisville Hebron safety Jamal Adams and Coppell defensive end Solomon Thomas, but they do provide an interesting snapshot into how the class could progress in the not-so-distant future -- two likely additions and an opportunity completely manufactured out of nothing by Duane Akina.