The long and winding eligibility saga of Texas Longhorns tight end signee Devonaire Clarington will now have to conclude elsewhere, as a Friday Horns247 report indicates that the two sides have decided to go in different directions.
The consensus four-star prospect inked with the Horns as part of the 2015 recruiting class after committing at the US Army All-American game, but was always considered a grade risk. In the end, his transcript was approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse, but his ACT test was flagged, forcing him to retake it.
Here's what has happened since then:
Clarington had worked to earn the test score since August. He came close in a recent attempt in November and planned to take a high school core requirement in order to boost his overall GPA to an acceptable level to pair with his latest exam score, but it appears the Longhorns were ready to move on.
The loss is a significant one for Texas, as the Longhorns have long been searching for a tight end with the game-breaking receiving ability possessed by the 6'5, 238-pounder, who often worked as a wide receiver in high school. Capable of stretching the field vertically and winning jump balls in the red zone, Clarington has an impressive skill set that will make him appealing to other major programs if he can gain his eligibility.
Now Texas will seemingly have to find that potential elsewhere, whether it's injured sophomore Blake Whiteley, an uncommitted 2016 prospect, or 2017 commit Major Tennison of Bullard.
If Clarington and the Longhorns have indeed parted ways, it's a disappointing final chapter for the heralded group of five Florida prospects who sounded intent on changing the Texas program when they committed over a stretch from December into January.
Safety Tim Irvin was the first attrition, as his longtime relationship with former Florida defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson led him to Auburn. Then wide receiver Gilbert Johnson was never able to qualify out of prep school and linebacker Cecil Cherry, the leader of the group, transferred to South Florida after participating in only three practices.
The only remaining member of the group is cornerback Davante Davis, who quickly emerged as a starter this season. A physical and steady tackler with 29 stops on the year, as well as seven pass break ups and an interception, Davis looks like a longtime contributor and potential All-Conference player if he fulfills his significant upside.
Overall, the 2015 class still provides most of the optimism for the program moving forward, but with the defections of four of the Florida Five and lone defensive tackle signee Du'Vonta Lampkin, Strong's first full class is not nearly what it could have been.