Deoundrei Davis

Linebacker Deoundrei Davis is no longer on the football team, according to reports Friday afternoon. Davis, a redshirt freshman from Cypress, spent last year sidelined to finish rehab for a high school knee injury. He was the only player not to receive medical clearance as of July 22 and has never played nor suited up for a game.

While there is no determination whether Davis was dismissed from the team or left on his own, he becomes the eighth player gone from the program since head coach Charlie Strong took the helms. Strong, vowing to “put the T back in Texas,” says he holds his players to a high moral standard and expects them to respect women, avoid drugs, stealing, guns and always profess honesty.

“We have 85 guys on scholarship,” Strong said this summer. “If you look at it and 80 of them are doing it the right way, why can’t the rest of them?”

Dating back to the spring, these standards led to the dismissals of senior fullback Chet Moss, senior safety Leroy Scott, senior running back Joe Bergeron, sophomore running back Jalen Overstreet and redshirt freshman safety Chevoski Collins. Wide receivers Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander were also dismissed pending sexual assault charges and currently await trial.

Wednesday, starting offensive tackles Kennedy Estelle and Desmond Harrison were also suspended for this week’s match against BYU for violation of team rules.

Officials have yet to specify a reason for Davis’ dismissal.

Antwuan Davis, a defensive back from Bastrop High School, is among six defensive recruits currently committed to Texas and one of the most important assets of the 2013 class.

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

The accolades pile up quickly for Texas’ 2013 defensive recruits.

Of the six who are currently committed to Texas, three of them were U.S. Army All-American Bowl honorees.

One of them made the state semifinals, was first runner-up and won a state title in three varsity seasons.

Another accepted Texas’ grayshirt offer nearly a year ago, turned down full rides from other schools, then finally earned a full scholarship from Texas in December.

For everything they are, however, the 2013 defensive recruits may be remembered more for what they are not.

They are not 6-foot-5, 304 pounds. They do not play defensive tackle. And they are not named A’Shawn Robinson.

Fair or not, Robinson’s decommitment is the story of the 2013 class, and it casts a pall over an otherwise small but promising set of defensive recruits.

This isn’t to say that athlete Chevoski Collins, defensive end Jake Raulerson, outside linebackers Naashon Hughes and Deoundrei Davis, safety Erik Huhn and corner Antwuan Davis lack talent or potential. But without Robinson (who was the most highly-rated member of the class), the task of making people forget about last year’s worst defense in school history becomes that much more difficult.

Ultimately, Robinson’s last decommitment turned what was previously considered to be a strong defensive crop into one which faces more questions than answers.

Take for example the two members of the class who will learn new positions, Collins and Raulerson. Both of them exhibited superior athletic ability in high school, but will take on completely different roles in college.

Collins, a former dual-threat quarterback, will play in the Longhorn secondary. Though there’s a precedent at Texas of converting high school quarterbacks to defensive backs (Adrian Colbert, Quandre Diggs, Adrian Phillips and Josh Turner all saw time under center before they were Longhorns), it’s never guaranteed that a player will thrive at a new position.

The same goes for Raulerson, who will likely move from offensive tackle to the other side of the ball.

“They are trying me out wherever I fit, and they are going to start me out at defensive end and see how I do,” Raulerson said in an April interview with hornsports.com

Meanwhile, though Collins and Raulerson face uphill transitions, they at least enter their first collegiate seasons without questions about their health.

The same cannot be said for two of their classmates, Huhn and Deoundrei Davis, who both tore an ACL in their senior seasons. Neither injury was career-threatening, and rehabilitation is reportedly going smoothly for both of them. Nonetheless, their recoveries will be important for the long-term trajectory of the class.

The recruit most likely to see the field in his first year besides Deoundrei Davis is Antwuan Davis, who developed into one of the best corner prospects in the country this year. Antwuan Davis showcased his ability in the AAA Bowl, where he blocked a field goal and broke up a pass in the end zone.

“I think Antwuan Davis is a guy that can push for playing time at nickel back or safety,” rivals.com’s national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell said.

Without Robinson, Antwuan Davis becomes the most heralded recruit of the class, a responsibility for which he seems ready.

“I don’t know if I’ll start right away or anything, but I know that I’ll be ready to start if [the coaches] ask me to,” Antwuan Davis told The Daily Texan in September.

Whether that opportunity comes this year or later, it will be here soon.

When it comes, the Texas class of 2013 will have a chance to remind the college football world who it is.

More importantly, the Longhorns will try to make it forget who they are not.

Published on February 6, 2013 as "Robinson leaves shadow". 

