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Texas Longhorns recruiting: Spring eval period produces new targets

Some new names have emerged for the Longhorns in the last several weeks.

Daniel Gresham may not be throwing his horns up much longer
Daniel Gresham may not be throwing his horns up much longer
Wescott Eberts (SB Nation)

Horns_bullet_mediumLarry Porter looking nationally for another running back. If the pursuit of Louisiana star running back Leonard Fournette wasn't enough to indicate that the Longhorns are in the market for another running back in the 2014 class, the offer to Plano West's Auston Anderson definitely put it over the top.

Since then, the new running back coach for the 'Horns has been scouring the country looking at some of the top running backs nationally. So far, offers have gone out to Florida commit Dalvin Cook, a Miami (Fl.) Central product, Oakley (Ca.) Freedom's Joe Mixon, Cedartown (Ga.)'s Nick Chubb, and Thomasville (Ga.) Thomas County Central's Adam Choice.

With the exception of Choice, who is ranked as the no. 17 athlete nationally, Fournette and the other recent offers all rank in the top 10 nationally at running back -- Porter is clearly targeting the best.

The problem is that Texas may only really have a shot with Anderson, who is hardly just a consolation prize and is a borderline four-star prospect whose size may be the only thing keeping him from adding that fourth star.

Porter came to Texas with a reputation as a a recruiting wizard and he'll have to be if Texas is even going to land an official visit from one of those prospects, much less have a realistic chance of gaining a commitment.

And the other part of the equation? Horns247 is reporting that Daniel Gresham may be in danger of decommitting in the near future and may in fact already have done so, in part because he's not the biggest fan of Texas taking three running backs in the 2014 class.

More on that story as it develops.

Horns_bullet_mediumStar JUCO receiver now on the radar. To hear some former opposing high school coaches tell it, current MIssissippi Gulf Coast wide receiver D'haquille Williams was the best high school receiver they ever coached against. To hear some national recruiting analysts tell it, Williams is one of the best receiver prospects they have seen emerge recently.

A class of 2014 prospect who has received a rating of 100 by 247Sports and is the top JUCO prospect in the country, Williams is an early enrollee who could also declare for the NFL Draft without playing a down in college. He's also 6'3 and 213 pounds of pure terror for opposing defensive backs who has elite skills across the board -- size, speed, ball skills, hands, route running, and agility.

Hence the 100 rating.

One of the assistance coaches at MGC, Pete Bennett, believes that the 'Horns are in the mix ($( for Williams after recently extending an offer, though the Louisiana native is expected to pick either LSU or Auburn eventually and Bennett added USC as a school of high interest for Williams. LSU is in strong position without even officially extending an offer yet.

The real takeaway here is that Texas is moving away from being so stingy with offers and far away from wanting prospects to visit before extending them. And though the choice to look east instead of west may be questionable, the fact that this coaching staff is willing to put in some work in hopes of landing a big out-of-state pledge is a positive sign.

Horns_bullet_mediumLufkin athlete Coutee earns an offer. One of the only 2015 prospects who attended a Texas Junior Day back in February was Keke Coutee, a wide receiver/defensive back at Lufkin. The 'Horns dropped by his school earlier in the week and wide receiver coach Darrell Wyatt extended an offer shortly thereafter to the prospect who also attended the Texas Sophomore Day.

A 5'9, 165-pounder, Coutee could play either position at Texas, though it is difficult to evaluate him as a defensive back because his highlight reels include his offensive plays. An explosive prospect, Coutee also has good lateral quickness and looks like a relatively natural pass-catcher outside of his frame, though he could stand to attack the ball better inside his frame, when he sometimes lets it get into his chest.

Overall, his athleticism is apparent, but he doesn't quite jump off film in the same way that Cy Ridge prospect Kemah Siverand does with his slightly more obvious top-end speed. Siverand has yet to receive a Texas offer, though one could be coming in the near future.

Coutee holds offers from Oklahoma and Texas Tech, but has Texas on top ($). Does that mean that he could add his name to the commitment list for the 'Horns in the near future? Not likely, as he says that he's planning on waiting a little while to make a decision, but his willingness to name an early leader bodes extremely well for head coach Mack Brown and his staff, as many prospects are increasingly unwilling to a top school this early or sometimes at any time in the process.

Horns_bullet_mediumOL legacy receiving interest, planning visit. Houston Clear Lake offensive lineman Blake Blackmar grew up a huge Texas fan, hardly surprising given that his father, Bruce, played for the 'Horns in the early '80s along the offensive line. Had Texas offered him early in the process, it's possible that the 6'6, 325-pounder could have committed on the spot.

It's no longer the case in advance of Blackmar setting up a visit ($) after the Texas coaches went by his school and indicated that they would like to re-establish contact and get him on campus.

A three-star prospect rated outside the top 100 in Texas by 247Sports and the Composite ranking, the LSR has him at no. 90 in the state. He plays center and left tackle for Clear Lake, but looks like a guard prospect at his size.

With numerous options, Blackmar has some choices with six offers, but Baylor and Kansas State are though to be the current leaders after taking in Junior Days at both schools, along with Texas Tech and TCU. Both predictions for the big lineman in the 247Sports Crystal Ball feature have Blackmar ending up at Baylor.

It's not as easy for Texas to jump in recruitments late against schools like Baylor as it was not so long ago, but the connection that Blackmar has to Texas and his longtime affinity for the program could help make up for the late interest if the 'Horns do decide to extend an offer during his visit, though they could wait and try to evaluate him at camp.

He plans on making a decision in the summer.

Horns_bullet_mediumLocal offensive lineman receives visit. It may not mean much, as the Texas coaches are thoroughly evaluating offensive lineman around the state, but they did stop by Round Rock to see Kansas State commit Robert Castaneda ($), a big 6'5, 315-pounder who also has offers from Purdue and Texas Tech.

A pure guard prospect, Castaneda is a consensus three-star recruit also ranked well outside the top 100 in the state at this time. He's a possibility to attend a Texas camp, where a strong performance could earn him an offer as it did for Caleb Benenoch last year.