Mack Brown and the Texas Longhorns are not nearly done with their 2013 recruiting haul – with some six months to go before signing day – but the Horns are already making waves in the form of early commitments after landing three pledges in the class of 2014 over the last 24 hours.
Abilene Cooper receiver Lorenzo Joe, San Antonio Brennan defensive end Derick Roberson and Houston Eisenhower running back Donald Catalon became Texas’ first three verbal commits of the 2014 class.
The three juniors-to-be made history in Longhorns recruiting, as they became the first set of players ever to commit to the university with over two years left of high school.
Coach Brown seemingly forever has set a standard of holding out on offers until Texas’ junior days – one day camps held in February for high school juniors – but it seems the Longhorns’ head coach has made the plunge into super-early recruiting. In fact, Brown and his staff extended over 15 scholarship offers – three of which were accepted – to members of the 2014 class in an attempt to get a jump-start on recruiting tomorrow’s talent.
Joe, a 6-foot-4, 183-pound talent, allegedly had been a silent commitment to the Longhorns for some time and just recently made his pledge to Texas public. The explosive athlete doubles up his time at quarterback and receiver for his high school team. The long-limbed receiver uses fluid route running and striking ball skills and awareness to his advantage, making Joe a fantastic, early get for the Longhorns’ 2014 haul.
Roberson commits to the Longhorns as one of the state’s top pass rushers. With a good first step, impressive awareness, great burst off the edge and blessed with great athleticism, Roberson should provide quite a reprieve to the Longhorns’ depth concerns at defensive end down the road. Obviously, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound end still has two years to go until he arrives on campus, but the San Antonio product should be a prized acquisition for the Longhorns’ defense, especially at a stage when they needed one.
Catalon enters the fray during a span when the Longhorns have incredible talent, depth and potential at the running back position. While Joe Bergeron and Malcolm Brown bring mostly power, some speed and agility, and D.J. Monroe, Daje Johnson and Johnathan Gray come with impeccable speed and quickness, Catalon runs with a healthy dose of everything. The 6-foot, 200-pound back is the definition of diverse as he runs with strength, shows good speed coming out of the backfield and possesses good feet and balance. It does not hurt that he can catch the ball, either.
Less than a day after the Longhorns threw out a bevy of scholarship offers and introduced themselves into the 2014 class in a huge way, they land two skill players who should provide every bit of depth as advertised and a pass-rushing monster who could be a defensive anchor to the entire recruiting season.
Brown has turned several pages in his quest to right the ship that went 5-7 in 2010. The changes he made, which included a revamped coaching staff and new philosophies, brought the program to an 8-5 year in 2011. The latest chapter in alterations came just now when Brown and his staff opened new doors to recruiting by going farther into the future than they have ever gone before.
Texas Longhorns 2013 Recruiting Class Profile