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  1. Head coach Shaka Smart and the Texas Basketball program landed their first commitment in the 2021 class, in 6’9 power forward Keeyan Ietjere. In 2019, Texas had the 17th ranked class nationally via 247Sports. They landed three four-star commits Will Baker (Austin Westlake) Kai Jones (New Hampshire) and Donovan Williams (Elkins.) In the 2020 class, they’ve landed just one commit thus far, but it came from five-star top prospect Greg Brown. Two months later, Itejere becomes the first to commit to Smart’s 2021 class. Keeyan Itejere is a 6’9 190-pound power forward from Grace Christian School in Raleigh, North Carolina. He had offers from Charleston Southern, Elon, Radford, Rhode Island, and Texas before ultimately choosing the Longhorns. Player Information Name: Keeyan Itejere Position: Power Forward High School: Grace Christian School City, State: Raleigh, North Carolina Measurables Height: 6’9 Weight: 190 Film Three Best Traits: Athleticism – Itejere can jump out of the gym. He’s 6’9 and has the athleticism and body to bully whoever he wants to the basket. His dunking and leaping ability are beyond impressive. He can go from the three-point line to the rim in just one long step. Itejere is athletic, long, and has the vertical to back it up. Defense – Down low Itejere is a rim-protector who snags any rebound near him. No one at his level of play is out-jumping him for a board. Opponents will have a tough time attacking Itejere down low as he has the size and length to block any ball coming near the rim. Potential – Itejere currently has no star rating via 247Sports. That is likely due to the fact that he’s very new to basketball and hasn’t had a real opportunity to be seen by a large portion of fans. With that being said, he’s already brimming with talent, but still has a lot of room to develop. By the time he’s at Texas, he could be a serious down-low force. Areas for Improvement: Experience – To go with the fact that Itejere has a ton of potential, it should also be noted that with that he doesn’t have a ton of high-level experience. Of course, this is an area that slowly fades away over time with every game he plays but it is something fans should know. Stretch the Floor – Big men these days are becoming more and more able to stretch the floor. Most can shoot the three and some even can take the ball up the court. The idea of a straight-up big who’s just a defender and rim protector is slowly dying. Developing a three-point shot to be able to stretch the floor is something Itejere can definitely improve upon. Summary Itejere transferred to Grace Christian from the Triangle School of Science and Math after his junior season. He’s a guy who didn’t take basketball seriously until very recently. Itejere is an under-the-radar prospect who is blooming with potential but has a long way to go before he’s fully developed. Final Verdict Keeyan Itejere is an interesting commit. All eyes are on him as he’s right now the lone soul committed to Texas’ 2021 class. He has loads of potential. One more year in high school will definitely serve him well to develop more as an all-around basketball player. He has the athleticism and the potential, but he just needs to harness that now. He is an exciting commit and one that Texas fans should be thrilled about.
  2. In mid-October of 2019, Texas secured the commitment of arguably the best middle-distance runner in the state of Texas. Graydon Morris, from Aledo, announced his intention to run track for the University of Texas for the next four years. “I chose UT because I wanted a coach and team that I felt comfortable around and that I could trust. I know a lot of the guys that are on the team already, and from my first phone call with Watson, I noticed this calm and humble demeanor. He was very straight forward In the recruiting process, and there was a genuineness that allowed for that trust to instantly start building,” Morris explained. Graydon Morris and his sister, Gracie Morris, are both committed to the Longhorn Track and Field Program for 2020. They are both middle-distance runners and they are both some of the best in the state. In the case of Graydon, he has been historic in his high school track and field career. He has won multiple state championships and won the 1600 and 3200 meters as a sophomore in 5A. As a junior he won the 1600 meter run. In 2020, before COVID-19 shut the end of the year down, Morris had gone undefeated. He’s only lost a handful of races in his high school career. “The love for this sport drives me. Many people hate training, allowing the end goal to drive them and get them through the monotony leading up to the competition. I would lie if I said I didn’t always have the main goal in the back of my mind, but I enjoy putting in the work and seeing the improvements,” Morris said. “There is an excitement that surrounds training for me. It keeps it fun, and I think that’s one of the biggest driving forces to my success.” After losing out on his senior season at Aledo, Morris is focused on beginning his collegiate career. “I’m most excited about getting to put in work with my new team, try different events from what I was running in high school, and wearing the Longhorn across my chest on race day, Morris said. While Morris is known primarily for the 800,1600 and 3200 meters, he loves further distances even more. Along with his illustrious track and field record, he is a three-time state champion in cross country. “Currently my favorite event is the 5,000 meters. I love this race because it is so tactically heavy. Your mind is constantly observing and speculating. Should I cover this move? When is the best time to start applying pressure? Does my competitor’s breathing pattern suggest he is getting close to his limits? The sheer thought that can go into this race really draws me to it,” Morris explained. Graydon and his sister Gracie are the most dominant set of siblings to walk onto the track. Together, they will hold down the track and distance events for the Longhorns for the foreseeable future. “It’s truly incredible for me and Gracie to share this common interest. I believe it strengthens our relationship and allows us to also drive and push each other every day. For us to both get to represent the same university is really special, especially because so many told us that it was very unlikely to happen,” Morris said. Gracie and Graydon will arrive at UT this upcoming year. Graydon wants fans to know a few things about him before everyone knows his name. “I’m a pretty quiet and somewhat shy person at first, but once you get to know me I really open up. I also love art,” Morris said.
