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Texas Longhorns sign three JUCO prospects

The Longhorns will have some help arriving in January from the junior college ranks.

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Three pieces of the of the 2015 recruiting class for the Texas Longhorns fell into place on Wednesday, which is Signing Day for mid-term enrollees from those ranks.

Navarro College offensive tackle Tristan Nickelson, East Mississippi CC offensive tackle Brandon Hodges, and Navarro College defensive end Quincy Vasser all signed their binding National Letters of Intent and will enroll at Texas in January to prepare for spring practice.

2015 juco signees

Texas athletics

Nickelson is a massive prospect at 6'8.5 and 319 pounds who is ranked as a consensus two-star prospect, the No. 200 junior college player nationally, the No. 26 junior college player nationally, and the No. 22 junior college player in the state of Texas.

A commitment from Iowa State didn't last long, as he picked up an offer from Texas during an unofficial visit for the West Virginia game and ended his recruitment the same day. He also held offers from Louisiana-Monroe and North Texas.

Formerly a member of the 2013 recruiting class, Nickelson went to prep school before attending Navarro and will have four years to play three seasons. Since he's considered a raw prospect, it's unlikely that he'll be able to contribute early, but his pure size could be a good fit in the man/gap blocking schemes that Texas was running a lot towards the end of the regular season.

Not many players that size could play left tackle, but even though Nickelson is around 320 pounds, he's an extremely lean prospect, a fact that aids his mobility.

Hodges, on the other hand, is much more likely to contribute early and could compete for the starting left tackle job as soon as he arrives, as his pass protection is a strength right now.

A 6'5, 295-pounder, Hodges earned a fourth star from Scout on Wednesday, enough to make him a consensus three-star prospect. The boost makes him the No. 65 junior college player nationally, the No. 13 offensive tackle in junior college, and the No. 24 junior college player in the state of Mississippi.

An offer from Texas in September helped jump-start the recruitment of Hodges, who eventually chose the Longhorns in mid-December after visiting for the TCU game, despite the fact that he had picked up an offer from home-state Mississippi State in November.

Louisville, South Florida, Georgia State, Illinois, Kentucky, Oklahoma State, Southern Miss, Texas State, and Western Kentucky had also extended offers.

Vasser could be the most important piece for next season if Hodges isn't able to win a starting job -- at 6'4 and 272 pounds, he has a similar build to outgoing defensive end Cedric Reed and similar aptitude for stopping the run, though he's also a strong athlete.

Basically, he's a perfect fit as a defensive end capable of playing inside tackles in the three-down looks that Texas preferred to stop spread offenses through the second half of the season.

The highest-rated of the three junior college prospects, Vasser is a consensus three-star prospect on the verge of a fourth star from 247Sports. The No. 55 prospect in the junior college ranks, he's the No. 5 strongside defensive end and the No. 6 junior college player in the state of Texas.

After a visit to Austin in early December, Vasser decommitted from Georgia, the school to which he had been pledged since April, then flipped his pledge to the Longhorns in short order.

He also held an offer from Maryland.

let's ride