Before we get to the unknowns, let's first re-familiarize ourselves with some of the key ingredients; a varied assortment of spicy skill players and meaty lineman.
Here's who's already in the pot:
QB Tyrone Swoopes/Whitewright
RB Kyle Hicks/Arlington Martin
WR Jake Oliver/Dallas Jesuit
WR Jacorey Warrick/Cypress Falls
TE Durham Smythe/Belton
TE Geoff Swaim/Butte JC (Ca.)
OL Darius James/Harker Heights
OL Kent Perkins/Lake Highlands
OL Jake Raulerson/Celina
DT A’Shawn Robinson/FW Arlington Heights
LB Deoundrei Davis/Cypress Woods
LB Naashon Hughes/Harker Heights
CB Antwuan Davis/Bastrop
S Erik Huhn/Cibolo Steele
There's some solid substance there for good flavoring, but not nearly enough body for a fan base satiating for numerous helpings. Going into this cycle we knew the numbers were scarce, and thus far they have been, but Texas has put itself in a favorable position by leaving room for difference makers down the stretch. I think last year the Texas staff learned a valuable lesson about patience. Call it the Adrian Colbert effect or due diligence, I don't care, but it's a welcomed sight.
Looking at the above you may notice some newsworthy items, whether by omission or by position. First, you'll notice we're done with considering Jake Raulerson anything other than an offensive lineman. He's putting on weight in a steady progression. Where he ends up on the line is still a question and an important one when figuring out the arithmetic of how this class adds up.
If the staff views Raulerson as an interior offensive lineman, they would be unwise to take three more interior offensive linemen unless co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin is going to rewrite the O-line recipe. Though I'm of the view you can never have enough figurative nonsexual meat, there's only so much room for it. We'll address this below.
Another question we'll get to below is defensive end. With Daeshon Hall's defection, UT has a glaring emptiness at the position.
Other than that, you have to like the foundation of this class; some salt, some pepper, an unorthodox chef in Swoopes (call him Marcus Samuelsson) who just needs a bit of thyme, a few maulers that will dry rub you the wrong way and a dash of cayenne.
But the meal isn't complete. Here's what the staff is shopping for, and I mean in a grocery store way, not in an SEC one:
Uncommitted w/ Offers
WR Devon Allen/Brophy Prep (Ariz.)
WR Ricky Seals-Jones/Sealy (on ESPNU tonight)
OL Caleb Benenoch/Seven Lakes
OL Andrew Billings/Waco
CB Cole Luke/Hamilton (Ariz.)
S Vonn Bell/Ridgeland (Ga.)
S Marcell Harris/Dr. Phillips (Fla.)
ATH Chevoski Collins/Livingston
Well I'll be, look at the staff harnessing Marco Polo and actually traveling for some spices! To exotic and talent rich locales like Arizona and Georgia no less. A novel concept it is.
"Yo Marco, bring me back some sghetti and pizza! And some sexy linens." - Jeff Madden
Bring back a blue chipper while you're at it.
Still, no defensive end offers and I'd love to see an offensive tackle on the shopping list as well. Texas must get to a point where young linemen ferment on the sidelines for a couple of years. If you want grown men up front you have to let them age. Simple, right? Apparently not. You accomplish this by keeping the cupboard full. This week Kennedy Estelle will likely lose his redshirt. This isn't a good or exciting thing. It's unfortunate actually. Texas needs to target another tackle to pair with Kent Perkins, preferably a long lean project type.
There are a couple I like, but the staff doesn't so it's not really worth mentioning them.
There's one rule of Texas football: trust Duane Akina's decision making. Waiting on Maurice Smith cost Texas a chance at him, but there are some nice options above including Cole Luke, a player superior to Smith in pure cover ability, but much smaller and way less physical. Texas is sitting in a fine position with Marcell Harris, a guy who spends as much time on the 40 acres as Earl Campbell. I think the successes of Texas and Florida will be closely watched this season. Go A&M?
Along with defensive end and another tackle, one true need remains; a difference maker at wide receiver. Jake Oliver and Jacorey Warrick are nice takes, but they provide the subtleties that often go unnoticed. Ricky Seals-Jones makes your nose drip, your eyes tear and your face turn red.
The staff is correct in hedging themselves by trying to add outside speed merchant Devon Allen, but he's no RS-J.
So where do we stand with each of the above? Good question, I'll have thoughts on that tomorrow in the Inside Scoop as percentages are back by singular demand. Seriously, one person asked for it and that's enough for me.
Remember, a good cook isn't afraid to change course and mix up a tried and true recipe. The Texas staff as a whole is a great cook, unafraid to freestyle a bit and deviate. You can expect some plot twists down the road and perhaps some late night last minute shopping like last year.
All this talk about cooking has me hungry. I'm about to head out for lunch. One programming note, I'll be going to the Sealy game tonight to watch Mr. RS-J and Trey Kalmus will be attending a mini Red River Rivalry game as Texas 2014 commit Jerrod Heard and Denton Guyer take on 2013 OU commit Cody Thomas and Colleyville Heritage. Hook'em, Jerrod.