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March 1, 2006

Texas Tidbits: Horns head toward quick finish

If you took a quick break from the computer, you may have missed four more commitments for the Longhorns.

Last weekend's junior day was already a success with eight commitments. That was until Rivals100 athlete Curtis Brown decided Tuesday he had gone far enough in his recruitment.

Despite compiling 2,000 all-purpose yards, Brown is expected to play defensive back at the next level along with recent commits Ben Wells and Earl Thomas.

If that wasn't enough for the Texas faithful to be excited about, Tuesday night ushered in two more additions.

Rivals100 defensive tackle Andre Jones had already collected offers from Notre Dame and Oklahoma, didn't need much longer to think about his final decision after the Texas junior day.

After talking it over with his family on Monday night, it just felt right for Jones to get things done.

"It was the way I felt when I went up there," Jones said to Orangebloods.com editor Jason Suchomel. "I had dinner with my family and I knew that was the decision I wanted to make."

Then it was time for the offense to get their fair share. Pearland, Texas running back Foswhitt Whittaker had picked up one offer from Oklahoma State going into the weekend, but came away with a second from UT.

When he stepped foot in Austin, he just felt like he was at home.

"They were showing a lot of family values," Whittaker said about the visit. "The coaching staff was really honest. So my mom and I took it home, prayed on it, and we did what we thought was best.

"I'm relieved, emotional, excited…all of it."

Wednesday morning, the class got bigger. Houston Westbury defensive end Russell Carter joined the fold.

The twelfth pledge for UT was one of the top defensive line targets for the Horns. Carter didn't receive an official offer at the junior day because of a problem with his high school transcript that was sent from a previous residence.

After everything was sorted out, Carter received the offer followed that up with his early pledge.

"We committed so he can go ahead and concentrated on academics, running track, spring ball, things like that," said Carter's father, Russell. "Texas is a great school, a great family, and we're happy to be a part of it."

Stephens visits one school, commits to another

One of the Texas junior day visitors was running back Bradley Stephens. However, upon leaving Austin without an offer, his father Craig Stephens said it was obvious where his son wanted to go.

UT head coach Mack Brown spoke about not wasting time in the recruiting process. Bradley heard that loud and clear. He left Austin and made a commitment to Texas A&M.

"He turned to us and said, 'I want to go to Texas A&M,'" Stephens' father told Websider.com senior writer Troy Miller. "At that point, he called coach (Dennis Franchione) and let him know. He has liked A&M for a few years and he has a lot of friends at A&M."

Stephens parents hoped his future would be in College Station, but didn't want to push their son any specific direction.

"My wife and I are happy with the decision," Stephens' father said.

Bradley became the third verbal commitment for Texas A&M in the class of 2007.

Cowboys hosting Lone Star talent

Several top players from the state of Texas, including Rivals100 linebacker Richetti Jones, are expected to make their way in for the Oklahoma State junior day this weekend

Jones was deciding between Texas A&M and Oklahoma State for his next visit after receiving an offer at the UT junior day. His step-brother, Larry Rosebud, was invited to Stillwater for the Cowboys' event, so that helped Jones make up his mind.

So far Jones' offer count stands at six. In addition to OSU and UT, Nebraska, Baylor, Oklahoma and Texas A&M have all officially offered.

Tight end Harold Turnage from Houston Chavez High School is another player that received an offer from Oklahoma State. As of last week, he is planning on taking the trip.

Red Raiders pushing hard for quarterbacks

It seems the two top quarterback targets on the board for Texas Tech are Dallas Episcopal gunslinger Brock Mansion and Brenham, Texas standout Jarrett Lee.

Mansion was expected to visit Texas Tech this weekend, but after missing the Longhorn junior day the weekend before, he plans to make the trip to Austin after all. Because of the scheduling for his baseball tournament near the Texas campus, he'll sit down with Longhorn assistant Greg Davis after his tournament is done.

That threw a wrench in the plans for the Red Raider staff. An offer could have been given out to Mansion during his visit.

With his father being a former Texas Tech player, Mansion says he'll always have a strong interest in the team. The interest, however, has not been as high as he expected.

"Well, UT has shown me the most interest right now," Mansion said. "It's just so overwhelming. They're the national champions. I'll always love Tech, and I would love to go there, but I don't think they are showing me as much attention."

Lee put together a season with 3,400 yards and 40 touchdowns. His top schools appear to be Texas Tech, Texas and Nebraska. So far, he has offers from the Huskers, TCU and Houston.

Chiles on the rise

Getting an offer from Notre Dame is already big, but even though Rivals100 quarterback John Chiles couldn't make the Texas junior day, the Longhorns told him an offer was on the table the same day.

While the talented dual-threat quarterback was excited to speak with Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis, the Irish would like Chiles to change positions. With his mind set on quarterback, the Texas offer is very intriguing.

"(Notre Dame) wants to recruit me as a wide receiver," Chiles stated this week. "I don't know, I'm pretty set on quarterback."

Florida and Georgia Tech also recently entered the mix with offers. However, it appears that as of today, UT holds the lead. He'll make a trip to Austin for the second junior day on March 25.

Etc.

Oklahoma is targeting Texas quarterback G.J. Kinne. After leaving the Texas junior day without an offer, it appears the Sooners are one team to beat. His visit to Oklahoma two weeks ago has definitely paved the way for OU's firm grip in the race. Ole Miss is getting heavily involved in Texas with seven offers out to prospects in the state.


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