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December 12, 2012It's been a wild week of news for the Texas Longhorns, with Co-Offensive Coordinator Bryan Harsin deciding on Tuesday night that he's going to accept the head coaching position at Arkansas State (a formal announcement is expected shortly).
In the wake of the coaching news, at least one other domino has fallen. Tight end Durham Smythe, who had been committed to Texas since early March, called the UT staff on Wednesday and told them he was opening up his recruitment.
"He has decommitted," Smythe's father said via text message on Wednesday afternoon.
Rumors of Smythe wavering on his commitment have been circulating for several weeks, and speculation really picked up last week when the Belton product was unable to make it into Austin for his official visit. On Wednesday, Smythe decided to officially decommit and his father said it was not an easy decision.
"Absolute and total respect for coach (Mack) Brown, the University and the program," Dr. Roy Smythe said. "They were professional and honest throughout the process. His heart was just not in it."
Prior to committing to Texas, Stanford and Notre Dame were two programs that received strong interest from Smythe, the nation's No. 14-ranked tight end prospect. Both programs have stayed in contact of late and both are expected to figure into the mix as Smythe sorts through his options. Notre Dame currently does not have an offer on the table, but there has been talk that the Irish coaching staff is continuing to evaluate tight end options.
Per Dr. Smythe, there's no official list of schools that Durham will now consider.
"Not really," Dr. Smythe said when asked about a new list. "Stanford has stayed in touch all along, but I guess we will see who else is still interested. There was no plan to flip or commit anywhere else immediately."
The 6-6, 230-pound Smythe is a talented prospect both as a blocker and a receiver, and he was being counted on by Texas to bolster a position that has struggled some over the past several years, largely due to injuries.
Under Harsin's direction, the Texas offense relied heavily upon multiple tight ends, which was part of the initial draw to Texas for Smythe. New co-offensive coordinators Major Applewhite and Darrell Wyatt will now have to re-evaluate their options at the position. The Longhorns do still have a commitment from junior college tight end Geoff Swaim, who will enroll at Texas in January. Swaim confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that he plans to stick with his UT pledge.
"It (the Harsin news) was a surprise but I'm still there," Swaim said. "As long as they are still with me I'm with them."