Texas National Signing Day 2014: Instant Updates and Analysis

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Texas National Signing Day 2014: Instant Updates and Analysis
Credit: 247Sports

New coach, no problem.

Texas enters national signing day with less than ideal circumstances. Not only did Charlie Strong replace legendary head coach Mack Brown with little time to make his pitch to uncommitted recruits, but the Longhorns are coming off an 8-5 season in which they finished outside the Top 25 for the third time in four years. 

No matter.

According to 247Sports' composite rankings, the Longhorns begin Wednesday's crucial day with the No. 15 class nationally and the top-ranked class in the Big 12. 

With plenty of other targets remaining, Strong has an opportunity to make a major splash in his first season in Austin. 

Let's take a look at the Longhorns' national signing day activity.

Note: All rankings and player information courtesy of 247Sports 

Texas Longhorns 2014 Recruiting Class
Player Position Position Rank Stars National Rank
ENROLLES
Blake Whiteley TE No. 2 (JuCo) 3 53 (JuCo)
Andrew Beck ILB 25 3 521
Alex Anderson OG 50 3 999
HARD COMMITS
Derick Roberson DE 4 4 64
Jerrod Heard QB 2 4 72
Armanti Foreman WR 16 4 110
Edwin Freeman OLB 14 4 174
Lorenzo Joe WR 29 4 187
Donald Catalon RB 10 4 210
John Bonney S 19 4 249
Poona Ford DT 22 4 263
Roderick Bernard WR 54 3 393
Jermaine Roberts CB 31 3 403
Cameron Hampton OLB 44 3 543
Dorian Leonard WR 75 3 555
Terrell Cuney C 7 3 559
Garrett Gray WR 108 3 802
Jake McMillon DE 33 3 812
Kevin Shorter ATH 63 3 825
Jason Hall S 74 3 908
D'Onta Foreman RB 68 3 NA
Chris Nelson DT 56 3 810
Elijah Rodriguez OT 123 3 1,481

247Sports

 

Top Commits

Derick Roberson, DE

The San Antonio native, who had offers from schools such as Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M, committed to Texas back in August—of 2012. 

“I’ve always wanted to go to UT,” Roberson said, via ESPN.com's William Wilkerson. “They have always been my top option. I just like Texas. I have been looking at Texas ever since I was a little kid.”

And it doesn't sound like the hiring of Strong swayed that opinion at all, courtesy of The Orange Report's Big Mike:

With Jackson Jeffcoat off to the NFL, and Cedric Reed entering his final season in Austin, Roberson stands as a legitimate future option to fill the future pass-rushing vacancy. With his blend of size and quickness, the Under Armour All-American could be a situational pass-rusher right away, with the potential to develop into a three-down defensive end down the road. 

In Roberson, Strong has himself a talented, intelligent football player with the upside and versatility to eventually anchor the defensive line. 

 

Jerrod Heard, QB

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Heard comes in as the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in America, and the 10th-ranked prospect out of the football hotbed that is the state of Texas. 

Much like with most dual threat QB's coming out of high school, Heard is still a fairly raw prospect. 247Sports.com grades him as a mere five out of 10 in the "pocket presence" category and six out of 10 in "accuracy."

Still, his talent is undeniable. 

In leading Guyer High School to the 2013 4A Division I Texas state title, Heard threw for 2,136 yards, 22 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. He also added a silly 2,161 rushing yards and 27 more scores.

Moreover, after he was chosen as one of the Elite 11 quarterbacks this summer, Trent Dilfer was surprised in the dual-threat QB's ability to throw the ball, per ESPN.com's Tom VanHaaren:

"I was concerned about Jerrod coming in. I didn't know how he would handle this and the pressure he would be [facing] throwing the ball as much as we ask guys to do. But he was the biggest surprise through the first two days."

Heard may not overtake David Ash and Tyrone Swoopes right away, and a redshirt is certainly an option, but Heard's talent suggests he will at least be in the QB mix. 

 

Armanti Foreman, WR

A former Oklahoma commit, Armanti Foreman pledged to Texas in June 2013 along with his brother D'Onta Foreman, a 3-star running back. 

Armanti, who is ranked as the 16th-best wide receiver in the nation, isn't the biggest or most physical wide receiver, but he's a fluid athlete with good hands, speed, yards-after-catch ability and the versatility to line up all over the field. 

During his senior season, he tallied 390 rushing yards, 750 receiving yards and 13 total touchdowns, earning him the Offensive Player of the Year award from the Touchdown Club of Houston, per the Houston Chronicle's John McClain:

 

The Longhorns have the ability to get creative with Foreman. Whether they line him up on the outside, in the slot or as a returner, the Semper Fi All-American has the potential to make a huge impact very soon. 

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