In the past few years, Mack Brown and the Texas Longhorns have primarily focused on pursuing kids within the state of Texas to fill out their recruiting classes, and with such an abundance of in-state talent its hard to blame them. In fact, The University of Texas' last two recruiting hauls, groups that were considered among the best in the country, had nothing but Texas prep prospects.
But this year, the Longhorn coaches are spreading their wings just a little. The number of national players that are receiving heavy attention from the Texas staff is still few compared to most schools, but the coaches has shown by offering a handful of kids (Ryan Perrilloux, Mark Sanchez, Derrick Wiliams, Justin King, Dan Doering, Chris Scott and Aaron Lewis) that if they see a player that fits their mold both on the field and off, they're not afraid to throw UT's name into the hat.
Looks like it's time to add one more name to that very selective list.
"They sent me an offer about three weeks ago," said Nashville (TN) Goodpasture wide receiver Patrick Turner. "Basically, I know it's a really good overall program. Plus they put out good people and the coaches are really cool down there."
Turner is now holding roughly 20 offers and his invite from Texas came shortly after a phone conversation with a member of the Longhorn coaching staff. A big part of the reason that the Horns are on his map is due to current quarterback Vince Young. Turner knows Young from working together at the Steve McNair camp in Nashville and the two have kept in touch.
"He tells me, 'hey you know you have a home in Texas and we'll take care of you' so that makes a difference hearing from him," said Turner.
The 6-5, 210-pound playmaker, rated as the nation's No. 2 receiver by Rivals.com, said he is still very open and he's going to wait a while before trimming his wish list.
"Nobody in particular is standing way out in front. Everybody is pretty even right now," Turner said. "It'll probably be after the season before I really start cutting my list down."
A two-year starter for Goodpasture, Turner earned all-state honors as a sophomore and junior after hauling in a combined 112 passes for nearly 2,000 yards in those two years.
"He has such natural instincts as a receiver. He has tremendous hands. He catches everything with his hands, and they're very soft," says Goodpasture coach David Martin. "He can adjust to the ball well while it's in the air. And obviously, he's just a great physical specimen."
With plenty of time on the clock before Turner cuts back to an official top five, there are still a lot of evaluations that will need to be done. One factor that won't carry a lot of weight is location, although Turner said he does have some criteria for which he'll be watching.
"I'm really open to going anywhere. I really will just be looking for a place where I feel comfortable. I want a program that wins, has a good offense, has a good family atmosphere all of that," he said.