  3. The class of 2020 was vital in terms of signing elite secondary talent. Texas landed four-star safeties Xavion Alford and Jerrin Thompson from Shadow Creek and Lufkin respectively. They also secured a pair of four-star cornerbacks in Kitan Crawford and transfer Jahdae Barron from John Tyler and Pflugerville Connally, respectively. The class of 2021 landed an elite secondary prospect of its own when four-star cornerback Ishmael Ibraheem out of Kimball High School (Dallas, TX) announced his commitment to the Longhorns via his twitter. Ibraheem joins a talented Texas 2021 class in which prior to his announcement, was a top-20 recruiting class in the nation. The star cornerback helped Kimball reach a 7-4 record last season and recorded 35 tackles and defended four passes as a junior. As a sophomore, he accumulated 24 tackles with seven passes defended and an interception. The lockdown corner is ranked as the 13th best cornerback in the 2021 class and the 28th best player in the state of Texas via the 247Sports Composite. Ibraheem had offers from SEC powerhouses such as Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and Auburn but ultimately decided to stay home in the Lone Star state and join the Longhorns. Player Information Name: Ishmael Ibraheem Position: Cornerback High School: Kimball City, State: Dallas, TX Measurables Height: 6’1 Weight: 175 Film Three Best Traits: Acceleration – Ibraheem can go from zero to 60 in about half a second. Whether it’s keeping up with a receiver or stepping up to bring down a ball carrier or even chasing down someone on special teams, Ibraheem has the ability to get after anyone. If he loses a step at first, he’ll be right back with you before you know it. Height and Length – At 6’1 Ibraheem already possesses solid height to cut it at this level and the next. What’s even better is his length. He has legs and arms like a basketball player. What he lacks in size he easily makes up with his longer extremities. Anticipation – Ibraheem has amazing anticipation at the cornerback position. The quarterback starts to take off? He’s already read the play and made the tackle. He’s exceptional when it comes to tracking the ball, especially on deep routes. He’s a guy who can go up and make a play on the ball no matter where it is. Areas for Improvement: Frame – Above I pointed out how Ibraheem has great size and length. Something for him to work on his senior season is filling out the rest of his frame. If he can bulk up his core and add some strength, then he could become a serious problem for offenses. Tackling – Ibraheem is a fine tackler at the high school level. With his speed, he can go up to the line of scrimmage and make a play on a running back or quarterback. In transition though, can he make a tackle on a wide receiver breaking away for a touchdown? That’s an ability he can absolutely improve on in his final year at Kimball. Summary Ibraheem is a tall, lanky corner with great length, speed, and ball skills. He’s one of the best players in Texas and one of the best cornerbacks in the nation for his class. A starter at Kimball since his sophomore year, his senior year will provide him a season to really refine his skills before he becomes a star at Texas. Final Verdict Landing a commitment from Ibraheem is a huge win for the Longhorns. With the influx of talent at wide receiver across the board, it is more important than ever to have a top-tier cornerback that can lock someone down. Ibraheem is one of the best in the nation for the 2021 class at his position. He will add incredible depth to Texas secondary and when it’s his time to shine he will step up to the plate in a major way.
  4. On June 1, Kennedale defensive back JD Coffey announced via twitter that he would be committing on June 15. After narrowing down his list of schools to Baylor, LSU, Michigan, Oregon Texas and Washington he now makes it official. Coffey In 2021 he will become a member of the Longhorn family. Coffey, via the 247Sports Composite, is the seventh-best safety in the 2021 class and the 29th ranked player in the state of Texas. As a junior last season for Kennedale, he accumulated 71 tackles with two sacks and two interceptions for the 7-4 Wildcats. Texas has a history of landing elite safeties. Caden Sterns was the best safety in the 2017 class. Xavion Alford and Jerrin Thompson were two of the best in 2020. Now, JD Coffey will get to call Austin his home starting in 2021. Player Information Name: JD Coffey Position: Safety High School: Kennedale City, State: Kennedale, TX Measurables Height: 6’0.5 Weight: 180 Film Three Best Traits: Gets Better Every Year – Coffey has been playing varsity level football since he was a freshman and has improved each and every year. As a freshman, he recorded six interceptions and was part of the All-State team in 4A. While his interceptions went down as a junior he easily could have easily had six if opposing quarterbacks threw his way. Still, he recorded two while averaging more than six tackles a game to be named District 6-4A-1 Defensive MVP. Coffey improves every time he steps on the field. Special Teams – Coffey specializes in Track and Field as well, even running a 23.27 in the 200-meter dash. As a junior, he returned two punts for a touchdown and had one kickoff return for a score. Coffey’s speed and vision help him be elite at special teams along with being the quintessential center fielder. Ball Hawk – Wherever the ball is, Coffey will be there. He already has 14 interceptions and nearly 200 tackles to his name for his high school career. He’s a guy who possesses amazing free safety skills. He can sit back, let the play develop and attack wherever necessary. He packs quite a punch with each tackle as well. No one is beating Coffey over the top at this level. Areas for Improvement: Bulk – Coffey as of now stands almost 6’1 and 180 pounds. That’s certainly good enough to dominate in 4A footbasll, but he definitely has room to add some bulk to his frame. Level of Competition – Coffey and Kennedale played some amazing teams and high levels of talent all year. But to go make the jump from 4A to the wild offenses of the Big-12 is a giant leap. As teams continue to run more pass-happy offenses, the safety position is becoming more and more vital. Summary Overall, Coffey is an elite safety talent that has the potential to be a real game-changer at the next level. He has elite ball skills and speed and can prove to be an amazing center fielder for Texas. He’s a guy who can do pretty much everything on the football field. Texas is getting an incredible prospect. Final Verdict Coffey is a huge win for Tom Herman and the Longhorns. A guy who hopefully can fill the shoes of the other amazing safeties