Texas Longhorns Football

Texas Football: Predicting Where the Horns Will Finish in 2015 Recruiting Ranks

Texas OT commit Ronnie Major
Texas OT commit Ronnie MajorCredit: 247Sports
Zach SheltonFeatured ColumnistJune 19, 2014

Texas' 2015 class of 10 commits sits at 15th in the nation, which has the Longhorns poised to finish outside the top 10 for the third straight season. The best way to prevent that from happening is for Charlie Strong to prove he can turn the team around in a timely fashion.

Coming off their fourth straight disappointing season, the 'Horns have lost some equity on the recruiting trail. Players have been decommitting late in the process, leaving the state in search of greener pastures and altogether spurning the Burnt Orange for Texas A&M.

The worst part for Texas is that these players were right to do so. Mack Brown fielded a top-10 recruiting class three out of the last four years and still went 30-21 over that span. That's not going to get it done in a non-SEC conference, especially when your players aren't getting drafted.

It's Strong's job to reverse those fortunes. And considering the circumstances, he's done well to nab some high-upside players that will keep the class atop the Big 12.

 

Current 2015 Commits
PlayerHT/WTComposite Rating (Grade)
OT Toby Weathersby6'4.5"/295 lbs**** (.9382)
OG Patrick Vahe6'3"/280 lbs**** (.9307)
QB Zach Gentry6'7"/230 lbs**** (.9178)
S Deshon Elliott6'1"/200 lbs**** (.9059)
RB Jordan Stevenson5'8"/185 lbs**** (.9058)
RB Tristian Houston5'11"/195 lbs*** (.8761)
OT Ronnie Major6'6"/290 lbs*** (.8725)
RB Kirk Johnson6'0"/191 lbs*** (.8691)
S Keivon Ramsey6'1"/170 lbs*** (.8632)
DE Charles Omenihu6'5"/217 lbs*** (.8523)
247Sports

The Current Crop

The offensive line is the cream of the current group commits, led by one of the state's top tackles, Toby Weathersby. Joining him are The Opening participant Patrick Vahe and fellow tackle Ronnie Major, a 6'6" prospect whose stock continues to soar thanks to his athleticism.

On the other side of the trenches, Charles Omenihu is looking like a steal at defensive end. Rated as a 3-star player when Texas landed his commitment, he is up to 13 offers on his way to jumping up a star on the trail.

Zach Gentry and Kirk Johnson headline the more glamorous offensive positions. At the very least, Gentry provides a solid arm behind Jerrod Heard should anything happen to Texas' top 2014 recruit. As for Johnson, who surprised everyone at the Oakland NFTC, he's shaping up as Texas' replacement for Johnathan Gray in the backfield.

 

Top 2015 Targets Expected to Commit
PlayerHT/WTComposite Rating (Grade)
RB Chris Warren6'2"/232 lbs**** (.9382)
LB Anthony Wheeler6'2"/225 lbs**** (.9331)
LB Cameron Townsend6'0.5"/195 lbs**** (.9010)
CB Holton Hill6'2"/184 lbs**** (.9209)
WR Ryan Newsome5'8"/175 lbs**** (.9114)
OT Madison Akamnonu6'5"/269 lbs**** (.8954)
DT Du'Vonta Lampkin6'3"/291 lbs*** (.8898)
WR John Burt6'3"/180 lbs**** (.9414)
OG Garrett Thomas6'5.5"/306 lbs*** (8641)
DT Tevin Boone6'2"/290 lbs*** (..8289)
OG Tyler Moore6'4"/335 lbs*** (.8356)
247Sports

The Safe Bets

Texas' top targets in the short-term are defensive tackle Du'Vonta Lampkin, defensive back Holton Hill and running back Chris Warren. The 'Horns could also use a commitment from one of Anthony Wheeler or Cameron Townsend at linebacker.

Not only do all four of the above defenders have a chance to play as freshmen, they would each be the first commit at their respective positions. The Longhorns will be dangerously thin at all three positions next year, so getting players of this caliber would be huge for this class.

Lampkin visited last week and has named Texas his leader.

On the offensive side of the ball, both Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron will graduate following the 2014 season. That leaves the door wide open for a bruiser such as Warren to take over short-yardage duty and then some in 2015.

Texas is in good position with every player on this list, and landing even half of them would make this a national-level class.

 

Top 2015 Long Shots
PlayerHT/WTComposite Rating (Grade)
CB Kendall Sheffield5'11"/180 lbs***** (.9928)
LB Malik Jefferson6'2"/225 lbs***** (.9927)
CB Kris Boyd6'0"/179 lbs**** (.9405)
CB Roney Elam6'3"/170 lbs**** (.8984)
DE James Lockhart6'3"/260 lbs**** (.9499)
WR Carlos Strickland6'5"/194 lbs**** (.9377)
DT Darrion Daniels6'3.5"/290 lbs**** (.9058)
247Sports

The Long Shots

Cornerback Kendall Sheffield and linebacker Malik Jefferson are the two best players in the state, and anyone hoping to land their services better be ready to play the long game. The Longhorns stand a better chance with Sheffield at the moment, which would give Texas a four-year starter if he stayed that long.

Roney Elam and Kris Boyd were once thought of as great consolation prizes to Sheffield, but Texas is losing ground with both. Elam canceled this week's visit, per Orangebloods.com's Dustin McComas, and the Aggies are quickly gaining ground with the athletic Boyd.

Winning 10 games or getting as close as possible without doing so is the only way Texas gets a shot at picking up any of these players. That's why it's called the long game.

 

Prediction

So long as they stay on the current path, the Longhorns will have the top class in the Big 12. Anything more than that depends completely on what they do in the left-hand column.

Vahe, Major, Johnson and Omenihu alone will give this class a boost as it climbs the rankings. Along with the rest of the class, they are as committed as it gets this early in the process.

As for the safe bets to eventually commit, the 'Horns should be able to land between six and seven based on their ability to provide an early role on the team. But the 'Horns can take as many as 27 recruits this year, so more names are sure to enter the mix.

And should Jefferson or Sheffield decide that he looks better in burnt orange than maroon, it wouldn't be out of the question to crack the top five. That's the ceiling with a 10-win season.

Realistically, the Longhorns are looking at eight to nine wins. The end will net them a class full of quality players that ends up near the top 10.

 

All recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports.

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