Mario Edwards gets recruited by Texas commits

AUSTIN, Texas -- Since he committed to Texas on Feb. 12, four-star linebacker Alex De La Torre (Denton, Texas/ Ryan) has taken it upon himself to be one of the ringleaders of the Longhorns’ 2012 recruiting class.

“It’s important for me because I want to make sure we all get on the same page before two-a-days start and we get ready to go,” De La Torre said. “Sometimes guys don’t really talk. It’s hard for guys to get out there and get to know each other, be a family before the season starts. I’ve been a big advocate for us to become a family.”

With so many recruits (and fellow Texas commitments) in Austin on official visits, this past weekend served as the perfect opportunity for De La Torre to continue his duties as one of Texas’ biggest advocates to Mario Edwards, the nation’s top prospect and a Florida State commit, who was also visiting.

Being high school teammates, none of the visiting prospects knew Edwards as well as De La Torre, and he thought Texas made a great impression.

“I think it was an eye-opener for Mario because he’s only been to one game and has only been to the field house and the stadium,” De La Torre said. “Just getting him around the other guys, we fit in well. The other guys got close with him. I am pretty sure he enjoyed the visit. It was definitely a change for him. He is pretty excited about it.”

De La Torre (6-1, 220) understood the importance of getting Edwards on campus given the appeal that Texas, and its facilities, might have on a recruit. The rest of the Longhorns commitments let it be known that they’d be thrilled to have him on board the nation’s top rated class, as it currently sits according to ESPNU.

“When we were talking to him and trying to pitch our recruitment as players, it is a lot bigger deal with a top-rated guy like him,” De La Torre said. “He can be a game-changer so we pitched our whole defense and that we were the top class right now. We just want to let him know that he can come and be welcomed. It is his decision.”

Aside from pitching Texas to Edwards, De La Torre also went down to relax and finalize his plans to enroll early.

“Just being around the coaches and the new commits and the current commits, and not focusing on football but the aspect of life was great,” De La Torre said. “We got to know each other a lot better and that was the highlight of the whole trip. It was an amazing trip.”

The Longhorns picked up commitments from Adrian Colbert (Mineral Wells, Texas/Mineral Wells) and Kevin Vaccaro (Brownwood, Texas/Brownwood) over the weekend, and commitments from Kendall Sanders (Athens, Texas/Athens) and Marcus Johnson (League City, Texas/Clear Springs) recently as well. De La Torre said they fit in without any problem.

“We came in as strangers and left as best friends,” De La Torre said. “They are really awesome guys. I have been talking with Adrian for quite a while. But it was my first time meeting the other guys. So it was good just to hang out and rag on each other a bit.”

De La Torre, the No. 12 inside linebacker in 2012, left extremely anxious to get his career as a Longhorn underway. He only has a few more weeks until it happens.

“I do feel that coming in early will be an advantage because I will get in the system early and be able to get used to the times of the workouts and school,” he said. “With the starting guys leaving [in seniors Emmanuel Acho and Keenan Robinson], just me coming in early and competing for a spot is a big deal. I am looking forward to that. I’m going to accept the challenge.”