football Edit

Westerman keeping options open

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - With some of the top talent in the country in town to participate in the Under Armour All-American Game, a lot of the players find it fun to go up against the best of the best in practice each day. They like to challenge themselves after often going through their high school seasons without facing anyone near their skill level. That is not the case this week as the playing field has been leveled.
One prospect who has already gotten the opportunity to compete with some of top players at their opposing positions is Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton offensive tackle Christian Westerman. The 6-foot-5, 288-pound Texas commit is ranked as the No. 18 overall prospect and the No. 3 offensive tackle in the country. He has enjoyed being able to face off against elite competition so far this week.
"It's definitely a lot of fun," Westerman said on Sunday after practice. "We challenge each other to be better and we're getting after it out here. It's pretty intense. Even though we're just going up against or own team, we're all really competitive."
Westerman has often been lined up against the nation's No. 1 overall prospect, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. The offensive tackle says it has been a good gauge of where he currently stands.
"I've gone against him a few times," he said of Clowney. "He's a really good player. Everybody came in knowing who he was and sort of wanting to prove themselves against him. He gets everyone's best effort for sure. Everyone out here knows who everybody is, really."
Westerman committed to Texas in early April but has since opened things up a little bit since it was announced after the season that offensive line coach Mac McWhorter would not be returning. Also his recruiter, Westerman had gotten close to McWhorter. As he waits to hear who his replacement will be, the Rivals100 prospect is making some other official visits.
"I took an official visit to Auburn already," he said. "They're still one of the teams in the picture. USC has been after me the hardest. I'm visiting there Jan. 14."
Meanwhile, Westerman has stayed in contact with the Texas staff. Though he has not spoken to head coach Mack Brown in a little while, he has been talking to the coaches about the search for McWhorter's replacement.
"I haven't talked to him in a while," he said of Brown. "I'm going to have to call him tonight. I've talked to my new recruiter, Marcus Tubbs, a couple times.
"They haven't really talked about the offensive line situation too much, not yet at least. They said might be looking to the NFL (for a coach). Other than that, I don't really know who is going to be there. I'm waiting to hear on that before I say I'm 100-percent committed to Texas."
Meanwhile, Westerman is focused on helping the Red team to a win in Wednesday's game. He is on the same team as three other Texas pledges and has gotten to know them a bit. However, he says they have not tried to push the Longhorns on him.
"I've talked to a couple of them," he said of his fellow commit. "I've talked to Quandre (Diggs) and Desmond (Jackson). We haven't really talked about Texas too much, though. We're all out here having fun. We're not talking about colleges or recruiting or anything. Nobody really is. We're just talking about what's going on this week."