We are just about through the first month of 2022 but it is never too late to set goals for the year. This year, Steve Sarkisian will enter his second season as the head coach of the Longhorns and will coach a roster that looks radically different due to recruiting and transfer additions during the offseason. Today, we look at some of our New Year's resolutions for the football team.
Better Wide Receiver Recruiting: Just prior to the start of the New Year, the Longhorns announced that they added former Pittsburgh wide receivers coach Brennan Marion to the same position on Steve Sarkisian's coaching staff. Despite landing a few talented receivers during his tenure at Texas, it was evident that former Longhorns wide receivers coach Andre Coleman was not getting it done on the recruiting trail. Longhorns fans have had to wonder for far too long how the team could butcher the recruitment of several talented in-state wide receivers such as Garrett Wilson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Marvin Mims - who all opted to go out of state. While Andre Coleman and, for that matter, Tom Herman, had a difficult time landing star-studded wideouts, the onus is now on Steve Sarkisian and Brennan Marion to change things. Last season, Sarkisian felt the lack of wide receiver depth following sophomore Jordan Whittington's injury during last season's Cotton Bowl matchup, which left him sidelined for much of the season. Following Whittington's injury, freshman wideout Xavier Worthy became much more of the focus for opposing secondaries and Texas's running game faltered.
Better (and Consistent) Quarterback Play: While most will be quick to pencil transfer quarterback Quinn Ewers as the starting quarterback of the Texas Longhorns, he will still have to earn it. With that said, Ewers was the best player that I have ever covered at the high school level and certainly has many of the traits that you want to see in your "franchise" quarterback. Last season, Longhorns fans witnessed up-and-down play from the position, despite the fact that Casey Thompson actually ended up leading the Big 12 Conference in passing touchdowns. Now with Thompson having transferred to Nebraska, the pressure will be on Ewers or Hudson Card to produce for the Longhorns. Also worth noting, while Card's redshirt freshman season certainly left a lot to be desired, he has a tremendous amount of potential as well.
(Cont.) Regardless of who wins the competition, Steve Sarkisian will want to have faith in whoever is under center and will have to allow them to learn from their mistakes on the field. While anything is possible, it would be unwise to expect an inexperienced quarterback to play like a Heisman finalist. As a result, both fans and coaches must show patience and hope that someone wins the job outright and progresses week by week.
An Improved Record: Last, but certainly not least, the Longhorns will want to field an improved team and win more than five games. Of course, there are several positions of need that have to be addressed by the start of next season, but it appears that the pieces are coming together to slowly turn the ship. It is truly impressive that Steve Sarkisian and his coaching staff has been able to recruit such as promising incoming class, the fifth-best in the nation, and one can only assume what could be done if the team were to show steady improvement. However, above all, the team's culture must be transformed by Sarkisian if the team wants to reap what it sows in recruiting.
Steve Sarkisian continues to upgrade his offense through the transfer portal this offseason. The latest addition announced his commitment to Texas Thursday morning as Wyoming transfer WR Isaiah Neyor pledged to the Longhorns.
Neyor, who just wrapped up his sophomore season, hauled in 44 passes for 878 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2021. The Arlington native will likely immediately cement his place in the WR rotation alongside Xavier Worthy, Jordan Whittington, Marcus Washington and Kelvontay Dixon. Neyor joins Quinn Ewers, Ryan Watts and Jahleel Billingsly as transfers who have joined the Texas program.
Texas followed up their most complete performance of the season against OU earlier this week with one of their worst performances of the season against Iowa State, as the Longhorns fell to the Cyclones 79-70 in Ames. Here are some thoughts and takeaways:
The number one storyline of the game was Texas' inability to take care of the basketball. The Longhorns finished with a season high 20 turnovers and repeatedly gave away possessions with poor decision making. Marcus Carr and Tre Mitchell both had 4 turnovers apiece.
Texas forward Timmie Allen picked up 2 fouls in the first 16 seconds of the game and ended up playing only 13 minutes. Allen's absence was felt on both ends of the floor and Texas never seemed to recover from his quick exit.
Texas had an uncharacteristically bad day on the defensive end of the floor. The Cyclones shot 57% from the field and 44% from deep and routinely got open looks for much of the afternoon.
Devin Askew had a really rough afternoon, playing only 7 minutes and turning the ball over 3 times. Askew seemed to be coming on strong the last few games, so his performance is a step backwards as Chris Beard tries to find someone who can be the primary ball handler outside of Marcus Carr.
Beard chose to go deep into his bench as the game played out into the second half. Tristen Licon and Avery Benson, both of whom have barely played in conference play, were inserted into the game. Licon provided a spark defensively with a pair of steals but was unable to connect on an open 3-pointer and a put back attempt.
Texas seemed poise to make this a close game down the stretch, but Iowa State responded every time the Longhorns went on a run. Texas could not contain Gabe Kalscheur, who connected on 6 three pointers and had a game-high 22 points.
