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Thursday, February 3, 2011
Texas recruiting analysis

By David Ubben

TEXAS LONGHORNS

The class

Signees: 22 (four enrolled early)

Top prospects: Running back Malcolm Brown is the big headliner, the nation's No. 2 running back and No. 7 overall prospect. Cornerback Quandre Diggs gives the Longhorns the nation's top corner and No. 21 overall prospect. Defensive tackle Desmond Jackson and linebacker Steve Edmond are also two of the nation's best at their positions. Josh Turner, Sedrick Flowers and Leroy Scott give the Longhorns seven ESPNU 150 commits.

Needs met: Texas isn't starved for talent at any position. Its biggest problem in 2010 was a lack of talent at the skill positions, so it needs to find some solutions there, be it from talent already on campus or with incoming recruits. Brown gives the Longhorns a running back with their two other backs, Fozzy Whittaker and Cody Johnson, set to be seniors in 2011. Diggs and Scott also give them depth at cornerback, where Aaron Williams, Curtis Brown and Chykie Brown left openings.

Analysis: Part of me feels bad for Malcolm Brown. There might not be another player in the country with more expectations in his first year on campus, and that's not necessarily fair. Brown seems like he's embraced them, and hasn't wavered much since committing to the Longhorns in August. Texas couldn't run the ball in 2010. Brown is expected to help them do it in 2011. I just hope fans realize that offensive lines have just a little bit to do with that, too. The Longhorns did what they usually do, and hauled in the best recruiting class in the Big 12, narrowly beating out Oklahoma. They got a nice balance of offensive and defensive talents, but most other recruits will offer depth early on in their careers. Also, I wouldn't put much stock into Texas' drop from No. 1 to No. 5 nationally in the recruiting rankings. They lost just one recruit (granted, it was their top recruit, offensive tackle Christian Westerman of Arizona, who signed with Auburn) after replacing six assistants and Texas already had 22 commits in late June. The drop was precipitated by SEC teams Alabama and Auburn and USC gaining late signees from uncommitted prospects.

ESPN recruiting grade: A