After an impressive summer circuit, the Texas Longhorns officially jumped into the mix for Houston Westfield shooting guard Jase Febres with a July 30 offer. Only four days later, the 6’5, 180-pound wing visited the 40 Acres and within two weeks, Febres trimmed his list of 23 offers to five Tuesday night; a cut the ‘Horns survived.
Out of the 23 programs pursuing Febres, why was Texas among the only five still in contention, despite the late offer? As Febres told Burnt Orange Nation, there are several factors that played into his decision.
"They really give off a family vibe and environment,” Febres told BON of why he included Texas in his top five. "The coaching staff is great, the players are cool also."
As has become common with Texas’ prospect’s interest in the Longhorns, Shaka Smart’s mere presence and personality is often an invaluable asset. That, again, was the case with Febres.
"He feels like a father honestly, great coach and a great man," Febres told BON of what about Smart stands out. "We talk every day."
In addition to a fatherly presence in Smart, Febres has a childhood friend in Texas commit, four-star power forward Royce Hamm, in his ear providing guidance, who was alongside Febres during his Aug. 3 visit. Though Hamm could be playing recruiter for Febres, as he has to an extent, Febres said he’s been provided more guidance and support than pressure to become a Longhorn.
"Yeah he has [tried to get Febres to come to Texas] but he's been more helpful with finding a good fit than just drowning me with 'go to Texas, go to Texas,'“ Febres said of Hamm’s role in his recruitment.
Though the decision will ultimately be his own, Febres said his friendship with Hamm will impact his decision.
In the meantime, Febres noted what he wants the most from whichever of the five programs ultimately land the rising Texas Pro product.
"I really want the college to develop me and get me to the next level, asap," Febres said before adding he hopes to turn pro after two seasons.
For Texas, that desire could be hard to satisfy. The Longhorns may still have some depth on the perimeter in 2017 if any number of the numerous wings are still around, which could be problematic considering Febres said depth ahead of him will be “the biggest part” of his decision.
But potential rotational logjam or not, Febres is high on the Longhorns and there’s much to like about Texas’ chances. He plans to make his decision in October.