Posted March 8th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football, Recruiting

It’s barely March but it looks like [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] is close to wrapping up his 2009 recruiting class already. After starting out strong with Garrett Gilbert and six other commits at the team’s first junior day, the Horns have since added eight more of the state’s top football players to bring the total tally up to fifteen.

Two of the biggest commits were at linebacker, where Irving’s Tariq Allen and Grand Prairie’s Patrick Nkwopara made their pledge to play for defensive coordinator [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag]’s defense. Both players were top targets of the Texas defensive coaching staff and appear to fit their mold perfectly for a linebacker, speed guys who aren’t afraid to knock your head off. If you’re a Rivals subscriber, watch Allen’s videos and you’ll be very excited about our future middle linebacker.

The team also got help in the defensive backfield by picking up commits from cornerbacks Eryon Barnett from Euless and Kenny Vaccaro out of Brownwood. Vaccaro is one of the state’s most heavily recruited DB’s and held offers from the likes of Florida, Oklahoma, and Stanford when chose the Longhorns. Barnett was a virtual unknown before committing to the Horns but Texas offered quickly and he certainly passes the eyeball test so he looks like a player who will shoot up the rankings once the scouting services get film of him.

Texas also did an excellent job filling needs from the top in-state options. Defensive end and tight end were both positions the Horns needed to fill holes at in this class. At defensive end the two big fish are still out there, Alex Okafor and five-star Devon Kennard, but the Horns added two very capable prospects in Dominique Jones and Kyle Kriegel. The tight end commits look like the two best in the state in Trey Graham and Barrett Matthews. I’m particularly excited about Matthews, whose versatility, athleticism, and toughness allow him to play an H-back role or maybe even end up on defense. It doesn’t hurt that he plays for Galena Park North Shore, a school that has now put out three top Division I tight ends in a row.

The fifteen current commits are listed below:

Name Position Rating* LSR** Hometown
Tariq Allen LB starstarstarstar 65 Irving
Thomas Ashcraft OL starstarstarstar 13 Cedar Hill
Eryon Barnett DB starstarstarstar NR Euless
Marcus Davis DB starstarstarstar 15 League City
Garrett Gilbert QB starstarstarstarstar 2 Austin
Trey Graham TE starstarstar NR Waco
Dominique Jones DE starstarstar NR Kilgore
Paden Kelley OL starstarstarstar 31 Austin
Kyle Kriegel DE starstarstar 64 Elysian Fields
Barrett Matthews TE starstarstar 59 Galena Park
Patrick Nkwopara LB starstarstarstar NR Grand Prairie
Garrett Porter OL starstarstarstar 30 Odessa
Greg Timmons WR starstarstarstar 10 Aldine
Kenny Vaccaro DB starstarstarstar 53 Brownwood
Chris Whaley RB starstarstarstar 8 Madisonville

*Note: Most of the star ratings are just estimates based on the video I’ve seen of the recruits and Orangebloods.com’s state rankings.

**Note: LSR is Geoff Ketchum’s Lone Star Recruiting Top 100. The numbers represent the player’s ranking as of 2/13/2008.

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1 Comment

  1. reply to  #1

    Hook'Em Horns

    Man this is already looking nice for us. Except once again usc has the most in the top 100. But the polls always seem to under-rank texas highschool football players.

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