Christian Westerman opens it up

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The nation's top offensive lineman isn't decommitting from Texas. But he is looking around.

Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton five-star OT Christian Westerman is still committed to the Longhorns, but questions about the future coaching staff have the 6-foot-5, 290-pounder making visits elsewhere.

On tap is USC for a Jan. 14 official visit. Texas edged the Trojans in gaining the verbal commitment of Westerman, but now it appears the battle is back on.

"My situation with Texas is that I don't know who my offensive line coach is going to be right now," Westerman said. "That is the person that you're going to spend most of your time with in college and it needs to be a strong relationship. I feel like I have the right to check some things out until they fill that coaching position."

And in a nice plot twist, there is a third school involved for Westerman.

"Right now it's Texas, USC and Auburn," Westerman said. "I'm going to work on two other visits to schools I'm interested in."

Westerman visited Auburn on Dec. 17 and said he enjoyed the visit. He's also enjoyed hanging out with Red squad teammates Reese Dismukes (Spanish Fort, Ala./Spanish Fort) and Thomas O'Reilly (Marietta, Ga./Pope), both Auburn commits.

"They are cool dudes and they really get after it," Westerman said. "You always love to play with guys like that. Reese is a crazy guy but they are both funny."

As for the second day of practice, Westerman said he's enjoying things. He has struggled a bit with the one-on-ones but enjoys the line-on-line battles and he made an impressive block on a counter play to knock defensive tackle Gabe Wright (Columbus, Ga./Columbus) down.

"I like playing next to my guys," Westerman said. "And these guys are real good so it's a comfortable feeling."

Defense dominates Day 2
The Red team's linebackers and secondary took no prisoners on Sunday. The unit held the offense scoreless in red zone drills while linebacker Travis Hughes (Virginia Beach, Va./Kempsville), Marqise Lee (Inglewood, Calif./Junipero Serra) and Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips) all recorded interceptions.

"We definitely wanted to come out and play more physical today," Clinton-Dix said. "You know everyone out here on the offense is going to be good so we needed to be up to the challenge. They are gonna do us and we're gonna do them"

Hughes said it was just a matter of better focus.

"As a group we knew we just had to take care of our assignments and focus on what we needed to do," Hughes said. "We've got a nice group of linebackers and we're out here to make plays."

Lee agreed with that sentiment.

"Yesterday we just came out lackadaisical," Lee said. "It was the first day and we just didn't execute but it was a different story today."

What did you say?
OLB Trey DePriest (Akron, Ohio/Springfield) started the final drills of practice with a pick-six. It was similar to the one that future Alabama teammate Vinnie Sunseri had the day before.

"Yeah he dropped in coverage, you know he's trying to be a defensive back and living defensive back's dream," DePriest said.

Sunseri was named Alabama's defensive player of the year. Last year, the 5-10, 215-pounder was named the defensive player of the year in North Carolina. So if he could go for a third state what would it be.

"Ohio!" Sunseri joked.

"Oh no, you definitely can't have that one," DePriest responded.

What's my name again
Just saying the name of Andre Yruretagoyena (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral) is a mouthful and it wouldn't be a shock if much of the recruiting mail the Oregon commit received had his last name spelled wrong.

But that isn't necessarily the case.

"Actually a lot more of my mail has my first name wrong," Yruretagoyena said. "You would think Andre would be a pretty easy one."

Yruretagoyena, who commonly goes by "Andre Y," says his name is a combination of Spanish-Basque and Filipino.

Final word
Clinton-Dix said that he is down to Alabama and LSU and "that's pretty much it". The safety has been linked with several schools over the past month and still talks about taking a visit to Florida.

"It's those two and no one else," Clinton-Dix said. "I promise."

Corey Long has been covering high school football and recruiting in the Sunshine State since 1995. He can be reached at coreyespn@gmail.com.