AUSTIN, Texas -- In less than four months national signing day for the class of 2013 will come and go, and the class of 2014 will take center stage in the eyes of football programs and fan bases everywhere.
This year is unique in that many of the Longhorns’ junior targets are already known. For the first time in Mack Brown’s tenure on the 40 Acres, Texas has begun offering juniors before Junior Day in February.
On Monday, we looked at seven junior offensive prospects that either already have Texas offers or could be in line for one down the road. Today, we look at seven more and then switch to offense on Wednesday and Thursday:
• CB Ed Paris (Mansfield, Texas/Timberview)
6-foot-2, 195 pounds | ESPN Watch List member
The Latest: Paris’ offers list is impressive as any, and he has yet to cut that list down. He told HornsNation at the Texas-Oklahoma game that he would name his top 10 sometime soon, and he expects both Red River Rivals to make the cut. LSU is thought to be the favorite because he is from Louisiana.
Offers: Baylor, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Houston, Iowa, Louisiana-Lafayette, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Purdue, SMU, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, Virginia, Washington, Washington State, West Virginia
Quotable: "No, [the outcome of the Texas-Oklahoma game] doesn't change anything.” -- Paris
• DE Derick Roberson (San Antonio, Texas/Brennan)
6-foot-4, 218 pounds | ESPN Watch List member
The Latest: Roberson became one of the first members of Texas’ 2014 class when he committed on Aug. 2.
Offers: Committed to Texas.
Quotable: “They’ve been my team since I’ve been a little boy. I’ve always dreamed about playing for Texas.” -- Roberson
• ILB Hoza Scott (La Porte, Texas/La Porte)
6-foot-3, 225 pounds | ESPN Watch List member
The Latest: Scott has talked openly about liking the idea of staying close to home and playing in the SEC for Texas A&M, who appears to be at the top of his list right now. He does like Texas, though, and has them slotted at No. 2 with LSU right there in the mix.
Offers: Alabama, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, UNLV, USC
Quotable: "They're still No. 2 and when I've been going there, they make me feel like that's my home already. [The offer] made me feel good because that's making me think that they really want me." -- Scott
• DE Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell)
6-foot-3, 265 pounds | ESPN Watch List member
The Latest: Texas is sitting pretty with Thomas right now. He hasn’t said it publicly but the Longhorns seem to be his top school at the moment. He grew up a Texas fan, has many friends that go to UT and a former teammate on the team. Stanford and Oklahoma are in the mix as well.
Offers: Baylor, BYU, Clemson, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana-Lafayette, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Stanford, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, Virginia, West Virginia
Quotable: “I just loved how comfortable I was with the coaches. I just had a great time down there and it was a lot of fun. I spoke to Coach [Oscar] Giles, Coach [Darrell] Wyatt and Coach Brown. We just talked about keep working hard, keep playing and that they wanted me here. But right now is just not the right time to do anything. It was a lot of fun, though.” -- Thomas on meeting with Texas’ coaches after the New Mexico game.
• ILB Zac Whitley (Galena Park, Texas/North Shore)
6-foot-2, 220 pounds | ESPN Watch List member
The Latest: Whitley has kept things close to the vest thus far but it’s clear that two old rivals are in hot pursuit. Texas A&M offered him first in the spring. He’s familiar with College Station having visited there since his middle school days. He attended a Texas camp this summer and is trying to make his way down for a game some time this season.
Offers: Texas, Texas A&M
Quotable: "They were great and they liked me and they liked the way I worked. Basically they were saying they liked me most because I listen out of the group that was with them. Every drill that they threw at me, I basically listened and did what they told me to do and they liked me for that. I talked to Coach Brown, I talked to Coach Giles and I talked to coach [Manny] Diaz and they said they liked the way that I listened and that's when they offered me." -- Whitley told GigEmNation
• CB Nick Watkins (Dallas/Bishop Dunne)
6-foot-1, 180 pounds | ESPN Watch List member
The Latest: Watkins says that everyone is even at this point but Texas was the only school that he visited over the summer, which says something. His father, Bobby Watkins, played for the Detroit Lions for several seasons and has family in Michigan so the Wolverines seem to be a player too.
Offers: Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, SMU, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Tulsa, UCLA,
Quotable: "Every offer is exciting but growing up and watching Texas, it felt great. It's a humbling experience to be going through this process. I am blessed by the Lord just to have this athletic ability." -- Watkins
• DE Andrew Williams (McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing Christian Academy)
6-foot-4, 231 pounds | ESPN Watch List member
The Latest: Texas is really interested in Williams even though it already has offers out to three in-state defensive ends. Giles has stayed in constant contact with Williams, who would like to get down to Austin for a game this season. That seems like a must for Texas if it wants any chance at staying in the game for one of the most recruited juniors in the country.
Offers: Alabama, Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Missouri, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Texas, Texas A&M, USC, Virginia Tech
Quotable: “Texas football is a whole other thing from Georgia football. I am humbled for the opportunity that would be provided if I ended up going there. The fact that Texas is interested is great. I didn’t let it get to my head, but then again it was a big accomplishment because I have always been looking at Texas’ defensive ends and the way they operate.” -- Williams