Offensive line recruiting in the 2016 continues to present difficulties for the Texas Longhorns, as Arlington Lamar offensive guard Chris Owens committed to the Alabama Crimson Tide on Wednesday morning:
The 6'3, 312-pounder picked up an offer from Texas in early March and visited Austin in early April, but a weekend visit to Tuscaloosa impressed Owens enough to give his pledge to head coach Nick Saban:
This Alabama visit was outta this world.— SwiftCat (@ChrisOwens00) April 20, 2015
News seemingly began to leak out about the impending decision from Owens during the morning, as several predictions for the Crimson Tide came into his Crystal Ball in the hours before his official announcement on Twitter.
Missing on the Lamar product comes as a disappointment, since the Horns were thought to be in a strong position With Owens following the offer to the consensus four-star prospect and top-10 offensive guard because of his longtime friendship with teammate and Texas quarterback pledge Shane Buechele.
However, as is the case with many package deals, when Owens found the situation he considered the right fit, his plans to play with Buechele fell by the wayside as he made the best decision for himself.
Other than the connection that didn't end up benefitting the Longhorns, failing to secure a commitment from Owens means that yet another in-state offensive lineman is off the board -- four of the top five prospects in Texas are now pledged to other programs, with North Mesquite's Jean Delance, the former Oklahoma Sooners commit, the lone exception.
As a result, the pressure is on offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Joe Wickline to evaluate well in this cycle, because it appears that many of the top in-state linemen aren't coming to Texas.