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After a hectic weekend filled with scrimmaging and recruiting, Steve Sarkisian recaps Longhorn City Limits

Joe Cookby:Joe Cook04/09/24


Saturday, April 6 was an important day for the Texas Longhorns football program as part of the Longhorn City Limits event. Not only did Steve Sarkisian and company put on a scrimmage…

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Well, hold on. A scrimmage is nothing to gloss over, especially when the head coach lays out who performed at a high level and how the event on the field finished.

“I would say the defense probably got the better of the offense on Saturday,” Sarkisian said Tuesday. “But in the final drill, the final period where we competed in the red area, the offense kind of dominated that drill. Did they have better resolve? Did they have better execution? Did the defense get mentally or physically fatigued? We have to finish.”

Sarkisian mentioned he was pleased with the competitiveness and physicality put forth by his team on Saturday, and that players in his program did the same again on Tuesday.

Who were the major standouts during the Saturday scrimmage?

“Offensive side of the ball, I thought Tre Wisner and Jaydon Blue both had very good scrimmages, played hard, played well,” Sarkisian said. “I’d say on the offensive line, Kelvin (Banks) and Jake Majors I thought had really good scrimmages.

“I’d say defensively, Anthony Hill played really well in the scrimmage. Already touched on Jelani McDonald and Jaylon Guilbeau. Colin Simmons definitely showed up in the scrimmage Saturday. I’m probably leaving some guys out but those ones are the first ones that popped into my head.”

Many of those same players were also singled out by the recruits in attendance, and the recruits Texas had on the 40 Acres watching the day’s events included top 2025 an 2026 targets. Their presence made the day surrounding the spring scrimmage a major event.

While Sarkisian is unable to mention specific recruits who made it to the 40 Acres like Dakorien Moore or K.J. Lacey by name, he is able to offer the general feedback he’s received from a group he called the “lifeline” of the program.

“From a recruits standpoint, I thought they enjoyed it because they got a chance to see our coaches coach and see them working on things from an individual basis, to walkthroughs, to ultimately some of the drill work and then to the scrimmage aspect of it,” Sarkisian said. “I think the types of recruits we’re recruiting now I think appreciate how hard we play, how hard we work, the intent, and the physicality in which we play with.”

These spring scrimmages are unique and have only recently become major recruiting events. There have been junior days — events where prospects meet with players and coaches and see a number of presentations about life at the school. There are official visits, which are peak wining and dining. Of course, prospects also visited spring practices during the course of their spring breaks in years past.

But major planned-out events like the one on April 6 are different. Programs are able to present a more complete picture of what life as a football player with Sarkisian and his staff is truly like by hosting prospects in the meeting rooms and on the practice fields. That’s where what the daily grind in a particular program is revealed.

That was a major takeaway for players like Zion Williams, who got to see what life in Kenny Baker‘s defensive tackle room was like. Similar applied to Jordan and Devin Coleman and how Kyle Flood coached his players.

For that message to get across to the recruits, it took a concerted effort from Sarkisian’s coaching staff with how they communicated with and coached players. That was something the Texas head coach acknowledged on Tuesday.

“I think from a staff perspective, we all understand the value of recruiting and the lifeline that it provides us to build our program and to stay relevant in where we want to be in college football,” Sarkisian said. “By the same token, we understand the value of developing the players that we have in our program.

It takes a well-run organization to put on a star-studded recruiting event amidst a practice and a crawfish boil with solar eclipse related traffic and the CMT Awards all being on or near campus.

Sarkisian praised that well-run organization on Tuesday and credited it with making the Longhorn City Limits recruiting weekend a hit for all involved, players, parents, or prospects alike.

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“We’ve got pretty well-versed people in our program — coaches, staff members, recruiting staff members – so that we can multi-task pretty good and make it a great experience for everybody,” Sarkisian said. “There’s nothing better than a Saturday afternoon, having a practice and a scrimmage, and then coming out and being together and breaking bread, enjoying a little time together.”

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