NCF On The Trail: Keke Coutee

ESPN 300 WR Coutee reopens recruitment

January, 13, 2014
Jan 13
The coaching change at Texas has led to another decommitment, but this one might only be temporary.

ESPN Junior 300 wide receiver Keke Coutee (Lufkin, Texas/Lufkin) confirmed on Monday he has reopened his recruitment. Despite his decision, Coutee is still strongly considering the Longhorns.

Lufkin assistant coach Alton Dixon said the 5-foot-9, 170-pound receiver believed this was simply the right thing to do right now.

[+] EnlargeKeke Coutee
Max Olson/ESPNKeke Coutee remains positive about Texas despite his decision.
"You're talking about a kid who really likes the University of Texas, is really a big fan of Texas and nothing changed about him liking the school," Dixon said. "What happened is he wanted to decommit so that he can establish relationships with the guys that are new, the new coaches, the new staff and I think that's just fair for him. He's not a flip-flopping kid."

Coutee hadn't heard from the Texas coaching staff in several weeks during the transition from Mack Brown to Charlie Strong. He decided last week to back out of his commitment but kept quiet about the move for days because he didn't want the attention.

Texas has yet to officially announce any hires for its coaching staff under Strong, and Coutee doesn't know who will take over as wide receivers coach. For that reason, reopening his recruitment made sense.

"He had a great relationship with Coach [Bo] Davis, a great relationship with Coach [Darrell] Wyatt and a great relationship with Coach Brown," Dixon said. "It all deteriorated with the movement and the change. He made this decision and he presented the decision to us coaches and it was thought-out and really a valid reason."

Coutee, a four-star prospect ranked No. 171 in the ESPN Junior 300, holds offers from Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech and has also heard from Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and TCU.

As a junior, he caught 59 passes for 869 yards and eight touchdowns. He originally committed to Texas in June 2013 during a Longhorn summer camp.

Once Texas' coaching staff is in place and back on the road recruiting, Dixon would not be surprised if Coutee ended up eventually pledging to Texas again.

"He is a Texas guy. He loves Texas," Dixon said. "With Coach Brown there, that was just the cherry on the whipped cream. He is gung-ho orange. But he's just making the right decision for himself."

Following Coutee's decommitment, Texas has eight verbal commitments for its 2015 class, including four ranked in the ESPN Junior 300.
RecruitingNation released its first ever ESPN junior 300 in mid-July, and a slew of already committed prospects have put six programs off to an electric start in the 2015 recruiting cycle. With the college season just days away, here are the fast starters with future commitments on the horizon.

No wavering for Texas 2015 commit 

July, 29, 2013

ESPN Junior 300 receiver Keke Coutee (Lufkin, Texas/Lufkin) didn’t make the Texas Stampede over the weekend. His absence, however, has little to do with his interest in the Longhorns.

Ask Coutee about it and you'll understand that the speedy, 5-foot-9, 170-pound athlete is quite solid with his commitment. Earlier this month, Coutee was caught on several occasions at the Texas State 7-on-7 Championships posing only as Longhorns past, present and future would -- proudly throwing up the “Hook ‘Em Horns”

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Lessons learned: Texas State 7-on-7 

July, 13, 2013
LEANDER, Texas -- The 2013 Texas State 7-on-7 Tournament saw a number of college football targets put on a show. It also saw some of the lesser-known players make a case for more publicity.

Graham (Texas) High School won the Division II (small-school) competition, while Southlake (Texas) Carroll claimed the Division I (large-school) prize. Carroll won the first 7-on-7 state tile 15 years ago in College Station, Texas.

Here are five things we learned from the state tournament:

2015 has one over former Carroll QBs

[+] EnlargeRyan Agnew
Damon Sayles/ESPN.comClass of 2015 QB Ryan Agnew showed poise in leading Southlake Carroll's aggressive passing attack to the Division I title.
Southlake Carroll has a tradition of producing quality quarterbacks. Chase Daniel, Greg McElroy and Kyle Padron all have NFL experience, and Daniel, McElroy, Chase Wasson, Riley Dodge and incoming Texas A&M freshman Kenny Hill have won state championships. Ryan Agnew hopes to follow those footsteps.

The 2015 quarterback did something that the others hadn’t, and that’s lead Carroll to the state 7-on-7 title. Agnew connected with receivers such as Luke Timian and Keaton Duhon en route to an undefeated run in the tournament.

