A few months ago junior college tight end Beau Sandland (Woodland Hills, Calif./Pierce College) reached out to his coaches to see if they had any contacts at Texas.
They did, and on Monday, Longhorns tight ends coach Bruce Chambers’ met with the 6-foot-6, 255-pound prospect.
“I was under the impression that they don’t recruit outside of the state of Texas, which I know they don’t very often,” said Sandland, who caught 20 passes for 265 yards and two scores last season. “When they do, I knew it was kind of a double-whammy against me because I know they don’t go the juco route that often. So when he stopped by I was pleasantly surprised. I’m glad I’m on their radar and I got some interest from them. They definitely have a ton of interest from me.”
Sandland, who considers himself more of a receiving threat than a blocker, also spoke on the phone with Longhorns co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin.
The Longhorns didn’t offer Sandland but have been interested in adding a second tight end to their 2013 class, which already features four-star recruit Durham Smythe (Belton, Texas/Belton), the No. 6 tight end in the country.
Sandland isn’t short on options, though, if Texas doesn’t come around. He holds offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Baylor, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, LSU, Miami, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Purdue, Texas Tech and Utah.
Sandland, however, is hopeful that Texas will add its name to his offers list.
“Obviously Texas speaks for itself,” he said. “Coach Chambers was cool. It was the first time I have ever talked to him. From the little I know about him it was good. He got to check out our practice.
“It’s still early but with the way Mack Brown has that program down there, I know they have a young team and have struggled the last couple of years. But I know the next couple of years they have pretty high expectations to compete for a national title.”
Sandland said that Chambers expressed Texas’ need for tight ends that could contribute early, which certainly added to his interest.
“That was something that they made apparent that they have two tight ends graduating this year and two other tight ends that are converted defensive ends that they haven’t even seen at tight end yet,” Sandland said. “So it’s a great opportunity for someone to come in and play right away.”
Sandland said he would like to visit Texas but would only do so if the Longhorns offered. He plans to narrow his list to a top five in the next month.
“I’ll probably take all five official visits and a few unofficial visits as soon as June,” he said. “But I’m not rushing anything. I want to leave all options open and find out about as much as each program as I can. I’ll probably take my decision into December.”
He doesn’t have any favorites but did say Ole Miss, Texas Tech and Nebraska are recruiting him the hardest right now.
Sandland graduated from California’s Simi Valley High School in 2011 as a non-qualifier and was forced to go to junior college.
“I considered five jucos around but in the end I decided to go to Pierce because of the coaching staff and their reputation to get kids out to the next level. I think when I was a senior we had 36 kids getting a scholarship. Last year we had 28 or 30.”
He’s got a lengthy list of criteria he wants a school to have in order for them to gain his commitment, but one factor tops them all.
“If I had to narrow it down I’d say that an opportunity to come in and play right away because I am a juco guy and only have two years to play,” he said. “Also, how they utilize a tight end in their offense. I want to catch a lot of balls and score a lot of touchdowns. I don’t want to just sit there and block on the end.”
Not on that list of criteria is proximity to home.
“I’m going to go wherever is best for me whether that’s five miles down the road or across the country,” he said. “Right now I only have one school from California that has offered and that’s Cal from not too long ago. It looks like I will leave California and I don’t have a problem with that.”