Five biggest storylines from Texas Football’s star-studded recruiting weekend

Matthew Boncosky, Sports Reporter

First-year head coach Steve Sarkisian wielded all of the Longhorn brand and tradition this past weekend as Texas hosted several of its top targets on the recruiting trail. It was the first in-person recruiting event after the NCAA ended its COVID-19 induced dead period on June 1.

The star-studded event included appearances from Longhorn icons Earl Campbell, Vince Young and Matthew McConaughey, along with lots of social media attention and tours of the Longhorns’ nearly completed new facilities.

Here are the five biggest storylines from the weekend.

Quarterback Arch Manning in play for Texas

For Arch Manning, playing quarterback is a family tradition. His grandfather, Archie, was a two-time Pro Bowl selection for the New Orleans Saints before his uncles, Peyton and Eli, each won two Super Bowls in their respective careers.

The coveted five-star recruit is the top quarterback in the class of 2023 and already sports offers from programs such as Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame.

Reports indicate that the visit went well, with 247Sports’ Josh Pate saying Texas, “Hit a home run.”

The biggest names in college football are vying for his services, so initial success on the field for Sarkisian will be vital in the Manning sweepstakes. Capitalizing on the opportunity to secure a truly elite talent at quarterback will go a long way towards returning Texas to national championship contention.

Sarkisian secures commitment from Anthony Jones

In an early indication of a successful weekend, Sarkisian secured a commitment from three-star athlete Anthony Jones during his visit.

Jones is the 11th ranked prospect in the state of Nevada for the class of 2022. He was originally committed to Washington before decommitting on Feb. 26.

Pete Kwiatkowski, former Washington defensive coordinator, left the Huskies to take on the same role at Texas and, according to 247Sports, has a good relationship with Jones that likely impacted his decision.

Jones will likely be used as an edge rusher in the Texas defense.

Longhorns await decisions from other top recruits

In addition to Manning, Texas hosted five-star recruits edge rusher Anthony Hill and linebacker Harold Perkins over the weekend.

Hill, the 8th ranked overall prospect and Denton Ryan standout, was seen on campus with fellow class of 2023 five-star running back Rueben Owens, but Owens’ decommitment from the Longhorns Thursday might hurt Texas’ chances in securing the top edge rusher in the country.

Perkins, the top ranked linebacker in the country from Cypress, Texas, appeared impressed by the Longhorns’ pitch.

Some recruits second guessing their commitments after Texas’ display

All the attention Texas garnered over the weekend might have played a role in some recruits backing out of their commitments to other schools.

Xavion Brice, a three-star wide receiver in the class of 2022, was committed to Kansas prior to his visit to Austin. He earned himself a scholarship offer from Texas and announced his decommitment from Kansas on Sunday.

Fellow class of 2022 wide receiver Jordan Hudson, a four-star recruit, decommitted from Oklahoma on Monday to reopen his recruitment. Sarkisian might have opened a few doors that previously appeared closed.

Texas lands talented kicker

Continuing a Texas line of talented kickers with even better names, Will Stone will join the likes of Dusty Mangum, Justin Tucker and Cameron Dicker as the Austin product committed to the Longhorns a day after revealing he received a scholarship offer on Monday.

Stone, sporting a five-star rating from Kohl’s Professional Camps, appears to be the next in line after Dicker’s career comes to an end. Dicker is the only scholarship kicker currently on Texas’ roster.

In addition, Texas landed a commitment from top-ranked long snapper Lance St. Louis earlier this month, signaling that special teams will be well taken care of under coach Jeff Banks.