In a surprising turn of events, Hookem.com, the Texas 247Sports affiliate, is reporting on Wednesday evening that the Longhorns are no longer recruiting 2013 Sealy athlete Ricky Seals-Jones ($), the future collegiate wide receiver who injured his knee last week, but is still considered one of the top prospects in the country.
The report was confirmed through multiple sources roughly an hour later by Orangebloods.
The cousin of former NFL star Eric Dickerson, also a Sealy native, Seals-Jones dislocated his kneecap in a game televised on ESPNU last Thursday, but conventional wisdom held that it would not impact his recruitment. The reports did not specify why Texas has stopped recruiting RSJ.
Seals-Jones said recently that he was planning on taking unofficial visits to Texas, Texas A&M, and LSU, and official visits to Oregon, USC, and unspecified other schools. When those trips will happen is not clear.
From the Texas perspective, the history of Mack Brown and his staff holding onto injured players who are committed, as in the case of Garrett Greenlea, whose pledge was honored despite his ACL injury. Brown also made the promise to Jake Raulerson when he committed.
Obviously, it's different if a player is uncommitted, but the unpopularity of such a move wouldn't play well with coaches or other prospects. It just doesn't make sense for a variety of reasons.
That leaves several other options. Fan no doubt have the imagination to start working through some options. Based on history, Brown in the past has not liked to deal with some long recruitments that involve a handful of other schools. It was a frustrating tendency and that thought after the last recruiting cycle was that the staff as a whole was being more patient in such instances.
It may not have been with one of the top players in the country.
With Phoenix (AZ) Brophy Prep wide receiver Devon Allen set to take an official visit in the next several weeks, and Prosper wide receiver Torii Hunter, Jr. having taken an unofficial last weekend with Jake Raulerson, there are other targets emerging on the board. Texas offering both in the near future would make sense with the move to stop recruiting Seals-Jones.
The lack of offers for both up to this point could suggest that the Longhorns only wanted to take one more receiver all along and were only willing to wait for Seals-Jones up to a point. A point that was reached and passed. Perhaps the staff had already known, but it's also possible that they did not know until he revealed it publicly that RSJ was planning on taking as many as eight visits before making his decision.
The thing is, even if Texas lands Allen or THJ or both, can this class really still be a Dream Team without Ricky Seals-Jones? Doesn't feel like one.