Days after picking up an offer from the Texas Longhorns at the Sunday minicamp, Killeen Shoemaker defensive Rahssan Thornton committed to the LSU Tigers, according to the New Orleans Time-Picayune and later confirmed by ESPN.
Some time later, Thornton sent out the following tweet:
The 6'4, 225-pounder listed Texas in his top five at the Shoemaker spring game last month despite the fact he didn't hold an official offer from the Horns and even downplayed the significance of the offer coming so late.
"You actually have to earn, earn that one," he told Horns Digest. "Not just on the field but as a person too. The coaches want to see who you are as a person. You have to hang around the program for a good little bit and get to know the coaches before they offer just like any other college. It's like a family thing basically.
"When they take their time and analyze you it shows that they really care."
Even so, and despite some definite affinity for Texas head coach Charlie Strong, Thornton's opporutnity to commit to his home-state school of LSU, which he called his "dream school," was simply too much to pass up. The camp even helped out Texas, it just wasn't enough:
But was that really the case? Thornton told Shea Dixon of Geaux247 that he committed to LSU last Thursday.
In any case, in pledging to the Tigers, the consensus three-star prospect became the second weakside defensive end targeted by the Horns to commit to the Tigers in the last week, following Manor's Erick Fowler, who pledged on Saturday.
Texas also recently missed on Louisiana defensive end Caleb Roddy and Louisiana defensive tackle Glenn Logan in recruiting victories won by LSU.
It's abundantly clear that LSU is dominating Texas in The Boot and in the Lone Star State right now. The former is hardly a surprise, as head coach Les Miles traditionally locks down in-state prospects, but it's also worth noting that the Tigers are coming off an 8-4 season that featured a .500 record in the SEC, so the program is hardly tearing it up on the field right now. As a result, the latter is a bit more concerning.
Taken without context, the commitment of a Louisiana native to LSU is hardly a surprise, but in the bigger picture, it represents a continued trend of Texas missing out on key defensive prospects, especially at defensive tackle and the critical Fox end position.
At the latter, the only remaining in-state target is Byron Nelson Trophy Club's Brandon Bowen following the commitments of Fowler and Thornton to LSU and the pledge of Cibolo Steele's Mark Jackson to Texas A&M. The Aggies also hold a pledge from another talented edge rusher in Converse Judson's Alton Robinson, who doesn't hold an offer from the Horns.
With a highly reputable position coach in Brick Haley and a even more reputable head coach in Charlie Strong, there's no reason why landing defensive prospects should be this difficult -- there's been enough time for Strong to build relationships with prospects and high school coaches, he landed star linebacker Malik Jefferson last fall, and he's put a remarkable number of defensive prospects into the NFL.
So what's going on?