Five future Longhorns all have one common goal

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Mason Walters (Wolfforth, Texas/Frenship) is 6-foot-7 and nearly 300 pounds. Still, the physically imposing offensive tackle is dwarfed by the larger-than-life expectations that constantly surround the football team at the University of Texas.

As one of five Texas commits participating in Sunday's Under Armour All-America Game (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET), Walters is a principal member of a Longhorns recruiting class that is tall on talent. He says despite each individual's ability, the group puts a single goal -- a collective goal -- at the top of its New Year's resolutions.

"We want a ring," Walters said. "That's not a question. We don't care about awards and stuff individually. I think that the guys want the team to win a national championship in the future. It's something you can say, but it's a lot of hard work."

Under Armour All-Americans Garrett Gilbert (Austin, Texas/Lake Travis), Paden Kelley (Austin, Texas/Lake Travis), Thomas Ashcraft (Cedar Hill, Texas) and Barrett Matthews (Houston/North Shore) will be joining Walters in Austin next year. Together, they constitute the core of a class that has nine players in the ESPNU 150 and was ranked third in ESPN.com's most recent breakdown of the top recruiting classes.

Gilbert, the Gatorade National Player of the Year, was the first 2009 player to announce his intention to play in Austin. After winning consecutive state titles and racking up more than 4,800 yards and 55 touchdown passes as a senior, the local product could have moved to a school that would have given him the opportunity to play right away. Instead, he will spend a year studying under 2008 Heisman finalist Colt McCoy, something the No. 1 quarterback in the Class of 2009 says is a perfect way to get acclimated to the college game.

"I am definitely looking forward to learning a lot from Colt and just learning the ins and outs of the system. Obviously, he does a great job running it," Gilbert said. "I will be able to learn a lot from a very good player."

When Gilbert needs protection in the pocket, he has plenty of allies in this 2009 group. In fact, there will be an Alamo-sized lot of future Longhorns linemen playing in front of him Sunday; Walters and Kelley are the first- and third-ranked tackles, respectively, in this year's class. Playing alongside them at guard will be Ashcraft, who is the eighth-ranked guard.

"With the talent we have, we just need to execute," Ashcraft said. "I think that we're that good. We can play at that level and win a national championship."

The luxury of Texas' location is certainly evident with this group. All but one of UT's 19 2009 commits come from within the state. And like so many athletes in the region, Kelley grew up wanting to be a Longhorn.

"I've always known that if Texas offered me, I was going to commit," Kelley said. "I bleed orange; it's what I do. My whole family's there. They can come out and watch me. It's going to be a great opportunity."

Playing tight end in the UA game and practices gives Matthews his first opportunity to catch passes from Gilbert. The 6-2 playmaker echoed the team-first sentiment that seems to be a central theme for all the Longhorns in Orlando.

"There's not a complete star [in Texas' class]; all of us are stars," Matthews said. "It's going to be exciting."

Brendan Murphy is an associate editor of recruiting for ESPN.com.