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  1. Texas Football has made it count when it comes to recruiting defense recently. Earlier this month, four-star safety JD Coffey as well as four-star cornerback Ishmael Ibraheem, committed to the Longhorns on the same day. Since then, Tom Herman and company have had to wait until today to secure the next playmaker in the Texas class of 2021. It comes from a highly coveted out-of-state defensive back. Jameir Johnson, four-star cornerback out of John Muir High School in Pasadena, CA, announced his intention to join the Longhorns via his Instagram account. The 6’0, 170 lb. four-star cornerback is the 17th ranked cornerback in the 2021 class via the 247Sports Composite. With that, he’s also the 24th ranked player overall in the state of California. On April 13 Johnson announced via his twitter, a final seven of Arizona State, Colorado, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oregon, Texas, and USC. Today he makes it official he will be the 14th commit in Texas’ 2021 class. Player Information Name: Jamier Johnson Position: Cornerback High School: John Muir City, State: Pasadena, CA Measurables Height: 6’0 Weight: 170 Film Three Best Traits: Versatility – As a junior, Johnson took snaps on defense as well as on offense as a wide receiver. Since he has spent time as a wide receiver, he knows exactly what to look for when he is defending them. If need be, Johnson has the ability to come in at wide receiver and be a threat at any time. He even took snaps at quarterback last year. Length – At the national combine back in January of 2019, Johnson was 5’10 tall but with a wingspan of 6’2. He has since grown a couple of inches and his wingspan should have as well. What Johnson lacks in muscle and size and makes up for with his incredible basketball player-esque length. Catching high balls – Due to his length and experience as a wide receiver, Johnson is incredible at locating the ball at its highest point and reeling it in. He shows a great ability to stop on a dime, turn around, out jump the receiver, and come down with the ball. He has naturally-great covering instincts. Areas for Improvement: Frame – Johnson currently stands 6’0 and 170-pounds. He’s fairly lean with his frame. That being said, he’s a great tackler and shows a nice ferocity to the ball in the run/ screen game. Another year of building muscle and bulking up won’t hurt. Health – Johnson missed five games of the junior season. Obviously anything can happen and injuries or missing games isn’t necessarily that athlete’s fault, it’s just something to keep an eye out for. Regardless, in just half a season Johnson put up four interceptions and 32 tackles. Pretty incredible. Summary Jamier Johnson was selected to the first-team all-defense for the Pacific League last season as a junior. After a great season at Northview as a sophomore, he transferred to Muir for his junior year and is now a top-25 player in California. He’s one of the best cornerbacks in the country for 2021 and provides a huge upside to Texas. A guy who can play either side of the ball and can even provide help on special teams. Johnson is an elite-level talent. Final Verdict Prior to Johnson’s commitment, Texas sat at number 10 nationally in the 2021 recruiting rankings. The commitment of Johnson not only solidifies Texas’ 2021 class as a Top-10 unit but also solidifies the Longhorns as the team to beat recruiting-wise in the Big-12. Johnson, along with recent commits Ibraheem and Coffey are going to lock down opposing wide receivers for years to come. The 2021 defense is coming along nicely. Coffey, Ibraheem, and Johnson in the secondary. Harris Jr., Sanders, and Thomas at defensive ends with Blackwell at linebacker. This defensive unit is looking scarier and scarier by the minute. The post Commitment Spotlight – Jamier Johnson appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  2. Article by Devon Messinger, HornSports Recruiting The scope of sports recruiting has grown with the evolution of technology. Nowadays anyone in the stands can film and share a highlight with just their phone. However, finding a future star athlete has not always been not so easy (and still isn’t today). Teams that have a keen eye for under the radar talent, and a gift for player development, are the ones that go far. In the 21st century, most of the Longhorns’s star players have been highly touted coming out of high school. Take, for example, Vince Young. Young is one of five players in the history of 247Sports’s recruiting rankings to have earned a perfect rating. The five-star athlete led the Longhorns to a BCS National Championship in the 2006 Rose Bowl, the first Longhorns title since the 1970 season. However, a large portion of Texas’s success has stemmed from the the development of less touted recruits. I have created a list of the top 10 Longhorns football players since 2000 that were less than four-star prospects (courtesy of 247Sports). One thing that I took into consideration is the return on investment that the player provided, in relation to his original recruiting rating. In addition, the 2017 Longhorns recruiting class will be the last one that is considered as those players are still fleshing out their Longhorn careers. Today, we will take a look at defense and special teams. Honorable Mentions: Breckyn Hager – LB (3-Star; 2015) Notable Season (2016): 65 total tackles, 6 sacks and 1 forced fumble. Malcolm Roach – DL (3-Star; 2016) Notable Season (2019): 40 total tackles and 3 sacks. Brandon Foster – DB (3-Star; 2003) Notable Season (2007): 57 total tackles, 4 INTs and 3 TDs. Hager and Roach were two key defensive pieces for Tom Herman, who coached his first season with the Longhorns in 2017. The two versatile athletes played a large role in getting Texas back to playing in a New Year’s Six bowl game, which they did in 2018 with the Sugar Bowl. Brandon Foster, on the other hand, spent multiple seasons backing up Texas legends and Jim Thorpe Award winners, Michael Huff and Aaron Ross, before having a breakout year in 2007. 