February 24, 2009

Espinosa headed to Austin after picking up the phone

Cedar Park offensive lineman Dominic Espinosa knew the score.

As one of the state's elite line prospects, Espinosa's offer list has been growing for a couple of months and his Junior Day invite list has been even longer.

Yet as Espinosa began making the rounds to various schools around the region, one of his long-time favorites appeared to be an unlikely possibility. With the Texas Longhorns managing a tight scholarship budget in 2010, it appeared that Espinosa might have been a numbers casualty - an elite prospect that the Longhorns wouldn't have room for.

Through it all, Espinosa never flinched and was prepared to turn all of his focus to schools like LSU, Texas A&M and Stanford that had already issued him scholarship offers. However, before he could completely turn the page on the possibility of being a Longhorn, he decided to pick up the phone and dial up the Texas football office.

He needed to know. If the idea of receiving an offer from the Longhorns wasn't going to come to fruition, he wanted to hear it from the staff and not an Internet message board.

As fate might eventually have it, his decision to contact the Longhorn staff might end up being one of the biggest decisions he'll ever make.

"I took the initiative and called him up to see how everything was going," Espinosa said. "I wasn't sure what they were going to do and we ended up talking and it turned out that they still had an interest. They said they wanted me to come to some practices and they ended up inviting me to the Junior Day."

Suddenly, the prospect of receiving an offer from the home-town favorite doesn't seem as far-fetched as it did a month ago. A little initiative appears to have gone a long way.

"Definitely," Espinosa replied. "If I hadn't have made that call, I wouldn't be in this position to visit on Saturday. I was kind of on a high horse on LSU after I made my visit there and my mom just kind of told me that I should call them. I called them the next day, actually. (Coach Mac McWhorter) said he was real excited and he told me how everything was. I'm really excited about the visit on Saturday."

The 6-3, 282-pound Espinosa is actually so excited about the visit that he's not going to wait until Saturday to visit the 40 Acres.

"I'm specifically going to try and go up on Friday," Espinosa said. "I told (McWhorter) that I'd like to go on Friday to get more time to watch them practice. The Junior Day program is set up so that we're only going to watch practice for an hour. I'd like to have more time to see how they do everything."

As far as what he'll be looking for on the business, it looks like family atmosphere will play a large role.

"I've got some questions that I'll be able to get answered and I'm looking forward to talking to them one-on-one," Espinosa said. "We'll see where I stand then, but I'm looking forward to being able to get a feel for everything. My family hasn't been down there all at one time and I want to see if it's a good fit for them."

Espinosa, who is currently ranked No.18 on the Lone Star Recruiting Top 100 list, currently has offers from Baylor, LSU, Texas A&M, Houston, SMU, Tennessee, Stanford and Missouri.


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