College Football News has released their annual list of the players they think will contribute this season as redshirt freshmen. No Longhorns make the top of their list but offensive lineman [tag]Mark Buchanan[/tag] and defensive lineman [tag]Dravannti Johnson[/tag] both garnered an honorable mention nod. Texas fans are hoping that another redshirt freshman, tight end [tag]DJ Grant[/tag] has a breakout season and fills one of the Horns’ biggest offensive holes.

Check out CFN’s All-Americans…

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After getting bad news on Christmas, Texas fans awoke to more bad news on the first day of 2009. Three redshirting freshmen did not make the trip to Arizona for the [tag]Fiesta Bowl[/tag] due to various reasons. The three players are defensive tackle [tag]Jarvis Humphrey[/tag], linebacker [tag]Dravannti Johnson[/tag] and wide receiver [tag]DJ Monroe[/tag], all of which are important four-star 2008 recruits. The Statesman reports that each of the players was left behind for a different reason and that none were “serious”.

Unsubstantiated (and hopefully untrue) rumors on Orangebloods are that Monroe is a grade casualty and “don’t expect him back.” That of course would be counter to what the Statesman is reporting that none of the three issues were serious and if true would cost the Horns a possible future dynamic playmaker. Losing Humphrey for the spring or longer would also be a huge blow at one of the team’s least deep positions.

While they obviously would not be playing in next Monday’s game against [tag]Ohio State[/tag], bowl practices are a time when young players gain a great deal experience during the extra practice time and these guys are missing reps. Hopefully all three players are still in school and back on the practice field for spring football.

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The big one got away today (under suspicious circumstances) but the 2008 Texas recruiting class is still a good one. Mack Brown and the Horns signed 20 young athletes to letters of intent, nine of which are already on campus for the spring semester.

The class is headlined by defensive backs Aaron Williams and DJ Monroe, who along with safety Nolan Brewster, should anchor the Texas defensive backfield for the next four or five years. On the offensive side WR/RB DeSean Hales is electric with the football in his hands and wide receiver Dan Buckner is huge and will catch anything thrown in his general direction.

Here’s the full list of signees:

Name Position Rating Hometown
[tag]Emmanuel Acho[/tag] LB 1 star1 star1 star Dallas
[tag]Nolan Brewster[/tag] DB 1 star1 star1 star1 star Denver, CO
[tag]Mark Buchanan[/tag] OL 1 star1 star1 star1 star Austin
[tag]Dan Buckner[/tag] WR 1 star1 star1 star1 star Allen
[tag]Brock Fitzhenry[/tag] RB 1 star1 star1 star Giddings
[tag]Blake Gideon[/tag] DB 1 star1 star Leander
[tag]DJ Grant[/tag] WR 1 star1 star1 star1 star Austin
[tag]DeSean Hales[/tag] RB 1 star1 star1 star1 star Klein
[tag]Antoine Hicks[/tag] ATH 1 star1 star1 star Mansfield
[tag]Jeremy Hills[/tag] RB 1 star1 star1 star1 star Alief
[tag]Jarvis Humphrey[/tag] DT 1 star1 star1 star1 star Cedar Hill
[tag]Dravannti Johnson[/tag] LB 1 star1 star1 star1 star Nederland
[tag]DJ Monroe[/tag] DB 1 star1 star1 star1 star Angleton
[tag]Tre Newton[/tag] RB 1 star1 star1 star Southlake
[tag]Luke Poehlmann[/tag] OL 1 star1 star1 star Brenham
[tag]Kheeston Randall[/tag] DT 1 star1 star1 star1 star Beaumont
[tag]Ryan Roberson[/tag] RB 1 star1 star1 star Brenham
[tag]David Snow[/tag] OL 1 star1 star1 star1 star Gilmer
[tag]Justin Tucker[/tag] K 1 star1 star1 star Austin
[tag]Aaron Williams[/tag] DB 1 star1 star1 star1 star Round Rock

Congratulations to the newest Texas Longhorns!

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The US Army All-American Bowl is most fans first chance to see the top high school recruits for themselves. Texas fans can see several Longhorn commitments take the field for the West squad as well as take their first look at 5-star stud running back Darrell Scott, who reportedly may now favor the Horns. Tune in now (12 pm Central) to NBC to catch the game.

Here are the Texas commits and targets to watch for:

Name Number Position Commit? Ranking
[tag]Nolan Brewster[/tag] 24 Safety Yes 1 star1 star1 star1 star
[tag]Dan Buckner[/tag] 4 Wide receiver Yes 1 star1 star1 star1 star
[tag]Dravannti Johnson[/tag] 44 Linebacker Yes 1 star1 star1 star1 star
[tag]DJ Monroe[/tag] 25 Defensive back Yes 1 star1 star1 star1 star
Rahim Moore 15 Safety No 1 star1 star1 star1 star
Darrell Scott 2 Running back No 1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star
[tag]David Snow[/tag] 76 Guard Yes 1 star1 star1 star1 star
[tag]Justin Tucker[/tag] 23 Kicker Yes 1 star1 star1 star
[tag]Aaron Williams[/tag] 7 Cornerback Yes 1 star1 star1 star1 star

I’ll post some relevant updates and thoughts below:

First Quarter
  • Nice looking punt by Justin Tucker. He’s been recruited as a placekicker but it certainly wouldn’t hurt if he could help out as a punter as well.
  • DJ Monroe makes a good break on the football and knocks the pass up in the air for Nolan Brewster to pick it off. A third Texas commit, Dravannti Johnson, was also right there after the play was over. Impressive play by Monroe.
  • Fantastic catch by Dan Buckner taking advantage of his size to go up high and grab the ball over a shorter corner. Definitely something I think we’ll see a lot of during his Longhorn career.
Second Quarter
  • Good coverage by corner Aaron Williams but he gets beat deep. Williams has reportedly been very impressive this week and may be on the verge of getting a fifth star. He’s got good size but his speed (despite being listed with a 4.4 forty time) may mean he ends up at safety.
  • It’s pretty clear where the Terrelle Pryor/Vince Young comparisons come from. The kid is big and natural and makes things look easy. Vince became Vince because of his intangibles and the improvements he made while in school, if Pryor can do the same he’ll be special.
  • Monroe doesn’t look afraid of contact. Came flying up on screen and made a solid tackle behind the line of scrimmage.
  • Another play by DJ Monroe. Good high punt by Tucker and Monroe gets down the field quickly as one of the gunners and covers up the ball after the East returned muffed it.
  • Good tackle by Williams. I love to see secondary guys who can actually tackle.
Third Quarter
  • I haven’t noticed Darrell Scott much. I don’t think he’s been in on a ton of snaps.
  • Safety Rahim Moore, who is committed to UCLA but is still being recruited by Texas, just made a big hit on a pass breakup then popped up and gave the double hook ’em. Don’t know what our chances are but new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp won’t hurt.
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