With college football's national signing day inching closer, college staffs are starting the stretch run to finish the 2013 cycle. In our latest “Finish Line” feature, 247Sports and Hookem.com take a look at what left for Texas in the 2013 cycle, which currently has 14 commitments and is ranked No. 10 nationally by 247Sports.
Texas is battling Baylor at TCU for the services of Top247 lineman Andrew Billings.
Desmond Harrison, OT, Contra Costa (Calf.) C.C.
The 6-foot-7, 305-pound Harrison has taken official visits to N.C. State, Oklahoma and Arizona State with a trip to Texas coming this weekend. With Alabama having recently entered the picture, the four-star prospect will have to make a decision between USC and Alabama for a likely Dec. 14 visit date.
Hookem.com’s Jeff Howe on Harrison’s recruitment: “As of right now it's a two-horse race for Harrison's commitment between Oklahoma and Texas. If it ends that way, the Longhorns stand a good chance of winning the battle. Even though Harrison will visit Texas this weekend, the biggest competition could come the following weekend if Harrison takes a visit to Alabama as the Crimson Tide just offered a scholarship this week.”
Andrew Billings, OL/DT, Waco (Texas) High
The 6-foot-1, 302-pound Billings will be in Austin this weekend for an official visit, as the Longhorns continue to battle Baylor and TCU for the Top247 prospect. The two-way lineman may also look at taking official visits to Missouri and Arizona State before making a decision.
Howe on Billings’ recruitment: “Billing has been down to Baylor, TCU and Texas for quite some time. While Baylor and been able to play the angle of being close to home and TCU has been in the recruitment since the beginning, Texas offensive line coach Stacy Searels has done an outstanding job of selling Billings on his potential as an interior lineman giving Texas a great shot to land him. Billings and his parents are also said to be fond of the business school at Texas, which is another factor in the Longhorns' favor.”
James Clark, WR, New Smyrna Beach (Fla.)
The Longhorns are looking for speed at wide receiver to close out the 2013 class and James Clark certainly fits the bill with Robbie Rhodes continuing to be solid to Baylor. The 5-foot-11, 170-poud Clasrk who possesses 10.6 100-meter speed will visit Northwestern this weekend and possibly Rutgers and Duke in January, but the Florida Gators are the main threat for Texas should Mack Brown and staff offer.
Howe on Clark’s recruitment: “Texas receivers coach Darrell Wyatt was in Florida this week to see Clark. The bottom line from the meeting with Clark's coaches is that if Clark visits Texas he'll be offered. The biggest obstacle for the Longhorns is Florida. Gators' head coach Will Muschamp is expected to be in-home with Clark soon, and if the Gators offer there's a good chance he could pounce on it and end the process.”
Za'Darius Smith, DE, East Mississippi (Miss.) C.C.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Smith has already made official visits to Texas A&M, Ole Miss and Mississippi State with Texas to come this weekend. Headed into the stretch run of Smith’s recruitment, Mississippi State and Texas A&M are feeling confident about their chances while Texas is in catch up mode.
Howe on Smith’s recruitment: “Texas has a need at defensive end with All-American Alex Okafor's eligibility expiring and Jackson Jeffcoat coming off of his second pectoral surgery within a 12-month period. Smith is new to the picture and while Mississippi State and Texas A&M both feel good about their chances, the Longhorns have a chance to get right in the thick of things with a visit this weekend.”
De'Vondre Campbell, LB Hutchinson (Kan.) C.C.
The “soft” commitment to Tennessee is scheduled to be in Austin this weekend. For the Longhorns, the relationship the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Campbell build with newly hired Tennessee coach Butch Jones will be the key part of the equation. The first hurdle for the Longhorns to clear is blowing the rangy defender away on this weekends official visit.
Howe on Campbell’s recruitment: “This one is pretty simple for the Longhorns. Depending on who is hired at Tennessee, Campbell could reopen his commitment. If he does reopen things then Texas has positioned himself well due to the Hutch staff having protected him since Tennessee placed him at the school. Campbell is expected to be in Austin this weekend, but the biggest development in his recruitment will be what happens in Knoxville.”