Big 12: A'Shawn Robinson

Texas recruits hanging with Longhorns 

September, 8, 2013
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Being the Joneses has its perks.

But when the Joneses can’t live up to their own way of living, things can go awry very quickly.

Manny Diaz found out just how quickly Sunday afternoon when he was relieved of his duties as Texas’ defensive coordinator not even 24 hours after the Longhorns gave up a school-record 550 rushing yards and 679 total yards to BYU in an embarrassing 40-21 loss in Provo, Utah.

Texas not tolerating wandering eyes

February, 8, 2013
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Texas didn't have to worry about players decommitting in recent years. That's changed, and especially so this year, when five different players committed to Texas before reneging and eventually signing with other schools like Texas A&M, Alabama and Notre Dame.

Texas coach Mack Brown stopped short of saying he's going to pull scholarships for players who continue to look around after committing to Texas, but if recruits do so, Texas may do the same.

[+] EnlargeMack Brown
Michael C. Johnson/US Presswire"If you're committed to us and you're looking, that's a simple message, we're going to look, too," said Mack Brown.
"What we'll tell guys, 'Don't commit to us unless it's over and you want to come.' Then the message we get, if you're committed to us and you're looking, that's a simple message, we're going to look, too," Brown told reporters. "If we find somebody as good as you that wants to come, you're looking around, we'll take them. I think that's fair."

Running back Kyle Hicks decommitted and signed with TCU. Receiver Ricky Seals-Jones decommitted and signed with the Aggies, who also nabbed defensive end Daeshon Hall, who had been committed to Washington after leaving the Longhorns' class. Defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson decommitted days before signing day and signed with Alabama and tight end Durham Smythe decommitted before signing with Notre Dame.

Brown's absolutely right in that his approach is fair, and while he's not explicitly saying it's a reaction to the 2013 decommitments, it's hard to believe they didn't at least influence his recent comments. He says he's done it before, but don't be surprised if it happens a little more now. Texas won't have trouble getting other players to listen if its current commitments begin to waver.

"My job is to do what's best for the University of Texas and get the guys that want to be here. Guys can change their minds," Brown said. "If you start looking, to me you're looking for something different than you've got. I'm going to look for something different than I've got."

Still, Brown's also clear that if a player's not wavering, Texas won't be wavering on him.

"I like to go to the school, see the coach. The other thing is that if you get a commitment, you'd like for the high school coach to help you keep it. We're going to make sure the high school coach buys into the commitment as well," Brown said. "I need to see those guys, shake their hand, tell them we're not backing out on kids. If we're not, if your young man and his parents want to commit to us, we want you to commit, too, that he's going to stay with us."

Big 12 signing day superlatives

February, 8, 2013
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With signing day in the rearview mirror, it's time to pass out some awards for the Big 12's recruiting efforts.

Biggest winner on signing day: Baylor coach Art Briles -- Briles is capitalizing on the Bears' on-field success with some huge signees who have Baylor turning some heads. Hometown blue-chip prospect Andrew Billings gave the Bears a huge late boost on the defensive line, a position of need, and the Bears' class finished just outside the national top 25. It's Briles' best class in terms of ranking, with six four-star prospects, four of whom will be playing defense. The two offensive four-stars are both top-five nationally at their positions -- No. 3 WR Robbie Rhodes and No. 5 dual-threat QB Chris Johnson.

Best closer: Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury -- The Red Raiders' class was shredded by the transition from Tommy Tuberville and lost its top commit, Devin Lauderdale. Kingsbury got Lauderdale back and pulled in a class of 24 players after sitting at just 11 players in the middle of January. It's not going to turn a lot of heads, but Tech landed four players with at least four stars.

Biggest surprise: Kansas' strong class -- As it turns out, Kansas coach Charlie Weis knows how to shop around playing time. Great shots at immediate starting positions seem to be a very valuable recruiting bait for junior college players, and Weis had a bunch to offer. You don't have to be coming off a huge season to recruit well. Weis landed five of the top 100 junior college prospects in the country, highlighted by No. 3 Marquel Combs and No. 74 Rodriguez Coleman, a receiver. We saw what Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze did in selling big-time recruits the chance to be on the ground floor of building a program. On a smaller scale, Weis did that with this class.

Who flipped/Biggest loss -- For the past year, Texas had counted on A'Shawn Robinson -- one of the nation's best defensive tackles and a native of Arlington, Texas -- as part of its recruiting class. In the months before signing day, rumors swirled that he was wavering. Finally, he made it official days before signing day, and on Wednesday, he signed with Alabama after a man in an elephant suit delivered his letter of intent. Points for creativity, but the loss was another strike for Texas on the defensive line. Strike one came when the Horns lost DE Daeshon Hall earlier in the recruiting season, and the day before signing day, Texas hit strike three when it lost Billings (see above).

Kansas State also was fired up about getting a commitment from juco linebacker De'Vondre Campbell, a 6-foot-5, 224-pounder at a Kansas junior college. Bill Snyder lost him on signing day, though, when Campbell elected to sign with Minnesota. That left a hole at a position of need for the Wildcats.
Have a rough weekend? Chances are decent that Texas' was worse.

You saw the biggest news on the blog Friday night. The Longhorns released a statement that recently promoted co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite engaged in a one-time "inappropriate relationship" with a student while the team was on a trip to the 2009 Fiesta Bowl.

That news came in the wake of former track coach Bev Kearney's January resignation disclosing to the Austin American-Statesman that she had an intimate consensual relationship with a student. Kearney had been placed on administrative leave for several months prior to her resignation, and a potential lawsuit from Kearney reportedly led to the Longhorns dropping the news late Friday night before the Super Bowl.

The university regents met for two hours on Sunday via conference call and announced that they'll be reviewing all policies regarding inappropriate relationships between students and employees.

We'll see how serious the fallout from that news becomes, though it's highly unlikely Applewhite would face additional punishment. Regents did not hand down any more punishment for Applewhite. On Saturday morning, news broke that freshman quarterback Connor Brewer had been arrested on minor in possession of alcohol and public intoxication charges by the University of Texas police.

Coach Mack Brown released a statement saying he was "disappointed" and would hand down punishment later on.

"We've talked with his family and will continue to monitor the situation. Following the completion of the legal process, we will do what's best for the University, Connor and the team," Brown said in the statement.

Brewer redshirted in 2012 and didn't play a snap.

The final piece of Texas' nightmare weekend became official on Sunday, when one of the Longhorns' top commits, defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson, told our HornsNation that he'd be reneging on his yearlong commitment. Reports swirled for weeks that Robinson was wavering, and other reports surfaced that Robinson would be signing with Alabama. He disputed those reports, though Alabama visited him on campus last week. Robinson, the nation's No. 105 overall prospect, was clear that Texas was out. The Fort Worth, Texas, native is the nation's No. 11 defensive tackle and checks in 6-foot-5 and 304 pounds.

That's quite the triple play of very bad news for the Longhorns, who haven't had much to celebrate since winning the 2009 Big 12 title and advancing to the national title game. Texas is coming off a dramatic Alamo Bowl win over Oregon State, but the news this weekend could have impact for years to come.

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