The Texas Longhorns have inked their 2014 recruiting class, so what does the updated scholarship chart look like for the Horns?
Breaking it down by position and providing some further analysis on the 2014 class.
|1||David Ash||David Ash||Tyrone Swoopes||Jerrod Heard|
|2||Tyrone Swoopes||Tyrone Swoopes||Jerrod Heard|
|3||Jerrod Heard||Jerrod Heard|
2014 analysis -- The only quarterback the Longhorns offered in the class was Heard and he committed shortly thereafter. As the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the country and the top-rated prospect in the class, keeping Heard was incredibly important because the drop-off if he had bailed would have been significant. In fact, given that Texas didn't recruit any other 2014 quarterbacks, the spot probably would have remained open had Heard decommitted, leaving the Horns in a precarious position in 2014.
|1||Johnathan Gray||Johnathan Gray||Jalen Overstreet||Donald Catalon|
|2||Malcolm Brown||Daje Johnson||Donald Catalon||D'Onta Foreman|
|3||Joe Bergeron||Jalen Overstreet||D'Onta Foreman||Jordan Stevenson|
|4||Daje Johnson||Donald Catalon||Jordan Stevenson|
|5||Jalen Overstreet||D'Onta Foreman|
|6||Donald Catalon||Jordan Stevenson|
|7||D'Onta Foreman||Alex De La Torre|
|8||Alex De La Torre|
2014 analysis -- Newton's Kevin Shorter is only one this list for one season because he is expected to come off the scholarship chart after next season, when he will in all likelihood take a medical redshirt as a result of his spinal cord buries that ended his senior season.
Texas lost Daniel Gresham last spring, but was able to add D'Onta Foreman, who has a bit more ideal size, but doesn't have the weight to step in quickly as a blocking player or short-yardage back.
Landing Donald Catalon early was especially important because he's the top-rated every down back in the state for the class and is versatile as a receiver. After Oklahoma commit Samaje Perine, there aren't any other running backs in the top 50 in the state for 2014. A case could be made at this point for Perine's strength and legit spin move over Catalon, but at the time that Texas took the commitment from Catalon, Perine was a major risk after blowing out his knee.
The Horns pursued another all-purpose back in Plano West's Auston Anderson, who committed to Northwestern, as well as Cowboys signee Tyreek Hill, an elite junior college prospect who will play wide receiver in Stillwater, and also considered offering Dallas Carter's Corey Avery late in the process, but did not extend an offer.
|1||Jaxon Shipley||Kendall Sanders||Jacorey Warrick||Jake Oliver|
|2||John Harris||Marcus Johnson||Jake Oliver||Montrel Meander|
|3||Bryant Jackson||Jake Oliver||Montrel Meander||Lorenzo Joe|
|4||Kendall Sanders||Jacorey Warrick||Lorenzo Joe||Armanti Foreman|
|5||Marcus Johnson||Montrel Meander||Armanti Foreman||Dorian Leonard|
|6||Jacorey Warrick||Lorenzo Joe||Dorian Leonard||Garrett Gray|
|7||Jake Oliver||Armanti Foreman||Garrett Gray||Roderick Bernard|
|8||Montrel Meander||Dorian Leonard||Roderick Bernard|
|9||Lorenzo Joe||Roderick Bernard|
|10||Dorian Leonard||Garrett Gray|
2014 analysis -- Missing on KD Cannon and Emanuel Porter both hurt because they are project as the best deep threats in the class, a task that will now fall on Lorenzo Joe and Garrett Gray, both of whom are excellent athletes in their own right. And though he's no longer around, Texas fans need to hope that Darrell Wyatt evaluated well with this class because it's a pretty big group with five members and having one or more of those players end up occupying scholarships would not be a positive thing for the Horns.
The most concerning thing about this group may be the fact that top national prospects Texas offered like Speed Noil, Trey Quinn, Demarre Kitt, and especially KD Cannon never seriously considered the Longhorns, perhaps a sign of where the school's stock sits with offensive prospects at this time, not a good thing for a school that has to compete for Texas talent with Texas A&M and Baylor, two schools that have been highly productive on offense the last several seasons.
|1||Geoff Swaim||MJ McFarland||Blake Whiteley|
|2||Greg Daniels||Blake Whiteley|
2014 analysis -- Texas waited until the summer of 2013 to offer and receive a commitment from Trinity Valley JC tight end John Thomas, but moved in a different direction in December when it became apparent that he wasn't going to be able to enroll mid-term to practice with the team in the spring.
