Texas Football Recruiting: 10 Standouts from the Longhorns' June 2 Camp
Over the weekend the Texas Longhorns held their first camp of the summer, with over 35 recruits and future prospects in attendance. Several of them made major impressions on the coaching staff, including one that has to play a single down of high school football.
Top 2014 recruits like Jerrod Heard, Lorenzo Joe and Derick Roberson were all impressive in showing why Texas went after them from the get-go. That was to be expected.
What was not expected were the prospects that were in need of and delivered memorable days for Mack Brown and his staff. Though only one recruit received an offer, there were plenty of commits, hopefuls and targets that left lasting impressions.
Here are the 10 most impressive prospects that attended Sunday's camp and how their performance will affect their potential futures as Longhorns.
WR Roderick Bernard (2014)
Unheralded receiver Roderick Bernard was the most impressive 2014 prospect of the weekend, showing off some surprising receiving skills and his impressive athleticism.
At 5'10" and 175 pounds, Bernard certainly lacks ideal size for a wideout. What he does have is top-end speed, lightning quick feet and a physique that would make a Greek god jealous.
But we already knew all that. The question marks were surrounding his hands, which he partly alleviated by hauling in a nice deep ball from Kyle Kearns and snatching a ball that was behind him with one hand.
Bernard is a relative unknown on the recruiting trail, but expect a surge in the coming months. Especially if he can actually run a sub-4.3 as he claims, though the 4.45 he ran at camp is nothing to scoff at.
S Edwin Freeman (2014)
Edwin Freeman, a coveted 2014 safety, is another 2014 prospect that caught the coaches' eyes on Sunday. The Longhorns' interest in keeping him as a safety may lead to them winning a major state-wide battle for the ESPN 150 prospect.
Freeman is another top target in a class that is loaded at the safety position. He is big, covers well, has good instincts and will bring the wood.
There were some questions, due to his larger frame, as to whether Freeman had the speed to play safety, but his 4.6 40 time will ease those concerns. In fact, that time should keep the 'Horns recruiting him to play that spot, which is where he prefers to play, and give them the edge over TCU and Texas A&M.
Freeman and his versatility would be a major get for the 'Horns, especially if they miss out on Jamal Adams, who attended camp but did not participate.
DB Ronnie Larue (2014)
Classify unranked prospect Ronnie Larue as somebody that came completely out of nowhere over the weekend. Now that he has made a name for himself apart from his more high-profile teammates, Larue could soon find himself with an offer from DBU.
Mostly likely projecting as a corner given his shorter stature, Larue competed as hard as anyone on Sunday. He stuck his assignments like glue and allowed just one completion on the day, earning some well-deserved attention from Duane Akina.
Another thing helping Larue's chances of getting an offer are his Bishop Dunne teammates Jovan Pruitt and Nick Watkins, the latter of which being one of the top corners in the 2014 class.
Larue needs to keep it up, but the 'Horns have considerable space in their 2014 class and never have a problem picking up competitive defensive backs.
QB Aaron Sharp (2014)
Jerrod Heard has been committed to Texas since August. Since then he has been the only dual-threat, and really the only quarterback, on the radar. Aaron Sharp had something to say about that on Sunday.
Despite having Texas among his favorites, the 6'3" lefty refused to work out as anything but a quarterback at camp. And he proved why, throwing the ball accurately and wowing everyone with his 4.5 speed.
Unfortunately, the 'Horns already have enough quarterbacks on their plate, and they are simply not going to jump ship on Heard. However, things could get interesting if Connor Brewer decides to transfer. If that happens, it could be all-out war between Heard, Sharp and 2013 recruit Tyrone Swoopes for the starting job in 2015.
That only happens if Sharp is offered as a quarterback, otherwise he is going to be playing somewhere else.
DE Victor Evans (2014)
The absence of top target Solomon Thomas left the door wide open for a defensive end to prove himself. Victor Evans came in with a chip on his shoulder and became that player.
