December 12 was already a big official visit date for the Texas Longhorns and it just got a little bit bigger with the news from Horns247 that LSU Tigers tight end commit Jamal Pettigrew will be in Austin next weekend.
The New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine product has long been on the Texas radar and visited for the Under the Lights camp in July, but it was unclear whether the Longhorns would be able to get him back on campus before National Signing Day, making the news of his official visit a significant development.
Pettigrew committed to LSU in January of 2015 but kept the door ever so barely cracked in his recruitment despite the ties to his home-state school.
One advantage Texas has is the presence of defensive line coach Brick Haley, who visited Pettigrew several days ago and has been familiar with him since his time in Baton Rouge. Connections to the Bayou State have helped the Longhorns reel in two key defensive pledges from Louisiana already.
With the Friday report that 2015 signee Devonaire Clarington and Texas have parted ways, Pettigrew has become an even more important target as a pass-catching tight end who could fill the role Clarington was expected to occupy in Austin.
The 6'6, 229-pound Pettigrew is a consensus four-star prospect ranked as the No. 211 recruit overall, the No. 7 tight end, and the No. 12 player in the state of Louisiana, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He holds 15 total offers, but the Longhorns currently appear to be the major contender to flip him from the Tigers. Texas already holds a commitment from New Orleans (La.) Brother Martin tight end Peyton Aucoin, but since he's primarily a blocking specialist, position coach Jeff Traylor would like to add a receiving threat to complement Aucoin's blue-collar work.