10. P.J. Locke III – S (3-Star; 2015) Notable Season (2018): 77 total tackles, 2 forced fumbles and 1 INT. Locke proved his value during the 2018 season as he helped anchor the Longhorns defense in their most successful season as of late. He also was a valuable asset off of the field, mentoring (then) freshman Longhorns safety, Caden Sterns. 9. Charles Omenihu – DL (3-Star; 2015) Notable Season (2018): 45 total tackles, 9.5 sacks and 1 forced fumble. Omenihu was recruited by Charlie Strong and his staff, but made his mark under the Tom Herman regime. His performance improved each season and he quickly became a fan-favorite. Following his senior season, Omenihu was named the 2018 Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year. 8. Michael Dickson – P (N/R; 2015) Notable Season (2017): 84 punts and an average of 47.4 yards per punt. The 2017 Texas Bowl, against Missouri, was the game in which Micheal Dickson proved to the world that punters are athletes too. In the game, Dickson downed 10 punts within Missouri’s 20-yard line and was rewarded with the bowl’s MVP award. 2017 proved to be a fruitful year for Michael as he also won the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation’s top punter, and was named as a unanimous first team All-American. 7. Blake Gideon – S (3-Star; 2008) Notable Season (2009): 49 tackles and 6 INTS. Gideon was as consistent as they come, being a four-time All-Big 12 honorable mention selection. In addition, the hard-hitting safety started in 52 consecutive games, which is the second longest streak in Longhorns history. 6. Cedric Griffin – CB (N/R; 2001) Notable Season (2005): 71 total tackles. Griffin was one of the key pieces on the 2005 Texas Longhorns championship team, a team that was absolutely loaded with talent in the secondary. However, Griffin was not even rated coming out of high school. Afterwards, Cedric was drafted in the second round 0f the 2006 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings and had a decent playing career. 5. Dylan Haines – S (N/R; 2012) Notable Season (2014): 86 total tackles, 11 passes defensed, 4 INTs, 1 forced fumble and 1 TD. “Why is Dylan Haines so high on this list?” you might ask. Because not only was he not rated coming out of high school, but he was also a walk-on. Talk about a valuable return on investment. Haines finished his Longhorns career tied for fifth place in career interceptions with 13. 4. Brian Robison – DL (3-Star; 2002) Notable Season (2005): 58 total tackles, 7 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. Robison was another key member of the 2005 National Championship team. In addition to Robison’s football success, Brian also played an integral role on the Longhorns track and field team. Following his career with the Longhorns, Robison had a largely successful 10 year NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings. 3. Earl Thomas – S (3-Star; 2007) Notable Season (2009): 77 total tackles, 8 INTs and 2 TDs. You could argue that Earl Thomas was the most dominant defensive player for Texas since 2000. Recognized for his efforts, the ball hawk safety was named as a first-team All-American in 2009. However, Earl possibly could have been listed higher on this list had he played more than two seasons (redshirted the 2007 season) with the Longhorns. Thomas capitalized on his stellar 2009 season by entering the 2010 NFL Draft, being selected 14th overall by the Seattle Seahawks. Earl, now a seven-time NFL Pro Bowler, is still regarded as one of the top safeties in the NFL. 2. Nathan Vasher – CB (N/R; 2000) Notable Season (2003): 43 total tackles, 26 pass breakups and 6 INTs. Vasher leads the Longhorns all-time list in career interceptions, with 17, and pass breakups, with 64. Furthermore, Vasher’s presence was also felt on special teams as he leads Texas in career return yards. Vasher was a stat sheet stuffer and was one of the founding members of “DBU” under then Longhorns defensive backs coach, Duane Akina. 1. Michael Huff – S (N/R; 2001) Notable Season (2005): 87 total tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT and 1 TD. Huff was a two-time All-American and earned consensus first-team honors during his senior season with the Longhorns (2005). In fact, Huff also won the Jim Thorpe award in 2005, which is given to the nation’s top defensive back. Michael showcased his consistency as a four-year starter for the Longhorns, starting in 50 games throughout his career. However, his most important contribution might have been his late game tackle against USC, on fourth-and-two, that set up the game-winning drive for Vince Young and the Longhorns offense in the 2006 Rose Bowl. Huff was later named as the game’s Defensive MVP.
  3. Texas has landed a plethora of talent for the 2020 Track and Field program. Distance runners like Gracie Morris and Graydon Morris. Pole vaulter Reid Foster. Triple jump specialist Blake Harris. High jumper, Riley Foreman. Cross country stars like Sam Bass and Abraham Avila-Martinez. Those stellar athletes cover the Track portion of ‘Track and Field.’ Running and jumping is on lock for the future in Austin. What about the ‘Field’ component? Queue Kiana Lowery. Lowery hails from Klein Cain High School in Tomball, Texas and is one of the best throwers in the state. She specializes in the discus and shot put. After the COVID-19 shortened season, she will now call The University of Texas her home. “I’ve always had this certain attraction to UT. My uncle played football there when I was younger, and I always loved the culture. Then, as I began the recruiting process and did my research, I discovered that UT was an amazing place for academics as well, and that intrigued me even more,” Lowery explained. “Then on my official visit, everything just felt right and I knew for sure that UT was my home. I entertained other schools, but no school seemed to “check all the boxes” as UT did.” Lowery holds personal bests of 147’9 in the discus and 46’.75 in the shot put. During her senior season she competed five times in the shot put and won four of them. To compliment her high school success, she also finished second and fourth in the shot put and discus respectively at the 2019 USATF National Junior Olympic Championships. “My faith is a huge factor in my drive to be the best I can possibly be. Believing that God has amazing plans for me motivates me to keep striving for success in all that I do. Also, I think it’s just a part of my innate personality. I’ve always believed in being the pilot of my destiny and the way I do that is by grinding day in and day out. Plus knowing that I’m attending one of the most renowned universities in athletics and academics really pushes me to rise to the occasion,” Lowery said. Lowery wasn’t a natural at first. She got to where she’s at through hard work and dedication. That’s the kind of athlete Texas should expect. “I started throwing shot put and discus in seventh grade, and I was terrible! Both of my older sisters had thrown in middle school, so I thought why not. I was very awkward especially for a sport that required agility and poise. But I knew that I could be better,” Lowery said. “So I continued to do it in eighth grade and began summer track before the start of freshman year of high school, and I started to see extreme improvements. I think I kept going because I knew I hadn’t given all that I possibly could and I wanted to keep pushing myself to greater heights. I guess it worked out.” Lowery has pushed herself to get better ever since she started. 2020 was supposed to be her year but unfortunately, COVID-19 cut it short. She’s looking forward to competing at Texas now more than ever. “I am extremely excited to meet so many incredible people: coaches, professional athletes, mentors, and people who will become lifelong friends. I’m also excited to be immersed in such a lively and unique culture,” Lowery said. “I’m more than ready to start a new method of training under one of the best, if not the best, throwing coach in the country, Zeb Sion. I’ll also be able to study biochemistry and expand my knowledge in ways I never have before.” Lowery is a massive gain for the Texas Track and FIeld program. A great athlete and person on and off the field. With so many distance and sprinting recruits coming in, someone needed to pave the way for the throwers. Kiana Lowery is that person. “Fans should know that I’m pretty easygoing and a naturally caring person who loves adventure. Besides that, they should know that it was not always apparent that I would be where I am today, but with persistence and dedication I have been able to achieve what I have thus far, and that’s what keeps me humble. Also, I love y’all and am extremely grateful for the support!” The post Talking Texas with 2020 Track and Field Commit Kiana Lowery appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  4. One of the most impressive performances of the football playoff season in Texas was that of two Jesuit programs. Dallas Jesuit and star running back EJ Smith, knocked off defending champions Longview. Strake Jesuit, on the other hand, made it to the third round, had a 10-3 record, and destroyed talented West Brook to get there. The reason for their success? Star running back and future Texas baseball shortstop, Dylan Campbell. On the football field, Campbell rushed for over 2,000 yards on 269 carries for 30 touchdowns. With baseball being his first love though, he decided to commit to the University of Texas. “It had always been one of the schools that I have wanted to go to since I was a kid and when I got the opportunity I couldn’t pass on it. The coaching staff, facilities, and culture are just different. It felt like home,” Campbell said. Campbell committed in June of 2019 and was looking forward to his final season on the diamond at Strake Jesuit. Unfortunately, his season was cut short due to COVID-19. “It was difficult to accept the fact that my high school season got canceled but I just had to make sure that I continued to work hard and stay focused to be prepared for the next level,” Campbell said. As a junior Campbell had a battering average of .367 with three home runs, 20 RBIs, and 23 runs scored. “I think one thing that led to my success is my positive attitude. Whether it is working out or playing on the field,” Campbell said. It’s clear that Campbell is one of, if not the best athlete to walk through the doors of Strake Jesuit. It’s unfortunate that he didn’t have the chance to finish his high school career, which was taken away from him so abruptly. Campbell is putting that behind him and focusing 100% on his future with the Longhorns. “One thing I look forward to is finally being able to experience the culture of being a Texas Longhorn. Getting to wear burnt orange day in and day out is going to be something special,” Campbell said. Dylan Campbell was a massive recruiting win for the Texas Baseballprogram. Texas hasn’t won a conference championship since 2018 nor a conference tournament championship since 2015. With signings like Campbell, Ace Whitehead, Petey Halpin and others, Texas is well on its way to becoming relevant on the national stage once again. Campbell wants Longhorn fans to know a few simple things about him before he arrives there soon. “I’m a funny guy who is gonna bring a good attitude and energy to the team,” The post Talking Texas with 2020 Baseball Commit Dylan Campbell appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  5. Texas Women’s Track and Field and success go hand-in-hand. The program has won a total of 11 NCAA championships (six indoors, five outdoors.) and 45 conference championships (23 indoor, 22 outdoor.) Coupled with this, the women have claimed six of the last seven Big-12 indoor championships. Despite the recent success, the program hasn’t won a national title since 2006 under former coach Beverley Kearney. Fourteen