If Texas fans were sick to their stomach on Wednesday upon learning that former commit Ricky Seals-Jones, the freak athlete from Sealy (TX), was on the campus of Texas A&M, Thursday brought much better news -- multiple reports from the services that RSJ will visit Austin the day after spending time in College Station.
A trip to LSU may also be in the works.
Seals-Jones and his camp have mostly gone silent since the news of his decommitment broke just over a week ago, but he did grant what has become a rare interview ($) with the Aggie Rivals site following his visit.
The 6-5, 220-pounder revealed why he decided to open up his recruitment:
I wanted to check out other schools and see if Texas was the right choice for me. I felt like I rushed into it and I wanted to check out other schools.
Without further explanation, the source of the pressure to make that decision isn't readily apparent, though it is generally known that his mother would like him at Texas. The Longhorn staff has backed away from whatever pressure they used to exert on prospects to make decisions at the Junior Days, so they would be an unlikely source.
Whatever the case, his recruitment is open now and RSJ described his itinerary while in College Station:
I went with my AAU coach to A&M today. I looked at the football and basketball facilities, talked with the coaches and then played two pick up games with the basketball team.
I want to play both sports. The Aggies are ok with it. I talked with the head basketball coach and the Coach (Kevin) Sumlin and they are both ok with it.
It's bad enough when the shady world of AAU basketball becomes intertwined with a recruitment in that sport, so it's not exactly promising for Texas to have an outside influence involved now in a mostly football recruitment, especially an influence with unclear allegiances. And that isn't to imply that RSJ's AAU coach fits that negative stereotype, but rather to point out that it adds another moving part to his recruitment and one that may not fall in favor of the Longhorns.
In regards to football, there have been some rumblings that Seals-Jones like the A&M offense, which will be a pass-happy version of the Airraid under Sumlin and offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, the former Texas Tech quarterback. Seals-Jones confirmed that on Wednesday and it could play a significant role in his eventual decision, perhaps even the most significant role.
If Seals-Jones meets with the Texas coaching staff -- and it's hard to believe that would not happen if he does make it to campus as reported on Thursday -- co-offensive coordinators Bryan Harsin and Major Applewhite will need to successfully sell the big, athletic receiver on the Longhorns making similarly effective use of his prodigious skills as a pass catcher.
With a reputation for being a run-first offense, that may not be an easy sell. Recent Baylor commit Robbie Rhodes definitely wasn't buying.
So, where do the Aggies and Longhorns currently stand for Seals-Jones?
A&M and Texas are both great schools. They both have great talent and good education and are close. They are pretty even in my book.
In parsing the language, the positive for Texas is that Texas A&M did not receive a boost past the Longhorns on the visit, which would seem to leave Texas in a favorable position to help re-affirm to the cousin of Eric Dickerson why he chose to commit to Texas in the first place.