College coaches aren't allowed to mention recruits by name until they sign a National Letter of Intent or financial aid agreement with the school, but that didn't stop several Texas Longhorns assistant coaches from surreptitiously shouting out several key targets on Thursday.
So want to know which prospects the Longhorns coaches covet in the 2016 recruiting class? Recent Twitter activity provides some insight:
Need those Hand "Cuffs", in ATX pic.twitter.com/nuxYQZK6f9— Christopher M Vaughn (@CoachVaughn_DBU) September 24, 2015
That would be Waco cornerback Eric Cuffee, the shutdown cornerback for the Lions. Landing Southlake Carroll cornerback Obi Eboh recently reduced the pressure for the Horns to close with Cuffee, but the nation's No. 25 cornerback still remains the No. 1 target at his position.
Baylor and TCU were in a strong position early, but there's much less consensus now with the 6'0, 188-pounder who has been in Austin numerous times in 2015, including for the Cal game last weekend, and also saw the Horns fall to the Fighting Irish in South Bend.
The first recipient of Thursday's first shoutout from Vaughn wasn't exactly hard to identify:
Shout out to that Bigtime DL on the Westside! Hook'em— Christopher M Vaughn (@CoachVaughn_DBU) September 24, 2015
Of course, that's Houston Westside defensive tackle Jordan Elliott, one of the few uncommitted targets at his position. Texas needs a game-changer there in the 2016 class and Elliott unquestionably has that ability, as he recorded 31 tackles for loss and 12 sacks during his breakout junior season in 2014.
"Jacked" up about a Ram!!! pic.twitter.com/QOGS9bHOOW— Christopher M Vaughn (@CoachVaughn_DBU) September 24, 2015
The Alief Elsik Ram targeted by this tweet is linebacker Dontavious Jackson, a player who some consider to essentially be a silent commit. With recent injuries and attrition at the position, Texas needs a study middle linebacker who is capable of beating blocks and Jackson fits that profile as a physical 6'2, 240-pounder.
Jackson isn't the only Houston-area linebacker on the Texas radar:
Shout out to that "Dude"!!! pic.twitter.com/kqVNfnme6z— Christopher M Vaughn (@CoachVaughn_DBU) September 24, 2015
That's Aldine Davis linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch. Known as the Shark because of his relentlessness tracking down his prey, McCulloch was a Texas lean early in the process who is now seriously considering Texas A&M. Wtih the pass rush lacking so severely at the moment, finding someone to make plays off the edge is a significant priority in 2016 and McCulloch is that guy unless the Horns can flip Manor's Erick Fowler from LSU.
Of course, recruiting doesn't stop once a player commits, so Vaughn was sure to send this tweet out to a talented wide receiver:
We "Trend'N" in Central Texas! Shout out to the Kid!!!!— Christopher M Vaughn (@CoachVaughn_DBU) September 24, 2015
Vaughn is referring to record-setting Navasota wide receiver Tren'Davian Dickson, the former Baylor pledge who is now a part of the talented group of pass-catching pledges for Texas.
It wasn't just Vaughn, though, as linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary took the opportunity to share his connection with a key target who is also Haitian American:
That's North Mesquite offensive tackle Jean Delance, one of the few remaining uncommitted tackles with an offer from Texas. At the moent, it seems the Horns are holding off the Aggies, so maybe that Haiti connection is paying off. By the way, "sak passe" is Haitian Creole for "what's happening."
Will any of these shout outs ultimately change a recruit's mind? Probably not, but in recruiting, ever little thing matters.