Once again, Shaka Smart’s Longhorns survive a premier talent’s cuts
Four-star Alvin small forward Savion Flagg has trimmed his list to eight schools and the Texas Longhorns are still in the mix. Along with Texas, Flagg included Northwestern, Florida, Oregon Miami, LSU, North Carolina State and Texas A&M.
In addition to Texas, Kentucky, North Carolina, UNLV, Arizona, UCLA, North Carolina State and Kansas are still in being considered, as well, but reports have suggested the realistic destination pool is only half of that list. As 247Sports’ Chris Hummer has noted on multiple occasions, the only candidates with more than some hope and a dream of landing Washington are Texas, Kentucky, North Carolina and Arizona.
Such sentiments align with Washington’s comments about planning to visit each of the four during football season and making a decision shortly thereafter.
Surprisingly, considering the basketball powers Texas will be tasked with competing against for Washington’s services, the ‘Horns look to be in pole position with the Dallas native and Findlay Prep product.
Washington’s interest in Texas has been known for quite some time now, and that interest will likely only continue to grow. A considerable factor in that can be credited to Shaka Smart’s time as the Team USA U18 head coach, in which Washington started all five games en route to a gold medal.
During his experience, Washington raved about Smart, per 247Sports:
“He’s a great coach," Washington said. "He bonds well with you on and off the floor with everybody. He’s just a wonderful human being. I love playing for him.”
In addition to Smart coaching Team USA, it certainly can’t hurt that Washington was teammates with current Texas big men Jarrett Allen and James Banks, along with heavy Texas lean Matt Coleman.
Ranked as the nation’s No. 16 player and No. 6 power forward, Washington could ultimately become the headliner of yet another elite class in Austin. Texas currently leads in Washington’s Crystal Ball.
2016-08-04T10:01:42-05:00What are the stories we need to follow in fall camp? Shane Buechele is ready to step up to the role of QB. Malik Jefferson is one of ESPN’s top 100 college football players as he settles into the role of star. Everyone relax! Paul Finebaum thinks Strong’s job is safe. Mack Brown couldn’t help himself but the Aggies made this way too easy. Brown takes a shot at the Ags women’s clinic. Cat Osterman will be enshrined in the Little League Hall of Excellence. This is embarrassing. UT needs to hire someone who knows Latin before erecting a monument. So expand or not to expand, that is the question. What are the key questions in the expansion discussion? So, what exactly is the pushback on expansion from our network partners? ESPN and Fox are not going to pay full price. The Big 12 network needs to rethink distribution. Another day, more so-called experts on who should join the conference. Some other stuff. Position-specific trainers are changing the recruiting game. There are new rules for coaches recruiting players on social media. Too bad this doesn’t include fans. Chad Morris is building his program with Texas players. It looks like Muschamp inherited another sh&%$#*& when he took over from Steve Spurrier at South Carolina. [...]
The ‘Horns won’t have to face the playmaking sophomore in the season opener.
Despite being hailed as a team with a plethora of offensive weapons, Notre Dame will have one less to throw at Charlie Strong’s Texas team. Sophomore tight end Alize Jones has been ruled academically ineligible for the 2016 season, according to head coach Brian Kelly.
Jones was touted as the fourth best tight end in the nation for the class of 2015 by Rivals, and the 133rd-ranked player overall. The dynamic 6’4 playmaker only made 13 receptions for 190 yards in his freshman season, but his athleticism and size made him a potential X factor for Notre Dame in the 2016 season.
Notre Dame may be fortunate that junior tight end Tyler Luatua backed out on his transfer to BYU and will remain with the program, but he is primarily a blocker. The Fighting Irish also have junior tight end Durham Smythe, who missed most of the 2015 season after a shoulder injury. However, Smythe has only one reception in his career.
The news is particularly damaging because the Fighting Irish must deal with a depleted air attack after losing star wide receiver Will Fuller to the first round of the NFL Draft, as well as fellow pass-catchers Chris Brown and Amir Carlisle. Senior Torii Hunter, Jr., is the only target returning who has proven himself as a reliable threat — he had 28 receptions in 2015 and was a go-to option in Notre Dame’s spring game.
For Texas, Jones’ mismatch potential being taken out of the equation should aid a young defensive unit which will consist of two sophomores at corner and very few experienced players.
After an embarrassing 38-3 loss to the Fighting Irish in 2015, will Jones’ absence prove to be an equalizer for Texas this season? With a month left until Texas faces off against Notre Dame at Darrell K. Royal Stadium, all Longhorn fans can do is anxiously wait.