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Texas Longhorns recruiting: Targets trim lists, commit to other schools

Catching up on the recent happenings in Longhorns recruiting.

Chris Warren at the 2013 Dallas NFTC
Chris Warren at the 2013 Dallas NFTC
Wescott Eberts (SB Nation)

As fall camp begins for high schools around the country, recruiting starts to slow down a bit, and while that has been the case for the Texas Longhorns, there have been some recent developments that are worth passing along.

Horns_bullet_mediumWarren names top six. On Saturday, the Rockwall product used Twitter to release his top group of schools:

The Horns already have three running backs committed in the 2015 class, but have continued to recruit Warren hard in an effort to land a big back to add to the group -- he's 6'2 and 232 pounds.

He's also a prospect whose mother has seemingly developed a strong connection with new head coach Charlie Strong because of his emphasis on academics

Combined with the fact that Texas is expected to be a school that leans heavily on the running game in the coming seasons and the Horns seem like a strong fit for Warren. Watch out for Stanford, as well, a school that also features a heavily run-based attack, and Washington, where Warren's father spent many years in the NFL.

In the 247Sports Crystal Ball projections, Texas still leads for Warren at 65%, while Baylor, a team that has apparently been eliminated from contention, sits in second place, and Texas Tech trails at 5%. None of the other four schools on the list have yet received a prediction that Warren will commit there.

The thought at the moment, and throughout his recruitment, is clearly that he will stay in the state of Texas, a result that his mother would likely prefer.

Horns_bullet_mediumMoore also narrows list. When Galena Park North Shore offensive guard received his offer back in the middle of June, it seemed like only a matter of time before he ended up at his dream school.

As happens in many such cases, however, Moore has taken a step back to evaluate his options more fully and released his own list on Twitter on Sunday:

Now a top-10 guard in the country by 247Sports and a near four-star prospect, Moore has been cutting his weight to get down from 335 and increase his mobility.

He's also a prospect who is still considered a lock to end up at Texas -- all 14 of his predictions in the Crystal Ball are for Texas.

The bigger question might be how hard the Horns are recruiting him at this moment with an offensive line class already in the fold that includes four commits. For the moment, it seems as if the answer to that question is that he's still a target on the board for Texas.

Horns_bullet_mediumKey 2016 target to visit. The Longhorns were slow to extend quarterback offers in the 2016 class before a flurry went out in July. The in-state prospect to receive his offer was Arlington Lamar quarterback Shane Buechele, the son of former major league baseball player Steve Buechele.

After working out for the Horns back in June, Buechele is set to visit Austin again for the North Texas game. He's a consensus four-star prospect who also holds offers from Kentucky, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, TCU, and Texas Tech.

Horns_bullet_mediumProspects end recruitments in favor of other schools. Over the last month or so, the Horns have also missed out on some important targets.

The Horns were well behind for Maryland dual-threat quarterback and then appeared to make a major move with Maryland and Florida State apparently fading in his recruitment. Except that the Seminoles didn't fade as much as thought.

On the same day that fellow quarterback Deondre Francois pledged to Florida State, Locksley decided to join the class as well, despite some talk that the Noles didn't want him as a quarterback. Ultimately, the player development under head coach Jimbo Fisher and the opportunity to play with a number of other high-level prospects sold Locksley on the program -- this was mostly a case of success begetting more success for FSU.

Then, in early August, Texas Tech continued to add to a strong recruiting class with the addition of Arlington Bowie offensive tackle Madison Akamnonu, now a consensus four-star prospect who saw his stock take off throughout the spring. Texas was out of the mix and then back in it late in his recruitment.

How serious were the Horns about pursuing him during that time? It's difficult to say, but with the dearth of offensive tackles on campus, it would have made sense to add him to the class, but the staff continues to pursue Coppell's Connor Williams, who could end up playing center or tackle, and three prospects who could play outside, including Many (La.) offensive lineman Garrett Thomas, who committed in July.

The most recent loss was perhaps the most significant -- that of Newton cornerback Roney Elam, who became another in an incredibly long line of prospects in the 2015 class to commit to Texas A&M.

Despite an appealing depth chart for Elam, he opted to remain closer to his East Texas home and play his college football in College Station.

He was the first of several key head-to-head targets in the secondary to end his recruitment. The Horns are still looking for cornerbacks and pursuing Gilmer's Kris Boyd, Houston Lamar's Holton Hill, and Fort Bend Marshall's Kendall Sheffield. A failure to land two out of three of those prospects would continue a run of difficulties recruiting at the position over the last several years and could impact the long-term upside of the secondary.

At this point, the Horns still appear to be on the outside looking in with Sheffield and are facing increasing competition for Boyd and Hill from Florida State. The main competition, however, is still Texas A&M.

It's time to start winning some recruiting battles again against the Aggies and Boyd and Hill are the keys there, with Sheffield a bonus after how long it took to get him on campus to meet with the new coaches.