Texas has had in recent years. Defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chris Ash gets his first major signing with Coffey, and it’s a brilliant one. Coffey will make opposing Big-12 quarterbacks scared for years to come. The post Commitment Spotlight – JD Coffey appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  5. The University of Texas had an extremely successful month of May on the recruiting trail. Tom Herman’s and staff started off by landing key defensive commitments from four-star defensive end Jordon Thomas and three-star linebacker Morice Blackwell. They followed that up with commitments from a couple of three-star weapons in running back Jonathon Brooks and wide receiver Casey Cain. They then had a stumble as they lost a commitment from three-star tight end, Landen King, less than a month after his commitment. They closed the month out though by landing Australian punter Isaac Pearson. Pearson might be a name that most people in the states aren’t aware of. He’s not ranked when it comes to 247Sports player rankings. But he comes from an long and prosperous pipeline of Australian punters that have made the move to Austin, Texas. Like Michael Dickson and Ryan Bujcevski ,Pearson hails from the land down under and has dreamed of playing for the Longhorns since he can remember. “I began supporting Texas years ago and fell in love with the program. From there I trained as a punter and didn’t really think it was a possibility that I would one day play for the Longhorns. So when the opportunity came knocking there wasn’t a second thought,” Pearson said. Michael Dickson, now a pro bowler and former first-team All-Pro punter for the Seattle Seahawks, is a punting legend at Texas. The fifth-round draft pick was a unanimous All-American in his junior year. He won the Ray Guy Award for the nation’s best punter, and he was named the MVP of the 2017 Texas Bowl. Pearson will arrive at Austin with massive Aussie shoes to fill. “I haven’t met Michael Dickson yet, although I have trained briefly with Ryan,” Pearson said. “I am aware of the legacy they have built and I am looking forward to the challenge of making them proud and continuing the tradition.” ‘Football’ is different all over the world. In Australia, football is played with two teams of eighteen players on an oval field where points are scored by kicking the oval ball between goalposts. This style of play has created some incredible kickers and punters from Australia that make the move to the states. Currently, there are six punters in the NFL who are from Australia. Recruiting Australian kids to punt is a trend that won’t be going away anytime soon. “Like a lot of Aussies, I grew up playing Australian Football, and we were taught how to kick a footy (Australian football) very early in life. It has always been so much fun punting a ball around the backyard with my dad and younger brother,” Pearson said. “Training to be a punter provided me an opportunity to receive a world-class education and play sport at an elite level doing something that I will always consider just so much fun!” Pearson won’t arrive in Austin until 2021 but he’s already very excited to get started with the Longhorns. “I cannot wait to jump headfirst into practices and study, I haven’t visited the city – I have heard amazing reports from my mates and am so excited to see some of the live country music that Austin is renowned for,” Pearson explained. Upon arriving in Austin, Pearson wants Longhorn fans to know a few things about him. “Prior to training to become a punter, I was working as a mechanic in the Coal Mines. So Longhorn nation can expect a blue-collar work ethic and a massive smile with whatever I’m doing,” Pearson said.
  6. Texas landed a pair of three-star commits on Friday, May 15. Hallettsville running back Jonathon Brooks along with Warren Easton wide receiver Casey Cain both announced their decision to become Longhorns. The moves not only solidified the impressive talent that Texas has recruited on the offensive side of the ball, but also pushed them up the rankings to number eight nationally via 247Sports. “When it came to recruiting, Texas showed that they wanted me the most. Even during the pandemic and not being able to visit, they found a way to make it happen and the effort was never short. They took the time to take me on a virtual visit along with the whole staff,” Cain explained. “There is no telling when it will actually be safe to fly or go on a visit anywhere. I’ve built a good relationship with the coaches that are going to be surrounding me so that made me feel more comfortable about the decision. Also, Mike Yurcich has a specific plan for me in his offense, can’t argue with that especially with how much they throw the ball.” Cain is an explosive playmaker from New Orleans, LA. His high school, Warren Easton, has made the Class 4A state finals in two consecutive seasons, both times losing to Edna Karr. He’s a 6’2 175-pound athletic receiver who can go get any jump ball thrown at him. The 2021 wide receiver is a three-star commit via the 247Sports Composite and is the 23rd ranked player in the state of Louisiana for the 2021 class. “I think it comes from my mindset, I’m a really self-motivated person and I do everything with a chip on my shoulder, like I have something to prove,” Cain said on what makes him successful. Cain is a freak of nature athletically. Along with being the star wide receiver for Easton, he’s also one of the leading scorers on the basketball team and runs track for his school. “Before I arrive I want to win a championship in at least two sports for the school and be a part of history,” Cain said. Cain adds his name to the list of lethal offensive weapons that Texas has for the 2021 class. A list that includes talent ranging from three-star athletes like Landen King and Juan Davis to the two best athletes in the state of Texas in four-star Billy Bowman Jr. and five-star Ja’Tavion Sanders. Cain also becomes the first out of state commit for Texas’ 2021 class. Possibly, opening the door for others to make that leap for the Longhorns. “I’m excited to be a part of a new environment and to have the privilege to pick where I want to go to school and to start the next chapter of my life at a great place,” Cain explained on why he’s so excited to be a Longhorn. Cain is elated about his future with the Longhorns. He chose Texas over other major Division-1 programs such as Vanderbilt, Virginia, and Houston. He wants Texas fans to know a few things about him before he arrives in Austin next year. “Fans should know that I’m kind of a quiet person, I’m down to earth, I’m always honest, I’m from New Orleans, and my others sports are basketball and track.”
