National Signing Day blog: Texas Longhorns
Posted on February 5, 2014 at 9:33 AM
Thursday, Feb 6 at 9:35 AM
It's not often you can relate Longhorns nation to Bob Dylan, but as the legendary artist famously sang; 'The times, they are a-changin'.
Mack Brown led the Texas football program for a decade and a half, and his departure ushers in uncertainty and instability the program isn't accustomed to. The university found a very capable replacement for Brown in former Louisville head coach Charlie Strong, but transitions of this magnitude are never seamless - and with Brown's stature and his sterling reputation as a recruiter, this is no exception. The Texas recruiting class has lost several key commitments over the last few weeks, as young players comfortable with Brown decided to take their talents elsewhere. Texas saw key recruits like Trey Lealaimatafao, Courtney Garnett and Keller's Teuhema brothers (Sione, a linebacker in this year's class, and Maea, one of the top offensive linemen in next year's national pool) go in other directions. But it's far from a lost recruiting season for the Horns, who are still adding a very talented group of players.
The headliner in most people's eyes is Denton Guyer quarterback Jerrod Heard. Heard is an athletic dual-threat quarterback who has led Guyer to back-to-back state titles (winning the offensive MVP award both times). His style of play will remind Longhorns fans of Vince Young, though he's not nearly as big and has a long way to go before he matches the legendary Texas QB. Texas has a packed stable of talented young QBs, including Tyrone Swoopes - a 4-star dual threat QB much like Heard, who came on board last year.
The school will also ink quite a few playmakers for Heard to potentially give the ball. Armanti Foreman and Lorenzo Joe are two of the state's best wide receivers and both are Austin-bound. They'll be joined by two big-time runners, Foreman's twin brother D'Onta and Houston's Donald Catalon.
Texas fans breathed a big sigh of relief this morning, as two of their highest-rated players faxed in letters of intent. Defensive End Derick Roberson and Safety John Bonney, both of whom were heavily courted by other schools, stuck with their commitments to the burnt orange.
Texas' class isn't fully cemented yet, but they have letters of intent from local linebackers Edwin Freeman (Arlington Bowie) and Cameron Hampton (Dallas Carter).
Outside the state, they'll add Arizona's Blake Whiteley, one of the top transfer tight ends in the country. Linebacker Andrew Beck from Tampa, Florida and Guard Alex Anderson from new Orleans also add some talent to the group. They also made one semi-surprising addition this morning, as The Longhorn Network reported Florida Defensive Tackle Chris Nelson will sign with Texas. And the biggest in-doubt add of signing day was a Charlie Strong find: South Carolina Defensive Tackle Poona Ford. once a top Louisville target, is Austin-bound. That doesn't quite make up for the losses of Lealaimatafao and Garnett, but it's a good start.