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Yesterday, I reported that Tennessee Titans linebacker coach Dave McGinnis was likely the primary target of new Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak for the open defensive coordinator's position. As of late yesterday, that is no longer the case.
Kirk Bohls first reported yesterday that the Titans were interested in Texas defensive backs coach Jerry Gray on Statesman.com.
We're taking that a step further.
Hookem.com has learned that Munchak has approached Gray about the position and Gray is considered the leading candidate.
We do not know if Gray will pursue the position. We are told that the ball is in his court (at least it was as of late yesterday).
Most accounts have Gray as excited and happy to be back at his alma mater, with everything from being back in Austin, to his overall family situation. However, becoming a defensive coordinator in the NFL, not to mention what would likely be a doubling of his salary, has to be somewhat appealing. There is also a level of both comfort and respect with Munchak - Gray worked previously with Munchak in Tennessee.
Hookem.com was the first to report the commitment of 2012 pro-style QB Connor Brewer (Scottsdale, Az./Chaparral) to the Longhorns yesterday.
The commitment of Brewer is huge for several reasons.
First, he’s one of the top junior quarterbacks in the country with offers from the likes of Alabama, Auburn (offered Monday), UCLA, Texas A&M, Tennessee and many others.
Brewer is also the first quarterback offer and commitment for new co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin.
But it’s arguable that the biggest part of the commitment is its timing.
With one of the nation's top junior quarterbacks in the fold, it gives Texas much-needed momentum heading into the key February 13 junior day.
With Brewer committed, Texas will have the ability to sell receivers Thomas Johnson, Dominique Wheeler and Cayleb Jones, along with running backs Johnathan Gray and Trey Williams, on having a big-time signal caller in the class, a trigger man for the Harsin-Applwehite offense and the fact that Texas is still the place to be for big time football players despite last seasons struggles.
Brewer is a big get for the Longhorns and the timing couldn't have been better. (Hamilton)
We spoke to San Antonio Sam Houston defensive end Javonte Magee yesterday. Magee said he'd like to make it to Texas for Sunday's junior day, but he doesn't know if he'll be able to make it. The visit hinges on possible transportation for Magee to and from the event.
Magee is extremely likely to pick up a Texas offer if he makes it to campus on Sunday. Texas, Baylor and Texas A&M are among Magee's top schools.
Magee said there haven't been many new developments in his recruitment other than the fact that he continues to receive "too much mail". LSU, his childhood favorite, and Miami have started sending more correspondence of late. (Howe)
Hookem.com was the first to report yesterday that Crockett wide receiver Dominique Wheeler will be attending junior day at Texas Sunday.
Wheeler has already attended junior days at Texas A&M and TCU. Between the Horned Frogs and Aggies, TCU is the leader.
However, Texas is in a very good position with Wheeler entering the weekend. (Hamilton)
Another skill position prospect who has popped up on the Texas radar is Copperas Cove's Orlando Thomas. Texas checked on Thomas last spring initially and Copperas Cove coaches say the Longhorns were back again in January.
There's been no word yet on a junior day invite for Thomas to Texas. But Cove coaches say the Longhorns have expressed interest.
Thomas camped at Texas last summer. He is being looked at as a possible take as a slot receiver/defensive back. The 5-foot-11, 165-pounder played quarterback for the Bulldawgs as a junior after playing receiver as a sophomore.
Thomas runs a legit 4.4-second 40-yard dash. His combination of speed, size and athleticism are what have the Horns interested.
Thomas picked up a verbal offer from Texas A&M in the fall. (Howe)
We're aware of the reports that Dallas A. Maceo Smith safety LaDarrell McNeil will be in Austin this weekend.
However, per a source at Smith that we spoke with yesterday, we are told that McNeil will visit TCU Saturday and that while he has an invite to Texas' junior day for Sunday and the source told Hookem.com that McNeil (6-1, 186) he is unsure if he will be able to attend.
We'll continue to monitor the situation - this could be a "gameday" decision by McNeil.