  7. The University of Texas has recently picked up a lot of steam in the world of recruiting. They land yet another weapon for the 2021 class in wide receiver Casey Cain. He’s the first 2021 commit from outside the state of Texas. Cain is a three-star prospect from Warren Easton High School in New Orleans, LA. He’s the 143rd ranked wide receiver in the 2021 class via the 247Sports Composite and the 26th ranked player in the neighboring state of Louisiana. Texas fought off offers from Houston, Vanderbilt, and Virginia to land Cain’s services. He joins fellow three-star athlete Juan Davis, three-star tight end Landen King, four-star athlete Billy Bowman Jr. and five-star athlete Ja’Tavion Sanders as potential weapons in the 2021 class for the Longhorns. Player Information Name: Casey Cain Position: Wide Receiver High School: Warren Easton City, State: New Orleans, LA Measurables Height: 6’2 Weight: 175 Film Three Best Traits Size – At 6’2 and 175 pounds Cain has an ideal frame to expose opposing defensive backs. It would be nice to see him pack on a few extra pounds in the summer, but he makes up for that with his stature. Against the top defensive backs in the state of Louisiana, Cain has shown time and time again that his height and size are a problem for secondaries. Athleticism – Cain is a three-sport star for Easton specializing in football, track, and field, and basketball. When it comes to the latter he’s one of the leading scorers on a team that made it to the regional round of the playoffs in Class 4A. In track and field as a sophomore, he ran a 24-second 200-meter dash as well as a sub-17-second 110-meter hurdle. He was also timed running a 4.7 40-yard dash in 2019. Cain is a freak of nature athletically and is just now growing into his body. Jump Ball – Watching the first couple of minutes of Cain’s film is like watching a basketball player fight for a rebound. He moves to the football no matter where it’s thrown. Cain is elite when it comes to running the go pattern, locating the football and coming down with it. Areas for Improvement Route Running – The majority of Cain’s route tree consists of screens, slants, and go routes, which, he’s mastered. I’m sure we’ll see a more developed route tree from him as a senior and in the coming years but for now, it’s definitely got some room to grow and is something Cain can work on in the off-season. Run Protection – Off a play-action or when he gets a head start, Cain can burn defenders. But on a straight through the tackles running play, it would be nice to see him bulk up so he can knock down some of the elite defensive backs in the nation. Summary In Cain, Texas is getting a talented wide receiver who still has room to grow. He’s a natural wideout who can go outside and bring down the majority of jump balls thrown his way. Yet, he can also line up in the slot and use his speed to get past linebackers on short crossing patterns. He comes from one of the most successful programs in Louisiana as they’ve reached the Class 4A state finals two years in a row. Now, he brings his talents over to Austin to help return the Longhorns to the promised land. Final Verdict Cain is going to be a nice piece moving forward for the Longhorns. He’s going to be a quarterback’s best friend when he’s in trouble and just needs to throw it up. Texas has been on a tear as of late in the world of recruiting and their 2021 class has almost doubled in size in less than a month. Texas remains to have a stranglehold at the top of the Big-12 for the best 2021 class. A commit like Cain just puts them over the top for the time being.
