Saturday is a big day for the Texas Longhorns in recruiting, as head coach Mack Brown and his staff will host the first-ever Sophomore Day as numerous 2015 prospects descend on campus to meet with the coaches, see the facilities, and take in the scrimmage.
In many ways, the Sophomore Day should look a lot like a Junior Day, with similar activities. The difference, of course, is that the players are much younger and will have a chance to watch some live action with the second scrimmage of the spring happening on Saturday, a significant event prospects have not had the chance to see in the past.
Here's a list of the some of the attendees who have been confirmed via Twitter:
-- Mesquite Poteet linebacker Malik Jefferson
-- Fort Bend Marshall cornerback Kendall Sheffield
-- Corpus Christi Flour Bluff defensive back Jalen Campbell
-- Gladewater defensive tackle Daylon Mack
-- Houston Clear Lake tight end Jordan Davis
-- Troupe quarterback Blake Lynch
-- Lufkin wide receiver Keke Coutee
-- Lewisville Hebron offensive guard Zach Rogers
-- Cedar Hill wide receiver Damarkus Lodge (and several other Cedar Hill prospects)
-- West Mesquite quarterback Chason Virgil
-- West Mesquite defensive back Akilian Butler
-- Sulphur Springs safety Larry Pryor
-- West Orange-Stark safety Deionte Thompson (Hookem.com report)
-- Rockwall running back Chris Warren
Will not attend
-- Bishop Lynch running back Rawleigh Williams had to cancel his plans to attend.
Mack already has a Texas offer, the only prospect in the 2015 class to receive one to this point.
Davis committed to Florida State earlier in the week, but is still interested enough in Texas to take this visit. The 'Horns may need to offer Davis on the visit to help put themselves in contention.
Another prospect who should receive an offer is Sheffield -- one of the top players in the state, he already has offers from Baylor, LSU, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M, so Texas is risking falling behind with him if they continue to wait.
There aren't a lot of players who should receive offers at this point in the process, though many of the top prospects have already begun to emerge and should continue to rank among the top players in the state throughout the process. The point, again, is to make sure that Texas isn't falling behind other schools that have offered these players and extending them while on campus and in Mack Brown's office is the type of high-impact offer that the 'Horns have had to move away from recently.
While the names are all important in terms of getting the players on campus who are emerging as the top targets, the most important fact remains that Texas is working to get all these kids to Austin for an event that is designed specifically for them -- in the past, the spring game was the primary event for kids one class ahead of the current cycle, but they couldn't receive as much individual attention.
The Longhorns will also have at least one 2014 commit on campus, as well:
Austin this weekend— Mr.Heard (@JHeard2) March 20, 2013
And all this doesn't mean that the spring game will be de-emphasized as an important recruiting event, either. With many people traveling in for the Texas Relays that weekend, putting the spring game in the evening should help draw a larger crowd, create a better atmosphere, and still have a strong visitor list for a spring game that should showcase the school as well as any in recent events.
The other question is how much influence new Director of Player Personnel Patrick Suddes has had on this event. While it was announced when Suddes was hired, it has been in the works for some time, as Inside Texas' Eric Nahlin pointed out on Thursday. Mack was offered some time ago and the thought at the time was that other 2015 offers would be soon to follow, but it seems that Texas opted to slow down that process in order to hold this event.
As slow as the progress has been this spring in terms of adding big names to the 2014 class, next spring could be much more successful for Texas because of events like this first-ever Sophomore Day.