Whether he is able to visit or not, one thing has remained clear through the process. McNeil hasn't wavered on his feelings towards Texas and he has the Longhorns among his top schools, along with Alabama and TCU. (Howe)
Austin High wide receiver Cayleb Jones will be at Texas' junior day this weekend. Will Jones commit to Texas if offered?
“I don't have a timetable,” Jones said. “I used to think I knew when I wanted to decide, but now I just don't know. I'm just taking things day by day.”
Jones (6-3, 192) said he's looking forward to meeting with the new hires on the Texas staff. Texas is one of only four schools Jones has unofficially visited to this point in the process with the others being Texas A&M, Miami and North Carolina. (Howe)
As we reported yesterday, Hookem.com spoke with DeSoto head coach Claude Mathis and his star offensive lineman Curtis Riser will be at Texas Sunday. Riser (6-4, 285) is considered a lock for an offer and a possible commitment heading into the weekend. LSU is the primary competitor for Riser.
DeSoto defensive end Michael Richardson (6-3, 220) and cornerback Bryson Echols (5-10, 175) are both candidates for junior day invites for Feb. 26. Richardson has offers from Notre Dame and Oklahoma among others and is already full qualified academically. Echols sports a 3.9 GPA and is starting to see his stock rise.
With Texas' Feb. 13 junior day just five days away, here's how things are shaking out with the prospects we expect to be on campus.
Recruits invited and expected to attend Feb. 13 Junior Day (listed by position):
Trevor Knight, QB, San Antonio Reagan (not sure if he will still be brought in)
Johnathan Gray, RB, Aledo
Trey Williams, RB, Spring Dekaney
Thomas Johnson, WR, Dallas Skyline
Dominique Wheeler, WR, Crockett
Cayleb Jones, WR, Austin High
Kennedy Estelle, OT, Pearland Dawson
Michael Starts, OT, Waco La Vega
Curtis Riser, OG, DeSoto
Malcolm Brown, DT, Brenham
Paul Boyette, Jr., DT, Humble
Zorrell Ezell, DT, Humble
Timothy Cole, LB, Brenham
Alex De La Torre, LB, Denton Ryan
Peter Jinkens, LB, Dallas Skyline
Invited for Feb. 13 but unsure if they are attending:
LaDarrell McNeil, S, Dallas A. Maceo Smith
Javonte Magee, DL, San Antonio Sam Houston
Mario Edwards, Jr., DE, Denton Ryan (not expected to attend)
Other prospects expected to visit in Austin at some point in the future – possibly Feb. 26 or sooner:
Corey Coleman, ATH, Richardson Pearce
Kendall Sanders, ATH, Athens
Bralon Addison, ATH, Fort Bend Hightower
John Michael McGee, OL, Texas High
Trey Keenan, OL, Argyle
Mac Long, OL, Edna
Devonte Fields, DE, Arlington Martin
Michael Richardson, DE, DeSoto
Anthony Smith, DT, Spring Westfield
Damien Neroes, LB, Garland
Bryson Echols, CB, DeSoto
Edward Pope, S, Carthage
Corey Thompson, S, Fort Bend Elkins
Hookem.com texted or spoke with several 2012 offensive linemen yesterday, including:
OT D.J. Humphries (Charlotte, NC/Mallard)
OT Trey Kennan (Argyle, Tx.)
OT Simon Goines (Keller, Tx./Central)
G/C John Michael McGee (Texarkana, Tx./Texas High)
G Mac Long (Edna, Tx.)
C/DT Joey Hunt (El Campo, Tx.)
As of late Monday night, none of the six had received February 13 junior day invites.
Humphries hasn’t spoken with Texas offensive line coach Stacy Searels since he was verbally offered, but is receiving mail. (Hamilton)
Spring Dekaney running back Trey Williams confirmed to Hookem.com via text that he still plans to be at Texas junior day February 13. He lists a top six of Texas A&M, Texas, Auburn, Oklahoma, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State. (Hamilton)
Look for more junior day updates throughout the day today and the remainder of the week.