Texas Football Recruiting: Longhorns' Top Priority on National Signing Day

Jonathan WooCorrespondent IJanuary 31, 2013

Dec 29, 2012; San Antonio, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns head coach Mack Brown reacts against the Oregon State Beavers during the second half of the Alamo Bowl at the Alamodome. Texas beat Oregon State 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports
Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

With National Signing Day less than a week away, college programs across the country are wrapping up their recruiting classes with the hopes of landing some difference makers in the final hours.

For a program that appeared to be on the ropes a few seasons ago, the Texas Longhorns cannot afford to be missing their targets.

The Horns' 2013 class is on the small side, but the hope of delivering quality over quantity aligns with the sheer number of players returning to Austin next season. With Texas sitting at 15 commitments, it will look to add at least one or two more before NSD on Wednesday.

But while a name like Andrew Billings or Dontre Wilson may end up stealing the show with a pledge to the Longhorns, the main attraction could be A'Shawn Robinson.

If the Horns can close on Billings and Wilson, while solidifying Robinson's commitment, they will have finished their class with quite a bang considering the circumstances and talent the three bring to the table.

Texas' top priority is closing.

Dontre Wilson's War

The Dontre Wilson Saga has seen the Longhorns come into the race and fall out, only to re-establish some position late in the game.

The speedy running back out of DeSoto, Texas, originally committed to Oregon, but after Chip Kelly bounced to the NFL, Wilson opened up his search.

Oregon and Ohio State appear to be the front-runners, but after cancelling a visit to Oklahoma State in favor of Texas, the Longhorns will need to hit a home run to get back into the hunt for his signature.

Two for the Money

Andrew Billings and A'Shawn Robinson could become a pair of defensive tackles that solidify the back-end of the current group on campus.

Adding the two to an already formidable and young core of tackles means favorable challenges ahead if the talents progress accordingly, but everyone knows of that uncertainty.

Nevertheless, Billings and Robinson are a couple of 300-pound tackles that bring plenty of size, strength and athleticism, thematic of the group already assembled in Austin.

The key to the equation is Robinson, who is the top-ranked player in the Lone Star State according to Rivals.com. Whether or not the Longhorns land Billings, keeping Robinson bound for Austin is the most critical move next Wednesday.

The Bottom Line

National Signing Day is a special time for players and college programs alike, as each entity becomes the other's short-term future.

Mack Brown's Longhorns, a program in a critical third year of a rebuild, has to get almost everything right in order to launch itself back to the top. Evaluation and development is key, but finding the talent and getting their signatures every February is even more paramount.

Success begins on NSD.