Whiteley surfaced on the radar late and the Horns were lucky to land him despite the coaching changes going on at the same time, as failing to take a tight end for two straight classes would have created a tremendous amount of pressure on the 2015 class to land at least two tight ends.
|1||Desmond Harrison||Kennedy Estelle||Kent Perkins||Elijah Rodriguez|
|2||Kennedy Estelle||Kent Perkins||Camrhon Hughes||Connor Lanfear|
|3||Kent Perkins||Camrhon Hughes||Garrett Greenlea|
|4||Camrhon Hughes||Garrett Greenlea||Elijah Rodriguez|
|5||Garrett Greenlea||Elijah Rodriguez||Connor Lanfear|
|6||Elijah Rodriguez||Connor Lanfear|
2014 analysis -- The late addition of Rodriguez was a tremendous win for the 2014 recruiting class and for offensive coordinator Joe Wickline since Hughes and Greenlea both appear unlikely to ever contribute at this point, with serious questions about whether Greenlea will even be part of the program in 2014 after a medical season in 2013.
Texas only offered one other in-state scholarship to an offensive tackle before the late interest that resulted in flipping Rodriguez from Colorado.
|1||Sedrick Flowers||Sedrick Flowers||Curtis Riser||Rami Hammad|
|2||Curtis Riser||Curtis Riser||Rami Hammad||Darius James|
|3||Taylor Doyle||Taylor Doyle||Darius James||Alex Anderson|
|4||Rami Hammad||Rami Hammad||Alex Anderson||Patrick Vahe|
|5||Taylor Doyle||Darius James||Patrick Vahe|
|6||Darius James||Alex Anderson|
|7||Alex Anderson||Patrick Vahe|
2014 analysis -- The situation at guard looks much better long term than at tackle, a big part of the reason why former offensive line coach Stacy Searels had not seriously pursued any interior players after the decommitment of Demetrius Knox last spring.
However, Wickline felt the need to add one body and targeted Alex Anderson, an early enrollee who had been committed to Arizona State, but was ready to flip to Oklahoma State.
|1||Dominic Espinosa||Jake Raulerson||Jake Raulerson||Jake Raulerson|
|2||Jake Raulerson||Terrell Cuney||Terrell Cuney||Terrell Cuney|
2014 analysis -- Texas needed to add a center in the class in order to avoid moving Darius James back to his high school position or having to make another move there, so while there are some questions about Cuney's size and the event to which he has to develop physically. Once ranked as the best center in the state, Cuney eventually fell behind Van Alstyne's Connor Mayes, a player the Horns never offered. While Mayes has much more easily transferable size at 6'5 and 320 pounds, Cuney obviously has a major advantage in mobility.
|1||Cedric Reed||Torshiro Davis||Bryce Cottrell||Derick Roberson|
|2||Torshiro Davis||Bryce Cottrell||Caleb Bluiett||Jake McMillon|
|3||Bryce Cottrell||Caleb Bluiett||Derick Roberson|
|4||Caleb Bluiett||Derick Roberson||Jake McMillon|
|5||Derick Roberson||Jake McMillon|
2014 analysis -- Landing Myles Garrett would have been a huge plus in the class, but he never liked Texas. Keeping Sione Teuhema would have been a significant addition in the class. As a result of that loss, missing on Skyline's Victor Evans to Ole Miss after it appeared that Evans was a sure bet to end up in burnt orange ended up hurting even more.
The good news is that Derick Roberson is a stud and McMillon, well, hopefully his motor will continue to serve him well because there's not a ton of athletic upside there.
|1||Malcom Brown||Malcom Brown||Hassan Ridgeway||Poona Ford|
|2||Desmond Jackson||Marcus Hutchins||Alex Norman||Chris Nelson|
|3||Marcus Hutchins||Hassan Ridgeway||Paul Boyette||Bryce English|
|4||Hassan Ridgeway||Alex Norman||Poona Ford|
|5||Alex Norman||Paul Boyette||Chris Nelson|
|6||Paul Boyette||Poona Ford||Bryce English|
|7||Poona Ford||Chris Nelson|
|8||Chris Nelson||Bryce English|
2014 analysis -- Strong used his previous relationships with Poona Ford and Chris Nelson, former Louisville pledges, to land both of them on Signing Day and save a class that had suffered three decommitments and missed on the top defensive tackle in the state, DeShawn Washington, who signed with Texas A&M.
It could have been worse and would have been if Ford and Nelson weren't receptive to following Strong.
|1||Demarco Cobbs||Dalton Santos||Tim Cole||Deoundrei Davis|
|2||Jordan Hicks||Peter Jinkens||Deoundrei Davis||Naashon Hughes|
|3||Steve Edmond||Tim Cole||Naashon Hughes||Andrew Beck|
|4||Aaron Benson||Deoundrei Davis||Andrew Beck||Cameron Hampton|
|5||Tevin Jackson||Naashon Hughes||Cameron Hampton||Edwin Freeman|
|6||Kendall Thompson||Andrew Beck||Edwin Freeman|
|7||Dalton Santos||Cameron Hampton|
|8||Peter Jinkens||Edwin Freeman|
2014 analysis -- Beck is an understandable take because of his potential to play H-back and because he does a lot of things well, while the Hampton take looked worse and worse in the year since he committed. Freeman helped save the class in the sense of having a linebacker with good movement abilities, but the missing on Josh Walker to Texas A&M and then losing Otaro Alaka to the Aggies as well late in the process sapped the Longhorns of an edge threat and versatile prospect in the latter case, while Walker would have been the top linebacker in the class for Texas.
