Note: Mack Brown mentioned during his press conference that the Longhorns only offered 30 scholarships, but the unofficial numbers indicate 34 scholarship offers. Since it's impossible to know which four of these players did not receive a scholarship offer, this post will operate under the assumption that each of these players did receive an offer.
Lache Seastrunk, Temple running back
Destination -- Oregon
What happened – Mack Brown and the Texas coaching staff refused to massage the Temple running back’s ego. Seastrunk and his circus managed somehow to take their clown act to cities across the country, but couldn’t manage to show up on time or sometimes at all to important Texas functions like the summer camp. Having shown little interest in the Texas program and plenty of interest in shenanigans like calling out Nick Saban at Auburn’s illegal little weekend, the Temple running back effectively declared himself persona non grata in Austin. Prior to his commitment to Oregon rumors swirled that virtually all of the major programs stopped recruiting him.
Potential impact – Potential impact on the 2010 Heisman race, as planned? Little to none. Oregon's scheme is, however, an excellent fit for Seastrunk, as Chip Kelly will use him as a change-of-pace back in the outside zone and on jet sweeps. Seastrunk's shenanigans aside, if Texas ran the same running scheme as Oregon, which would be greatly beneficial, it's possible that he would have been more interested in providing the Longhorns with a home-run threat out of the backfield.
Sting rating – 0 of 10. Five is the baseline. +1 for Texas needing a home-run threat. +1 for elite talent. -7 for his ridiculous ego and shenanigans.
Destination -- Texas A&M
What happened – The rumor du jour surrounding Matthews’ recruitment is that his Hall-of-Fame father took one look at some combination of the coaching, blocking scheme, and overall running game philosophy at Texas and decided it was not a fit for his son. In reality, A&M’s proximity to the family’s Houston-area home and the presence of Jake’s older brother Kevin on the Aggie roster probably sealed the deal, with MIke Sherman's experience in the NFL and coaching the offensive line providing added reason to head to College Station.
Potential impact – Texas fails to secure two or more top-level tackle prospects in 2010 for whatever reason and injuries take a toll on the limited depth at the position in 2011, resulting in a catastrophic loss of depth. Think a guy like Chris Hall playing all five positions (terribly) in one game and Colt – insert Gilbert – running for his life. Meanwhile, Matthews helps anchor a much-improved Aggie offensive line in College Station under the tutelage of the Sherminator and the Aggies once again become relevant.
Sting rating – 9 of 10. Five is the baseline. +1 for his pedigree. +1 for losing him to the Aggies. +1 for concerns that Sherman could get more from Matthews than Texas ever could. +1 for desperately needing not only depth, but a difference-maker at tackle.
Corey Nelson, Skyline linebacker
Destination -- Oklahoma
What happened – When Nelson initially made his commitment to Texas A&M, he spoke about the chance for early playing time and the opportunity to lead the Aggies back to prominence. Despite signing his texts to recruiting services as "Mr. A&M," Nelson began looking around towards the end of the process, even getting in contact with the Texas coachigns taff aboutt he possibility of taking an official visit to Austin. It never materialized, as the Longhorn staff reportedly told him there was no room. Then, days before he was to sign with the Aggies, reports surfaced that he was headed to Norman, reports that were eventually denied. However, Nelson did sign his Letter of Intent to become an Oklahoma Sooner on Signing Day, keeping the Aggies from having the ability to pursue another linebacker. Way to flip Sherman and company the bird on the way out, Mr. A&M.
Potential impact – Nelson helps establish a Skyline pipeline to Norman and terrorizes Texas offenses with his speed and range. Extremely talented and athletic, Nelson has the skills to be an effective spread linebacker, but must work on his strength and ability to fight off blocks at the point of attack.
Sting rating – 0 of 10. Five is the baseline. +1 for his elite speed and range. +1 for the importance of the Skyline connection. -1 for Mike Davis’ commitment and the presence of Christian Scott. -5 for the commitments of Aaron Benson, Jordan Hicks, and Tevin Jackson.
Torrea Peterson, San Antonio East Central
Destination -- Oklahoma
What happened – The Longhorns were intent on securing three defensive tackles in the class and offered both Ashton Dorsey and Peterson at the second Junior Day in hopes that one of them would become the third commitment at the position. Dorsey committed soon after and Texas and Peterson essentially mutually parted ways at that point.
