The Texas Longhorns will hold their first Junior Day of the Charlie Strong era on Saturday as a number of 2015 commits, targets, and potential targets visit Austin.
In the past, Junior Days were hugely important events that felt like Christmas for Texas fans, as numerous recruits would receive offers and commit. Many times, former head coach Mack Brown would ask for prospects to make it to town before offering, even for national recruits.
All that changed in recent years as the number of commitments on Junior Days decreased drastically and offers went out earlier. There's also not a major difference between the first and second Junior Days in terms of the importance of the targets in attendance -- the staff merely wants to get recruits on campus, instead of making the first Junior Day more prestigious.
The key for the 2015 class will be the staff establishing relationships with prospects who have mostly already been on campus and seen the facilities. However, with a large visitor list, there won't be a lot of one-on-one time for the top targets with the staff. Those interactions will have to happen at another time, decreasing the significance of the event.
- Ronnie Major, Huntsville offensive lineman (Baylor commit)
- Toby Weathersby, Houston Westfield offensive tackle
- Connor Lanfear, Hays offensive tackle (Texas commit)
- Patrick Vahe, Euless Trinity offensive guard (Texas commit)
- Ryan Agnew, Southlake Carroll quarterback
- Nathan Elliott, Celina quarterback
- Tristian Houston, Galena Park North Shore running back
- Jordan Stevenson, South Oak Cliff running back (Texas commit)
- Kameron Martin, Port Arthur Memorial running back (2016)
- John Burt, Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln wide receiver
- Ryan Newsome, Aledo wide receiver
- John Humphrey, League City Clear Falls wide receiver
- Charles Omenihu, Rowlett defensive end
- Lonzell Gilmore, Spring defensive end
- 'Josh Uluocha, Houston Stafford defensive lineman
- Landis Durham, Plano East linebacker
- Cameron Townsend, Fort Bend Ridge Point linebacker
- Anthony Wheeler, Dallas Skyline linebacker
- DeShon Elliott, Rockwall-Heath safety
- Xaiver Lewis, Reserve (La.) East St. John cornerback
- Holton Hill, Houston Lamar cornerback
- Kris Boyd, Gilmer cornerback
- Prentice McKinney, South Oak Cliff safety
- Jamile Johnson, South Oak Cliff safety (Oklahoma commit)
- Louis Brown, Burton athlete
Note that this list is not exhaustive and is subject to change as travel plans fall through.
The other thing to note is that top prospects like Ennis defensive end James Lockhart, Cedar Hill wide receiver Damarkus Lodge, Fort Bend Marshall quarterback JW Ketchum, Fort Bend Marshall cornerback Kendall Sheffield, and Cypress Ridge wide receiver Kemah Siverand will not be in attendance.
Given that the coaches won't have a lot of one-on-one time with prospects, those recruits not attending the Junior Day doesn't have as much significance since trips at another time will present more opportunities for face time. The staff will need to get all of them on campus at some point during the spring, though.
On the other hand, getting commits like Lanfear, Vahe, and Stevenson on campus is extremely important at this time, as Lanfear has seen his offer list grow and could be close to reopening his recruitment, Vahe is cousins with the Teuhema brothers who are now headed to LSU, and Stevenson just picked up a game-changing offer from Alabama.
Those three prospects may be the most important in attendance, though getting Boyd on campus is not far behind with A&M trending in his Crystal Ball predictions and Texas seemingly a long way from the positive position last summer that led Boyd to name the Horns his leader after a June summer camp.
There may also be some offers that go out, but there aren't any prospects likely to receive an offer and commit. Holton Hill, Ronnie Major, and Tristian Houston are the most likely recruits to receive Texas offers during their visit.
The Junior Day will be much different from the Junior Days that used to go down only a few short years ago, but it's still an important recruiting for the Longhorns and the new coaching staff.