• Recruiting surprise for Texas

    Although Texas is notorious for doing most of its recruiting work early, the team had a late surprise on Wednesday. Four-star defensive end Torshiro Davis has switched his commitment from LSU to Texas. He is Texas’ 28th letter of intent for the class of 2012.

    At 6-foot-3, 222 pounds, Rivals ranks Davis as the nation’s 125th best overall and ESPNU ranks him 77th overall. Davis made an official visit to Texas in December. He had been committed to LSU since February 3, 2011. But made his decision to switch to Texas shortly after 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

    Davis is the fourth player since Saturday to switch a non-binding verbal pledge to Texas. Dalton Santos from Tennessee, Daje Johnson from TCU and Bryce Cottrell from Oregon all switched from their prospective schools. Although he comes from Shreveport Woodlawn High School, a football powerhouse in Louisiana, Torshiro made the tough decision to leave his home state and his commitment to LSU.

    Davis had visited both Alabama and Texas during the recruitment process. But his relationship with defensive tackles coach Bo Davis could have contributed to his last-minute change of heart. The two became close during the recruitment process, but met at a summer camp in Alabama his sophomore year. Texas did not give up on recruiting him, even though his allegiance appeared to lie with LSU. Texas continued to recruit him until last week when Davis told the team he would be signing with LSU.

    Rivals ranked him as the eighth-best outside linebacker in the country. But he may play defensive end at UT. He specializes in pass rushing.

    With Texas’ top recruits mostly on the offensive side of the field, Davis will be an important edition to the slightly depleted defense. Linebackers Emmanuel Acho and Keenan Robinson’s graduations will provide Davis with the opportunity to play early in his career at Texas. He definitely has the ability to make a difference in Texas’ rebuilding effort.

    Texas now has 12 of the top 150 prospects in its recruiting class.

  • Football Recruits

    National Signing day came and went, and the Texas Longhorns loaded up.

    For a team on the rise like the Longhorns, new talent can be the difference between a .500 year, and a Big 12 championship year. With that said, here are some of the 2012 recruits that should make the transition from rebuilding stage to contender a little easier:

    Johnathan Gray

    One of the most productive running backs to ever play high school football, Gray possesses a natural ability that not most of the recruits in his class cannot match. Gray boasts a sturdy and compact body built low to the ground that allows him to act as a power back in any hole that opens up. He possesses great top end speed, running a 4.53 40-yard dash, which made him a touchdown machine in high school. He has great vision and sees holes well which should make him an impact back for the longhorns very early. Gray is ranked as the No.2 recruit by ESPN, and should see immediate playing time when he arrives in Austin next season.

    Malcom Brown

    Not to be confused with the longhorns returning running back, Malcom Brown is the No.2 ranked defensive tackle in the class of 2012. Brown isn’t a huge player (in size) at the tackle position, but his ability to get low and under offensive lineup should help him adjust at the next level. He shows solid penetrating ability and a very above average ability to rush against the run. If Brown adds some size to his firm and tall frame, he will see a ton of playing time for the longhorns. His strength and penetration skills should allow him to get solid playing time early on for the longhorns.

    Kennedy Estelle

    A player with superior size and athleticism, Estelle is an offensive tackle that I think will translate well at the college level. At 6’7 and310 pounds, Estelle could add a little bulk to his frame, but he possess strength and size that works to his advantage against smaller defenders. He is a very physical and tough tackle that could see immediate playing time on an offensive line that could use some help with their run blocking. Although Estelle must polish his blocking ability, he possesses the ability and size to help keep the quarterbacks safe, and give them time to improve and make better decisions in the pocket.

    Conner Brewer

    Brewer is ranked as the No.7 QB in the 2012 class and has the tools to possibly be the offensive general that the Longhorns desperately need. He has a frame that can add bulk and be prototypical for an elite quarterback. Brewer’s polished ability in the pocket seems a bit better than any quarterback that the longhorns currently have on their roster. He throws the ball very accurately and has the speed to create a play and keep a play alive when pressure gets to the pocket. If Brewer proves that he can make good decisions in the pocket, look for him to be an immediate starter for a team with average quarterback play at best.

    Peter Jinkens

    Peter Jinkens is a tough outside linebacker who runs very well sideline to sideline in pursuit of the ball. He is very fast for a linebacker, and has the athleticism to make him a defender with huge upside. He is a very long 6’1, and uses this size to square up defenders and make solid tackles. Jinkens saw some time at running back in high school as well, but will likely be a fearsome linebacker at the college level. If more size is added to his frame, Jinkens could be a Patrick Willis type player on the Texas defense.

    Torshiro Davis

    The Longhorns pulled off a huge signing day snag by stealing Davis from his longstanding verbal commitment to LSU. Davis is a defensive end/outside linebacker type whose game is built on speed. At 6’3, 220 pounds Davis needs to pack on to his lean frame at the next level, but his 4.56 40-yard dash speed makes him an above average pass rusher. He has a knack for getting into the backfield, and can chase down many backs from behind. Don’t expect Davis to get a lot of playing time early on as the Longhorns have a nice set of linebackers, but definitely expect him to be a disruptive force whenever he comes into his own as a college defender.

  • Texas signs 28 recruits, class full of blue-chip talent

    The Texas Longhorns inked 28 football recruits this morning during National Signing Day.

    Texas entered Wednesday with 27 verbal commitments--all eventually signed--and got a late addition when Torshiro Davis chose UT over Louisiana State. Davis, a defensive end, told the coaching staff he wanted to play in the Big 12, where he could showcase his pass rushing ability against pass-heavy offenses.

    "We're very excited about our signing class," said Texas head coach Mack Brown. "It's the largest one we've had in a while. It's a group that's pretty well balanced across the board."

    The Longhorns signed a pair of five-star recruits in Brenham defensive tackle Malcolm Brown and Aledo tailback Johnathan Gray. The rest of UT's 2012 class featured 15 four-star prospects, 10 three-stars and one two-star (kicker Nick Jordan from Coppell).

    The NCAA allows teams to sign up to 50 players every two years. Texas signed 22 players last season, allowing them to bring in 28 more in 2012.

    The Longhorns filled every position on the field except for tight end. Texas all ready has seven tight ends on its roster and plans to move defensive tackle Greg Daniels to the position this year. Still, Brown said some of the newcomers could play the position. He mentioned defensive end Caleb Bluiett, Malcolm Brown and linebacker Dalton Santos as possibilities.

    "We feel like some of these guys can play tight end," he said.

    Texas finished the day with the No. 2 recruiting class nationally, according to rivals.com. But that doesn’t guarantee future success on the field.

    "This is a starting point," Brown said. "This isn’t a finishing point. We need to do a great job bringing these guys along and making them productive players."