years and three coaches later, Texas looks primed for another run. New head coach, Eldrick Floréal, in one year, has claimed the Big-12 indoor and outdoor championships. He also led the women to finish tied for 12th nationally in indoors and tied for 10th nationally outdoors. These marks were the highest finish for the women since the 2016 and 2017 seasons respectively. Floréal has recruited a tremendous 2020 class that includes some of the top female athletes in the nation. One of which is Aledo High School’s Gracie Morris. “I chose Texas because everyone there was super welcoming and it seemed like a true team where everyone supported each other,” Morris said on why she chose the Longhorns. Gracie and her brother Graydon are two of the best that Aledo has seen come through its doors, and both will be attending Texas this upcoming year. Gracie is one of the best distance runners in the state of Texas. She took the state by storm as a freshman when she won the 5A state title in the 800-meters. She also finished second in the 1600-meters. For her freshman season, that second-place finish was the only time she didn’t win a race in the 800 or 1600 meters. “All the support that I’ve received from my family, friends, and coaches. They’ve taught me to stay focused but remember to also enjoy what I do,” Morris said on what leads to her success. Morris missed the entire 2018 season due to a foot injury but battled back and in 2019 took home fifth place in the state meet for the 1600 meters. The 2020 season was obviously cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Morris really seemed to regain her success as prior to the shutdown she was undefeated in not only the 800 and 1600, but also the 3200 meters. “My favorite event is probably the 1600 meters because it still has the fast feel of the shorter distance race but is more tactical,” Morris explained. Morris announced that she, along with her brother, were committing to Texas via social media on October, 20. This news means that the Longhorns are literally getting the best distance runner in the state of Texas. If anyone can help lead Texas back to national success, it’s Gracie Morris. “I’m most excited about being able to represent such an amazing school,” Morris said. Morris wasn’t always this talented, as she had to grind and work hard to be as successful in her track and field career. “I used to come in last almost every race I ran when I first started running in 2nd grade,” Morris said. Coach Floréal has done an incredible job of recruiting some of the best talent the state and nation have to offer. There’s no doubt that Gracie Morris is going to lock down middle distance events for Texas for the next four years. The post Talking Texas with 2020 Track and Field Commit Gracie Morris appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  6. Texas baseball has acquired its new Ace. Lampasas star 4A football and baseball player Ace Whitehead announced via his twitter that he was committing to the Longhorns to play baseball. Whitehead is an athlete. In fact, he is also one of the best quarterbacks in the state of Texas as well. He has been a three-year starter at quarterback for the Lampasas Badgers. In his first year, he earned district 13-4A-1 Newcomer of the Year. As a sophomore, he was the district 14-4A-1 Offensive MVP. This past season, he continued to receive accolades as he was crowned as the AP 4A Offensive Player of the Year. In three seasons he has passed for 9,555 yards for 108 touchdowns. Furthermore, he also ran for 1,158 yards and another 35 touchdowns on the ground. As a junior he combined for nearly 5,000 yards and 75 total touchdowns in 15 games. Whitehead led the Badgers to the semi-finals of the 4A D1 playoffs where they lost to eventual state champions Carthage 49-42. Due to his height at 5’10, baseball seemed like the optimal route. Whitehead makes it official that he will be a Longhorn after his senior year. “Texas has always been my dream school, I grew up watching the Longhorns play and spent most of my time in Austin,” Whitehead said. On the diamond he is a left-handed pitcher and outfielder. Before the season ended via the COVID-19 pandemic, Whitehead was hitting .527 while leading the Badgers in runs, hits, and stolen bases. On the mound, he was 3-1 with a 0.92 ERA. Regardless of the sport, he can quite literally do it all. “I believe playing quarterback has helped enhance my leadership abilities and has made me more mentally tough,” Whitehead explained. While his baseball season was cut short, Whitehead is staying in shape with “workouts in Llano, every day.” Before he arrives in Austin, Whitehead still has a career to close-out at Lampasas. The Badgers rode a dream season into the semi-finals where they lost to undefeated state champions, Carthage, by seven points. Lampasas was the only team all season to lose to Carthage by just a single possession. Whitehead wants to end his miraculous high school career one way and one way only. “Win State, that’s the only goal,” Whitehead said. With Ace Whitehead, Texas Baseball is getting a bonafide competitor. A winner, a guy who can do it all, and someone who already bleeds burnt orange. Players like Whitehead are what make high school and college sports so special. “They should know they’re getting a Longhorn through and through, and one who wants to win titles,” Whitehead said. The post Talking Texas with 2021 Baseball Commit Ace Whitehead appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  7. K.J. Adams, the rising senior forward from Westlake High School in Austin, TX, experienced a largely successful junior campaign as he was named as an honorable mention on the MaxPreps Basketball Junior All-American list. Just over one month ago, Adams announced his top ten schools that he would like to play college basketball for. The Longhorns were one of the five Big 12 basketball programs that K.J. announced that he is interested in: including Baylor, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech. Shaka Smart and the Longhorns were the first basketball program to offer K.J. a scholarship when they did so in July of 2018. Adams could potentially join two former Westlake basketball stars, Will Baker and Brock Cunningham, if he were to sign with the Longhorns. Adams, listed as a power forward, is a four-star prospect and is the 62nd ranked player nationally for the entire 2021 class, according to the 247Sports Composite. Junior Season Statistics (Via: MaxPreps) Per Game: 23.