Set aside those concerns about the Texas Longhorns waiting too long and not pursuing enough tight end prospects -- new position coach Jeff Traylor extended no fewer than four offers at the position on Wednesday evening.
All in a flurry, the number of tight ends offered by the Horns in the 2016 class more than doubled from three to seven, as New Orleans (La.) Brother Martin tight ends Austin Aucoin and Irvin Smith both picked up offers, as did Aurora (Colo.) Regis Jesuit's Jack Stoll and Texas A&M commit Zarrian Holcombe of Humble Summer Creek:
I'm very excited that my talents were recognized by a big program again. Just received an offer from The University Of Texas #Hookem— Optimus Prime♏ (@ZarrianJk) April 9, 2015
Fired up to say that I've received my sixth offer from the Texas Longhorns! pic.twitter.com/pKgidth9F8— Jack Stoll (@StollJack) April 9, 2015
Holcombe is the best prospect of the group -- Smith is the only other prospect from the group rated by 247Sports. A high three-star recruit rated as the No. 15 tight end nationally, Holcombe committed to Texas A&M on the spot after picking up an offer during an unofficial visit in early March, subsequently taking in a Junior Day shortly thereafter.
Hardly under the radar with offers from Missouri, Oregon, and Washington, is Holcombe willing to reconsider his quick pledge to A&M? That is the question.
The good news for Texas is that the Horns are getting in early with each of the other prospects -- with none of them currently committed, Traylor won't have to convince Irvin, Smith, or Stoll to reconsider a previously-given commitment, just consider the Horns along with other offers.
Even better, Stoll's best offers are from Nevada and Wyoming, Smith's best offers from Arizona State, and Miami, and Aucoin's best offers from Arizona State and North Carolina State. Instead of waiting and allowing prospects to commit to other programs, the Horns are finally pro-active in the tight end recruiting process in the efforts to land players at a need position in every cycle.
When assessing the magnitude of that change, consider that Texas only made two tight end offers in 2013, the last time that a truly under-the-radar offer went out to Geoff Swaim, even with a distinct lack of in-state options in that cycle. In 2012, the total number of offers extended was zero. Going back even further, the 2010 and 2011 classes featured a combined two offers. So, from 2010-2013, the total number was four. Four. In four cycles.
That didn't work out. Shocker. But that's all a digression in hopes of providing context.
It's changing. Traylor is actually doing his job. The staff as a whole will continue to recruit the guys from this group that they truly want until National Signing Day next February. Those efforts should ensure that the Horns actually have numbers at a position that helps a physical running game hum and could even result in Texas inking tight ends who can make plays in the passing game.