Big 12: Ricky Seals-Jones

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."
AUSTIN, Texas -- In the wake of the Ricky Seals-Jones decommitment, Texas coach Mack Brown let it be known he was not opposed to any of his players participating in another sport.

“… it would not be a problem at all,” he said.

Yeah, but talk is cheap. For real evidence of the coach’s stance on pick and rolls as opposed to blocking and tackling, look no further than Camrhon Hughes. The soon-to-be freshman backup offensive lineman took a severe step back in his progress by tearing up his knee playing hoops last month. OK, so maybe Hughes is not exactly on the same level as Seals-Jones when it comes to excelling at two sports.
[+] EnlargeBoone
AP Photo/Bill KostrounAaron Boone tore his ACL playing basketball and was then released by the Yankees.

But the point is, at least Brown allowed Hughes to play two sports, even if one is at a rec center not the Frank Erwin Center.

“I talked to my buddies across the country that are coaching, they want to all pull [the players] off Twitter, Facebook, not let them play basketball, not let them do this, do that,’ Brown said. “They are human beings, and they're kids.”

They are also valuable commodities. Texas spends more than $550,000 putting together a football recruiting class. In Hughes’ class of 28, that is roughly $20,000 spent on each player signed. Once the player is in school, Texas spends $42,000 per year.

That is a sizable investment even for a school with a $150 million budget. In Hughes’ case, the return on the investment has now been delayed or even possibly scuttled altogether.

Remember Ivan Williams? Brown does. The running back ruptured his patella tendon playing pickup basketball.

“It really curtailed his career,” Brown said. “He went to fullback instead of tailback after that.”

Williams played in 23 games as a freshman and sophomore before the injury and played in 15 after the injury. Still pickup basketball is a fixture in many of the players’ day. Tweets are sent out looking for players, times arranged and fun is had by all. That is until someone goes down like Hughes did.

Then the fun comes to a crashing end. In Hughes’ case all 6-foot-7, 320 pounds of it.

“I think Camrhon's dad said, ‘Medicine ball is the only ball you'll be picking up in your future,’” Brown said after the injury. “Parents usually handle (the restrictions placed on their kids.) We just tell them to be careful.”

That’s really all they can do. Despite the fact that Texas invests more than $100,000 in a four-year player’s career, these are amateur athletes. Pro athletes often have clauses in their contracts restricting them from playing pickup basketball. For example, Aaron Boone of the Yankees tore his ACL and was then cut. Chad Pennington tore his as a free agent and saw his stock go down. Terrell Suggs has vehemently denied tearing his Achilles playing hoops despite eyewitness accounts to the contrary. All of those professionals potentially have money to lose.

Hughes might too some day. But, right now, he’s just a freshman doing what most other freshmen football players do, run the court in his spare time. If Brown were to forbid the players from playing basketball, it very well could cause some strife among the team. And it could certainly be used against him in recruiting.

So for now, Texas and Brown will just have to live with the possibility that injuries might happen on the hardwood. Like he said, players are “human beings and they’re kids.”

They are all kids who are more than welcome to play two sports at Texas.
June is nearly over, and as we head into July, it's time to update the Big 12 recruiting scorecard. You can see each full class by clicking on the team name, but you'll need ESPN Insider access to see the full coverage.

Here's where the Big 12 stands for the respective 2013 classes, which can't sign letters of intent until February.

Remember, this card is in pencil. Players are free to switch commitments until they sign a letter of intent with a school.

1. Texas Longhorns

Total commits: 15
ESPN 150 commits: 7
Key commits: QB Tyrone Swoopes, C Darius James, OT Jake Raulerson, OT Kent Perkins
Class update: Texas lost the nation's top receiver, Ricky Seals-Jones, but could pick him up later down the line. It added junior-college tight end Geoff Swaim and safety Erik Huhn.

2. Oklahoma Sooners

Total commits: 12
ESPN 150 commits: 4
Key commits: RB Greg Bryant, RB Keith Ford, DE D.J. Ward, QB Cody Thomas
Class update: Oklahoma added three commits since our last update, including a new ESPN 150 member in Thomas. It also added linebacker Jordan Mastrogiovanni, receiver Jordan Smallwood and athlete Austin Bennett.

3. Baylor Bears

Total commits: 13
ESPNU 150 commits: 1
Key commits: WR Robbie Rhodes, QB Chris Johnson, OLB Raaquan Davis, RB Johnny Jefferson
Class update: Baylor got the biggest pickup in the entire Big 12 since our last update, adding the nation's No. 5 receiver in Rhodes. That allowed the Bears to crack the national top 25, but they were already third in the Big 12. Baylor also added safeties Taion Sells and Austin Jupe as well as outside linebacker Xavier Phillips.

4. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Total commits: 10
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: WR Fred Ross Jr., WR Marcell Ateman, DT Vincent Taylor, OT Zach Crabtree
Class update: The Cowboys added four commits between our April and May updates, then added five more in the past month to leapfrog Texas Tech. OSU has three commits in the ESPN 300, and six players with three stars. It added Taylor, quarterback Luke Del Rio, safety Jordan Sterns, guard Rami Hammad and running back Corion Webster.

5. TCU Horned Frogs

Total commits: 9
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: OLB Paul Whitmill, OLB Sammy Douglas, OG Patrick Morris
Class update: TCU added five commits since our last update, and now has seven three-star commits. The Horned Frogs hopped over Kansas State and Texas Tech after adding defensive end Bryson Henderson, tight end Charlie Reid, cornerback Steve Wesley, tight end Bryson Burtnett and safety George Baltimore. (Future All-Name teamer?)

6. West Virginia Mountaineers

Total commits: 7
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: QB Chavas Rawlins, OT Marcell Lazard, RB DeShawn Coleman
Class update: WVU added three commits since we last updated, getting a nice boost from a slow start on the trail. Three players are four-stars and four are three stars. Inside linebacker Darrien Howard pledged to the Mountaineers, as did guard Tyler Tezeno and inside linebacker Elijah Wellman. Howard is the class' first player from Texas.

7. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Total commits: 7
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: ATH Devin Lauderdale, WR Dylan Cantrell, OG Baylen Brown
Class update: Texas Tech didn't add anyone since our last update, but has two four-star recruits and three three-star commits.

8. Kansas Jayhawks

Total commits: 5
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: TE Ben Johnson, LB Kellen Ash, QB Jordan Darling
Class update: Kansas added two commits since our last update -- Darling and cornerback Colin Spencer -- and jumped ahead of in-state rival K-State. Each of Kansas' commits is ranked.

9. Kansas State Wildcats

Total commits: 4
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: ILB Tanner Wood, DE Jordan Willis, WR LeAndrew Gordon
Class update: Kansas State hasn't added a commit since our update a month ago, but all four commits have at least three stars.

10. Iowa State Cyclones

Total commits: 4
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: QB Trevor Hodge, OG Jacob Homa, S Kamari Syrie
Class notes: Iowa State wasn't even on the scoreboard the last time we updated, getting all four of its 2013 commits in the last month. However, only one recruit, Hodge, is ranked. It also added Homa, Syrie and tight end Emmanuel Bibbs.

RecruitingNation 411: Midlands Region

June, 26, 2012
6/26/12
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In this segment of RecruitingNation 411, Damon Sayles fills you in on the latest with former Texas commit Ricky Seals-Jones (Sealy, Tex./Sealy).

Two Big 12 teams in recruiting top 25

June, 11, 2012
6/11/12
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The ESPN RecruitingNation staff released its first top-25 rankings Insider for the 2013 recruiting season, but only two Big 12 teams made the cut.

That's a far cry from last year, when four Big 12 teams finished in the top 25.

The two teams who made the rankings? Sit down and try to contain your shock ...

It's the Sooners and Longhorns.

Both checked in inside the top 15, starting with Texas at No. 4.
The Longhorns took a huge punch to the gut on Tuesday with the unexpected decommitment of Ricky Seals-Jones, a five-star recruit ranked as the No. 1 wide receiver in the country. But they still have a class to feel good about.

Seven of their 14 commitments are represented in the ESPN 150, including Darius James, who checks in as the No. 17 prospect, No. 2 offensive linemen and No. 1 center overall. He figures to be a future stalwart of Texas' offensive line that will be in charge of protecting quarterback Tyrone Swoopes, the No. 22 prospect overall. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Swoopes dipped in the latest rankings. He began as the No. 9 prospect and top-rated quarterback. He's now the No. 4 QB on the list.

Oklahoma landed at No. 12 on the list with about eight months before signing day, and the Sooners have nine commits, including four in the ESPN 150.
The patient approach was never more prevalent than at quarterback, and for OU, good things did come to those who wait. After a lengthy search, the Sooners found their future signal-caller in Cody Thomas, who debuted in the updated ESPN 150 at No. 93 after having not been ranked in the initial release.

You'll need ESPN Insider to see the full rankings, but a nice start for the Sooners and Longhorns. If you're curious, Michigan is No. 1 and those Aggies you may remember are all the way up at No. 6.
It's not every day that any recruit decommits from Texas.

It's even rarer that the nation's No. 1 receiver reneges on the Longhorns.

That's what Ricky Seals-Jones has done, though, just two days after attending a camp in Austin with the rest of the Longhorns' 2013 recruiting class, HornsNation reports.
It is believed that this decision could have something to do with his desire to play both football and basketball in college, which LSU and Baylor both have given him the option to do. When reached by phone Tuesday night, Eric Thomas, Seals-Jones' AAU basketball coach, had no comment on Seals-Jones' decision.