  8. Another domino has fallen in the world of Texas recruiting. On Friday, the Longhorns secured the commitment of talented three-star running back, Jonathon Brooks out of Hallettsville. Tom Herman and staff have put in work, recruiting some of the best talent in the state on the offensive side of the ball. They have landed the two best athletes in Denton Ryan’s Ja’Tavion Sanders and Billy Bowman Jr., and added four-star quarterback Jalen Milroe and four-star tackle Hayden Conner. Tight end Landen King and athlete Juan Davis rounded out the commitment list. Now, they get the running back position locked down with Brooks. Brooks is a three-star recruit via the 247Sports Composite. He’s currently ranked as the 48th running back in the country and the 84th ranked player in the state of Texas. He had a phenomenal year as a junior in which he was the District 14-3A MVP and led Hallettsville to a quarterfinals berth in the 3A D1 state playoffs. Brooks ran for 2,144 yards, averaging almost 10 yards a carry with 38 rushing touchdowns. In four playoff games for the Brahmas, Brooks had 15 touchdowns. Texas was the first Division-1 program to offer Brooks a scholarship. He subsequently received offers from Colorado State and Texas Tech among others, yet he makes it official, and will play at the collegiate level on the 40 Acres. Player Information Name: Jonathon Brooks Position: Running back High School: Hallettsville City, State: Hallettsville, Texas Measurables Height: 6’0 Weight: 185 Film Three Best Traits Size and Speed – At, 6’0 tall and 185 pounds, Brooks possesses the perfect height and weight to make a difference in the backfield. Brooks also runs track for Hallettsville where as a sophomore he ran a 23.8-second 200-meter dash. If anything, Brooks could put on a few extra pounds, but for where he’s at in his career now he’s an ideal size. Hands – If you didn’t tell someone that Brooks was a running back you could see him being a wide receiver. He is a guy who the Brahmas could tell to run a nine route, but could also take a screen pass the distance. Brooks has shown the ability to run quite the route tree at the high school level and could be a useful weapon in the pass-catching game at the next level. Special Teams – This District MVP also provided some much-needed production in the special teams department for the Brahmas. He has shown the ability in his junior year to take any punt or kickoff to the house. When he arrives in Austin, he should be able to provide some assistance in that department. Areas for Improvement Pass Protection – Something that Brooks can improve on during the off-season is pass protection. We know he’s a speedster who can also catch, but what would really put him over the top is if he could sit back and protect the quarterback when need be. Level of Competition – What Brooks accomplished in his junior year should be commended. He’s proven to be a force of nature out of the backfield or out wide. However, transitioning from 3A play to Division-1 is going to be a massive leap in competition. Summary Texas is getting one heck of a player in Brooks. A kid who can really round out their offense and provide them with a dynamic and versatile playmaker from the backfield. Coach Drayton is getting a hard-worker who with his ability to catch passes will be able to be paired nicely alongside another back for a great 1-2 punch. Brooks will prove to be a quarterback’s best friend at Texas as with his speed he can take any check down the distance if given the opportunity. Final Verdict Texas still has sent scholarship offers out to the top two running backs in Texas in the 2021 class Camar Wheaton and LJ Johnson out of Lakeview Centennial and Cy-Fair respectively. Despite that, Brooks gives them a nice security blanket. A guy who’s shown that he can succeed in all facets of the game. Texas has loaded up with weapons galore on the offensive side of the ball for the class of 2021 with now 70% of that class being offense. With the signing Texas remains at the top of the Big-12 conference in terms of their recruiting.
  9. Another domino falls in Texas recruiting as the Longhorns land yet another commit in the 2021 class. The first was tight end Landen King, at the end of April. The beginning of May saw edge rusher Jordon Thomas commit. Now, on Mother’s Day, rising linebacker Morice Blackwell joins the Longhorn family. Blackwell is the third true defender, second linebacker, and ninth commit overall for Texas’ 2021 recruiting class. He is a three-star recruit from Martin High School in Arlington, Texas. He’s a top-500 player nationally, the 32nd ranked outside linebacker, and the 67th ranked player in the state of Texas for the 2021 class via 247Sports. As a junior, Blackwell had a breakout season as he was named the unanimous District 4-6A MVP. In 13 games he had a monstrous season with 128 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, four forced fumbles, and two fumbles returned for a touchdown. Blackwell is only a three-star recruit right now, but expect him to make a massive jump in the rankings. He joins Derrick Harris Jr. as the second 2021 outside linebacker commit for UT. Player Information Name: Morice Blackwell Position: Outside Linebacker High School: Martin City, State: Arlington, Texas Measurables Height: 6’1 Weight: 196 Film Three Best Traits Speed – Blackwell is lightning quick, it’s as simple as that. Whether he’s back in pass coverage or coming around the edge he can keep up with anyone. As the game of football transitions to more speedy linebackers, Blackwell is the perfect piece for coach Hultzer’s defensive unit. Production – Blackwell has put up ridiculous production the past two seasons as a varsity starter. 240 total tackles, 23 for a loss, four sacks, six forced fumbles, three interceptions, and three defensive touchdowns. Blackwell as a sophomore earned the District 4-6A Sophomore of the Year. As a junior, he was the unanimous District 4-6A MVP. His production and stats can compete with anyone in Texas. Ballhawk – Blackwell is all over the ball at all times. He has had back to back years with 100 tackles and has even blocked multiple punts and kicks. Wherever the ball is, Blackwell is there to either make a tackle or strip it and take it to the house himself. Areas for Improvement Size – What Blackwell has in speed he lacks in size. He’s an outside linebacker and weighs under 200 pounds. The positive is that the game has evolved to more of a smaller yet faster linebacker. Expect Blackwell to put on some more weight in his last year at Martin before he arrives in Austin. QB Pressure – To preface, getting after the quarterback isn’t really Blackwell’s primary role for Martin. With that being said, to really round out his game it would be nice if he could add “pass rusher” to his resume. It’s not ideal, but this would push him over the top as a next-level prospect. Summary Texas linebacker coach, Coleman Hutzler gets a massive win getting a commitment from Blackwell. He was predicted by many to go to Baylor or Arkansas, where he has family ties. The linebacker position has been one of the major needs for the Longhorns for the past couple of years. With the commitments of Harris Jr. and Blackwell and Jaylan Ford in the class of 2020, Texas finally has addressed that need in a massive way. Final Verdict Texas recruiting has been on an absolute tear these past couple weeks. The commitments of Landen King, Jordon Thomas, and now Morice Blackwell have cemented the 2021 class as the best in the Big-12 for now, and has lifted them to number 12 nationally. With so much speed on the offensive side of the ball from Baylor, Oklahoma, and others, it was imperative for Texas to land some speed on the defensive side of the ball. Blackwell is the perfect plug and play piece to match anything underneath that you can throw at him. Texas and coach Hutzler got a massive win with his commitment.
