Texas Football Recruiting: Everything You Need to Know for National Signing Day

Taylor Gaspar@Taylor_GasparFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2014

Texas Football Recruiting: Everything You Need to Know for National Signing Day

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    Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    The Texas Longhorns have only been off the field for two weeks, but the offseason has already been a whirlwind full of new coaches and new potential recruits. Head coach Charlie Strong is working tirelessly to form his new staff in Austin, and with National Signing Day right around the corner, Strong could not complete his staff soon enough.

    Texas has lost three verbal commits over the last two weeks—defensive tackle's Trey Lealaimatafao, Courtney Garnett and Zaycoven Henderson—but has managed to gain interest from former Louisville defensive tackle commit Poona Ford.

    Here's a look at the current situation that the Longhorns will face on National Signing Day.

Top Remaining Targets

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    4-star defensive end Solomon Thomas

    Top schools: Arkansas, Ohio State, Stanford, Texas and UCLA

    Rankings: No. 3 defensive end; No. 4 in Texas; No. 31 National

    Coppell defensive end Solomon Thomas has stayed mum about the school he will commit to, but recently told Rivals.com Texas is among his Top-5 schools. The 6'3", 263-pound defensive end liked the Strong hire and plans to visit Texas in the near future. 

    "I will be going back to Texas to meet the new coaching staff," Thomas said (per Dallas Morning News). "I like Charlie Strong a lot. I think he is a great coach."

    Thomas would be a solid addition to the 2014 recruiting class, which currently has one defensive end verbal commit, Jake McMillon.

    4-star safety Edwin Freeman

    Top schools: Texas and Texas A&M

    Rankings: No. 12 safety; No. 15 in Texas; No. 134 National

    Bowie safety Edwin Freeman recently said he wanted to wait on who the Longhorns have hired before he makes his college choice, according to Orangebloods.com. Texas currently has two safety commits in the 2014 class, John Bonney and Jason Hall. With Adrian Phillips graduating from Texas, the Longhorns will be looking to fill the void at safety, and that could possibly be done by Freeman. 

    Player information provided by Rivals.com.

Current Commits

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    Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports
    Otaro Alaka 210-lb LBCypress Falls HighHouston, TX
    Andrew Beck230-lb LBPlant High Tampa, FL
    Roderick Bernard175-lb WR Sharpstown High Houston, TX
    John Bonney 183-lb DBLamar HighHouston, TX
    Donald Catalon 200-lb RBEisenhower HighHouston, TX
    Terrell Cuney 260-lb OL Jasper HighJasper, TX
    Armanti Foreman174-lb WRTexas City HighTexas City, TX      
    D'Onta Foreman198-lb ATH Texas City HighTexas City, TX
    Garrett Gray           205-lb WRMarble Falls HighMarble Falls, TX
    Jason Hall190-lb DBSouth Grand Prairie HighGrand Prairie, TX
    Cameron Hampton201-lb LBCarter High  Dallas, TX
    Jerrod Heard193-lb QB Guyer High Denton, TX
    Lorenzo Joe192-lb WRAbilene Cooper High   Abilene, TX
    Dorian Leonard200-lb WR Longview High Longview, TX
    Jake McMillon 240-lb DEAbilene HighAbilene, TX
    Emanuel Porter189-lb WRLincoln HighDallas, TX
    Derick Roberson225-lb DEBrennan HighSan Antonio, TX
    Jermaine Roberts170-lb DBSt. Augustine HighNew Orleans, LA
    Kevin Shorter188-lb RBNewton HighNewton, TX
    Sione Teuhema 215-lb DEKeller HighKeller, TX
    Blake Whiteley    240-lb TEArizona Western C.C.  Yuma, AZ     

    Player information provided by Rivals.com.

Players Who Could Contribute as Freshmen

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    4-star quarterback Jerrod Heard

    Finding a viable quarterback option has been a struggle for Texas since Colt McCoy left in 2009. Since McCoy's departure, the Longhorns have started three different quarterbacks and had two QBs transfer and make an impact at different Division I football programs. Following the 2012 season, Texas appeared to have David Ash ready to take the reigns for the Longhorns, but when Ash went down with a head injury in Week 2 of the 2013 season, the future looked dull for the Texas QBs. 

    Ash is expected to return to the team in time for spring football, but it's difficult to expect much from anyone who suffers recurring concussion symptoms for an entire football season. If Ash does not look like the same QB in the spring, Jerrod Heard could compete for the role once he arrives in Austin in the summer.

    4-star wide receiver Armanti Foreman

    Texas wide receivers did not receive very much recognition in 2013 due to the run heavy offensive attack. But the Longhorns will lose standout wide receiver Mike Davis, which will open the doors for a youngster to get some playing time. Texas City wide receiver Armanti Foreman could very well be that youngster.

    Foreman racked up 1,479 all purpose yards in his senior season at Texas City High School, according to Maxpreps.com. The 6-foot receiver has the speed and talent to make an immediate impact for the Longhorns.

Storylines to Watch

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    Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

    As cliche as it may sound, all eyes are upon Texas leading up to National Signing Day, and the reason why is simple. Anything is possible when there is a head coaching change. When the change occurs at one of the most polarizing college football programs in the country, storylines are published at tenfold.

    One of the more significant storylines to watch will be if the new coaching staff can secure the current 2014 commitment list and replace any potential decommitments with players of similar strengths.

    The eyes of Texas and college football are upon Charlie Strong.

Fun Facts

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    Did you know ...

    If defensive end Solomon Thomas could have any super-human power, he would like to be The Hulk?

    Armanti and D'Onta Foreman are fraternal twins?

    Tight end Blake Whiteley, Charlie Strong's first verbal commit at Texas, is from Canada?

    Jerrod Heard was a ball boy for Guyer high school in seventh grade?

    Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first hand.

    Follow Taylor on Twitter: @Taylor_Gaspar