Potential impact – None, unless one or two of the Texas commits at the position sustain career-ending injuries or wash out academically.
Sting rating -- 1 of 10. Five is the baseline. -4 because he’s just not that good.
Trovon Reed, Thibodaux (LA) wide receiver
Destination -- Auburn
What happened – Not only friends with, but also, it could be said, in cohoots with Seastrunk and one of the members of the so-called “three-ring circus.” ‘Nuff said.
Potential impact – None. Mack Brown got the receivers he really wanted.
Sting rating – 0 of 10. Five is the baseline. -5 for associating with Seastrunk.
DeAndrew White, Galena Park North Shore wide receiver
Destination -- Alabama
What happened – Texas was too late and Alabama probably represents a better opportunity. It’s entirely possible that there was some lingering resentment over the lateness of his offer and having missed out on one at the Junior Day.
Potential impact – The question of how the speedy White would have fit into the recruiting class even before D-Money’s commitment
Sting rating – 1 of 10. Five is the baseline. -3 for the commitments of Darius White and Mike Davis late in the process. -1 for Chris Jones having such a similar skill set.
Aaron Franklin, Marshall linebacker
Destination -- Oklahoma
What happened – The Texas coaching staff is famous for building strong relationships with recruits and helping them feel like a part of the family, a relationship that takes time to build. Unfortunately for the Longhorns, the Sooner staff had spent more time cultivating that relationship and Texas was relatively late to his recruitment due to the ACL injury that kept him out of most of his junior season. Muschamp grew extremely fond of Franklin at the Texas summer camp and that resulted in a late offer, but the lateness of the recruitment kept him from choosing his childhood favorite.
Potential impact – Franklin certainly has the ability to contribute at the college level, but it may take several years for him to do so. Given the quality of the Texas class at linebacker, there should be few ripples felt from the loss of Franklin, even if he turns out to be a rotation player at Oklahoma.
Sting rating -- 0 out of 10. Five is the baseline. +1 for his range and speed. -3 for the commitments of Aaron Benson, Jordan Hicks, and Tevin Jackson. -3 because there may not have been room for Hicks had Franklin committed to Texas.
Ahmad Dixon, Waco Midway safety (de-committed)
Destination -- Baylor
What happened – Call him Mr. Flip Flop Flipper. Dixon de-committed three times after his initial commitment to the Longhorns, committing to Baylor after dropping his Texas commitment, then jumping on the Lane Kiffin bandwagon before pulling off his first re-commitment when he returned to Baylor.
Potential impact – Early buzz that Dixon was one of the best safety prospects to come out of the state in years died later in the process and some observers questioned his work ethic, but safety was a need before Earl Thomas left for the NFL and began an even bigger need after he did so. If the Longhorns don't find a playmaking safety in the 2009 or 2010 class
Sting rating – 5 of 10. Five is the baseline. +1 because of his immense talent. +1 because of the loss of Earl Thomas. +1 because of having missed out on Kevin Brent and Craig Loston. -1 for his de-commitments and eventual re-commitment. -2 for joining the three-ring cirucs.
Ross Apo, Arlington Oakridge wide receiver (de-committed)
Destination -- BYU
What happened – The appeal of playing with highly-touted quarterback Jake Heaps at BYU was too much for Apo to pass up in the end. Both of the de-commits did perhaps pull the trigger too early and eventually regretted their decisions. For Apo, proximity to his mother in California was also a major factor and it’s also a possibility that he and his family became concerned about the possible distractions present in Austin that are not so pronounced in staid Provo.
Potential impact – Had the Longhorns not landed Mike Davis, Darius White, and DeMarco Cobbs, the loss of Apo could have stung following the departures of Brandon Collins and Dan Buckner for disciplinary reasons. As it is, both Apo and the Longhorns likely benefited from his decommitment.
Sting rating -- Zero out of 10. Five is the baseline. +1 because of his deceptive combination of size and speed. -1 because he might not have been happy in Austin. -5 because of the commitments of all the other talented receivers -- there may not have been room for Mike Davis had Apo kept his commitment.