Early enrollees arrive on campus

The UT football team officially gained four new members this week, as early enrollees made their way to the 40 Acres. The athletic department issued a statement on Sunday that Jake Raulerson, Tyrone Swoopes, Deoundrei Davis, and Geoff Swaim had all enrolled for the spring semester as the first members of the 2013 recruiting class.

Of the bunch, Celina athlete Jake Raulerson has perhaps the most ambiguous football future. At 6-foot-5, 262-pounds, Raulerson played offensive tackle in high school, but is listed by mackbrown-texasfootball.com as an outside linebacker/defensive end. Playing defense would probably be Raulerson’s most direct path to immediate playing time, as concerns about his size and ability to gain weight could hinder his development as a Division 1 offensive lineman. Wherever he plays though, Raulerson’s greatest assets may be his intangibles. Coaches and scouting services rave about his leadership ability, and he was named as one of the West’s team captains at the U.S. Army All American Bowl.

Another AAA Bowl honoree, Whitewright dual-threat quarterback Tyrone Swoopes, comes to Austin as a bit of an enigma. Though some have compared him to Vince Young in terms of physical stature and ability, Swoopes will have to improve his throwing motion in order to reach the heights that Young did while at Texas. In all likelihood, Swoopes will redshirt for the 2013 season, then compete with Connor Brewer and Jalen Overstreet for the starting job in 2014. Swoopes has not yet arrived in Austin, but should be here by Thursday, according to his Twitter account.

Cypress Woods’ Deoundrei Davis had earned the right to join Raulerson and Swoopes at the AAA Bowl, but those plans were derailed by injury. Davis tore his ACL in an October 5 game against Cypress Springs. Though the outside linebacker is expected to make a full recovery, his availability for spring practice is in doubt. How fast Davis heals will play a large role in deciding how much of an impact he can make in an already crowded Texas linebacker corps.

The early enrollee expected to make the most immediate impact, however, is one of the class’ least heralded. Geoff Swaim played most recently at Butte Community College in Oroville, CA. With only two years of eligibility left, Swaim will be expected to perform right away. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound tight end is known mostly for his blocking ability, and functioned primarily as an H-back at Butte. After the December decommitment of Durham Smythe (the pass-catching tight end from Belton), however, Swaim may also play a more significant role in the passing attack than was previously intended by the coaching staff.

It turns out there was no need to be concerned after Texas’ first junior day. Ten scholarships were offered Feb. 12, but no commits were added.

Now, just over two weeks later, the team boasts 11 commits. Not only are they commits, but they are standout players — especially on offense. For a team that has struggled offensively for the past two seasons, the class of 2013 could be exactly what is needed to break through.

Although Mack Brown and the Longhorns had to wait patiently for commitments the first junior day, that was not the case after the second one. Cy Woods linebacker Deoundrei Davis committed on Sunday morning, just hours after receiving his offer, and became the seventh commit for this class. Davis is easily one of the state’s top linebackers.
Cy Falls’ Jacorey Warrick followed Davis by committing Sunday afternoon, and Lancaster defensive end Daeshon Hall became Texas’ ninth commit and third of the day. Not too shabby.

ESPNU Watch List member Kent Perkins was supposed to attend the team’s first junior day. He could not attend because of a family emergency. But the 6-foot-5, 295-pound offensive tackle did not wait long to commit and pledged to become a Longhorn on Monday.

Although Texas received its 11th commit of the class of 2013, it comes with a catch. Harker Heights’ Naashon Hughes was not offered a scholarship. The only linebacker in the class was Davis. But coaches are attempting to get him a scholarship offer before next February. If that doesn’t happen, he agreed to take a grayshirt.

He will be the class’ fifth defensive commit and joins Davis, Jake Raulerson (Celina, Texas/Celina), A’Shawn Robinson (Fort Worth, Texas/Arlington Heights) and Daeshon Hall (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster).

Hughes, brother of freshman tackle Camrhon Hughes, would delay his enrollment and can join the program in January 2014. His commitment gave the Longhorns five commitments in three days.

Hughes’ situation shows how small this recruiting class is, and the selectivity of the coaches this time around. But as time goes on, Texas will continue to get more recruits. February is always a vital month for Texas recruiting. Brown likes to nab top commits — especially Texas players — early. Although the number of players that have committed at this point is not as high as usual, this class is smaller than in the past.

In an interview with Horns Nation, Texas’ first commit Raulerson, expressed his excitement for this class.

“It is one of the best in the country,” Raulerson said. “It’s a great class so far. I am really excited about it. I am really liking the guys that we have brought in. I’m excited to see what happens in the next couple of years.”

Although Texas fans were throwing the towel in for this recruiting class after the first junior day did not result in numerous recruits, February has become a successful month in recruiting for the class of 2013.

Printed on Thursday, March 1, 2012 as: Second junior day yields commitments from five