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Texas TE Major Tennison schedules Alabama, Michigan visits

The 'Horns are about to deal with the hazards of taking early commitments.

Major Tennison (right) with Texas pledges at the February Junior Day
Major Tennison (right) with Texas pledges at the February Junior Day
via @sehlinger3

Holding on to the commitment of Bullard tight end Major Tennison won't be an easy task for the Texas Longhorns, as the 6'6, 245-pounder has scheduled visits to see the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Michigan Wolverines in coming weeks, according to his 247Sports profile.

News of the visits wasn't exactly surprising, as Tennison has been vocal about his willingness to continue exploring the process as some major national programs have joined his recruitment. A recent Junior Day visit to spend time with area recruiter Jeff Traylor, who would also be his position coach in Austin, and hear the pitch from new offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert helped Tennison feel more comfortable about his decision, but wasn't enough to cause him to shut down the process entirely.

Alabama entered his recruitment just after that Junior Day visit to Austin in late February and will host the consensus three-star prospect on March 11. Then, at the beginning of April, Tennison will travel to Ann Arbor to see Michigan and head coach Jim Harbaugh, who extended an offer back in November.

While both schools are certainly threats to eventually flip the big Bullard product, the Crimson Tide currently loom as the largest concern -- for a program like the Longhorns coming off of numerous disappointing seasons, it's hard to compete with the national champions.

Just look at the recruitment of New Orleans (La.) Brother Martin tight end Irvin Smith late in the 2016 class. Traylor did an excellent job pursuing Smith and even had the help of his teammate, fellow tight end Peyton Aucoin, but there was nothing Traylor or Texas could do when Alabama got serious about landing the pass-catching tight end. Indeed, Smith ended up signing with the Tide over the 'Horns on National Signing Day and there wasn't really any drama in the final moments.

Fortunately for Texas, Tennison has some deep ties to the state as a Texan and to the school as a longtime fan. He did, after all, commit to the Longhorns last fall just after receiving his offer for a reason.

Ultimately, whether or not he remains a key member of the 2017 class may eventually hinge on whether Gilbert can follow through on his promises to feature the tight end position in his offense this fall and whether the program as a whole can show the improvement necessary to convince Tennison that Austin is a better choice than Tuscaloosa or Ann Arbor or wherever else.