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Weekend visits elsewhere seemingly hurt Texas with three key prospects

The staff now has some work to do to reverse this negative momentum.

Garrett Wilson in Columbus
via @GarrettWilson_V

Hold off on pushing that panic button, but there’s legitimate cause for concern after a big visit weekend for three other programs could prove extremely problematic as the Texas Longhorns pursue another top class.

Lake Travis wide receiver Garrett Wilson, arguably the top wide receiver target on the board, took his official visit to Columbus to spend time with the Ohio State Buckeyes:

The Ohio State visit was the second for Wilson in recent weeks, with the previous trip to Ohio producing a Twitter war between Buckeyes staffers and Longhorns Director of Recruiting Bryan Carrington.

Since then, Ohio State has taken over all the momentum in this recruitment — the last 13 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions favor the Buckeyes. SB Nation’s Bud Elliott reported on how much the Texas offense playing well will impact Wilson, who will make his decision shortly after watching the Longhorns in action at the Orange-White game on April 21.

So where do things stand right now? Wilson told the Austin American-Statesman that he hasn’t made up his mind yet.

“It was definitely a good visit but I’m going into both official visits with no clear leader,” Wilson said. “Once I take this Texas official visit, I’ll start to think about where I want to end up. I’d say Ohio State has an edge just because I just took my official visit and I haven’t taken one to Texas.”

Ohio State also has the advantage of boasting the presence of Wilson’s quarterback from last season, Matthew Baldwin, as well as a handful of Lone Star State standouts from the 2017 recruiting class.

After looking like the leader for Wilson, Texas has lost some ground in recent weeks, so now it’s time to perform well on offense this weekend and otherwise answer Wilson’s questions about the program. Otherwise Wilson will commit to playing college football in the Horseshoe.

Meanwhile, there’s some question about whether or not the Texas staff will have a chance to make a pitch to Converse Judson defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal, the top defensive line target for the Horns.

Leal took an official visit to College Station last weekend and the Aggies suddenly emerged as the apparent leader. Oh yeah, and Fort Bend Bush cornerback Erick Young seemingly teased Leal’s commitment on Twitter:

Perhaps Young was simply joking, but the recruiting industry is serious about A&M’s chances with the 6’4, 280-pounder — in the last three days, there have been 12 Crystal Ball predictions for Leal to the Aggies. A public commitment could be imminent.

The news with Nolan Catholic edge rusher NaNa Osafo-Mensah doesn’t seem quite so dire as with the other two recruits. Osafo-Mensah was in South Bend for his official visit with the Fighting Irish, but there hasn’t been quite as much movement there.

However, Osafo-Mensah did call it “the best weekend I’ve ever experienced in my life.”

So far, that hasn’t led anyone to change a Crystal Ball pick or put one in for Notre Dame. Still, it seems clear that the situation with Texas and Osafo-Mensah is at least a little bit similar to the situation with Wilson — it’s time to make a big move when the Metroplex product visits before deciding on May 19.

A couple of weeks ago, the recruiting momentum for the Longhorns was heading in an extremely positive direction. Now it’s been seriously arrested, making the pertinent question over the next several weeks whether or not Texas can even land one or more commitments from those three key targets. Right now, Osafo-Mensah is the only one with whom Texas seems to have a 50/50 chance.

There’s still time, as none of those players have publicly committed yet. It’s just crunch time for the staff with a group of recruits who will significantly help define the upside of this 2019 Longhorns recruiting class.