  10. The Texas Longhorns had an impressive last couple of weeks when it comes to football recruiting. Former Baylor commit and four-star cornerback Jahdae Barron flipped from Baylor to UT. The move bumped the Longhorns past Florida to give them the eighth best-recruiting class for 2020 via 247Sports. Tom Herman’s program also landed three-star tight end Landen King and four-star pass rusher Jordon Thomas in the 2021 class. King and Thomas became the first recruits in the class to commit to UT since five-star athlete Ja’Tavion Sanders did back in September of last year. Most notably Thomas becomes the second true defensive commit for the 2021 class, joining outside linebacker and fellow four-star commit Derrick Harris Jr. “UT felt like family,” Thomas said. Thomas hails from Port Arthur and plays for Memorial High School. He exploded onto the scene in his sophomore year compiling 32 tackles with five sacks. Unfortunately, he missed his entire junior season due to a lower leg injury. “I was heartbroken,” Thomas said, reflecting on his injury. Thomas, essentially from his sophomore year alone, has become the 36th best player in the state of Texas for the 2021 class via the 247Sports Composite. He’s also ranked as the 15th best Weak-Side defensive end via the same rankings. What leads to all that success? “My mindset,” Thomas said. Thomas rehabbed that injury the entire 2019 season and has one simple goal he wants to accomplish in 2020 before setting foot in Austin. “I want to be the defensive player of the year.” There’s no doubt that Thomas now has a giant chip on his shoulder that he will use for motivation. Tackles and quarterbacks everywhere should be on alert. He is excited about his commitment to the Longhorns and wants the fans to know one thing about him. “I’m a very respectful person toward my support and the team.”
  11. The University of Texas landed another recruit for its 2020 class. Pflugerville Connally’s Jahdae Barron announced via his Instagram account that he will be committing to UT to join an already loaded class that the Longhorns possess. Barron initially committed the Baylor Bears last June, and signed his National Letter of Intent a few months back. A week ago, however, he announced that he requested, and was granted, his official release from Baylor to begin the process of looking for a new school. He now makes it official, and will Join the Longhorns. Texas, even after the transfer of Tarik Black from Michigan, still had three scholarships available for the upcoming season. Barron is taking one of those. Barron joins John Tyler’s Kitan Crawford as the only other true cornerback in Texas’ 2020 recruiting class. They join four-star safeties, Xavion Alford and Jerrin Thompson to round out the secondary unit. Via the 247Sports Composite, Barron is a four-star recruit. He’s ranked as the 24th cornerback in the country and the 51st best player in the state of Texas for 2020. Player Information Name: Jahdae Barron Position: Cornerback High School: Pflugerville Connally City, State: Austin, TX Measurables Height: 5’11 Weight: 175 Film Three Best Traits Speed – Barron has a personal best in the 100-meter dash of 10.95 seconds. Needless to say he has the speed to compete at the next level. He’s a guy who can sit back in coverage and can run with anyone the offense throws at him step for step. Special Teams – Barron, with his aforementioned speed, showed flashes of special teams brilliance last season at Pflugerville Connally. At times he played wide receiver, as well as corner, and even returned punts for the Cougars. With his speed and awareness, Barron is a threat to take it to the house, every time he touches the football. Ball Hawk – Barron isn’t just a corner who’s going to sit back and wait for the ball to come to him, he’s going to go get it every time. If it’s a run play, he is anticipating it and can jump into the backfield for a tackle for a loss. On screen plays, Barron is already around the blocker to make another tackle in the backfield. His game isn’t all about getting interceptions, although he can do that well too. Barron’s play is about attacking whoever has the ball, every time, at all costs. Areas for Improvement Weight and Strength – Barron currently is 5’11 and 175 pounds and possesses adequate height and size to fit in as a cornerback in division one football. In order to take his game to the next level, he needs to put on some more weight to avoid being pushed around by some of the bigger wide receivers that Texas will face. Tackling – Barron is a great tackler at the high school level. Each and every game he’s making at least one play or one hit that makes your jaw hit the floor. To go with adding weight and strength, for Barron to reach his maximum potential at the next level he needs to really hone down his craft when it comes to tackling the ball carrier. If he cultivates this, watch out. Summary Texas gets an absolute steal with Barron jumping ship to Austin. The Austin native now gets to stay close to home and Texas gets bragging rights as they steal a stud away from Waco. Texas now, all of a sudden, has all the essential pieces to create a lethal secondary for years to come. The Longhorns also have the ability to put other 2020 commits such as Kelvontay Dixon and Dajon Harrison on the defensive side of the football if they choose to do so. Final Verdict The University of Texas landed a much-needed cornerback for the class of 2020. Before the announcement of Barron’s decision, Texas nationally held the ninth-ranked recruiting class for 2020. The addition of another four-star cornerback is only going to bolster that ranking. Guys like Barron, Crawford, Thompson, Alford, and others could finally give Texas an answer to the Sooner’s wideouts and other freak athletes in the Big-12. Texas still has two open scholarships for the class of 2020.
