Under former head coach Mack Brown, the Texas Longhorns would meander nonchalantly towards National Signing Day, occasionally adding a few late prospects or pulling in the a rare haul in the final days like five-star recruits Jordan Hicks and Jackson Jeffcoat in 2010.
But this cycle is completely different than anything Texas fans have ever seen in the modern era, as head coach Charlie Strong has put his program in position for a potentially incredible finish.
With the recommitment of Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln John Burt on Monday, the Horns generated some tangible recruiting momentum for the first time in several weeks following a handful of decommitments.
Now it's time for the final stretch run and there's some significant hype about it coming from some current members of the 2015 class.
Among the other impressive qualities about early enrollee Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson, his social media acumen is unsurprisingly quite significant as well. His Monday afternoon offering hit a perfect pitch:
Everybody is coming home soon. Has a nice sound to it, no?
Earlier in the day, defensive end commit Charles Omenihu set the number of remaining spots before following up with yet another tease:
7 more— Charles #⃣7⃣ (@charless_94) January 26, 2015
This will go down in history #NSD2K15...— Charles #⃣7⃣ (@charless_94) January 26, 2015
Since Texas has only had three National Signing Day commitments in the last 15 years or so, there's no question that Omenihu could easily be right. If it all comes together, though, it could be a truly sensational finish.
Here's the current timeline:
Friday, January 30
Gilmer cornerback Kris Boyd and Houston Lamar cornerback Holton Hill -- Boyd revealed on Monday evening that he and Boyd will announce together at some point on Friday, though the time is not yet set. Considering that the two are close and have taken official visits together both of the last weekends to Texas and then Texas A&M, respectively, it stands to reason that both of them will commit to the same school.
The Aggies haven't always been in great position with either of them recently. It was way back in late November, but when Hill released his top five, the Aggies didn't make the cut. Can a late official visit after the hire of John Chavis be enough to swing Hill away from a defensive-minded coach who needs cornerbacks?
For Boyd, other than the allure of playing with Hill in college, the fact that his younger brother Demarco still doesn't hold an offer from A&M has to loom large in his recruitment, especially because the 2016 linebacker listed Texas as his top school in recent days. Demarco tried to distance himself from his brother's decision at the same time, but is anyone really buying that right now?
The presence of Boyd's former teammate Josh Walker at A&M helps the Aggies, but in a situation where most of their peers who once looked destined for College Station could now end up in Austin, are they going to surprise most observers by picking A&M?
The guess here is no.
Allen quarterback Kyler Murray -- The tentative early in-home dates for this week with Murray goes A&M on Thursday and Texas on Friday. Like everything else in this situation, those dates may be fluid, but the current indications are that Texas head coach Charlie Strong and his staff will get the final word with Murray ahead of what could be a weekend decision or early-week decision. Right now, conventional wisdom is that a final choice happens before National Signing Day.
Those final in-home visits could be crucial.
January 30-February 1
Miami (Fla.) Booker T Washington cornerback Davante Davis -- He's headed to check things out at Auburn with good friend and former Florida Five member Tim Irvin. He gone? It's quite possible, perhaps even probable. By that point, it may not matter much if Boyd and Hill join the class on Friday.
Miami (Fla.) Killian defensive back Shedrick Redwine -- Once viewed as one of the most likely commits from Florida, having Redwine use his official visit on the final weekend was probably a strategic move by the Horns after it became clear that he was looking like a back-up plan. Since scheduling that trip, the lanky consensus three-star prospect went ahead and reserved himself a spot in the Louisville class.
If Texas ends up needing another defensive back on National Signing Day, Redwine may be there for the taking. One school to watch though is Auburn, as the Tigers extended a late offer and received an official visit right after the dead period ended. Since head coach Gus Malzahn and his staff also have a lot of moving parts, Redwine's offer probably isn't committable right now, but could be on Signing Day, depending on what happens with other prospects.
Before Signing Day
Baton Rouge (La.) University Lab running back Nick Brossette -- The good news for Texas is that the staff will know heading into National Signing Day whether there are one or two spots left at running back since the low-key Brossette wants to get his decision out of the way beforehand. He was on his official visit this weekend and may have a family situation that could keep him closer to home.
