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Friday, April 18, 2014
Texas spring game draws loaded list

By Max Olson

AUSTIN, Texas -- Charlie Strong’s #letsride movement is picking up momentum, and it’s going to the next level on Saturday at Texas’ Orange-White spring game.

Strong and his coaching staff already have picked up seven verbal commitments since taking over and could have a chance to lock up a few more at the annual spring game. As many as 100 prospects from the 2014, 2015, 2016 and even 2017 classes are expected to be on the sidelines and in the stands for the unofficial first game of the Strong era.

The highlight of that lengthy list? Texas is expected to receive unofficial visits from the following members of the newly released ESPN 300:

Not only will Jerrod Heard, Derick Roberson and most of Texas’ 2014 signing class be in attendance on Saturday afternoon, but so should eight members of the current class of pledges.

The newest future Longhorns, 2015 running back Kirk Johnson and his brother 2015 receiver Collin Johnson, took a one-day visit on Thursday and made their commitment. Also on campus this week was ESPN 300 quarterback Zach Gentry of Albuquerque Eldorado, the No. 2-ranked pocket passer for whom the Longhorns are a serious contender.

Also on the list of expected visitors are several prospects who already hold Texas offers, such as defensive lineman Kingsley Keke and defensive backs Keivon Ramsey and Jordan Tolbert, as well as more recruits committed elsewhere such as end Breylin Mitchell (TCU) and athlete Hunter Herndon (Rice).

That’s just the start of the list. The Longhorns plan to have some of the state’s most coveted 2016 prospects on the 40 Acres as well. Allen tackle Greg Little, Sasche teammates Jared Mayden and Devin Duveray, Manvel receiver Reggie Hemphill and early Florida commit Tre Jackson of Baton Rouge (La.) University Lab are just a few of the big-time attendees.

And yes, there will even be a member of the Class of 2017. That would be Jack Anderson, a lineman from Frisco, Texas, who’s finishing up his freshman year and already 6-foot-4 and 283 pounds. Never too early to start recruiting kids like that.

In just two junior days, Strong and his assistants managed to get more than half of the state’s top 50 prospects on campus. Nearly that many could be in Austin on Saturday, ready to get a first real glimpse of how Strong intends to change the Texas program.

Plenty needs to change on the field, but off it the new head coach already is making a big first impression.