|1||Quandre Diggs||Duke Thomas||Bryson Echols||Antwuan Davis|
|2||Mykkele Thompson||Kevin Vaccaro||Adrian Colbert||Erik Huhn|
|3||Leroy Scott||Bryson Echols||Antwuan Davis||Chevoski Collins|
|4||Sheroid Evans||Adrian Colbert||Erik Huhn||John Bonney|
|5||Josh Turner||Antwuan Davis||Chevoski Collins||Jermaine Roberts|
|6||Duke Thomas||Erik Huhn||John Bonney||Jason Hall|
|7||Kevin Vaccaro||Chevoski Collins||Jermaine Roberts||Jalen Campbell|
|8||Bryson Echols||John Bonney||Jason Hall||Johnny Shaw|
|9||Adrian Colbert||Jermaine Roberts||Jalen Campbell|
|10||Antwuan Davis||Jason Hall||Johnny Shaw|
|11||Erik Huhn||Jalen Campbell|
|12||Chevoski Collins||Johnny Shaw|
2014 analysis -- It could have been worse. The Horns could have lost Bonney and Roberts. Other than that, the class was pretty much a worst-case scenario, as there were a number of defensive backs in the class that could have projected as possible early contributors.
|1||Will Russ||Nick Rose|
|2||Nate Boyer||Nick Jordan|
2014 analysis -- Texas had Charlotte (N.C.) Adrey Kell punter Corbin Daly committed for about six months after he apparently put on an impressive summer camp performance, but he decommitted in December and opted to stay closer to home at North Carolina. Meh. Carrying five scholarship special teams players in 2015 never made a ton of sense anyway.
There's obviously some serious attrition that needs to happen for the current class to reach the scholarship limit for the 2014 season -- eight, in fact, a significant number of players. Here are the top candidates:
- Daje Johnson, junior running back/wide receiver -- Missed the Alamo Bowl due to academic issues and needs to actually mature this spring instead of having his coaches and teammates pay lip service to his maturation, as apparently happened last fall.
- Chet Moss, senior fullback -- Helped hold the 2011 class together amid the coaching changes and has been essentially worthless since.
- Bryant Jackson, junior wide receiver -- Assuming a medical redshirt for him since he missed the season with his foot injury, Jackson is unlikely to return next season and even more unlikely to seek a sixth season in 2015.
- John Harris, senior wide receiver -- His supposed blocking ability has never helped him get on the field for consistent snaps and the elusiveness he showed on film as a junior after the catch hasn't shown up either.
- MJ McFarland, junior tight end -- As the offense morphed to a run-heavy attack, he was lost in translation, but could find a second life at Texas with the new coaching staff.
- Kennedy Estelle, junior offensive tackle -- Like Johnson, Estelle missed the Alamo Bowl and will have to earn good standing with the program again, though the Horns can't really afford to jettison him for anything less than highly compelling reasons.
- Garrett Greenlea, sophomore offensive guard -- It will be Greenlea's fourth year in the program if he somehow maintains his scholarship after taking a medical redshirt last season. It's hard to see him being a part of the team moving forward.
- Taylor Doyle, junior offensive guard -- A poor take after his leg injury in high school limited his mobility, Doyle hasn't come close to contributing in the last two seasons.
- Marcus Hutchins, junior defensive tackle -- Hutchins hasn't come close to contributing either after he plateaued during high school and then moved to defensive tackle, where he has been buried on the depth chart. Well, actually, he hasn't even cracked the actual depth chart released by the former coaching staff.
- Demarco Cobbs, senior linebacker -- Cobbs had a redshirt season he may have used last season and was a disappointment when he was healthy. Time to let the young linebackers have those reps.
- Aaron Benson, senior linebacker -- The definition of occupying a scholarship, Benson has never come close to contributing and hasn't ever even made an impact on special teams.
- Kevin Vaccaro, sophomore safety -- Kenny's little brother missed the first nine games of 2013 and didn't play in the last four, which could have allowed him to redshirt, but the Texas site lists him as a sophomore, so he apparently used a year of eligibility.
- Bryson Echols, sophomore cornerback -- Listed here for no other reason than he was a walking penalty on special teams last season.
- Nate Boyer, senior deep snapper -- Depending on what happens with the other names on this list, Boyer may have to give up his scholarship. That may seem harsh, but it may become an unfortunate reality given the number of special teams players with scholarships next season.
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