No matter what happens on national signing day, Charlie Strong has done a heck of a job building his 2015 class.
Hired by Texas in January 2014, Strong, who inherited only one prospect (4-star center Patrick Vahe) from Mack Brown, had barely a year to sell potential recruits on a Longhorns program that struggled to a tumultuous 6-7 season. Still, he has managed to put together the top class in the Big 12 and the No. 9 group in the nation, per 247Sports' composite rankings.
He has done an especially standout job on the defensive side of the ball, adding top-100 prospects Malik Jefferson, Anthony Wheeler, Holton Hill and Kris Boyd.
There's still work to be done, though, so let's take a look at what to expect from the Longhorns' remaining targets ahead of Wednesday's crucial signing deadline.
|Texas' 2015 Remaining Targets|
|Daylon Mack (Gladewater, TX)||DT||14||Texas A&M|
|Soso Jamabo (Plano, TX)||RB||32||UCLA|
|DaMarkus Lodge (Cedar Hill, TX)||WR||43||Ole Miss|
|Chris Warren (Rockwell, TX)||RB||77||Texas|
|Ryan Newsome (Aledo, TX)||WR||225||UCLA|
|Deandre Baker (Miami, FL)||CB||653||Texas|
|Dominique Reed (Coffeyville, KS)||WR||56 (JC)||Texas|
|*247Sports' Composite Rankings|
Breakdown of Predictions
Five-star quarterback Kyler Murray's commitment to Texas A&M didn't just hurt the Longhorns because they are QB-needy (although the addition of Kai Locksley certainly helps in that area). It also hurt because of what it means for DaMarkus Lodge.
The talented wide receiver, closely tied to Murray, is now a considerable long shot. According to SB Nation's Wescott Eberts, Lodge has already informed the Texas staff of his decision to sign elsewhere.
According to sources cited by 247Sports' Bobby Burton, both players have eliminated Texas from consideration. Mack, a defensive tackle, has reportedly narrowed his decision to Texas A&M and TCU, while Jamabo, a big, powerful running back, is a strong UCLA lean.
Fortunately for the Longhorns, they'll still return Johnathan Gray, while the potential addition of Chris Warren will help depth at the position. The son of the former Seattle Seahawk by the same name raved about his visit to Austin in December:
Chris Warren III @ScorealldayCW25
My visit to Texas was down right amazing! Austin treated me well! #HookEm2014-12-15 04:24:00
A 6'2", 240-pound workhorse who does everything well, Warren would easily soften the blow of losing Jamabo.
Finally, Deandre Baker is currently a Georgia commit, but he made an official visit to Austin in late January, which appeared to narrow the gap:
Georgia commit Deandre Baker after Texas OV: "It's pretty close now.” (VIP) » http://t.co/EzWIdxCtIM #HookEm #GoDawgs http://t.co/fWAbdX6w0x2015-1-25 21:05:09
The Longhorns already have an astounding secondary class with Hill, Boyd, DeShon Elliott and Davante Davis. Expect Baker to add to that, especially after the recent decommitment of Jamile Johnson.
Although it may not be a banner day with Lodge, Mack and Jamabo all looking unlikely, Texas is still in fantastic position to land a top-10 class. The head-coaching transition was a rough one in its first year, but rest assured the future is blindingly bright under Strong.
All recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports unless noted otherwise.