Feb. 24, 2017
Five Recruits That Can Save the Texas 2017 Class
2016 has been a disappointing year for Texas football. After defeating at the time #10 ranked Notre Dame in a double overtime thriller that was given the headline "Texas Football is back," it all came crashing down for the Longhorns. The Longhorns finished the year going 4-7 the rest of the season to crawl to a 5-7 record and lost to Kansas for the first time since 1938. This led to the expected firing of Charlie Strong, and the hiring of former Houston head coach Tom Herman. Herman not only has a lot of work to do to win over a Texas team full of Charlie Strong recruits, but he also has a ton of work to do on the recruiting trail to fix the Longhorns 2017 class. The Longhorns 2017 class currently has only 8 commits, ranks 60th in the nation, and 7th in the big 12. Naturally Texas is going to land more commits and climb up the recruiting rankings, but there are 5 recruits that I feel Tom Herman and the Longhorns staff need to land to save this years class.
It has been quite the week for the 4 star prospect out of Wylie, Texas running back Eno Benjamin. After picking up a long awaited offer from the Longhorns last Thursday, Eno also took a trip down to Austin on Friday. Benjamin ranks as the 9th best running back and 24th best prospect in the state of Texas according to 247sports.com. If the Longhorns were able to Eno Benjamin, he could see early playing time with D'Onta Foreman declaring for the NFL draft. Eno Benjamin finished his senior season with 367 rushes, 2,604 yards, and 32 touchdowns. Eno Benjamin released his top 6 on Thursday, which consists of Arizona State, Oklahoma State, Michigan, Missouri, Utah, and Texas. According to 247, Texas is the overwhelming favorite to land Eno, with 71% of the crystal ball predictions. He is set to commit on January 7th at the Army All-American Bowl, and I fully expect for the Texas Longhorns to land Eno Benjamin.
Tom Herman and the Texas Longhorns have gained major ground on TCU commit Omar Manning. The 6'3 receiver out of Lancaster, Texas has been committed to the Horned Frogs since October 21st. Since Tom Herman has been hired as the Longhorns head coach, Texas has ramped up their recruitment of Omar. After taking a visit to Austin on Saturday, a flip to the Longhorns could be imminent. Omar Manning finished his senior season with 45 receptions, 742 yards and 8 touchdowns. Omar could see early playing time, as the Longhorns didn't have a receiver emerge as the #1 option last season. Tom Herman and the staff will have to continue to make Omar Manning a priority if they want the receiver to flip. The Texas commits have been doing their fair share.
The weak side defensive end out of Houston might have the best name of any recruit in this year's class. K'Lavon Chaisson is the 11th ranked player in the state of Texas, as well as the 86th ranked player in the nation. He has offers from major schools such as Oklahoma, Texas, Michigan and Georgia. K'Lavon finished 2015 with 86 tackles and 21 sacks on the season for North Shore High School. K'Lavon Chaisson has been quiet for a while, but is ready to make a verbal commitment to a school soon. Texas is the favorite at 64% of the crystal ball predictions and has a very good chance to land the edge rusher. Chaisson would be a great addition, and add to the rotation of young pass rusher the Longhorns already have.
The former Iowa Hawkeye commit has recently announced his top 3 of Ole Miss, Arkansas, and Texas. Chevin Calloway is a corner out of Bishop, Texas who is currently the #12 ranked corner in the nation. Since decomitting from Iowa, Arkansas has been the heavy favorite to land the 5'10 corner. Chevin has an official visit lined up with the Razorbacks on January 20th, and is expected to fit in an official visit to Austin before that time. Tom Herman and the Longhorns staff have made up a lot of ground on Chevin, but still have a long way to go if they don't want the corner to end up at Arkansas. If the Longhorns are able to land Chevin Calloway, he would join fellow corner commits Kobe Boyce and Josh Thompson in what would become a very solid secondary class. The Longhorns secondary struggled last season and was constantly moving players around. If Tom Herman was able to Chevin Calloway, he would get the opportunity at early playing time, and bring some stability to the Longhorns secondary.
Walker Little is the last shot the Longhorns at landing a 5 star prospect. The offensive tackle out of Bellaire, Texas is set to make his commitment on Friday, and has dwindled down his choice to Texas and Stanford. Stanford seemed to be the heavy favorite to land Walker Little, but Tom Herman and the Longhorns have made up a ton of ground. Walker Little hosted the Longhorns for an in home visit, that looked to have gone very well. It seems the Longhorns have made it a 50-50 decision for Walker, and being able to land the offensive tackle would be a huge get for Tom Herman. For what has been an incredibly weak class, Walker Little could be the big fish that the Texas Longhorns need to jumpstart this class.
This isn't going to be an amazing class that we've from the Longhorns in years past, but Tom Herman still has time to make it salvageable. Landing a top 10 class isn't a must for the Longhorns staff with all the young talent already on the team. If I had to guess I still see the Longhorns landing a top 25 class, and landing some of the names listed above will go a long way in achieving that goal. Will the Texas Longhorns be able to land any of these names? Let me know your thoughts by tweeting me @Texashomeboy1 and leaving a comment below.