Saint Louis (Mo.) Lutheran North offensive tackle Jack Buford is staying home.
A four-star prospect who holds a Longhorns offer, Buford announced his commitment to Missouri on Wednesday, siding with the Tigers over offers from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Florida, Auburn, Georgia, and Michigan, among others.
The Missouri native added his Texas offer in December and was set to tour the Forty Acres for the Longhorns spring game, but he was unable to attend. In the weeks since, there’s been virtually no buzz linking Buford to Texas, so Buford committing to Missouri doesn’t signify a major recruiting loss for the ‘Horns, but he does become the latest offensive tackle target to commit elsewhere.
At this point, Texas has offers out to eight offensive tackles. Buford now becomes the second in the past week to pledge elsewhere, as five-star Atascocita product Kenyon Green committed to Texas A&M on June 2. Three-star Katy Taylor tackle Andrew Coker is committed to TCU.
This leaves just four uncommitted offensive tackles with a Texas offer still on the board, which increases the importance of landing at least one of two four-star prospects in Houston North Forest product Javonne Shepherd and Canden (Ark.) Fairview star Stacey Wilkins.
There is, however, good news to that end.
On Tuesday, Shepherd made his latest offseason visit to Texas, in which he said Austin “felt like home,” and the Longhorns are now reportedly his leader. Wilkins, on the other hand, is scheduled to officially visit Texas on Sept. 15 for the USC game, although Oklahoma currently appears to be the team to beat there. Beyond that, Ruston (La.) native Ray Parker and Jonesboro (Ark.) product Darius Thomas each own a Texas offer, but Parker and Thomas are widely projected to remain close to home and side with LSU and Arkansas, respectively.
With only five-star Conroe Oak Ridge standout Tyler Johnson committed thus far, the pressure to reel in a talent such as Shepherd or Wilkins is beginning to increase with yet another name off the board.