There is no shame in losing a conference road game to a ranked team, but the Longhorns struggles on the road are beginning to become a noticeable trend. Texas does not appear to be coming out with the same sense of urgency on the road as they do at home. This will be something to monitor as the rest of the season plays out.
The magic number for Texas moving forward is 9. That will likely be the number of wins required in conference play to comfortably be in the NCAA tournament. Texas is at 3 right now and has yet to play any of their two games Baylor, Kansas or Texas Tech. The time to stack wins is now.
Texas is set to host Kansas State (who just defeated Texas Tech) at the Erwin Center on Tuesday evening.
Steve Sarkisian’s 2022 recruiting class is taking its final shape. While the talented offensive mind has done an exceptional job at landing talented offensive linemen as of late, the defense needed some love too. Texas, say hello to Larry Turner-Gooden.
Turner-Gooden is a talented safety who many thought was off the recruiting boards when he first committed to Arizona State back in February of this year. However, a change of heart happened and the safety re-opened his recruitment at the end of September. Since then, he’s visited Arizona State again, along with Colorado, Maryland, and Texas. After all of those visits, Turner-Gooden decided to leave California in order to join the great class that Steve Sarkisian is growing in Austin.
Turner-Gooden is a talented safety prospect from Mission Hills, California which is just on the northern outskirts of Los Angeles. He’s a four-star prospect via the 247Sports Composite and is currently listed as the 15th ranked safety in his class along with the 13th ranked recruit overall in the state of California. Considering how many elite-level players come from California, this is a massive signing for the Longhorns.
The four-star has done it all on the football field, getting in reps at defensive back as well as a wide receiver. However, Turner-Gooden is projected to play safety at the next level. This is a major position of need for the Longhorns as all of their starting defensive backs were upperclassmen.
Name: Larry Turner-Gooden
High School: Bishop Alemany
City, State: Mission Hills, CA
Three Best Traits
Versatility - Turner-Gooden did it all in his high school career. He primarily played safety but he’s lined up as a cornerback, wide receiver and even a running back at times. I like this as it gives him a new perspective on the position. By personally playing other positions on the field he has a better understanding of how to properly play the safety position.
Coverage - Turner-Gooden has elite ball skills. He is at his best when he can play almost like a center fielder. Once he can see the entirety of the field as well as the quarterbacks’ eyes, that’s when he is at his peak. He can sit back and take away the deep ball, he can meet the top receiver underneath to force an incompletion or a minimal gain. He’s a safety with special ball skills in the back end.
Special Teams - As if playing defense and offense wasn’t enough, he’s also a great return man. Turner-Gooden served as the main kickoff returner as well as punt returner for his high school team since he was a sophomore. Opposing kickers and punters are better off kicking it through the end zone because if he touches the ball he will get the maximum amount of yards every single time.
Areas of Improvement
Run Support - Turner-Gooden is good in run support from what I can tell, however it is one area for him to improve on. He’s mainly the deep man trying to stop the big pass play. More reps in the run support game can really take his game to the next level.
Injury Concerns/ Lack of Playing - After an electrifying sophomore campaign, Turner-Gooden hasn’t seen much playing time since. Being in California, he was robbed of most of his junior season from COVID-19. That was then followed up by a senior season in which he only played a handful of games due to injury. Anytime a player misses some time due to injury it’s concerning but hopefully this was just a one-time incident rather than the start of many.
The California native is a major commitment for the 2022 class. He can do almost anything asked of him on the football field as he has experience in all three phases of the game. He’s a true center-fielder though and he is a ball hawk defensively, yet excels in the special teams return game. Arizona State’s huge loss is Texas' massive gain.
This is the second 2022 commit Texas has landed from California as Turner-Gooden joins Junipero Serra and state champion quarterback Maalik Murphy. He also becomes the 15th commit on the defensive side. He joins seven defensive linemen, a pair of linebackers, and four other defensive backs including two other safeties. It was apparent through the regular season that defense was an area of concern for Texas. This staff has done a solid job at reloading on that side of the ball. If these talents can develop properly, the Longhorns could be in for big things from Pete Kwiatkowski's unit.
While the Oklahoma State Cowboys are at the bottom of the Big 12 standings, this game will still provide a test for Chris Beard’s group. Texas has struggled to win in Stillwater lately as they are just 1-4 against the Cowboys on the road in their last 5 trips.
Ahead of Saturday’s 1:00 pm tip at Gallagher-Iba Arena, here are three things to keep an eye as Texas looks to leave Stillwater with a road win.
1. Can Marcus Carr keep up his all-conference type play? In the first two conference games Carr is averaging 19.5 PPG on 52% from the field. If he can keep up that shooting percentage it will greatly boost the Longhorns offense. Carr is a player who can create for himself and others, but efficiency is something that hasn’t always been there. Point guard Courtney Ramey is a player that can benefit from Carr’s high level of play.
