Houston Westfield defensive tackle isn’t 100 percent committed to the Texas Longhorns, but his decision not to sign during the early period didn’t represent a change in heart for the 2018 Under Armour All-American.
After all, Coburn never planned on signing in December — he believes the early signing period is really for the early enrollees. And his mother couldn’t make it to Houston for any potential December signing ceremony anyway, Coburn told the Austin American-Statesman while in Florida.
However, Coburn’s decision not to sign did prompt some concern with the Texas coaches, who wanted to ensure that he’ll remain a member of the 2018 recruiting class by inking him before Christmas.
Now head coach Tom Herman and his staff are in a difficult position.
“The best word I've got is re-evaluate,” Herman said in December. “We've got to sit down, put our heads together and say the hard part is, again, the thing I heard Coach Meyer talk about coming in late on guys. That's almost impossible now. So the art of keeping a guy warm, I don't know if it exists anymore, and there is no shame in that.”
Compounding the situation for the Longhorns is the fact that Coburn has already taken his official visit to Austin — if the coaches want to get him back on campus, Coburn’s family would have to pay for the trip. Clearly, Herman thought that he might be able to convince Coburn to sign early by having him on campus with the other early signees.
That gambit didn’t pay off and now the 6’1, 329-pounder is considering what other visits he wants to take in the coming weeks. According to the American-Statesman, the schools in contention include TCU and UCLA, though Alabama and Texas A&M are also likely in the mix. Coburn has four official visits remaining and the Aggies may be the biggest threat.
However, Texas A&M still hasn’t hired a defensive coordinator, though head coach Jimbo Fisher is expected to retain defensive line coach Terry Price. If Fisher opts not to do so, it could significantly hurt the odds of Coburn ending up in College Station.
Since the ‘Horns don’t have any other defensive linemen committed at this time, it’s going to be a stressful stretch before Coburn makes his final choice. The good news? He is still pledged to Herman and his staff.
“I’m looking at it like I’m committed to Texas and that’s my way of saying I’m mostly likely going to sign there,” Coburn said. “This is a big decision and I wanted more time.”