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists. Player Breakdown: Playing the forward position, Adams stands at 6’7″ and weighs 200 pounds. Although K.J. is listed as a power forward, his size translates better as a small forward. Of course, Adams could excel in today’s game of basketball playing the four in a small-ball lineup, however I believe that he projects better as a swingman. He possesses great court vision and passing ability, while showcasing a promising jump shot. In addition, Adams also has a decent repertoire of post moves that he uses against smaller defenders. K.J. shows promise on the defensive side of the ball as well, particularly with his instinctive help defense. What I See: K.J. is an exciting player to watch and has the right mold to be a terrific college basketball player. However, Adams will have to work to add weight to his frame in order to succeed at the college level. With that said, K.J. would be a tremendous addition to the Longhorns and would add to Smart’s success of recruiting Austin area talent. The post 2021 Basketball Target KJ Adams Highlights appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  8. The Texas Longhorns are a national powerhouse when it comes to swimming and diving. The men have won every conference championship since 1980, while the women have done it every year since 2013. The success of the program hinges squarely on the Longhorns’ success in recruiting the top swimmers and divers in the country. And every now and then though they secure a commitment from home-grown talent… Sadie Runeman, one of the best swimmers in Texas and current Westwood High School athlete, recently announced her intent to swim at the University of Texas. Runeman recently moved to Austin from Massachusetts and has since fallen in love with The University. “I first realized how much I loved UT when I moved here last summer. I started swimming with the University’s club program and I got the chance to watch the women’s team almost every day, and I decided to reach out. They were super responsive and were as interested in me as I was in them. After talking to some other colleges, it really only made sense to be at UT,” Runeman said. At the 2020 Texas 6A state meet, Runeman finished fifth in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 55.81 seconds. Her other personal bests include a time of 1:58.39 in the 200-meter backstroke, 1:04.46 in the 100-meter breaststroke, and 2:04.66 in the 200-meter IM. She specializes in the backstroke but can do anything from freestyle to relays and everything in between. “I think my favorite individual event to swim is probably the 100 Backstroke,” Runeman said. “It is one of my better events, but I was never a natural-born sprinter so I always feel like I have more to learn and improve on which is why I love the sport so much. However, I think any relay I get to swim in automatically becomes my favorite because it goes back to that positive mentality and team support. There is no more stressful or exciting event like a relay at the end of a meet where the result determines the success of the team.” Runeman joins a talented class of 2021 Texas recruits that includes Olivia McMurray, Morgan Brophy, and Riley Courtney among others. 2021 looks to be a loaded class for the women of swim and dive and Runeman’s commitment is a huge reason for that. She has one year left at Westwood High School before she arrives at UT and is looking forward to what her senior season has in store. She attributes her success to the old motto, “happy swimmers swim fast.” “I attribute most of my personal success to my mental state and my teammates. Hard work is key and swimmers are always giving 110%, but none of it matters if you don’t love what you are doing. There is really no point in doing it. One of my old coaches used to say “happy swimmers swim fast”, and at the time I thought he was crazy, but over time I realized that he was right. I always swim faster when I’m having fun and I am being supported by my teammates,” Runeman said. Runeman along with going to school in Austin, already also does her club swimming with Longhorn Aquatics. She’s also received USA swimming scholastic All-American honors twice. For a relatively young swimmer, she already has a fairly decorated career. Runeman has an opportunity to build on her already glowing resume when she officially becomes a Longhorn. “I think the thing I am most looking forward to about becoming a Longhorn is the culture and commitment that it is. Both the team and school atmosphere is unlike any other school that I considered. The people that come through UT are not only very intelligent but also set such a high standard of success for themselves and others that continues even after they graduate. I think most of that mentality comes from the family-like qualities that UT exudes from both its educators and students alike,” Runeman said. Texas is the best in the Big-12 year-in and year-out when it comes to aquatics. Commits like Runeman are what can push the Longhorns over the edge into consistent national championship contention. Runeman wants Longhorns fans to know a few things about her before she arrives on campus in 2021. “All I think fans of the sport, and of me should know is that it takes an immense amount of time, dedication, blood, sweat, and tears to get to this stage in swimming. Any great swimmer who gets up on the block is always giving everything that they have because they have spent years training for one single moment that could be as short as 20 some odd seconds,” Runeman said. “Also fans of me should know that nothing comes without its ups and downs, so they should always support athletes they know and check in on them from time to time because what we do can be relentless, but it is always worth it in the end.”
