However, something went down behind the scenes this week that prompted Dean to cancel his visit to Austin and eliminate the Longhorns, according to multiple reports.
The remaining schools in contention are Georgia, Clemson, and Florida State, though it appeared that the ‘Horns had surged to the front of that group in recent weeks — following a June visit, there were four 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions cast in favor of Texas by month’s end.
So what happened in the last few days?
Right now, no one is saying, citing the need to respect Dean.
But even when it looked like the Longhorns were contenders for the nation’s No. 21 safety, the pursuit by position coach Craig Naivar didn’t entirely make sense, as Texas already holds pledges from three safeties and is in strong shape with cornerbacks Jalen Green and D’shawn Jamison. The ‘Horns are also still targeting another cornerback, Anthony Cook.
It’s possible that the coaching staff heard some good news from one or more of those three players that led them to reserve a spot specifically for them, which resulted in Dean’s offer no longer being committable.
If that’s the case and it’s because of good news from the Cook camp, that would be extremely significant. If it’s because of good news from either Green or Jamisons, that’s slightly less surprising, but certainly still extremely heartening
The bottom line is that of the four uncommitted defensive backs Texas has been targeting, Dean is the lowest-rated of the group.
And the odds of finishing the class with at least Green and Jamison are high. Put some wins on the board this fall and Cook could join the fold as well.
The ‘Horns are in the fortunate position of having the ability to be a little bit picky with the defensive back takes in the 2018 class and it looks like that may have cost a talented player a spot in the class that he was willing to occupy.