June 1, 2006

Big event on tap

This weekend kicks off the Longhorns' 2006 summer camp season, and there will be plenty of storylines to follow. We look at five key questions heading into the talent-packed event, and we go through each position to take an in-depth look at the interesting storylines.

Can the Horns impress Joseph Barksdale? The big five-star defensive tackle will be in Austin over the weekend getting a close look at the Longhorn program. Barksdale has yet to decide whether or not he'll work out (he already has an offer from Texas), but he's sure to get the red carpet treatment either way. When the Texas staff gets a kid on campus, the odds are pretty good that the prospect is going to come away impressed. With Barksdale, who plans to continue to evaluate a boatload of other programs, the question is whether or not the Horns can make a strong enough push to become instant contenders for his commitment.

What will Lennon Creer decide to do? Creer's story has been an interesting one to follow over the last few months, with the blue-chip running back coming close to giving Texas a commitment in February before backing off and reopening the recruiting process. The Longhorn staff has recently given Creer a June 4 deadline by which he must decide, and the chips will all be on the table if he shows up for Sunday's camp. The possibility of Creer giving Texas a commitment varies depending who you ask, but it's seeming like a bit of a longshot with each passing day. Regardless, it will be an interesting story to cover.

How will the commits perform?Texas is the nation's leader with 19 commitments, and just about every future Longhorn is expected to attend this weekend's camp, including out-of-state pledges John Brantley and Zack Pianalto. Many of the commits have already begun to form relationships from seeing each other at games, junior days, etc. But the bonding should really begin this weekend as the players get a chance to work out together and witness the talents of their future teammates.

Any potential surprises? The Texas coaches will be keeping an eye on several high-profile prospects at Sunday's event, and it will be very interesting to see if any player is impressive enough to garner an offer from the UT staff. The main position to watch will be at defensive back, where some of the state's best will be in attendance.

What will happen with Richetti? Dallas Lincoln defensive end Richetti Jones, one of the top uncommitted players left on the Texas board, is another playre that could make a surprise appearance to attend Sunday's workout. While it doesn't appear that Jones is anywhere near ready to give a commitment, it will be interesting to see what kind of talks he has (if any) with the Texas staff regarding a timeline if he does in fact show up. With the Longhorn class filling up quickly, there's always a chance that the staff won't be able to wait around forever for any one prospect, and Jones has to be aware that Texas' numbers are tight. It's highly unlikely that the coaches put much pressure on Jones at this early stage, but one would have to expect that the bug will be planted in his ear that the staff cannot wait forever if other top prospects are ready to commit. At any rate, Texas is right in the thick of this one and a visit on Sunday could go a long way towards inching the Horns back towards the top of Jones' list.

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