Texas isn't out of the Seals-Jones sweepstakes just yet, but the 6-foot-5, 220-pounder, who is rated the nation's No. 7 overall recruit, has reopened his recruitment with a host of other schools. The Sealy, Texas, native shocked many recruiting experts with his decision, but fellow commits weighed in and weren't too worried about the news.
Texas four-star quarterback pledge Tyrone Swoopes (Whitewright, Texas/Whitewright) has perhaps the strongest relationship with Seals-Jones of the Longhorn commits, and he reached out to Seals-Jones on Tuesday evening to offer his support.

"I'm a little surprised," Swoopes said. "I told him I would respect his decision if he does want to decommit, but it would be good for him if he would stay just because we can do great things at Texas with our recruiting class, and he's a big part of it.

"He said Texas is still No. 1 but he just wanted to see what other schools had to offer. I told him I respect that."

Still, pretty surprising stuff. Texas now has 14 commits for its class, whose members can't sign letters of intent until national signing day in February.
May is nearly over, and as we head into June, it's time to update the Big 12 recruiting scorecard. You can see each full class by clicking on the team name, but you'll need ESPN Insider access to see the full coverage.

Here's where the Big 12 stands for the respective 2013 classes, which can't sign letters of intent until next February.

Remember, this card is in pencil. Players are free to switch commitments until they sign a letter of intent with a school.

1. Texas Longhorns

Total commits: 14
ESPN 150 commits: 8
Key commits: QB Tyrone Swoopes, WR Ricky Seals-Jones, C Darius James, OT Jake Raulerson
Class update: Texas added just one players since our last update, cornerback Antwuan Davis. The Bastrop, Texas, native is the nation's No. 13 cornerback and the No. 19 player in Texas. He checks in at No. 147 on our ESPN 150.

2. Oklahoma Sooners

Total commits: 9
ESPN 150 commits: 3
Key commits: RB Greg Bryant, RB Keith Ford, DE D.J. Ward
Class update: Oklahoma has added five commits since our last update, but no ESPN 150 commits. The biggest pickup was pro-style QB Cody Thomas, a native of Colleyville, Texas. The Sooners also added ATH Stanvon Taylor, kicker Jack Steed and offensive lineman Dalton Rodriguez. It's a nice bounce back from a slow start on the trail for the Sooners.

3. Baylor Bears

Total commits: 9
ESPNU 150 commits: 1
Key commits: QB Chris Johnson, OLB Raaquan Davis, RB Johnny Jefferson, WR Quan Jones
Class notes: Baylor has added three commits since our last update, but no ESPN 150 recruits. Davis pledged his intent to come to Waco from Heath, Texas. DT Tanner Thrift is also on the way, and OLB D.J. Green is one of the class' top talents as the nation's No. 27 outside linebacker.

4. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Total commits: 7
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: ATH Devin Lauderdale, WR Dylan Cantrell, OG Baylen Brown
Class notes: Texas Tech added two commits since we last updated the scorecard. Brown is the top recruit to join the fold. The 6-foot-4, 280-pounder is from Helotes, Texas. Safety Stormy Butler is trying to crash both Lubbock and my All-Name Team.

5. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Total commits: 5
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: WR Fred Ross Jr., WR Marcell Ateman, OT Zach Crabtree
Class update: OSU has been a big mover since our last update, picking up four commits, giving the Cowboys two four-star players and helping OSU leap over Kansas State. Crabtree joined the class on Tuesday, and Ateman gave OSU a second receiver earlier this month.

6. Kansas State Wildcats

Total commits: 4
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: ILB Tanner Wood, DE Jordan Willis, WR LeAndrew Gordon
Class notes: Guard Chance Allen is the only addition to the class since we last checked in with the SnyderCats. He's a 6-foot-4, 295-pounder from Spring, Texas, a Houston suburb.

7. TCU Horned Frogs

Total commits: 4
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: OLB Paul Whitmill, OLB Sammy Douglas, OG Patrick Morris
Class notes: TCU added two commits since our last update, but only two of the class members are ranked. Whitmill was the biggest addition, and takes a place as the top recruit in the class. The 6-foot, 200-pounder is the nation's No. 21 outside linebacker and hails from Bastrop, Texas. ATH Ty Slanina also committed last week.

8. West Virginia Mountaineers

Total commits: 4
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: QB Chavas Rawlins, OT Marcell Lazard, RB DeShawn Coleman
Class notes: WVU didn't have a commit the last time we checked in, but has the weakest class of those with just four commits. Only one, Rawlins, is nationally ranked. It's early, but WVU's got to pick it up. Worth noting: Three of the commits are from Pennsylvania and one is from New Jersey. The recruiting strategy switch hasn't paid off just yet. It's very, very early, though.

