After a disappointing season ended prematurely with a loss to Texas A&M, the University of Texas looked to be in dire straights with the loss of defensive coordinator and coach-in-waiting Will Muschamp, the firing of Greg Davis and the overwhelming aura of indecision and chaos hovering over Austin. Despite the turmoil, however, Mack Brown still managed to keep a spectacular recruiting class together (the top-ranked class according to both Rivals and Scout).
The prize-jewel of the class undoubtedly is Steele HS running back Malcolm Brown, the top overall prospect at his position and a top ten overall prospect on both Rivals and Scout. The six-foot, 220 pounder has a similar style of play to that of Mark Ingram and Beanie Wells. With a powerful burst entering contact, great ball-carrier vision and a strong will to fight for extra yardage, Brown provides the consistency at the running back position absent since Cedric Benson carried the ball for the burnt orange.
The second most highly-touted recruit for the Longhorns is Dangerfield, Texas linebacker Steve Edmond, a five-star prospect by Scout and a four-star by Rivals. A powerful run-stopper, Edmond has the size to play middle linebacker in college, but could also be used like the coaching staff used Sergio Kindle and lined up at defensive end.
On the offensive line, Sedrick Flowers (fifth ranked OG) and Garrett Greenlea (fifth ranked OT) are both strong verbal commits to Texas as of now, while the top-ranked OT Christian Westerman waffles due to the coaching changes at UT. Currently, Westerman seems to still favor Texas as a tentative verbal commitment, but the tackle has also shown interest in Oregon, Auburn and Alabama.
How will Texas' recruiting class finish at the end of the year?
The defensive backfield, however, is where Texas' class really shines. For the second year in a row, the Longhorns pull the top recruit out of Oklahoma, this time in cornerback Josh Turner, ranked as the fourth-best corner in the nation. UT also pulls the third-ranked corner, Leroy Scott from South Houston, as well as the fourth-ranked safety, Sheroid Evans and eighth-ranked corner, Quandre Diggs (considered an athlete by Rivals, but a four star there as well).
On the defensive line, the Longhorns pick up two four-star defensive tackles in Desmond Jackson and Quincy Russell, as well as four-star defensive end Cedric Reed. Texas also has commitments from four-star middle linebackers Kendall Thompson and Chet Moss.
Wide receivers Jaxon Shipley (four-star), Miles Onyegbule (three-star) and Mykkele Thompson (three-star) have all signed with the Longhorns as well. Hopefully, these new faces can provide some consistent hands for a receiving core plagued with inconsistency (looking at you, Malcolm Williams).
Hopefully, Mack Brown will be able to retain all of these commitments in the midst of the Cleve Bryant-Gloria Allred circus amongst a host of other issues, including coaching staff decisions. But, deep down, I believe that Mack Brown will lead the Texas out of this darkness like he did nearly thirteen seasons ago.