The Texas Longhorns have experienced a major surge in 2014 recruiting over the last month. That trend continued with the commitments of Texas City (Texas) twins Armanti and D'Onta Foreman on Thursday night.
The twins long wanted to play together in college, but the odds of that happening looked as if they were diminishing in late May when the brothers held no offers from mutual schools. The recruitment of the 6'0, 220-pound D'Onta as a running back finally started to take off during the spring, though, as his offer list had long lagged behind that of his more highly-rated brother -- who plays wide receiver -- prior to that.
A strong performance at a Texas camp earned D'Onta an offer from the 'Horns back in the middle of June, increasing speculation that the two had ended their respective recruitments in favor of Texas. However, it wasn't quite that simple because head coach Mack Brown and his coaching staff wanted to take commitments from both players at the same time. This appeared to be a problem at the time because multiple reports indicated that D'Onta was ready to end his recruitment whereas his brother wanted to extend the process. Armanti made an early commitment to Oklahoma upon receiving his first offer from the Sooners, but that ended with a decommitment in early April as his own recruitment took off.
The Texas coaching staff and the Foreman family got onto the same page this week, though, resulting in the dual pledges.
A consensus four-star prospect, Armanti is a 5'11, 175-pounder who held nine offers, including invitations to play at Florida, Nebraska, South Carolina, and Texas A&M, among others. That last program is significant given that Foreman was a significant Aggie target and head coach Kevin Sumlin has won the majority of head-to-head battles against the Longhorns in this cycle.
Armanti is a top-20 player in the state of Texas and the No. 16 wide receiver nationally, becoming the sixth pledge in a large pass-catching group for the 'Horns in 2014. Not surprisingly, four of those commitments have gone down since the June 2 camp. The smaller Foreman brother has all the skills typically associated with a dynamic inside receiver -- stop/start quickness, good top-end speed, and the lateral ability to make defenders miss. With the 'Horns focused on getting fast players the ball in space, Armanti is a strong fit in the Texas offense moving forward and his commitment almost certainly ends recruiting at the position for 2014.
D'Onta, on the other hand, is now a consensus three-star prospect who gained over 1,000 yards rushing as a junior at 9.6 yards per carry. He's not as strong of an athlete overall as his brother, but his skills merited offers from Illinois, Kansas State and Missouri. After his weight gain of around 15 pounds since his junior season, D'Onta fits the mold of the big back the 'Horns lost with the decommitment of Daniel Gresham. Though it's unlikely that he'll ever play a fullback role, new play caller Major Applewhite is expected to use more two-back sets and blocking will be something he'll have to do at Texas. Along with blocking, though, he'll need to use his solid speed and physicality to pick up tough yardage as he's likely the short-yardage replacement when junior bludgeon Joe Bergeron graduates.
With the two new pledges, the 'Horns now have 21 commitments in a class that is rapidly filling up spots despite the need for two or three more defensive backs. Relatively heavy on three-star prospects compared to Texas classes in the past, this Longhorns class is currently the top group in the Big 12 in the 247Sports team composite rankings and the No. 3 class nationally behind Alabama and Texas A&M.