The news that Texas Longhorns fans anticipated ever since the decommitment of Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints offensive guard Demetrius Knox finally came down on Saturday morning -- Knox's close friend and teammate Daniel Gresham, a running back/fullback, confirmed that he has removed his name from the list of Texas commitments for the 2014 class.
247Sports broke the news on Thursday based on information from sources, but Gresham did not respond to attempts by the services to confirm or deny his status until early Saturday.
Early in the process, Knox and Gresham planned on being a package deal and for some time it looked as if it would happen -- after Gresham committed to Texas when he received his first offer from the Longhorns in August, it seemed like only a matter of time until his close friend joined him, which Knox did in November.
But their respective recruitments weren't over at that time, as Knox visited Oklahoma for a Junior Day and Gresham tripped to Ole Miss to take in Oxford. The beginning of the end really came after Texas instituted a no-visit policy for committed prospects and the two flouted it to travel to Ohio State, a trip that Knox originally claimed was simply to visit his father and would not include meeting with the Buckeye coaches.
As a result, many Texas fans approached both decommitments with a sense of relief and no small amount of acrimony.
However, the loss of Gresham is a significant one for Texas, which is now seeking to add at least one more running back to the 2014 class and possibly two more, a need position because the 'Horns failed to land a back in the 2013 class. And replacing Gresham, the consensus top fullback in the country, will be difficult, if not impossible.
The pursuit of that third back was something that Gresham did not consider ideal and factored into his decision as much or more so than the decision by Knox to open up his recruitment.
And while the changes to the Texas offense moving forward under new playcaller Major Applewhite may often be thought to de-emphasize the position, several formations this spring used two running backs in the backfield, a perfect fit for the hybrid Gresham, who is equally adept at churning out long gains with his tackle-breaking ability and delivering hits as a lead blocker.
Both 247Sports and ESPN are reporting that Ole Miss is in a strong position to land Gresham, as he is friend with 2015 Ole Miss commit Rawleigh Williams, another running back prospect, and several other players set to head to Oxford. A native of Kentucky, Gresham also grew up a Louisville fan, so the Cardinals could factor into the mix as his recruitment progresses. He also holds a number of big-time offers now, including Alabama, Florida State, and Ohio State, among others.