  9. June 15, 2020 has proven to be a great day for Longhorns football thanks to the commitments of two highly touted defensive backs, Ishmael Ibraheem and JD Coffey. Both rising seniors are regarded as four-star prospects and will contribute to the Longhorns secondary upon their arrival. With the additions of Ibraheem and Coffey, where does the Longhorns 2021 recruiting class now stand? Longhorns Commits (Statistics via 247Sports): Quarterback: Jalen Milroe – Tompkins High School. Katy, TX. (Four-Star) Milroe’s athleticism sets him apart from other quarterbacks as he possess a big arm that accompanies his track speed. Jalen’s passing has improved and should be something to keep an eye on during his senior season. He is set to join a crowded quarterback room as the Longhorns added two four-star quarterbacks during the previous recruiting cycle (Hudson Card and Ja’Quinden Jackson). Now What? Two key groups to expect Tom Herman and the Longhorns to really target is offensive linemen and wide receivers. As previously mentioned, the Longhorns will have to replace a majority of their starting offensive line following the 2020 season. Landing Tommy and James Brockermeyer (five-star and four-star prospects respectively) would be huge for the Longhorns, however recent 247Sports crystal ball predictions have the pair going to Alabama. The two brothers have family ties to the University of Texas as their father, Blake Brockermeyer, played there in the early 1990’s and their other brother, Luke, is currently a linebacker on the team. With the loss of seniors Collin Johnson and Devin Duvernay, the Longhorns will need someone to step up in 2020. Furthermore, it is essential that Texas adds more talent to the wide receiver position in their 2021 recruiting class, as the class currently has only one true receiver, Casey Cain.
  10. The 2019 football season will be one to remember for rising sophomore receiver, Jaden Greathouse, as he played a large role in helping the Westlake Chaparrals win their first state championship since 1996. In addition, Greathouse has enjoyed a fast start to 2020 as he has received offers from Baylor, Oklahoma and Texas. Greathouse was tabbed as a MaxPreps Freshman All-American and was named the District 25-6A Co-Offensive Newcomer of the Year. Freshman Season Statistics (Via MaxPreps): Receiving: 47 receptions, 715 receiving yards and 10 receiving TDs. Strengths: Greathouse has great hands and excels at using his body as leverage to make difficult catches in traffic. In addition, Jaden was exceptional at moving the chains during his freshman season as he averaged just over 15 yards per reception. Greathouse already possesses the ideal size for a receiver as he entered his freshman season standing at 6’3″ and weighing 200 pounds. In addition to football, Jaden also showcases his combination of size and speed on the Chaparrals basketball team. Needs to Prove: In my opinion, Jaden was a member of the most dominant receiving core in the state of Texas for the 2019 season. However, three of Westlake’s top four receivers have since graduated, with the other receiver being Greathouse himself. For the 2020 season, I would like to see Greathouse prove to the state of Texas that he can be a one-man wrecking crew. What I See: Greathouse has been a receiver that is just fun to watch. He will nickel and dime his opponent with 10 yard out routes before burning you deep on a fly route. Jaden is in the Longhorns backyard already, as he attends a high school that is less than 10 miles away from the University of Texas, however it will be up to head coach Tom Herman and his staff to reel him in. Greathouse has shown that he has a lot of potential, however he still has three seasons to prove his dominance before reaching the next level. The post 2023 Football Target Jaden Greathouse Highlights appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  11. The 2020 season will be a yearlong shot at redemption for Ja’Tavion Sanders after being just one play away from winning a state championship. However, he is not alone in his journey as fellow 2021 Longhorns commit, Billy Bowman Jr., will attempt to lead the Ryan Raiders to their first state title since the 2002 football season. Sanders is a highly touted five-star prospect and is the second ranked athlete and the 24th ranked player nationally in the entire 2021 class, according to the 247Sports Composite. Ja’Tavion committed to joining the Longhorns in September of 2019. Sophomore & Junior Season Statistics (Via: 247Sports) Defense: 93 tackles, 43 tackles for a loss and 20.5 sacks. Offense: 1,141 receiving yards. Strengths: Sanders has a skillset that easily translates to many different positions. He has great hands for a man of his size (listed at 6’3.5″ and 220 pounds) and showcases his ball skills when positioned as a wide receiver. In addition, Ja’Tavion excels as an edge rusher and seems to always find his way to the ball. Sanders’s athleticism stands out as he is fast enough to run past defenders when positioned out wide and is quick off the line of attack when rushing off of the edge. He possesses a certain level of fluidity for an athlete of his size and has no problem using his speed to find holes in the coverage. Needs Improvement: Sanders’s determination to crush the quarterback can be seen on every single play, however he needs to work at further developing his pass rushing techniques in order to succeed at the next level. What I See: The sky is the limit for Ja’Tavion Sanders. Once Sanders arrives on campus and fills out his frame, he has the potential to be a dominant pass rusher and/or solve the tight end problem that has plagued