As classes get underway in Austin, there's not much happening on campus for the Texas Longhorns right now, except for a huge official visit from Baylor Bears offensive tackle Patrick Hudson that is reportedly spanning three days.
By all accounts, the Silsbee product and No. 2 offensive tackle in Texas arrived at some point on Tuesday, but if it's true that he is staying until Thursday, his time in Austin represents a tremendous opportunity for the staff to sell the campus, city, and future of the program with no other visitors distracting from that sales pitch.
The most key character in the proceedings is new offensive line coach Matt Mattox, who has already drawn rave reviews from recruits after his first visit weekend in burnt orange. Where former offensive line coach Joe Wickline reportedly wasn't engagedand struggled to properly motivate his players, Mattox takes a much different approach.
"I am always trying to be encouraging and help out," Mattox said at his introductory press conference. "There is obviously time when it's time to get things done and time to get things right. They know you are going to love them hard, and you are going to be fair to them."
More than that, Mattox actually likes recruiting.
"At the end of the day, you know, when you get in a room with 17- and 18-year old kids and you're talking about football, that's what I'm comfortable doing and that's what you're used to doing."
The status quo with Wickline likely wasn't going to be enough to convince Hudson to flip, but it's possible that having a much more personable position coach and combining that with the recent momentum generated on the recruiting trail could make a significant impression on the longtime Baylor pledge.
However, other than Hudson's loyalty to the Bears, the Horns will have to overcome the recent history of success by offensive linemen in Waco -- after Spencer Drango hears his name called in the 2016 NFL Draft, he'll be the eighth offensive lineman drafted out of Baylor in the last seven years. By comparison, Texas hasn't had an offensive lineman drafted since 2008.
The vast difference in ability to develop NFL linemen was a major factor in the decision of Copperas Cove offensive tackle JP Urquidez, who grew up a Texas fan in a family full of Texas fans, but committed to Baylor last summer.
Whichever way it goes, it's relatively surprising that the Longhorns even have a chance with Hudson, and to get him on campus, possibly for parts of three days, is a major development.
Texas also has a little less in-state competition right now, it appears, as Hudson won't visit Texas A&M next weekend as previously planned, but will take an official visit to Georgia before traveling to Arkansas the weekend before National Signing Day.
The consensus four-star prospect is ranked as the No. 32 player nationally, the No. 3 offensive tackle, and the No. 5 player in the state of Texas, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. Texas currently holds four offensive line pledges in the 2016 class, but only 2016 Under Armour All-American Jean Delance projects as a pure offensive tackle at the college level.
[Update]: Here are some pics of Hudson on his visit:
Good Times with @pathud20 pic.twitter.com/bZ3NQnkf6I— #ChosenOne (@Peti___) January 20, 2016
@pathud20 pic.twitter.com/4j1TswZFT5— #ChosenOne (@Peti___) January 19, 2016
January 20, 2016
#HookEm Good Times pic.twitter.com/KOS4qP3MD6— #ChosenOne (@Peti___) January 21, 2016