For the second time in two years, the Texas Longhorns have struck gold recruiting the junior college ranks. And for the second time in as many years, Texas has hit the jackpot recruiting a JUCO offensive lineman.
Contra Costa Community College offensive tackle Desmond Harrison, one of the top JUCO players in the 2013 recruiting class, gave the Longhorns a commitment on Monday afternoon. Harrison chose Texas over a group of finalists that included Oklahoma, Southern Cal and Arizona State.
Harrison's pledge brings Texas up to 14 verbal commitments. He joins Kent Perkins and Darius James as Longhorn offensive line commitments in the 2013 class.
In gaining Harrison's commitment, the Longhorns secure a pledge from a player who could jump in and be an immediate contributor. Harrison has been told by the Texas coaches that he'll have a shot to start at left tackle in 2013, possibly moving last year's starter, Donald Hawkins, inside.
The 6-8, 305-pound Harrison first landed on UT's radar back in October. Texas assistant coaches Stacy Searels and Bo Davis have been the lead recruiters on UT's behalf, including a stop by Contra Costa last week.
Harrison took an official visit to Texas on December 7. Following that trip, he spoke highly of his time spent with the Texas coaching staff and the Longhorn team members. He was told on that visit that he was a big part of the Texas coaches' plans looking forward.
"They treated me like family. They were just telling me that I have an opportunity to come in ands start, play right away," Harrison said after the visit. "With the recruiting class coming in, they're planning to be dominant."
Harrison will enroll at Texas in June. Contra Costa C.C. head coach Alonzo Carter believes Texas will be getting a player who will be playing football for a long time.
"Desmond is 6-foot-8 and weighs over 300 pounds, but runs like a defensive back. He's an incredible athlete for his size and is destined for the NFL after college," Carter said.
While Monday's news is exciting for Longhorn fans, Texas may not be done with its offensive line recruiting efforts, and the Longhorns could be in for more big news on Wednesday. Irving High interior offensive line prospect Rami Hammad will announce his commitment on that day, and Texas is the team to beat.