the Longhorns for over a decade. Sanders has proven that he is capable of making big plays and possesses the speed to be a difference maker at multiple positions on the field. Don’t be shocked if he develops into an early NFL Draft pick. The post 2021 Football Commit Ja’Tavion Sanders Highlights appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  12. The University of Texas landed its 11th commit in its 2021 football recruiting class. In a move that’ll likely go under-the-radar Texas landed a commitment from Australian punter, Isaac Pearson. Pearson is currently unranked in the 247Sports rankings but is the latest punter to come out of the ProKick Australia pipeline. In 2015 Texas landed Australian punter Michael Dickson. By his junior season, he was a unanimous All-American, the Ray Guy Award winner for the nation’s best punter, and the 2017 Texas Bowl MVP. He’s now a member of the Seattle Seahawks where he already has a Pro Bowl and a First-Team All-Pro appearance to his name. In 2017, Texas landed the next in the ProKick line in Ryan Bujcevski. After early-season struggles in 2018 Bujcevski turned it on in the second half of 2018 and continued that success into 2019. Now, Texas lands the next great Australian punter in Isaac Pearson. Pearson made the announcement this morning via his twitter saying “I can’t wait to get to Austin and build on the legacy of fellow Aussies Michael Dickson and Ryan Bujcevski, and get to work in front of 100,000 of the best fans in all of the sport!” Player Information Name: Isaac Pearson Position: Punter High School: ProKick Australia Home Town: Newcastle, Australia Measurables Height: 6’2 Weight: 215 Summary The signing of Pearson gives the fans and coaches at Texas a sense of security. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Michael Dickson and Ryan Bujcevski have provided the Longhorns with some of the best special teams talent in the nation. The commitment of Isaac Pearson, who hails from the same pipeline as those two, will keep the status quo when it comes to the Texas punting game. Special teams often get overlooked but are undeniably just as important as offense or defense. Pearson ensures that Texas won’t struggle in that area. Final Verdict Special teams coordinator Jay Boulware strikes gold again. If Dickson and Bujcevski are any indications of what’s to come then Longhorns fans are in great hands behind the foot and leg of Pearson. At 6’2 and 215 pounds, Pearson is slightly bigger than Dickson who himself already had quite a big frame for a punter. Once Bujcevski moves on from Texas, Pearson should easily be able to slide into that role without skipping a beat. The post Commitment Spotlight – Isaac Pearson appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  13. Jackson is currently in the process of rehabbing a partially torn left ACL that he sustained in a playoff game against Rockwall and is expected to return to action later this year. Despite the injury, Jackson’s success will go down in the history books as he led the Duncanville Panthers to back-to-back title game appearances. In addition to being a four-star prospect, Jackson is also the 5th ranked quarterback and 73rd ranked player nationally for the entire 2020 class, according to the 247Sports Composite. Jackson became the second class of 2020 quarterback to announce his commitment to the Longhorns (the first being Hudson Card) when he did so in June of 2019. Senior Season Statistics (Via: The Dallas Morning News) Passing: 1,711 passing yards and 21 passing TDs. Rushing: 1,030 rushing yards and 16 rushing TDs. Strengths: Jackson’s insane athleticism is something worth watching and then replaying about 50 times. He possesses track speed, which is readily apparent as soon as he sees a gap in the defense as he glides past defenders with ease. In addition, Jackson often showcases his strength by frequently running over linebackers and dragging defensive backs with him when carrying the ball. Jackson has a strong throwing arm and has no problem with airing it out downfield. Needs Improvement: While Jackson has no problem showing off his arm strength, it’s important for him to work on his accuracy as his passing game has been inconsistent. However, Jackson will have an entire year to progress under head coach Tom Herman and newly minted offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich, the latter of whom is coming off of a season coaching Heisman finalist, Justin Fields, at Ohio State. What I See: Ja’Quinden is a one of a kind talent that easily dominated the high school gridiron. He has the potential to be a game changer for the Longhorns, in addition to being an NFL Draft pick. In Jackson’s game, you can see glimpses of Longhorn greats such as Vince Young’s effortless speed and Sam Ehlinger’s run you over strength. Luckily for Ja’Quinden, he will have plenty of time to recover from his injury and become acclimated to the Longhorns system before he is actually needed at the quarterback position. However, after rising senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger graduates, Jackson will have to prove his worth in a quarterback competition to be named the starter for the 2021 season. If all else fails, Jackson has the athleticism to excel for the Longhorns at other positions. The post 2020 Football Signee Ja’Quinden Jackson Highlights appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  14. Over the course of the 2020 recruiting cycle, the depth of the quarterback position has seen growth for the Longhorns with the additions of Hudson Card and Ja’Quinden Jackson. Card, an Austin native and early enrollee, was the first athlete to join the 2020 Longhorns recruiting class when he announced his commitment in May of 2018. He is a four-star prospect who is the 4th ranked quarterback and 57th ranked player nationally for the entire 2020 class, according to the 247Sports Composite. Career Statistics (Via MaxPreps): Passing: 6,428 passing yards, 80 passing touchdowns