UA Houston recruiting notebook
Distance is an issue for QB Brooks Haack; Bralon Addison keeping options open
HOUSTON -- As the college coaching landscape changes from year-to-year, so do the prospects and targets each school goes after.
Last year when quarterback Brooks Haack (Katy, Texas/Katy) was pursued by North Texas he dealt with head coach Todd Dodge. And when Oklahoma State began to show serious interest it was offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen speaking to him.
Now Dodge is at Pitt and Holgorsen is the head coach in waiting at West Virginia and although both are still interested in the 6-foot-1, 176-pound signal-caller, it looks like distance might be an issue.
"It's pretty far away ... and it's cold," Haack said at Sunday's Under Armour combine. "I mean you never want to say never so I'm going to see what happens."
Luckily for Haack there seems to be plenty of interest in his home state. North Texas did end up being his first official offer and it looks like Houston is close to being his second.
"I went down to Houston for a practice and it was the craziest thing I've ever seen," Haack said. "The referee sets the ball down and within seconds they go. The quarterback has free rein on pretty much every play."
The Cougars averaged over 50 passes per game in Case Keenum's last full season (2009) and had two games where Keenum threw at least 75 times.
It's much different than the I-formation offense that Haack runs at Katy. Despite the differences in offense, Haack was effective as he threw for over 1,500 yards and 17 touchdowns with just three interceptions.
"It's unique and it would be different for me but I think I could adapt well to that style of football," Haack said.
His recruitment is nearing the latter stages because he will not deal with recruiting after this summer, so he can prepare for his senior season. There is a good chance he will commit this summer.
"Last summer I went to Texas A&M, Oklahoma, TCU and Oklahoma State," said Haack. "I will visit more places this summer."
But the rising senior admits he's got some unfinished business with his Katy teammates before embarking on the next level.
"Pearland beat us 38-35 in the playoffs last year and it left a bad taste in my mouth," Haack said. "So I'll do my recruiting over the summer but it's all team focus once the season starts because we want to win a championship."
Addison to visit Texas Tech, A&M
Talented athlete Bralon Addison (Missouri City, Texas/Hightower) is committed to Oklahoma State but will continue to take visits.
"I am going to be going to Texas Tech on [April 9] and then to the spring game at Texas A&M on [April 16] with a few teammates," Addison said. "I'm trying to keep my options open and look at everything right now."
Addison, who plays quarterback at his high school, was eager to show off his receiving abilities at Sunday's Under Armour combine.
"I might not be the fastest guy out there but when I get the ball in my hands, I can do things that some people can't," said Addison.
He threw for nearly 1,900 yards and 28 touchdowns as a junior. He also rushed for over 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Nebraska, SMU, Baylor, Texas Tech and Arkansas are some of the other schools that offered early.
"When I went up to the Oklahoma State campus, the people treated me real well," Addison said. "It was the right time to commit, especially with spring football coming up. I wanted a bit of security in case an injury pops up."
While Addison's commitment to Oklahoma State could be classified as soft, he does favor staying close to home and playing in one of the Big XII schools.
"I like the Big XII conference, I like the SEC too," Addison said. "But I would have to go to an SEC West school like LSU or Arkansas."
Flannigan keeps it open
On the surface, Ryan Flannigan (Missouri City, Texas/Fort Bend Marshall) seems like a solid Baylor commit -- all the way down to the green socks he was wearing Sunday.
But when asked if Baylor is the final choice, Flannigan says, "Maybe".
Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State all appear to be strong candidates to replace the Bears if it happens.
"Baylor is definitely in the final mix and I'm committed to them right now," Flannigan said. "But my recruitment is still open. I've already visited A&M and Tech and I'll visit Oklahoma State in the summer."
One good thing in Baylor's favor is that Flannigan hasn't been offered by the other three schools yet, but that could also change in two weeks.
"They will have a chance to look at me again on [April 15] and I think there's a good chance it will happen," Flannigan said.
Flannigan is being recruited as a safety but is trying to grow into an outside linebacker or a hybrid safety/linebacker.
"I could definitely fit in a system that uses a hybrid," said Flannigan. "I still have to get bigger though. I'm 193 right now and trying to get to 205 by the time the season starts."
Blackmar is one to watch
At 6-5, 299 pounds it's hard to miss offensive lineman Blake Blackmar (Spring, Texas/Clear Lake).
He is not only an impressive physical prospect, but he is a straight-A student with a fun, charismatic personality.
He's also a freshman.
Blackmar, whose father Bruce played for Texas in the 1980s, is one of the few freshmen to start varsity on an offensive line for a 5A football school. He is already considered one of the state's top underclassmen prospects.
"I never really think about it too much," Blackmar said. "But when you talk about it in those terms, I'm pretty excited."
Blackmar played on an offensive line that had four other returning starters. He'll move to left tackle for his sophomore year and could be playing that position for a long time.
"It was a great experience playing with so many upperclassmen because I was able to understand what it takes to be a leader," Blackmar said. "Now I can go into this upcoming season with some leadership skills."
Naturally, when talking about Blackmar's recruiting, the first school that comes to mind is Texas. With his father's influence, Blackmar has been a Longhorns fan since birth. But there are also other schools that have his eye.
"I like Oklahoma a little, but I don't want to say that too loud," Blackmar joked. "I want to go to college for engineering so I'm really interested in Stanford too because they are a terrific school academically."
Webb brings the speed
Wide receiver Blake Webb (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands) was the fastest player at the camp after running a 4.41 in the 40. He is one of the top track performers in Texas but anticipates on playing college football. He has offers from Duke and Lamar.
"I'm open to any options right now, I haven't been to Duke yet," Webb said. "I took visits to Oklahoma, Texas and LSU last season."
Webb says that Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Nebraska have also inquired.
He says that an early commitment is possible, if he commits early he will participate with the U.S. Junior Olympic Team in France.
• Keep an eye on defensive tackle Davante Smith (Spring, Texas/Klein) after he had a strong day of testing. The rising senior measured in at 6-1, 286 pounds and did 30 reps at 185 pounds on the bench press. He ran a 4.99 in the 40 and had a 24.5-inch vertical jump. Smith said he is gaining some interest from schools, but hoped that strong numbers would get him more interest.
• Class of 2013 wide receiver Jalyn Judkins (Angelton, Texas/Manvel) is a solid prospect at 6-2, 203 pounds. He had a respectable 27.5-inch vertical jump and thrives as a physical receiver. Judkins, who says he tries to pattern his game after Calvin Johnson, says he's going to visit Texas over the summer and would also like to get to Oregon. TCU, Texas Tech and Baylor are among the schools that have expressed early interest.
• Rising senior defensive tackle Zorell Ezell (Humble, Texas/Humble) has offers from Baylor and Kansas State and will probably check out both campuses over the summer once his track season and spring ball are finishes.
• Wide receiver Marcus Johnson (Friendswood, Texas/Clear Springs) had a strong day of testing. The 6-1, 177-pounder ran a 4.51 in the 40, had a 30.5-inch vertical jump and did 17 reps at 185 pounds on the bench press. He says that Texas A&M is close to offering and he'll be at the Aggies' spring game.
• Zacchaeus Glazier (Collinsville, Okla./Owasso) is a good looking prospect who just finished up his freshman year. He measured just below 6-foot and 202 pounds. He should grow into a big linebacker or a defensive end with time.
Corey Long has been covering high school football and recruiting in the Sunshine State since 1995. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.