  12. The recruiting staff at Texas have slowly accumulated an array of offensive weapons in their 2021 class. With top-50 national recruits in Denton Ryan’s Ja’Tavion Sanders and Billy Bowman Jr., 4-star quarterback Jalen Milroe, tight end commit Landen King, and pass-protection from 4-star Hayden Conner, Texas is assembling solid components for an explosive offense. The list doesn’t end there. The Longhorns have also received a commitment from Everman three-star athlete, and a player who does it all, Juan Davis. After his sophomore season Davis received three offers from Southern Miss, Baylor, and Texas. Two months after the latter offer, Davis committed to the Longhorns via Twitter. “UT always made me feel like I was at home each and every time I was there,” Davis said. As a sophomore, the 6’4” near 220-pound athlete was a first-team all-district selection catching 41 balls for 499 yards and seven touchdowns. As a junior, he took a step back in terms of receiving, only catching six balls for 113 yards. He also played quarterback, throwing for almost 400 yards and six touchdowns. In addition, Davis was the leading rusher with 895 yards and 12 touchdowns. And he was the team’s punter and blocked two punts on the other side of the ball. It’s easy to see that Davis does it all for the Everman Bulldogs. “Football! I just love playing the game of football,” Davis said on what leads to his personal success. Everman under Davis’ star power has made it to the playoffs each of the past two years, yet hasn’t notched a playoff victory yet. Davis wants to make sure he puts the whole state on notice in his final year as a Bulldog. “There’s nothing else really I’d like to accomplish before arriving at UT,” Davis said. “I just want to go all out my last year of high school.” The COVID-19 Pandemic isn’t slowing down Davis or his work ethic as he still finds ways to remain in shape during this global crisis. “I get up with my mom every day and we go run a couple of miles,” Davis said. Davis, after he plays every position on offense again for the Bulldogs, has some very simple goals that will go a long way when he’s a Longhorn. “A goal I’d like to have when I start at UT is just to give 110% every practice, game, etc.” The multi-sport star has been a freak of nature thus far in his athletic career. He’s been a machine at the high school level, no matter what sport he tries. In Track and Field as a sophomore, he ran a 24 second flat 200-meters and registered a 43’ mark in the triple jump. Who knows how much more those marks could’ve improved if the track season was allowed to conclude. At the end of the day Juan Davis just wants Longhorns fans to know one thing about him. “When Juan Davis hits the field, it’s showtime!”
  13. The Longhorns have landed their seventh recruit in the 2021 class and it’s another offensive weapon in Atascocita’s Landen King. King becomes the sixth offensive player to commit to Texas’s 2021 class. He joins quarterback Jalen Milroe, athletes Juan Davis, Ja’Tavion Sanders, Billy Bowman Jr., and offensive lineman Hayden Conner. As a junior, King caught 53 passes for 815 yards and nine touchdowns. He helped Atascocita reach a 12-2 record, reach the 6A D1 state playoff quarterfinals, and helped the offense average over 56 points a game. Their only two losses came to Houston powerhouses Katy, and eventual state champions, North Shore in the playoffs. King via the 247Sports Composite is a three-star recruit. Nationally he’s the 38th ranked tight end and the 108th ranked player in the state of Texas for the 2021 class. King announced his Top-10 on April 10 via Twitter. The list included Alabama, Arizona State, Georgia, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Penn State, South Carolina, Texas, Texas A&M, and Washington. On Sunday, King made it official he will be a Longhorn. Player Information Name: Landen King Position: Tight End High School: Atascocita City, State: Humble, Texas Measurables Height: 6’5 Weight: 210 Film Three Best Traits Size and Speed – King still has his senior season to go and is already taller, by one inch, than Texas’ starting tight end, Cade Brewer. King still has time to get even bigger, stronger, and faster yet at the high school level he’s already shown an ability to outrun and outmuscle some of Texas’ best. Versatility – While King’s natural position is a tight end, he has the ability to line up almost anywhere on the field. Atascocita ran different offenses all year. When they put four wide receivers out wide, King can line up in the slot and burn defenders deep. Other times he lines up in the backfield for a Wing-T formation. King can be seen all over the field for the Eagles. Athleticism – As seen in King’s film at any point he’s a threat to go up and grab a 50/50 ball. King appears to be more of a receiving tight end than one who’s known for blocking. He has extraordinary vertical ability and it’s almost as if he has glue on his hands. King also plays on the Eagles’ basketball team where they finished with a 32-6 record. Areas for Improvement Route Running – At this stage, he possesses the size and speed to outrun most defenders at the High School level. To really up his game at the next level, King needs to generate better separation with his footwork. He plays fast but needs to show more burst when coming out of his breaks. Run Blocking – King seems to be an exceptional blocker out in space during a screen play. To really take his game to the next level, King needs to get stronger to really be able to block collegiate level defenders. King very easily should be able to hone that craft in his final year at Atascocita. Summary King still has one more year at Atascocita. He has the ability to approve immensely as he’s expected to be one of the main targets in the Eagles’ offense for 2020. The UT recruiting