9. Kansas Jayhawks

Total commits: 3
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: QB Montell Cozart, TE Ben Johnson, LB Kellen Ash
Class notes: Kansas hasn't added anyone since our mid-April update, but the program is branching out its recruiting strategy to a national stage, not just the Kansas City area and Texas. That's nothing new for former Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis. Can he convince them to commit, though? We'll find out soon.

10. Iowa State Cyclones

Total commits: 0
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: None
Class notes: Still nada on the board for the Cyclones, who are the lone Big 12 team without a commit in the fold yet.

Recruiting season got started in earnest on Tuesday with the release of the ESPN 150, so it's time to offer our first real check-in on where the Big 12 recruiting classes sit with a little less than 10 months before players can officially sign.

Remember, this card is in pencil. Players are free to switch commitments until they sign a letter of intent with a school.

1. Texas Longhorns

Total commits: 13
ESPNU 150 commits: 7
Key commits: QB Tyrone Swoopes, WR Ricky Seals-Jones, C Darius James, OT Jake Raulerson
Class notes: Texas' top three commits are all the best at their positions, and 10 of the class' 13 commitments are four stars or higher. That's nothing new in Austin, but Swoopes looks like the quarterback of the future in Austin, though he hails from a smaller school in Whitewright, Texas. Seals-Jones is a physical presence at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds.

2. Oklahoma Sooners

Total commits: 4
ESPNU 150 commits: 3
Key commits: RB Greg Bryant, RB Keith Ford, DE D.J. Ward
Class notes: Oklahoma's class is still pretty small for now, but the Sooners are getting some much needed help at running back, where numbers are suddenly thin following a rash of transfers after the season. Ward joins fellow DE Matt Dimon in the class, too.

3. Baylor Bears

Total commits: 6
ESPNU 150 commits: 1
Key commits: QB Chris Johnson, RB Johnny Jefferson, WR Quan Jones
Class notes: No surprise here: Baylor's new class is loaded with skill position talent. Johnson is the nation's No. 2 dual-threat passer and Jefferson is the nation's No. 36 running back. It seems like almost every year, Baylor reels in a huge prospect. For now, 2013 is no different, and coach Art Briles looks like he can continue his QB lineage. Johnson is a four-star, and Jefferson and Jones are three-star recruits.

4. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Total commits: 5
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: ATH Devin Lauderdale, WR Dylan Cantrell, CB Will Barrow
Class notes: Texas Tech has landed top-25 recruiting classes in each of Tommy Tuberville's first full seasons in Lubbock, and the Red Raiders are off to another nice start in 2013. Super recruiter Robert Prunty's developed a penchant for reeling in ESPN 150 talent, so keep an eye on the newest major player on the recruiting scene. Lauderdale is a four-star recruit.

5. Kansas State Wildcats

Total commits: 3
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: ILB Tanner Wood, DE Jordan Willis, WR LeAndrew Gordon
Class notes: Two of Kansas State's three commits are three-star recruits. The Wildcats won 10 games in 2011, but another solid year in 2012 could help spur recruiting efforts even further.

6. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Total commits: 1
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: WR Fred Ross Jr.
Class notes: Ross is a four-star and the nation's No. 21 receiver, but OSU could climb this list quickly, riding the success from its first Big 12 title in 2011. It's a slower start than you'd envision for OSU, but we'll see if the Cowboys can win some battles with Texas Tech, TCU and others.

7. TCU Horned Frogs

Total commits: 2
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: OLB Sammy Douglas, OG Patrick Morris
Class notes: Douglas is a three-star recruit and the nation's No. 36 outside linebacker. That's a big position of need for TCU, but the Big 12 entrance and recent campus drug sting that resulted in four players being arrested will be battling for positive and negative pushes on the recruiting trail. We'll see which one wins out in 2012.

8. Kansas Jayhawks

Total commits: 3
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: QB Montell Cozart, TE Ben Johnson, LB Kellen Ash
Class notes: Kansas doesn't have a nationally ranked recruit, but Weis sounds like he's high on Cozart, a highly recruited QB from the Kansas City area who had offers from West Virginia and Minnesota.

9. West Virginia Mountaineers

Total commits: 0
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: None
Class notes: WVU is one of two teams without a commit yet in the 2013 class. We'll see if that picks up if WVU can validate its membership in the Big 12 with a strong debut season.

10. Iowa State Cyclones

Total commits: 0
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: None
Class notes: Iowa State has started slow, too. Another bowl appearance would help, but it has to be a bit frustrating for the Cyclones to be behind the eight-ball for now. That's especially true considering what Kansas has done thus far.

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