The Texas Longhorns have traditionally stayed away from signing junior college prospects in favor of in state high school talent. However, that philosophy is changing some under head coach Mack Brown who realizes that his Texas team needs talent who can step in right away and make an impact.
The philosophy is looking to pay off as Texas is set to have a pair of junior college prospects sign their letter of intent on Wednesday to become a Texas Longhorn. The two players expected to sign are offensive tackle Donald Hawkins from Northwest Mississippi Community College and defensive tackle Brandon Moore who is from East Mississippi Community College.
Hawkins has earned first-team junior college All-American and he chose Texas over Florida, Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss and Oklahoma State; he made his official visit in November and gave his verbal commitment on Dec. 7.
SB Nation's Texas blog Burnt Orange Nation sees the Hawkins signing as a huge get for the program:
Expected to enroll for the spring semester, his ability to work with the team should allow him to fulfill the significant expectations that are being placed on him by a coaching staff that sold him hard on their belief that he can indeed step in and play. Whether he plays left tackle or right tackle remains to be seen, but the major news is that the Longhorns filled perhaps their biggest overall need in the class by landing Hawkins, who should allow Trey Hopkins to move back inside to his natural guard position.
As for Moore, he is expected to step into the rotation at defensive tackle for Texas and is a December graduate so he will be on campus for spring practice. Moore began his college career at Alabama before transferring to East Mississippi Community College. Moore selected Texas over offers he had from Florida, Miami, Michigan State, Texas A&M and Auburn. This past season he helped lead East Mississippi to an undefeated 12-0 season with a win over Western Arizona to claim the NJCAA National Championship.