The Texas Longhorns made a move on West Mesquite tight end Donte Coleman on Tuesday morning, extending an offer to the versatile hybrid player:
Targeting the former wide receiver who made the the move to tight end in 2014 makes sense because he has the size to grow into an in-line tight end at 6'4 and 220 pounds and he has a nice blend of pass-catching skills and blocking experience along the line.
What doesn't make as much sense is the timing of the offer -- Coleman committed to the Texas Tech Red Raiders over the weekend. New tight ends coach Jeff Traylor has only been on the job for less than six weeks now, but the offer continues a trend of the Longhorns entering tight end recruitments at less than ideal times.
Since Texas is trailing for or hasn't offered the top several tight end prospects in the state, it will once again be an uphill battle to land a talented player at the position.
At the Dallas The Opening regional camp, Coleman spoke about the need to find the right fit in an offense that would allow him to play multiple roles. He felt that he found that in Lubbock, but Texas can also sell him on playing a similar role in Austin, as the staff did with 2015 signee Devonaire Clarington.
A consensus three-star prospect, Coleman is rated as the No. 985 prospect overall, the No. 36 tight end, and the No. 130 player in Texas. Since he plays a position of major need, however, he has much greater value to the Red Raiders and other programs than his pure rankings would suggest, which is why he held offers from the likes of Arizona State, California, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, TCU, and Washington, among others.
BON's Jonathan Wells evaluated Coleman when he took his look at the top junior tight end prospects in the state:
He shows good speed and the potential to be a very good route-runner. As a blocker, his junior highlights show him blocking defensive backs and linebackers more often than him taking on defensive ends one-on-one, but he doesn't so much block inside linebackers as explode into them when they don't have their head on a swivel. By the time he has filled out he should be much stronger and more physically prepared to take on college linemen and linebackers at the point of attack, and he already shows the requisite aggressiveness to excel in that area.
West Mesquite head coach Jeff Neil told Wells that he thinks Coleman has "All-World potential" and that the "sky is the limit for what he will become in the coming months." High praise, indeed.
Coleman caught 18 passes for 234 yards and four touchdowns as a junior and looks primed for a breakout senior season since he's now more adjusted to his new position.