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Texas HC Charlie Strong: DE/OLB signee Erick Fowler still not on campus

The saga continues. Is there an end in sight? Strong still thinks so.

erick fowler graphic Texas athletics

In what has been a roller coaster process, Charlie Strong announced Friday morning at a press conference that incoming linebacker Erick Fowler has not yet been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse.

This development comes a week after after Fowler said he expected to be admitted into Texas and cleared to play when practice begins tomorrow morning. The nation’s No 7 weakside defensive end tweeted on Thursday evening that he was still waiting on final scores from his summer school class.

However, passing that class is not the final step for him:

However, Strong remained positive, saying he was “confident” the Manor prospect will report to camp by Monday — a good sign for things to come.

The Army All-American’s academic concerns have been a major storyline for the Longhorns this offseason. Before summer began, Fowler failed to qualify for the first session of summer school in June due to grade issues and testing scores.

In mid-June, reports surfaced that Fowler was expected to enroll in the second summer school session after he received the necessary test scores to qualify. Those reports, of course, turned out to be premature as the Manor linebacker still needed to take academic courses in order to qualify through the Clearinghouse.

Despite these struggles, the coaching staff has maintained Fowler will be a Longhorn this fall. Fowler, for example, has been listed on the Texas football roster since late June. Last month, Charlie Strong told reporters at Big 12 Media Days that Fowler was finishing summer school classes and would probably receive clearance in roughly two weeks. That time has passed and the coaches, and more importantly Fowler, are still waiting for their answer.

Texas fans are no stranger to the tedious policies of the NCAA. Last recruiting cycle, four-star tight end Devonaire Clarington did not qualify after the NCAA flagged his test scores.

Two current Longhorns, junior D’Onta Foreman and redshirt freshman Buck Major, both didn’t qualify academically until fall camp began during their freshmen seasons.

Fowler, the No. 74 player nationally in the class of 2016 according to 247 Sports Composite, is one of the most important pieces to the Longhorns’ class. A strong presence on the edge in pass rushing situations and a sure tackler, he would provide meaningful depth at the Fox position and could end up being a solid contributor during 2016.

Exemplified by past cases, the NCAA is not exactly known for its timely decisions when it comes to considering academic eligibility. It’s hard to predict what the timetable will be as Fowler and the Texas coaches awaits his fate.

Here’s to hoping he will receive an answer soon.