staff has been trying to find a replacement for Lake McRee ever since his de-commitment. King easily could be that man to fill the shoes of McRee in 2021 and on. Final Verdict King joins Juan Davis as the second tight end to join the UT roster in 2021. The 2021 class already has some elite offensive weapons and King just adds to that list. He has the ability to line up as a blocker, go out for a pass or line up in the slot. He joins fellow tight ends Cade Brewer, Reese Leitao, Malcolm Epps, and Brayden Liebrock to sign with Texas in recent years. He should prove to be a vital weapon for the Longhorns for years to come. The 2021 Texas class was ranked as the 17th best in the nation prior to King’s commitment. No doubt that King will cause a spike in that ranking soon. The post Commitment Spotlight – Landen King appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  14. On March 20, UT Track and Field received a commitment from long jump and triple jumper, Blake Harris. Less than a month later, UT landed another highly sought after track and field recruit in pole vaulter, Reid Foster. Foster hails from College Station A&M Consolidated High School and just announced his commitment to the University of Texas on April 15. “UT has been my dream school since I was a kid. Both my parents went there, and my older brother goes there right now. It was a no-brainer for me,” Foster said. Foster has improved his personal best each and every year. Going from 9’6” his freshman year to 15’6” in his senior year before the year was shut down. He finished ninth in the Texas UIL 5A State Championship last season with a mark of 14’6”. He started his 2020 year off with two first-place finishes and hit his personal best of 15’6”. “I think what leads to my own personal success is my extreme competitiveness and my desire to be the best,” Foster said. Foster has always been one to perfect his craft in whatever he does. In an event like pole vaulting which requires extreme athleticism and precision, Foster thrives at it. “I’ve always been good at solo sports that require a lot of technique, precision, etc.,” Foster said. “Way back in the day I used to be a nationally ranked diver, so when I started pole vault in 7th grade it clicked and I was hooked.” Foster, unfortunately, had his senior season ripped away from him due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, he’s set his expectations high for his four years as a Texas Longhorn. “I’m coming for everything. Big 12 titles, school record, all of it. What’s the point if you aren’t the best?” Foster said. The pole vaulter extraordinaire remains more focused than ever even with COVID-19 shutting down most of the country. Foster is taking this time as an opportunity to train even harder. “I have been focusing a lot on endurance training. I train with a specialist twice a week, plus workouts I do on my own and of course, I’m still doing some jumping when I can,” Foster said. With additions such as Blake Harris and Reid Foster, the Texas Longhorns Track and Field program appears to be set up for success for the next four years. Harris and Foster are easily some of the best jumpers in the state of Texas. When asked what he wants UT fans to know about him, Foster had three simple words for everyone. “I bleed orange.”
  15. In November of last year, the University of Texas announced seven new recruits for the women’s soccer program. The program was established in 1993 as part of the Title IX Settlement. Since then, they hold claim to one regular-season conference championship (2001) and back-to-back conference tournament championships (2006-2007). In an effort to get back to Big-12 glory the Longhorns have recruited some of the state’s best women’s soccer stars to play in Austin. Among them is one of the best midfielders in the country, Kelsey Hranicky. Hranicky attended Memorial High School in Houston, Texas and plays for the Albion Hurricanes club team. Hranicky helped lead Memorial to a 6A state championship and an undefeated season as a sophomore. In her junior year, en route to a second consecutive district title, she led her district with 26 goals and 31 assists on the season. What leads to her success? “Consistency,” Hranicky said. As a sophomore, Hranicky was first-team all-district and second-team all-state. In her junior season, she improved to All-State and All-American status. Hranicky also led the Albion Hurricanes to a North American Cup Championship in 2019. “I chose UT because of the combination of great education and great athletics. I also liked the environment on campus and that it is not too far from home,” Hranicky said on her decision to be a Longhorn. Memorial was 19-1 this season and looked primed and ready for another state title run before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down sports across the globe. Hranicky is doing her best to stay in shape during this rough time, however. “I have access to fields and tracks that I can run on. Also, I have a trainer who I would usually meet in a gym, but because the gym is closed we are meeting in a park and doing similar stuff,” Hranicky said. Kelsey Hranicky joins a loaded 2020 class that also includes Texas natives Presley Echols (Highland Park) and defenders Lauren Lapomarda and Morgan Pace from Prosper and Duncanville High Schools respectively. The 2020 class that Texas and coach Angela Kelly recruited are a good step towards ensuring Texas gets back to the forefront of the Big-12. In 2019, they went 11-8-1. In 2020, they won their only game before the season’s cancellation. In 2021, they look to build on that success with Hranicky and others. “What fans can expect from me is really up to the coaches. I hope to make a positive impact on the team and help us win,” Hranicky said.
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