Agnew, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound quarterback, has early looks from Northwestern, Iowa State, Texas Tech and Ole Miss.

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AUSTIN, Texas – Johnny Shaw won’t soon forget the moment when he received his scholarship offer from Texas on Sunday, or the feelings that offer elicited. It was all just too surreal.

“I’ve been dreaming for this day,” Shaw said. “I haven’t been looking for it -- I’ve been dreaming it. When I got the offer, my heart just dropped. I felt like the moment stopped, like the hands of time just stopped.”

[+] EnlargeJohnny Shaw
Max Olson/ESPNClass of 2015 safety Johnny Shaw flipped from TCU to Texas on Sunday at the Longhorns' minicamp.
From there, the Center (Texas) safety’s choice was an easy one. Right after Texas camp wrapped up on Sunday afternoon, Shaw announced that he was officially flipping from TCU to the Longhorns.

He was the second of three pledges during UT’s minicamp, followed quickly by the commitment of Buda (Texas) Hayes offensive tackle Connor Lanfear. That puts Texas at seven early commits for its 2015 class.

Shaw had originally committed to TCU on May 18 during a visit. Back then, he thought it was a no-brainer. The Horned Frogs coaching staff rolled out the red carpet for him and made Shaw their one and only visitor that Saturday.

But no matter what, Shaw was always going to wait for Texas.

“I’m picking Texas because they’re the first team on my list,” Shaw said. “I’ve been liking them ever since I was little. I just like the Longhorns.”

Center coach Kevin Goodwin attended the UT camp with Shaw and wasn’t the least bit surprised that Shaw flipped. Ever since Shaw attended Texas sophomore day, he’d been fired up about the possibility of playing his college ball in Austin.

According to Goodwin, Texas is getting an unusual physical talent in the 6-foot-2, 188-pound defensive back.

"The special thing about Johnny is, in a day of finesse ball, he's a hitter," Goodwin said. He's one of those guys who comes [up] and strikes you. That's what makes him special. He's big, he likes to strike and he has the ability to get back there and intercept the ball at 50 yards as well."

Shaw is Texas' second defensive back pledge for 2015 along with Jalen Campbell (Corpus Christi, Texas/Flour Bluff). Lufkin (Texas) athlete Keke Coutee also committed to Texas on Sunday and could end up in the secondary, though he played receiver during the camp.

Goodwin had warned Shaw prior to their sophomore day visit that he might not get an offer that day. He knew more touted sophomore safeties Deionte Thompson (Orange, Texas/West Orange-Stark) and Larry Pryor Jr. (Sulphur Springs, Texas/Sulphur Springs) might be in attendance and be higher on Texas’ board. He preached patience.

And there’s no denying Shaw set out to make a statement at camp. He wanted an offer, and he wanted to earn it.

“I proved that I’m faster and more physical than most of the DBs here,” Shaw said.

As he made his way out of the Texas indoor practice facility on Sunday, Shaw couldn’t stop smiling.

He still couldn’t believe he’d just committed to Texas. This was his plan going into the day, yes, but going home a future Longhorn was still just a tad hard to handle.

“Especially for a sophomore, man ... it feels like a dream,” he said. “A real good dream.”

AUSTIN, Texas -- Class of 2015 athlete Keke Coutee (Lufkin, Texas/Lufkin), who is taking part in the Longhorns' minicamp today, has committed to Texas.

[+] EnlargeKeke Coutee
Max Olson/ESPNClass of 2015 athlete Keke Coutee chose the Longhorns over offers from Oklahoma and Texas Tech.
"I just really always liked Texas a lot," Coutee said. "I liked the athletic program and the great academics and this is where I want to be.

"I'm down here and I just wanted to make it official. I had the opportunity so I made my decision."

Coutee, who is 5-foot-9 and 158 pounds, is working out at receiver today but could end up playing defensive back at Texas. He ran a 4.5 40-yard dash at camp. He said he doesn't have a preferred position.

"I'll just do what's best to help the team," Coutee said.

Coutee is Texas' fifth commitment of the 2015 class. He also has offers from Oklahoma and Texas Tech.

"The coaches were all happy. I was happy myself," Coutee said. "It was a great feeling to be committed to Texas."