Texas Longhorns Football Recruiting Update: Class of 2011

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Texas Longhorns Football Recruiting Update: Class of 2011
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Some recruiting opinions, ill-formed as they are. I’m interested in yours.

Offense

QB

David Ash

I like Ash fine, and he was a recruiting lay-up from the start. He has the requisite size (6-foot-4), he throws a solid ball, and he’s a willing, if not particularly dangerous, runner. We need to target an elite level guy next year.

J.W. Walsh has been my preferred guy here since I saw his sophomore tape. However, his Dad is a canny coach and would prefer his son not sit behind Gilbert, then have to contend with an elite physical talent in Connor Wood and a brother-of-legend, both with a year on him.

Oklahoma State offered Walsh a depth chart as open as their admission policies, where he is all but assured of a starting gig within his first two years, placing him at the nexus of men’s Golf Prick fashion and men’s haircare for the foreseeable future. No Metroplex kid can pass that up.

OL

Christian Westerman
Garrett Greenlea
Sedrick Flowers
Josh Cochran
Taylor Doyle
Marcus Hutchins

We’re done here. This is a big haul and I’m particularly enthused about the first three names on the list.

Greenlea has a NFL frame (6-foot-7, 285 pounds) as a high school junior, and it won't shock me at all if he proves to be the best of the bunch. Westerman is an athletic animal sought by every team in the country, and Flowers is an interior masher with the feet to get to the next level defender.

Cochran, Doyle, and Hutchins all need to get bigger and stronger, and I expect at least one of them to pan.

One nit to pick: Rather than taking big OL numbers (we do the Class of Beef thing about every five years, with varied results) and hoping some work out, I’d like a more concerted effort to convert defensive linemen over to OL. I don’t want to just throw bodies at this problem–this isn’t Somme.

There are always a few guys buried on DL depth charts or the high school DL, who can be convinced that their future is on the other side of the ball, that are substantial athletic upgrades over the “elite” OL. They just need coaching and experience.

WR

Jaxon Shipley
Miles Onyegbule

Jaxon Shipley is the real deal: hands, route-running, quickness. We should get a productive seven years out of him.

Onyegbule is a big body wide receiver that will approximate what Dan Buckner gave us. If he’s not afraid of contact and can avoid Aggie equestriennes, his upside is considerably higher. He’ll play quarterback this year and, like John Harris, that’s better for his development than catching wobbly five yard hitches.

As a general rule, if an elite high school wide receiver can’t get viable QB play, I want him playing QB. He’ll get tougher, develop skills useful after the catch, and gain the confidence of game management.

TE

M.J. McFarland

Big body (6-foot-5, 235), great hands, athletic, straight line slow. Generally, I’d prefer a big TE that can win jump balls than a speed demon. The other realistic choice here was Max Stevenson (the Chris Barnett saga grows strange)–who actually does run extremely well–so it will be interesting to follow this and see how it plays out. At worst, he’s Mike Jones.

RB

Joe Bergeron

Bergeron is a true fullback/h-back. He can catch, run, block, and he has looked like a 32-year old man since he was 15. Very LeBron-/Oden-/Parish-like.

At HB, it’s Malcolm Brown or bust. I don’t see the massive separation between Brown and some of the rest of the field–particularly Brandon Williams–that most others see, but there’s no question that he’s elite.

I’m a Williams fan and we may circle back to him if Brown doesn’t succumb to Mack’s mesmerism. Williams is as committed to Baylor as Tiger Woods was to his marriage.

I contend that we should take two true runners here, and accelerate the departure/position switch of some of the role redundancy on our current depth chart, but it looks like it will be only one. I guess we need room for Johnathan Gray. Ha, ha, ha!

The state has 20 legit good to great runners this year. If you can’t find your RB in this crop, your evaluations are hopeless.

Defense

DL

Desmond Jackson

He’s the best defensive tackle Texas, arguably the nation. Tolly takes good DT recruits and makes them millionaires. It’s as predictable as the tides. We’ll try to add a DT or DE to the mix, but position switches in this class and in the two ahead of him will flesh out the depth chart sufficiently for next year if we want to save our bullets.

LB

Kendall Thompson
Chet Moss
Steve Edmond

Edmond is a huge get–he's one of the best players in the class. He can play LB or with his hand down and he’s everything you want. Physical, brutal, fast, football, and smart.

Moss is a program kid with deep coaching ties, and a good enough athlete not to be described as a reach. I like that he always makes the tackle. I wish more of his tackles weren’t of the “sure and capable” variety. More than any other recruit, I’ll watch his senior film with interest.

With Thompson, the calculus is pretty simple. Do you always take an athletic, productive East Texas kid with grades still growing into his frame? Yes. Always. They want it more. Future DE.

DB

Leroy Scott
Sheroid Evans

Scott is the best corner in the state–think of a stronger Roderick Babers. Evans is the best safety in the state and an elite, world-class track athlete, who will stick his head in there–a rare combo. Programs selling him on track could make for some interesting times until signing day if he doesn’t love football first and foremost. We could use another guy here if he’s elite.

AF’LETE

Quandre Diggs
Mykkele Thompson

Diggs is a dynamo, a slightly smaller Adrian Phillips from last year’s class. He’s very skilled, begs to have him the game placed on his shoulders, and a mean bastard on defense. We don’t think he can play CB for us, so he’s likely a safety on D.

He’s also a potential change up RB, a Quan Cosby clone in the slot, and a strong kick returner. Basically, you just take guys like Quandre and the position eventually makes itself apparent. Even if they don’t pan out, you’ve got a guy on special teams that can collect scalps.

Thompson, who raised some eyebrows as a questionable take, strikes me as future defensive back all the way, and I don’t doubt for a minute that Akina sees some Michael Huff in him. A little under the radar, catches well, rangy, hasn’t seen enough weight room, jumps and runs well, long wingspan.

Does he like contact? Can he carry 195-200 pounds? Can he adopt a true defensive mentality? The answer to those question will tell you his future.

Wrap-up

This class is as impressive as it has been painless to put together. Texas recruiting is running at a freakish level of optimization right now. I’m not sure we engage in recruiting so much as selection and anointing.

Where do we go from here?

We have 19 and will likely take only 3-4 more. So it’s cherry-picking time. We have no pressing needs beyond RB, so it’s really about taking interesting players and being picky in doing so. You also want to give yourself a little slack for late bloomers, summer camp guys, and the senior who bursts on the scene after a freakish growth spurt.

RB Malcolm Brown is the top priority. You have to like our chances.

CB Josh Turner, the best player in the state of Oklahoma, and a good program fit (read: grades, good head on shoulders), seems a strong possibility.

I don’t totally discount DL Cedric Reed or even DT Quincy Russell recommitting (he loved us for 24 hours). We won’t take Marquis Anderson unless something changes.

DE stud Jermauria Rascoe is still susceptible to a late-Muschamp push but getting Louisiana kids away from LSU is, uh, interesting. If we grab him, he’ll keep it on the lowdown until signing day to limit stress.

LB Anthony Wallace appears OU bound . Such a pity.

We’ll always add another guy that’s a surprise, too.

Your thoughts?

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This article originally appeared on: Barking Carnival

Follow Barking Carnival on Twitter: @BarkingCarnival

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