It’s been an abnormally tough recruiting season for Mack Brown and company. Arlington Heights defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson became the fifth major decommitment from Texas this year, reducing the class size to a paltry 15. A Longhorns program that routinely lands Top 5 classes now finds itself outside of the Top 20, according to rivals.com. The recruiting season has been marred by tough breaks and unfortunate incidents. Here are the top five players Texas missed out on that could have changed its fortunes for the better:
1. A’Shawn Robinson, DT
As mentioned above, Robinson just decommitted Sunday and is expected to sign with the University of Alabama. This one hurts. Robinson was one of the highest commits on the board for Texas and he was the only defensive lineman in the entire class. Deep classes in 2011 and 2012 will mitigate some of the damage of his departure, but you can’t make a habit out of having zero stud defensive line commits and expect to compete at a high level in the Big 12.
2. Dontre Wilson, RB/ATH
Wilson is a Mr. Do-Everything player (think Daje Johnson). You can line him up in the backfield, as a receiver on the outside, or in the slot. The DeSoto High School star rushed for an eye-popping 1,892 yards and 37 touchdowns, and caught 37 passes for 752 yards and nine more scores. He also had two returns for touchdowns. Wilson was originally an Oregon commit, but re-opened his recruitment after head coach Chip Kelly left Oregon to take the same position with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Longhorns were one of his final three choices, but the all-purpose back committed to Ohio State on Monday.
3. Ricky Seals-Jones, WR/ATH
Another former Texas commit, Seals-Jones is considered by many to be the best wide receiver in his class. The Sealy product decommitted from the Longhorns last June and poured salt in the wounds of Texas fans everywhere by choosing to commit to the Aggies six months later. Seals-Jones is a big physical receiver who can go up and get the ball, someone who could have been of great use to David Ash, who likes to sling the ball in the air and let his receivers make plays.
4. Daeshon Hall, DE
Like Robinson and Seals-Jones on this list, Hall was once a Texas commit. The Lancaster, Texas, product was dominant all season leading his team to the 4A state championship game and winning the Dallas Morning News Defensive Player of the Year award. Hall is lean and quick, but despite his wiry frame, is also an excellent run stopper. He is originally from Seattle and committed to Washington to be closer to family, but is reportedly still open to switching his commitment to Texas A&M.
5. Nick Marshall, QB
Yes, there are already five quarterbacks on the roster, but two, Case McCoy and Connor Brewer, have gotten themselves into a bit of trouble recently. A third, early enrollee Tyrone Swoopes, struggled so mightily his senior year in high school that ESPN decided to stop classifying him as a quarterback altogether. Marshall threw for nearly 4,000 yards and 36 touchdowns last season for Garden City Community College. He could have immediately pushed Ash competitively, and been a viable backup option in case Ash went down with an injury or had to be benched like he was in the Kansas game this past season. Instead, the dual-threat junior college transfer will suit up for the Auburn Tigers next year.