UNT coach Todd Dodge revealed this week that DE Alonzo Horton, one of Dodge's most impactful signings to date, was ineligible and could not transfer from Northwest Mississippi JC as planned.
The loss of Horton (6-4, 260), a former prep standout from New Orleans Abramson High, came at high cost to UNT. Dodge had already signed few DLs in his short time in Denton. Horton was a steal, having decommitted from Ole Miss after Ed Orgeron's firing. Recruited by the likes of LSU, Auburn, Tennessee, Michigan State and others in 2005, Horton was a potential difference-maker.
Worse is what this has cost Horton. He first signed with Auburn to start a disastrous college career that appears over athletically and academically. At least in the Bowl or Playoff Subdivisions, he's done.
After piecing together where Horton's path began and ended, I wonder if Horton could have succeeded at UNT, anyway.
2005: Signed with Auburn, redshirted. Weeks into fall semester, learned that an aunt and two brothers died in Hurricane Katrina.
2006: Struggled academically but played in nine games with three tackles. Didn't enroll for spring semester.
2007: In April, Jackson (Miss.) State announced it signed Horton for the '07 season. Somehow, after a year and a half at Auburn, Horton was academically ineligible to enroll at JSU, a Playoff Subdivision (formerly D-IA) school.
2007: Horton planned to play for Hinds (Miss.) Community College. Officials there held off putting out a release. He either didn't enroll or only took a few classes. In the fall of 2007, Horton turned up at Northwest Mississippi CC, played and became a recruitable commodity again. He committed to Ole Miss in September.
2008: Horton reversed his Ole Miss commit after the Rebels' coaching change. He talked to other schools and eventually signed with UNT. It's uncertain if other schools backed away. On track for an associate's degree last May, Horton fell short after NWMCC deemed he lacked enough transferrable credits from previous schools.
It's sad, really pathetic that Horton couldn't come through three (maybe four) schools with enough credits for an associate's degree. That he was allowed to sail along with insufficient academic progress not only indicts him, but whoever or whatever should have been at his disposal to get him to point B -- in this case enrolled at UNT by this fall.