There seemed to be a lot of momentum with him since the official visit to Texas launched the Horns into serious contention for his services, but the Tigers getting the last impression could be important. And this is a discussion about a kid who goes to school on the LSU campus leaving Baton Rouge for Austin. Stealing Shiro Davis from Shreveport is one thing. Taking a kid from off the the campus is another.;
Baltimore (Mary.) Gilman quarterback Kai Locksley -- The Florida State commit has apparently grown close with new Texas recommit John Burt in recent weeks, bonded with the other recruits in Austin over the weekend, and really enjoyed his time with Jefferson.
The Longhorns have a significant depth chart advantage with no quarterback currently in the class, which means a better chance that he'll be able to stick at quarterback and develop instead of becoming tempted to move to wide receiver to perhaps see the field quickly.
Since Thursday, Locksley has seemed the most likely of the three quarterbacks on the board at the time to end up in the Longhorns 2015 class.
Rockwall running back Chris Warren -- Fresh off of an official visit to Texas Tech this weekend, Warren will take his fifth visit out to Washington, his most likely out-of-state option. If Nick Brossette doesn't switch his pledge to the Horns before, there should be a spot left for Warren even if Jamabo commits. Though Warren said after the Army Bowl that he won't be too influenced by which players elect to join the Texas class, in the final moments it could definitely matter.
Plano West running back Soso Jamabo -- First, a tip of the hat for Jamabo's troll skills. During a Dallas television appearance on Sunday night, Jamabo jokingly revealed his top two schools:
On Monday, the theme continued with an edit:
I just wanna thank God.. pic.twitter.com/cdnMiGzNQ4— SOMI JaMITCHELL (@Soso_Jamabo1) January 26, 2015
Can't blame the kid for having fun considering how difficult the recruiting process can become.
A key domino with Jamabo is Murray. Getting a switch from the elite passer would be enough for Texas to land Jamabo. If not, then it might be a closer race with UCLA, with the Bruins having a chance to pull off what would probably be less of an upset than Ryan Newsome's tortured Friday decision.
Gladewater defensive tackle Daylon Mack -- He's expected to be in Fort Worth this weekend to see TCU, his last declared leader about a month and a relatively unexpected late contender for his services. The in-home this week for Texas could be extremely important to consolidate momentum before he takes his final visit. That visit is happening on Tuesday with A&M to follow on Wednesday.
Perhaps a bigger key is what happens with other prospects. In the case of Texas landing Boyd and Hill and Kyler Murray, Mack would seem like a likely addition to the class. Start subtracting those guys and the odds start going down.
Cedar Hill wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge -- As with Mack, Lodge hadn't been on the Texas campus for some time, but the visit was an opportunity for him to remember the aspects of the program that appealed to him back when he was considered a Longhorns lean all those many months ago.
Lodge still has an official visit left. Could Texas get him on campus once again? Doing so would be a huge coup. The staff definitely put on the full-court press on Monday, sending a contingent of seven coaches to the Hill to see the state's top wide receiver.
Of all the prospects, Lodge seems the most tied to Murray -- a flip from the Allen star would almost certainly result in Lodge following his friend to Austin, just as he originally followed Murray to College Station. It's hard to completely rule out Ole Miss in any scenario, but if Texas gets Murray, pencil Lodge in.
Murray sticking with Texas A&M likely eliminates Texas from serious contention.
Miami (Fla.) Northwestern cornerback Deandre Baker -- The relatively overlooked South Florida kid who was in Austin last weekend is the longtime Georgia pledge. The simple fact that Baker hasn't really re-affirmed his pledge to the Bulldogs is a good thing. So too was his Sunday statement that the race between the Longhorns and the SEC power is "pretty close right now." If there's a spot left for a cornerback on National Signing Day, it's possible that he could end up in burnt orange.
So, wow. It's almost mind-boggling to have this scenario after so many years of rather boring Signing Days that were occasionally filled with false hope if the day was particularly cruel.
To go back to the thoughts on Murray from Saturday, he's the key domino. If he falls, the dream scenario could well come to pass. If not, Texas has a chance to land a program-changing class, it's just a question of whether it's closer to the edge of the top 10 nationally or battling for a spot in the top 5.
Who's ready to ride?