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February 21, 2006

Texas tidbits: Horns prepare for big weekend

While many other college programs are starting to send out early written offers, Texas' junior day this weekend will be the turning point for the Longhorns to put their official hats into the mix for some of the state's top players.

Though not every visitor will get an offer by any means, certain expected attendees look very likely to receive their UT offer upon visiting.

South Grand Prairie's Tray Allen has literally blown up with offers. This past weekend word came out that Notre Dame had added their name to that list. He'll be joined by Metroplex standout Richetti Jones on the trip to Austin for the event.

Other Rivals100 members from in-state expected to make the trek include quarterback G.J. Kinne, safety Tekerrian Cuba, and highly touted signal caller Ryan Mallett.

Mallett has received a verbal offer from Texas, so making that official this weekend is very much expected from the Longhorn staff.

Targeting other top quarterbacks other than the rich in-state group, coach Mack Brown and company have their eye on Florida Rivals100 member John Brantley, who is already swimming in offers. Apparently, the Horns have jumped into his top group early on.

"I like Florida, Miami, Tennessee, South Carolina, Texas, and Oklahoma," Brantley told Gaterbait.net. "They are pretty much the same."

Will Texas sow up numerous commitments before summer begins like last year's top class? Stay tuned.

Reese not just an in-state prospect

The talented 6-foot-2, 190-pound Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson running back Joseph Reese had already picked up offers from Big 12 schools like Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, and Nebraska.

Arizona got involved early, which was not much of a shock since the Wildcats signed his brother Terrell Reese last year.

However, it did surprise many when Hendrickson coach Dwayne Weirich let people know that an ACC team was getting involved.

"Well, Clemson just offered him," Weirich said about Reese's scholarship collection. "That just came, so he's getting up there. He knows there is a lot of attention right now on him and he's taking it all real well."

In a previous update, Reese stated that he was leaning toward Texas A&M. However, several more offers are expected to come which could change the landscape.

Relocation for Moye

Gilbert Moye, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound dual-threat signal caller was forced to move after Hurricane Rita ripped through his home in Jasper, Texas this past year.

He relocated to Diboll High School where his aunt has taught school for four years. However, a UIL ruling that stated he moved for athletic purposes has him sitting out and playing junior varsity athletics until the month of September.

Nonetheless, Jasper coach Danny Lauve and Diboll coach Finis Vanover are both sending out film and documenting interest from colleges that may have lost him in the move. No offers have come, but many believe that what he does as a senior at Diboll will influence just how big his recruitment becomes.

Moye is expected to start his first varsity football game for Diboll three weeks into the season.

Toliver wanting to leave the state?

Rivals100 wide receiver Terrance Toliver says that he grew up watching LSU and has a top five that doesn't include the Texas Longhorns.

While UT was considered one of the frontrunners early, the 6-foot-5, 180-pounder says that the depth chart for the defending National Champions is not what he's looking for exactly.

"I don't know about Texas as much," Toliver said. "They've got a lot of stars on that team. I want to go somewhere and make my own name. They haven't offered yet either, so we'll see."

When that offer does come, things very possibly could change overnight. However, right now his top five is semi-solid with Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and LSU sitting atop his list.


Vidor OL is going to make trips

Two offers are in hand for top offensive lineman Jerrod Gooch from Baylor and Arizona. While he believes Texas Tech and LSU will be next, visits are on his mind.

He'll be taking a trip to the Texas junior day this weekend who he considers his leader. However, Texas A&M along with LSU and Tech are in the mix for other possible travel plans.

"Hopefully I'll go to most of the in-state camps," Gooch said. "Probably Baylor, you know they offered me already, and Texas, Texas Tech, and maybe A&M I don't know."

Gooch is planning an early decision before his senior year begins.

Offer battles heating up

The in-state teams are trying to make their early mark on the state's top targets. While the Longhorns will get on the map with official offers this weekend during their junior day, it's a few other teams that are currently leading the numbers game with their written offers.

Texas A&M has 20 known offers out on the table to in-state targets thus far, while Baylor comes in one behind with 19 that have been reported.

The Red Raiders have eight offers on the table, while the Longhorns will probably join the party heavily this weekend. Regardless, the current numbers of offers stir debates every year on what strategy is the best for landing early and solid commitments.

A&M's early offers got them the early lead on prospects like Tray Allen, Joseph Reese, and then the early commitments from linebacker Derrick Stephens along with kicker Matt Szymanski.

Big 12 schools such as Oklahoma and Oklahoma State continue to scour the state as well with their early offers going out heavily. The Sooners have 14 known offers out in the Lone Star state while the Cowboys have 16 currently out to the South.

OU looks to be heavily coveting wide receivers in 2007 as two of their top targets from coast to coast look to be Lufkin standout Dez Bryant along with big-frame pass catcher Terrance Toliver.

Oklahoma State, after dealing with quite a ride in the Michael Goodson situation of 2006, is targeting running backs in a big way inside the state of Texas. Houston-area targets Eli Lemon and Foswhitt Whittaker are two major targets for OSU.

Dallas speedster Shawnbrey McNeal along with Bradley Stephens and Joseph Reese are also holding Cowboy offers.

Other Big 12 teams such as Nebraska, Kansas State, and Missouri are trying to make their mark early with their offers known for Lone Star talent, but it looks like they'll have to get in fast to keep up with the race down South.


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