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Brian Jean-Mary touts Texas Longhorns recruiting on LHN Extra

"We never doubted ourselves."

Brian Jean-Mary is the linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator for a Texas Longhorns staff that landed 2016's 11th-ranked recruiting class.

Afterward, Jean-Mary made an appearance on LHN Extra to talk about the class. The first question he fielded was about waiting until the final day for many members of the class to sign on.

"I think Coach Strong enjoys it a lot more than we do," Jean-Mary said. "You would always like to have the guys settled in, in place and ready to sign on National Signing Day. But it's exciting... I could imagine if I was on the other side of some of those commitments I wouldn't feel as good," he added. "It's a great day to be a Longhorn."

Jean-Mary was asked about the impact of the team's new defensive players.

"We talked to 90 percent of these kids at this time last year, so we knew they were going to be our prime targets going into 2016," he said. "I think it's two-fold. They saw a lot of young kids play on defense so they knew they could come in and compete on a high level, that we weren't afraid to put them on the field."

On the role of the current players on the team in recruiting:

"They're the biggest selling point we have," Jean-Mary said. "We can go off campus and actually garner the attention, garner interest. But when they come on campus the guys that sell the program are your players. We can only take it so far, but the kids who are going to actually believe are going to be the players."

On negative recruiting and what the 2016 class proves to the naysayers:

"We never doubted ourselves," he said. "We heard a lot of the rumors and some of the articles, but we never doubted ourselves. We knew as those articles were being published, nine coaches were saying positive things about us. Of course they printed the one that didn't, because that was going to stir up the conversation."

Jean-Mary added that no schools in the state visited more high schools than Texas, and no staff was more open with high school coaches than the Longhorns.

The next question was about going up head-to-head against the SEC in recruiting battles for in-state players.

"When Coach Strong first got here, he said the most important thing we were going to do is recruit our state," Jean-Mary said. "That was another misconception when we went out of state last year to fill a couple of needs. Our philosophy has always been, we are going to concentrate n recruiting in state and getting the best players in the state. But as you guys know, you have to fill your roster by position."

The conversation then turned to the current Longhorns, with a final question asking about standout linebacker Malik Jefferson.

"We talk to Malik a whole bunch. I think as a freshman, even though he was a starter and very productive at times, he still didn't want to take the reigns as the leader of the unit," said Jean-Mary. "We had some seniors who were very vocal. Once the season ended, I think he understands now that this is going to be his team. He's one of the guys in the group that understands we can't do it with what we have. We have to keep adding more talented players to this program."