Antwuan Davis and Maurice Smith are, believe it or not, good friends.
Antwuan Davis is one of Texas' top defensive backs for the class of 2013.
Their bond wasn't forged in a traditional manner. Davis, a top cornerback from Bastrop (Texas), got to know his fellow defensive back from Sugar Land (Texas) Dulles from the few times they've competed together at camps.
When they took the field, a mutual respect formed almost immediately.
"We've gone to two different camps, and both times when we're on the field, no passes were caught," Davis said. "Those quarterbacks didn't know what to do."
Ever since then, they've kept in touch. They might not know a lot about one another, but they are certain about one thing: Smith and Davis believe they're the two best junior cornerbacks in the state of Texas.
And they'd really like to know if Duane Akina feels the same way.
Texas' secondary coach hasn't offered scholarships to either of them. He hasn't offered hardly anyone, actually. This spring, as 2013 commitments continue to steadily flow in, Akina is taking care of his portion of the class slowly. He wants more time to evaluate Texas' needs and options at corner and safety.
So far, elite national prospects have been the priority. The two known offers to 2013 defensive backs went to two of the country's best, safeties Marcell Harris (Groveland, Fla./South Lake) and Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland).
By making everyone else wait, Akina is asking Davis, Smith and a handful of other talented in-state recruits to stay patient. That's not an easy thing to do when rival coaches are constantly calling to show their love.
Davis and Smith have received more offers now than they'd ever imagined. Heard lots of promises, lots of praise. When will all that start coming from Texas?
"The offers had been coming in so fast here lately that it kind of shook me that I didn't get one from Texas," Smith said. "I thought one of two things. Maybe I have to work harder and make them notice me more. Or maybe it just wasn't meant to be with me and Texas."
Smith isn't the only one questioning where he stands with the Longhorns. He and Davis were two of five defensive backs that UT coaches brought in for their second junior day weekend last month. Each one had to swallow his pride and go home empty-handed.
Safeties Kameron Miles (Mesquite, Texas/West Mesquite) and Colin Janice (Orange, Texas/West Orange-Stark) were told evaluations will continue this spring. Livingston athlete Chevoski Collins would prefer to play receiver in college but was told UT will recruit him as a safety.
All five got the same message: We like you. We're just not ready for a commitment. The inherent gamble is obvious. All five could've put Texas in the rearview mirror when they left Austin and committed elsewhere by now.
Smith came oh-so-close to pulling the trigger during his junior day trip to Oklahoma last weekend. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound corner has been frustrated by the fact most schools seem to want him more than Texas does. At first, he took it personally.
So Smith gave Akina a call last week to find out where he stood. The reassurance he received was much-needed.
Texas has focused a lot of recruiting effort on out-of-state prospects like Marcell Harris.
"He was telling me to not give up on Texas and not be depressed or anything like that," Smith said. "Texas still had a lot of interest in me."
What Akina and the coaches are looking for, Davis said, are defensive backs who truly want to be Longhorns. The 2013 class is small and few spots are available. Texas can't afford to take a corner or safety who might decommit in the 11th hour.
Davis says he can understand that sentiment. So does he want to be at Texas?
"I would like to, definitely," he said. "I could see myself being a Longhorn."
He lost track of how many offers he's received when the number surpassed 20. But Davis knows which one he doesn't have. He's not sweating it just yet.
He likes his chances of getting one of the elusive Texas offer. After all, when he couldn't make it to the Saturday junior day last month, UT coaches urged him to visit on Sunday instead. They made him feel wanted when he did arrive at the 40 Acres.
"So far I've been the corner coach Akina has seen the most," he said. "That feels great. It just means I have more of an advantage over the rest of them. That's definitely helpful."
That flattery is nothing compared to what he's heard elsewhere. Oklahoma coaches told Davis he'll play right away for them if he picks the Sooners. Now that got his attention.
Still, Davis holds Texas' "DBU" reputation in high regard. He'll make a decision by the end of the summer. He hopes Texas is an option when the big day eventually arrives.
If that offer comes at the right time, he might commit on the spot. Remember, this recruiting game is all about timing.
"I've still got to see how my playing time would be as a freshman at Texas, because I know they can get me out of there in two or three years," Davis said. "I would like that. I know whatever they do with me, I'm going to be NFL-bound. That's all I could want from Texas."
Right now, all he wants is that scholarship offer. Smith and Davis both want to be the first guy to get one from Texas. Sure, they're pals now. But they're also competitors.
Maybe, if they get their way, that will change in college.
"I would really like to play with him," Davis said. "I don't know. It's like we were bound to play together."
Right now, they don't need destiny or fate to make that dream come true. Just dedication, and a little faith.