Longhorns lose key recruit

By Kevin Flaherty

January 21, 2011

One of the consistent praises for Mack Brown and the three remaining members of the 2010 Texas football coaching staff was that the Longhorns were able to keep their No. 1 ranked recruiting class intact.

Now, that phrase will have to be changed to “mostly intact”. The Longhorns lost their first recruit from the class on Friday when top-ranked offensive guard Christian Westerman, a five-star player on Scout.com, switched his commitment from Texas to Auburn.

Interetingly enough, the Longhorns seemingly lost their foothold for Westerman’s decision by failing to bring in Auburn offensive line coach Jeff Grimes, who jumped on the instability in Austin to establish a relationship with the Arizona product. When Grimes said “thanks, but no thanks,” to filling in for departed offensive line coach Mac McWhorter at Texas, Auburn had a leg up. The Longhorns hired Georgia head coach Stacy Searels to fill in that spot this week.

Westerman was probably the second-best player in Texas’s class to standout running back Malcolm Brown, and it was a great image for Longhorn fans to picture the powerful Brown running free thanks to blocks from the big guard. Westerman’s loss could also cause Texas to lose its top spot in Scout.com’s recruiting classes.

Still, if there was one spot where the Longhorns were equipped to lose a player in the class, it was probably at offensive line. The Longhorns are loaded with talented young linemen already on roster, and have five other commitments in the Class of 2011, including another top-five offensive guard in Sedrick Flowers, and a top-10 offensive tackle in Garrett Greenlea.

But there’s no doubt that the jewel of that group was Westerman, and to lose the senior’s signature less than a month before signing day hurts, to say the least.