and a quarterback rating of a 130. Rushing: 1,391 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns. Strengths: Card has an electric arm and is able to fit his passes into tight windows and find receivers downfield. Card’s athleticism stands out and allows him to get outside of the pocket with ease. He runs with fluidity and has broken a fair share of his defenders’ ankles with well-timed jukes. In addition, he spent his sophomore season at the wide receiver position while being the backup to (now TCU Horned Frog) quarterback Matthew Baldwin at perennial powerhouse Lake Travis High School. Needs Improvement: Card is decently sized, listed at 6’2″, however he needs to add weight in order to protect himself from the rigors of college football. I believe that this won’t be a problem as Card spends more time at the University of Texas with the Longhorns coaching staff. What I See: Quite frankly, I see a quarterback with NFL Draft potential. Card has the intangibles needed at the quarterback position, however it will be up to him to solidify his name among the Longhorn legends. He must do everything that he can to soak up knowledge from Sam Ehlinger, someone who knows what it’s like to be an Austin kid playing quarterback for the Longhorns, and then must prepare himself for the test of a quarterback competition. Lastly, what I learned from my two years of covering Hudson is that he is a class act. Every coach wants their best players to be their best leaders and Card was just that at Lake Travis. The post 2020 Football Signee Hudson Card Highlights appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  15. The University of Texas continued its recruiting streak with another commitment, this time from Port Arthur Memorial High School’s Jordon Thomas. Thomas becomes the third UT commit in the past week, following 2021 tight end Landen King who committed on April 26 and 2020 cornerback Jahdae Barron who committed on April 30. Thomas is the second true defensive commit that Texas has landed for the 2021 class joining fellow four-star commit and outside linebacker, Derrick Harris Jr. Unfortunately, Thomas missed all of the 2019 season due to a lower leg injury. In 2018 though, he accumulated 32 tackles with five sacks. Thomas is a four-star recruit via the 247Sports Composite. For his class, he’s ranked as the 15th best weak-side defensive end and 36th best overall player in the state of Texas. Thomas announced on April 8 via his twitter that his top two had been narrowed down between Texas and Texas A&M. He now becomes the sixth four-star commit or better to commit to The University of Texas’ 2021 recruiting class. Player Information Name: Jordon Thomas Position: Defensive End High School: Memorial City, State: Port Arthur, TX Measurables Height: 6’3 Weight: 240 Film Three Best Traits Great Build – Thomas is already 6’3 and 240-pounds. With him still being in high school, he has the ability to put on even more weight in the coming months as well. Thomas has the frame to pretty much play any position in the defensive line. Whether it’s a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme he can be anywhere pushing tackles into the backfield. Size and Speed – As a sophomore Thomas compiled 32 tackles for five sacks. Who knows how much those numbers would have improved in his junior season. As a sophomore, he’s already shown to display elite levels of size and speed. He’s big enough to push anyone he wants back while also having a great step out of the blocks to manhandle them any which way he wants to. Expect Thomas to do big things for Memorial his senior season. Potential – While still being raw, Thomas has immense potential. He’s had a year to sit back and learn and study the areas in which he needs improvement. His tape as a sophomore alone made him a four-star prospect. Thomas, if he were to play his junior year could be closer to five-stars. He hasn’t come close to reaching his maximum potential yet. That bodes well for UT. Areas for Improvement Injury Concern – Thomas was an absolute machine on the field in his sophomore season. He showed the ability to get by some of Texas’ elite tackles with ease despite being only a sophomore. A leg/ankle injury kept Thomas sidelined though his entire junior season. A whole year that could’ve been used as a way for Thomas to hone his craft and work on his technique was taken away to sideline his injury. With the right trainers and coaches to help improve his technique, this issue can hopefully be resolved. Raw – With the aforementioned injury keeping Thomas out of action for a whole year, Thomas is still raw with his technique at the position. He has the build and speed to be successful now and in his senior year. When he moves up to Big-12 level competition that won’t always cut it. Another year at the high school level, plus his junior year of studying film should be enough to combat this and lead Thomas to a successful. Summary With this signing, Jordon Thomas joins Harris Jr. as the second true defensive commit for the 2021 class. He possesses the frame and speed to be a quarterback nightmare at the next level. He has the strength out of the blocks to push elite tackles back while also possessing the quickness the chase down some of the best dual-threats in the country. Thomas is going to be a fantastic addition to Chris Ash’s unit. Final Verdict Despite missing his junior year, Thomas has shown enough from his sophomore tape for fans to be elated with his commitment. With the recruitment of Jordon Thomas and Derrick Harris Jr., Tom Herman and company have laid the groundwork for an astute defense once they take the field. Couple these two signings with the amazing secondary that Texas recruited in the 2020 class and it’s shaping up to be one of the better defenses the Longhorns have fielded in quite some time. The post Commitment Spotlight – Jordon Thomas appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
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