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2021 Football Signee Byron Murphy II Highlights
Last fall, Byron Murphy II decided to flip his commitment from Baylor to Texas. As a result, the Longhorns will end up getting one of the most unheralded players in the class of 2021. Last season, the four-star defensive tackle wreaked havoc on offensive linemen as part of DeSoto's defensive front. After the season, Murphy was named as a first team player on the 2020 Texas MaxPreps All-State football team.
Senior Season Statistics
Defense: 79 total tackles, 14 sacks and 1 forced fumble. Strengths
What stands out about Murphy is his hustle. Usually, it is rare to see a defensive tackle that is capable of tracking the ball carrier from sideline to sideline. However, Murphy does not give up on plays and is always determined to be a factor on the field.
Also, Murphy's athleticism was always on display in high school as he was able to succeed against double teams thanks to his combination of strength and speed. Furthermore, Murphy utilizes a good repertoire of pass rush techniques which complements his athleticism.
Listed at 6'1", the knock against Murphy has always been on his size. However, Murphy was able to consistently produce against the state of Texas's best high school talent in the 6A classification. As a result, Murphy will have to continue to prove that he can line up against the best of the best.
What I See
Frankly, I think that Murphy ultimately has the potential to become a Longhorns fan favorite. Although it might take some time for Byron to adjust to the college game, he has the work ethic to eventually break through. As a result, I think that Murphy has the tools to be developed into a dominant force on Texas's defensive front before graduating. It is easy to say that new Texas defensive line coach, Bo Davis, will enjoy trying to get the most out of Murphy.
Commitment Spotlight – Bryan Allen Jr.
The #AllGasNoBrakes train keeps rolling along as Texas lands another top-tier commit for the class of 2022. University of Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian and staff land their first four-star defensive prospect as they gained a commitment from Aledo’s Bryan Allen Jr.
Allen is a four-star commit via the 247Sports Composite. He’s listed as the sixth-ranked player at his position in the nation, the 18th ranked overall player in the state of Texas, and the 88th ranked player overall in the nation for 2022.
Allen originally committed to LSU all the way back in April of last year. He along with Texas target, Bryce Anderson, were a deadly safety combination that looked to be the next big thing in Baton Rouge. Fast forward nine months later, and in January of 2021, Allen decided to re-open his recruitment.
The elite safety had offers from Auburn, Baylor, Florida, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M, and USC among others. At the end of the day Allen decided he’s staying in-state and heading to the 40 Acres. Along with Jaylon Guilbeau and Trevell Johnson, Sark and staff are building a nice defense to go with the elite offensive players they’ve recruited.
Allen in 2018, was named the Defensive Newcomer of the Year in his district at Fort Worth Southwest. In 2019 after transferring to Aledo, he once again was named the Defensive Newcomer of the Year and won a state championship. In 2020 he won another state championship along with Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Name: Bryan Allen Jr.
High School: Aledo
City, State: Aledo, TX
Three Best Traits
Experience – Allen has been a starter since his freshman year. After transferring to Aledo prior to his sophomore year, he’s been the starting safety for one of the best teams in the nation and still has one more year to go. In terms of experience, reps, and big game situations, Allen has Texas covered. There’s probably not a play he hasn’t seen and a situation he hasn’t been in.
Great Anticipation – Allen has exemplary anticipation. He can figure out very quickly what type of play is coming in his direction. If it’s a run play, he can meet the ball carrier just past the line of scrimmage. If it’s a pass play, by the time the quarterback hikes the ball, he already knows who his man is. That anticipation is not something many safeties can develop and Allen already has it.
Winning Culture – He’s quite literally the star safety and star defensive player on one of the best teams in the country. Every year he’s been at Aledo he’s won it all. He comes from one of the best programs in the country. That experience will come in handy as the Texas staff tries to create their own winning culture.
Areas for Improvement
Fill out his Frame – Allen currently stands at 6’0 and 180-pounds. He’s more on the lean and athletic side of things. He makes his frame work for him at the high school level, but if he were to bulk up in the 200 lb. range, he could be very special.
Man Coverage – If Allen is lacking in an area it’s probably man coverage. While it isn’t the end-all, be-all for a safety prospect, it’s something he will have to be great at to stop some of the freakier wide receiver prospects in the Big-12. He’s a great center fielder but if he can learn to lock up a wide receiver coming right at him, then Texas has an above elite prospect on their hands.
