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Texas football recruiting: Where do 'Horns look along the offensive line?

Texas is back to having only one offensive line commit in the 2014 class.

Connor Mayes (left) and Ty Barrett at a Texas Junior Day
Connor Mayes (left) and Ty Barrett at a Texas Junior Day
via @PuppyloveMayes

After taking five offensive lineman in the 2013 class, the Texas Longhorns don't have a massive need at the position in 2014, but with the program likely to take three, there are some decisions to be made, especially at tackle.

There are currently only five offers out in 2014 along the offensive line -- former commit Demetrius Knox, commit Terrell Cuney, and three out-of-state prospects in Kansas' Braden Smith, Louisiana's Cameron Robinson, and Georgia's Orlando Brown. The 'Horns are not thought to be in the mix for any of the uncommitted players.

In the case of those three players, extending early offers wasn't enough to seriously pique the interest of any of those big-time prospects, as none of them have visited Austin recently.

And there isn't a lot of top-tier talent in-state in the class, either -- Knox is the only four-star offensive line prospect in the 247Sports Composite, while the top-ranked tackle in the state, Kealvin Davis, is committed to Texas A&M.

Meanwhile, Dallas Bishop Dunne offensive tackle Jovan Pruitt still hasn't made it to campus, even though he's expected to receive an offer when he does so.

Other than that, the top two potential targets are Dallas Skyline's Ty Barrett and Van Alstyne's Connor Mayes. Barrett plays left tackle for Skyline and could stay outside in college, while Mayes is considered a center prospect, the same position that Cuney plays in a cycle after Texas took two potential centers in early enrollee Jake Raulerson and Darius James.

Both Barrett and Mayes visited for the first Junior Day, but neither received offers as offensive line coach Stacy Searels opted to remain in evaluation mode. Both might be amenable to advances at this point, though Barrett is thought to be favoring Oklahoma, while Mayes is a bit more wide open, seriously considering Baylor, Minnesota, Texas Tech, and TCU.

The balance, as always, is whether Texas can afford to wait longer to extend offers to one or both prospects.

Besides the spring evaluation period, the June camps loom as the last serious chance for the coaches to evaluate 2014 prospects. If the 'Horns wait that long, will both still be open enough to consider a Texas offer?

And so even though the 'Horns took five offensive linemen in 2013, since only two have serious potential to play tackle in college and one of them, Desmond Harrison, only has two years of eligibility, the future of the position is rather in jeopardy if Texas can't land a true tackle in this class and could force the coaching staff to go the junior college route again.

There aren't any guarantees in recruiting at tackle, as numerous prospects thought to be able to play tackle ended up playing inside, with former five-star prospect Mason Walters a notable example, so it's hard to say that a borderline tackle prospect like Barrett will definitely be able to play tackle in college.

Which makes Pruitt an important target and a player the staff might have to keep recruiting past the point where they might normally be tempted to give up and move on.

Still, even if things work out and Pruitt manages to secure his offer by finally making it to campus, there's some stiff competition for him with Alabama in the mix, making the extension of offers to Barrett and Mayes something close to highly necessary unless Texas only wants to take one offensive lineman in the 2014 class.