Still unranked by both Rivals and ESPN, Evans' offer at the beginning of May came as a bit of a surprise. Then Evans showed up a lean 225 pounds, showing impressive speed of the edge with surprising lower-body strength.
If Evans commits he has nice upside on the weak side, though he might need a redshirt season to add some weight. He also has the right size and speed to play linebacker as well, which is a possibility with Derick Roberson and Sione Teuhema already in the fold.
Evans is going to visit Michigan State then make his decision, which is a safe bet to be the Longhorns.
OL/TE Mason Denley (2014)
Another 2014 prospect that surpised the coaches was Mason Denley, one of the most versatile players to show up at camp.
The first that stood out on the 6'4" Denley was his exceptional quickness in spite of his 265-pound frame. The coaches started him out at tight end, where he performed fairly well, before giving him afternoon reps as an offensive tackle.
Given his 4.72 40 time, Denley more likely projects as a tackle, where he will need to take a year to learn under Stacy Searels. But Denley, who has also played some running back and every along the front-seven in high school, has rare feet for a guy his size and is certainly worth an offer before other schools start circling.
That offer should come soon, especially since Texas has had trouble locking down top-flight offensive tackles this year.
TE Anthony Jones (2014)
Few players have made it as obvious that they want to be Longhorns as tight end Anthony Jones has throughout his recruitment.
It could be that Texas is still hoping to flip Jordan Davis, who also attended, from Florida State or wait to see how Bryce Dixon's visit goes next week. But Jones is not a kid that is low on offers so he is not going to just wait around while the 'Horns try to sniff out a better option.
RB Royce Caldwell (2014)
Nobody needed a big day more than 2014 running back Royce Caldwell, who tore his ACL just seven months ago. His 40 time alone might get him an offer.
Poised for a breakout junior season, Caldwell tore his ACL on the first day of spring practice. As a result, you cannot even find his name in an ESPN or Rivals recruiting database.
But Caldwell has since recovered, and was told he may get an offer if he could run a sub-4.4 40-yard dash. So Caldwell went out and smoked the competition, running a blistering 4.32 that was over a full tenth of a second faster than his closest competition. It would also be the fastest on the team if he were currently a Longhorn.
Caldwell, who is only 5'7," needs to show he can hold up for the course of a full season. But Texas could always use some extra speed, and buying low with a quick offer may not be a bad idea, especially if he can get even faster.
DT Du'Vonte Lampkin (2015)
Texas' 2015 class took an early hit when top defensive tackle stated Texas A&M as the favorite to land his commitment. Du'Vonte Lampkin would be a nice consolation prize.
At 6'3" and over 290 pounds, Lampkin already has collegiate-level size and looks like a man among boys when compared to his classmates.
Like Mack, he has stated the Aggies to be among his favorites with the Longhorns also in the mix which means they need to give this kid the full-court press in the mean time.
RB/LB Dylan Moses (2017)
If you are going to offer somebody a scholarship before they even play a down of high school football, he better look like Dylan Moses.
Yes. Moses is 15, now holds a scholarship offer from Texas, and looks like this. At 6'1" and 213 pounds, he appeared perfectly normal, if not more physically impressive, on the field with running backs and linebackers that are two and three years older than him.
Heck, he is only 10 pounds lighter than Malcolm Brown and dead even with Peter Jinkens.
No doubt Moses has talent. But there are two things, aside from injury, that you worry about with guys that are this big and this talented at such a young age. The first being that all of this attention will get to his head and he stops working as hard as he should. The second would be that this is his physical peak, and that he becomes far less dominant once the rest of his competition catches up with him.
Let us hope that neither takes place. Moses seems like a great kid and he has a chance to be something very special. However, it is far too early to anoint him as the next big thing like we did with soccer's Freddy Adu.
That said, he can feel free to sign with the 'Horns whenever he wants.