The Texas football banquet, held every year in early December after the conclusion of the regular season, always features a handful of significant targets, as well as many committed players, as the staff prefers that those prospects take their official visits on that date.
Last year, however, the biggest story was not a positive one, as reports surfaced that former wide receiver Darius White had been trashing the program to superblue recruit Dorial Green-Beckham, the star receiver from Missouri, nearly sparking a fight between Demarco Cobbs and White.
This year, the coaches would probably be well advised to keep any malcontents on the team away from visiting prospects.
And there will be a handful of recruits on the scene ($), with Contra Costa CC offensive tackle Desmond Harrison perhaps the most important as Texas seeks to add quality depth at the position. The Longhorns appear in good position with Harrison, who may end up deciding between Texas and Oklahoma, though both USC and Alabama are in the mix.
Other visitors include Waco lineman Andrew Billings, Hutchinson CC linebacker De'Vondre Campbell, and East Mississippi CC defensive end Za'Darius Smith.
The recruitment of Billings has continued throughout the football season despite talk that he would decide during fall camp. It now looks as if he will not make a decision until shortly before Signing Day. Texas, TCU, and Baylor are still the three schools under consideration. He may now be the top high school offensive lineman on the Texas board, as Hookem.com is reporting that Texas has backed away from Caleb Benenoch, though Benenoch has denied that on his Twitter page.
Campbell is a current Tennessee commit whose recruitment may hinge on how well he connects with new Tennessee head coach Butch Jones and whatever defensive coordinator Jones brings in.
As for Smith, Mississippi State and Texas A&M appear to be the major contenders, as the big defensive end has visited both schools twice this fall.
The good news for Texas is that junior college prospects aren't like high school recruits -- one trip to campus is normally enough to land a prospect from junior college, while it is rarely enough for players out of high school.
It does not, however appear that Smith's teammate, Georgia commit Shaquille Fluker, will make the trip.
Among committed prospects, the notable absence is Fort Worth Arlington Heights defensive tackle A', who will be on his official visit to USC this weekend, the team that many see as the biggest threat to flip the powerful trench player.
The great majority of prospects from the 2013 class will be in town, with nothing particularly concerning about the several absent players, as they all have legitimate reasons why they won't be making the trip to Austin.
Unlike in past years, the banquet is not open to the media.