the defense

From the stands: The University of Texas 2013 recruiting class, Part 2

From the stands: The University of Texas 2013 recruiting class, Part 2

Austin Photo Set: News_Kevin_UT Football Schedule_August 2011_flag
Photo by Moogul

Taco, gimme a techno beat! Corn Dog! Corn Dog! Corn Dog! Corn Dog! Pewww! Pewww! Pewww!

  • Texas baseball starts this weekend. The Horns open with three games against Sacramento State. First game is at 6:30 p.m. Friday night. You can catch it on The Zone and the Longhorn Network.
  • Here’s a Texas basketball update: Texas baseball starts this weekend. The Horns open with three games against Sacramento State. First game is at 6:30 p.m. Friday night. You can also catch it on The Zone and the Longhorn Network.
  • That isn't completely fair. Myck Kabongo returns tonight (Wednesday).
  • We are also about a week away from the start of spring practice. And to this I say: YAY!
  • Texas didn’t get a defensive tackle in this class, but 4-star defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway from the class of 2012 is moving inside. This is an outstanding move for Ridgeway and Texas.
  • And, with the class of 2013 wrapped up, Texas has started their spring Junior Days, inviting the top juniors who will graduate in 2014 to campus for everyone to get acquainted. Texas has put out several offers and already has eight commitments for the class of ‘14, headlined by Denton Guyer quarterback Jerrod Heard. If you don’t know anything about Heard, watch this.
  • Football with pads starts next week. Again, yay!

The Defense

This week we hit the other side of the ball, the defense. On with it! Here they are, the defensive recruits from the class of 2013.

Chevoski Collins
5'11", 185 pounds
Livingston (LHS)
3 Stars

What a terrific name. Seriously, the best name on the team. Imagine Carrington, Quandre and Chevoski all on the field at the same time... a topic for another time. Collins comes to Texas after playing quarterback at Livingston, but I think he’s going to play on the defense at Texas. He has amazing quickness and terrific speed, clocking a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash. I think he’s going to be the the defensive version of Daje Johnson, a guy that can play safety or cornerback and return punts and kicks.

You can’t get enough sick athletes on the field and Chevoski Collins is as sick as they come. Look for him to see the field next year and be a Kenny-Vaccaro-as-a-freshman special teams demon.

Collins chose Texas over everyone in the Big 12 when he committed in October to Bo Davis.

Antwuan Davis
Defensive Back
6’0”, 180 pounds
Bastrop (BHS)
4 Stars

Davis is the highest rated defensive back in the best defensive back class in the state of Texas in several years. He has all the tools to be great: size (he’s been listed as tall as 6-foot-1); speed (4.4 in the 40); and agility (he transitions to the ball well, turn his hips to run with receivers without losing ground or speed). But he’s not as experienced as some other guys. An injury cost him substantial playing time his junior year, so he isn’t as polished as he could be, but it looks like it is only a matter of time before he catches up.

He reminds me, on paper at least, of former Texas great Aaron Williams. They are roughly the same size with similar great speed and athleticism. I think he could compete for playing time immediately, both on special teams and as a backup cornerback. However raw he is at times, you can’t teach height and speed, and he has both. Now he also has the best defensive backs coach in the Big 12 guiding him along.

Every school you can think of went after Davis, but he committed to Texas last May.

Deoundrei Davis
6’3”, 215 pounds
Cypress (Cypress Woods)
4 Stars

It’s not an understatement to say Texas was inconsistent at linebacker last year. When you play against spread offenses like the ones that live in the Big 12, you need lb’s that can not only defend the run, but cover receivers.

That’s exactly the sort of linebacker Deoundrei Davis is. He has terrific speed and at times looks like a big safety playing at the line of scrimmage rather than a linebacker. He’s a big hitter that can be very physical, but also has the skill set to run with tight ends and backs in coverage. In short, Davis is an every down linebacker that can do it all: tackle, run, blitz, cover.

He’s the perfect fit for the Big 12. He could stand to be a little bigger, but this time next Bennie Wylie will have him at 230 or so and he’ll be even more formidable. I love comparisons, and I think Davis looks a lot like Keenan Robison when he got to Texas in 2007. I hope he has the same career.

I tell you what, the lb’s on the roster right now not named Hicks, Jackson of Jinkens had better dial it up this spring, or Davis is going to come in and pass them up.
The highest rated recruit on the defensive side of the ball, Davis picked Texas over LSU, Bama, A&M and ou, among others.