What a recruiting win for the Texas coaching staff. Allen Jr. is one of the greatest safety prospects in the nation, hands-down. He’s a lean, athletic, fast safety with some of the best anticipation skills you will see at the position. He comes from a winning program in Aledo, has started all three years of his career thus far, and has been in every situation you can dream up. Plus, Texas poaches him from LSU. It doesn’t get much better than that.
The commitment of Bryan Allen Jr. has propelled Texas from the seventh-ranked class in the country to the fourth-ranked class for 2022. Texas has seven commits with the average commit ranking as a .9549 via the 247Sports Composite. Thus far, it is a massive upgrade from last year’s average of .8887. Allen has a chance to be the leader of this new age Sarkisian staff defense and potentially one of the better defensive prospects to play at Forty Acres in recent memory.
Commitment Spotlight - Rueben Owens
All gas, no brakes.
Steve Sarkisian and his coaching staff have been hard at work filling out a great 2022 class. In the process, they have managed to land their first commit in the 2023 class. On Thursday evening Rueben Owens, the "Black Unicorn" gave his pledge to Texas.
Owens is a running back from El Campo who’s widely regarded as one of the best running backs in the nation for his class. He is a four-star prospect via 247Sports rankings. Via their 2023 rankings, he’s listed as the top prospect in the state of Texas, the second-ranked running back in the nation, and overall the 26th ranked player in the country.
Even though Owens has has just completed his sophomore campaign, he has amassed as much production already as some seniors. As a freshman Owens ran for 808 yards and eight touchdowns as he was named the district Newcomer of the Year. As a sophomore, he improved by nearly double, running for 1,511 yards and 22 touchdowns on just 140 carries. He also hauled in five receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown.
On January 3rd, Owens announced a top-five of Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas A&M, via his Twitter. His decision was expected to be between the Red River schools.
The Longhorns now have a top-tier recruit to build their 2023 class around. He’s quite literally the best player in Texas for his class. This pledge serves as a massive win for the Longhorns and this red-hot staff.
Name: Reuben Owens
Position: Running Back
High School: El Campo
City, State: El Campo, TX
Three Best Traits
Early Production - Owens has the production you would like to see in a running back recruit. He could opt-out of his last two high school seasons and still enter Texas with enormous amounts of on-the-field production. In his first two seasons, he’s already totaled 2,319 yards and 30 touchdowns on the ground for El Campo. That’s prodigious. The only thing to worry about is wear and tear but he can still rack up his numbers with minimal carries as evident by his 2020 campaign.
Speed and Acceleration - Owens is lighting quick on film. Most running backs are, but on film, he just pops. While everyone else is ferociously fast, Owens is just a step ahead every single time. His speed is already at the division-one level.
Vision - For someone so young, Owens has an impressive vision in terms of finding the correct hole to run through. If it’s there, he’s already gone. If the hole isn’t there immediately, he will be patient and find one. This is something that should get better with more reps and experience but Owens already shows elite-level vision early in his career.
Areas for Improvement
Receiving Threat - Owens has yet to show the ability of an elite pass-catcher out of the backfield. Granted he is still very young, but with his vision and speed he should be able to take most screen passes the distance. There’s no doubt this is something he will improve on upon his arrival, it’s just not there yet.
Size - Owens currently stands at 5’11 187-pounds. He’s a bit on the shorter side compared to the other top backs in his class, but he makes up for it with his sheer speed. Nonetheless, he’s still very young and has time to build out his frame.
Owens is a tremendous talent for someone so young and just getting started in their high school career. He’s already the focal point of the El Campo offense, and now he’s the focal point for the Texas recruiting class of 2023. Owens is an elusive, quick running back with tons of potential. He’s already one of the best at his position in the country and his ceiling is still through the roof.
There’s really nothing more to say than wow. When the question seemed to be who’s next for the class of 2022, the Longhorns go ahead and get started in 2023 in a big way. Texas landed the best running back in the nation in Bijan Robinson for the class of 2020. If Owens can continue to improve over the years he could follow that mold beautifully. Over the past month Texas has landed a five-star quarterback in Maalik Murphy, a couple of near five-star talents in Evan Stewart and Jaydon Blue, and now they land the best player in the state for 2023 in Rueben Owens. This staff is scorching hot and it doesn’t look as if they’re cooling down anytime soon.
2021 Texas Football ScheduleWeekOpponentW/L9/4Louisiana9/11@Arkansas9/18Rice9/25Texas Tech10/2@TCU10/9Oklahoma10/16Oklahoma State10/30@Baylor11/6@Iowa State11/13Kansas11/20@West Virginia11/27Kansas State