Naashon Hughes
6'4", 210 pounds
Harker Heights (HHHS)
3 Stars

Hughes is the brother for redshirt freshman ol' Camrhon Hughes, who will compete for pt after recovering from an injury last two-a-days. Little brother Naashon wanted to be Longhorn so badly that last February he committed to Texas and accepted a gray shirt, which meant he would not enroll at Texas in the summer of 2013, but would come in as a freshman on scholarship in the spring of 2014.

Texas’ class was filling up quickly and they wanted Hughes, but they couldn’t offer him a traditional scholarship at the time. He turned down Baylor, LSU and South Carolina’s traditional offers to play with his brother on his favorite team. As fate would have it, Texas lost a few commits over the summer and fall, and it opened up an opportunity for Hughes to come in with everyone else this summer — which he will do.

He’s big kid at 6-foot-4 and could see time at safety and linebacker, and after a few off-seasons with Bennie Wylie, it wouldn’t surprise me if he was a defensive end down the line. He’s a really good athlete that wants to be a Longhorn and will likely spend the summer and fall trying to find a position. It might not be this fall, but I guarantee he’ll make an impact at Texas. Guys that love the program and will sacrifice like he was going to appreciate the opportunity. I think he’ll end it being an outside pass rusher, but who knows?

Erik Huhn
Defensive Back
6’2”, 205 pounds
Cibolo (Steele)
3 Stars

A lot of people are going to look at Huhn and see Blake Gideon. That’s not fair to either player, because Huhn is taller, heavier and probably a little faster than Blake Gideon was coming out of high school. But personally, I’d be flattered by the comparison, because Gideon left Texas a 4-year starter with a Big 12 Title on his resume and is on an NFL roster with the Denver Broncos, but I digress.

Huhn is a physical specimen that reminds me a lot of the old oklahoma cover 2 safeties like Brodney Pool, who were linebacker-sized guys that played in the deep middle in coverage, but could also support the run. That’s exactly what I see Huhn being: a guy that can play a safety/linebacker hybrid and stay on the field in all situations against the spread. He certainly has the pedigree playing in big school playoff games for Cibolo and the physical tools to do that.

Just like I said about the linebackers on the roster earlier when mentioning Deoundrei Davis, the safeties on the team now better crank it up, because this a big freshman that won’t be held out because of his inexperience if the guys in front of him aren’t ready.

Georgia, Nebraska, TCU, ou and Tech were all after Huhn, but he quickly committed to his lifelong favorite Texas last June.

Jake Raulerson
Defensive End
6’5”, 262 pounds
Celina (CHS)
4 Stars

And we save the best for last. Jake Raulerson will probably end up on the offensive side of the ball at center or guard, but he will start at defensive end. That isn’t really the story, though.

Raulerson is a superb talent that will be a factor on the field this fall most likely, but he’s been a factor off the field for over a year. He was the first commit of the 2013 class and is already on campus going through the off-season program and has been told to be ready to play this fall at defensive end. In the Army All-American game in January, he willingly played at center and d.end to help out his Army squad in practice. But again, his impact off the field is as important as it will be on the field.

I think Raulerson knows every single guy on the Rivals 100 ranking (the top 100 high school players in the nation) and just about every kid on the Texas radar in the state. He was active in recruiting everyone who signed with Texas and was as active with the guys Texas recruited that went elsewhere. This article lays it out. and this quote from Deoundrei Davis sums up Raulerson perfectly: “If you see a recruit, you see Jake -- every time... He's everywhere. ... If you see somebody Texas is looking to recruit, Jake will be right there, right in their ear...”

You know I’m always, always banging on leadership coming from the field, from the emotional loudmouths that will do it and talk about it. That is Raulerson. He has team captain written all over him and, if you read that article, you will see he had a hand in nearly every other Texas recruit coming to Austin. THAT is the guy you want in the Cotton Bowl tunnel and that guy is Jake Raulerson.

In Conclusion…

Like I said last week, this class isn’t big, but that doesn’t mean it is bad. I see some serious impact players at linebacker and defensive back and, as I mentioned, the best leader-to-be I’ve seen coming to Texas maybe ever.

Spring practice is here and this class will be here in a little over three months. I can’t wait!

Back next week with some baseball and spring practice. Hook 'em.


Trey McLean writes From the Stands for the University Co-op. Follow Trey on the University Co-op Game Day Page, on Twitter @TreyMcLean, or email him here.