2. Will forward Dylan Disu play more minutes? Disu is a player that can take this team from good to great. He’s being brought back slowly from injury and has played just 15 minutes a game so far in conference matchups. If his playing time can rise to 20-25 minutes a game, you will see improvement on both sides of the floor. Disu is the best rim protector and rebounder the Longhorns have to offer.
3. How will the Longhorns shoot the ball from beyond the arc? As a team in conference play they are shooting just 34 percent from three. While this isn’t awful statistically, it could be better. Raising this even a few percentage points would help the Longhorns’ offense tremendously. As it’s been shown in games against Gonzaga and Seton Hall, this is an offense that struggles to score at times. Shooting the ball better from three will open up the floor for everyone therefore creating easier shots.
Texas picked up a much-needed victory to open Big 12 play as they cruised past a short-handed West Virginia team, 74-59.
It was announced shortly before tip-off that West Virginia would be without 3 players due to Covid-19 protocol, including leading scorer Taz Sherman. The Mountaineers certainly missed Sherman, as they struggled mightily on the offensive end of the floor for the entire first half.
The stats may not jump off the page, but the Texas offense looked to be in a much better rhythm than they had for much of non-conference play. The ball movement was excellent and the Longhorns were routinely getting open looks from the perimeter.
Marcus Carr had his best game of the season after several days of unsubstantiated rumors that he was unhappy with his current role with the team. Carr finished the afternoon with 20 points on 7 of 11 shooting, including a pair of three pointers. The transfer from Minnesota looked comfortable for the entire game and played 34 minutes.
Fellow guard Courtney Ramey had the hot hand early in the game and finished with 15 points to go along with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Ramey has responded really well since being called out by Chris Beard earlier in the week.
Defensively, Texas continues to play at an extremely high level. The Longhorns forced 20 turnovers and continue to have one of the top turnover margins in college basketball.
Texas continues to be one of the best free throw shooting teams in the Big 12. The Longhorns were 15 of 16 from the foul line today. As conference play continues and Texas finds itself in close games, solid free throw shooting will be a big positive for Chris Beard's team.
Texas travels to Manhattan on Tuesday to face Kansas State. Tip off will be at 6:00 and the game will be shown on ESPN+.
On Wednesday, the Longhorns landed a commitment from Aledo 2024 cornerback Jaden Allen.
With his commitment, Allen becomes the first pledge in Texas's 2024 recruiting class. Additionally, with his intention to play on the Forty Acres, Jaden will be set to rejoin his older brother Bryan Allen Jr., a class of 2021 Texas signee.
Prior to his announcement, the sophomore cornerback had already received six scholarship offers from schools such as LSU, Mississippi State and USC.
During his sophomore football season at Aledo, the 5'10" cornerback recorded 28 tackles and 2 interceptions.
On Monday, Longhorns freshman forward Jaylon Tyson entered the transfer portal, as first reported by Verbal Commits.
Tyson was the nation's ninth-best small forward in the 2021 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports Composite, and followed Chris Beard to Texas after previously being committed to Texas Tech.
In eight appearances with the Longhorns during the '21-'22 basketball season, the 6'6" forward averaged 6.9 minutes of play and scored 1.8 points and recorded 1.1 rebounds per game.
At last, we have made it to the end of the Texas high school football season. Last week, I covered a total of eight state title games, ranging from the UIL's Class 2A to Class 6A. To say that there was a multitude of Texas targets and commits in action would be an understatement.
Dalton Brooks: The junior athlete has an offer from Texas and spends the majority of his time on the field at safety and running back. The Shiner product is known for his speed on both sides of the ball and was able to rush for 194 yards and 3 touchdowns against Hawley. On defense, Brooks also came away with an interception. While Brooks could probably play on either side of the ball at the collegiate level, he would bring great value to a position of need, such as safety, for Texas. Although Dalton is from a small Class 2A school, his efforts on the football field have paid off for the success of his team, having now won two state titles in a row, and for his own personal success, now being ranked as the ninth-best recruit in the state of Texas's 2023 recruiting cycle.
Douglas Brooks: Dalton's brother Douglas, a senior athlete with four scholarship offers, is routinely my favorite player to watch in the state. Douglas couples size and speed as he barrels down defenders with his 265 pound body when given carries at running back. On Wednesday, Brooks rushed for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns in Shiner's 47-12 win over Hawley. Moreover, Douglas also showcases athleticism on the defensive side of the ball at defensive tackle, where he showcased his strength by literally tossing around Hawley's skill players. While Brooks's offers come from Army, Colorado State, Houston and UTSA, I think that Douglas would be a solid fit for the Longhorns if offered a spot as a preferred walk-on.
Nathan Jones: The senior tight end caught five passes, including a touchdown reception in Brock's 35-18 loss to Lorena. The Minnesota signee has a terrific frame, standing at 6'5" and 240 pounds, and could very well be a diamond in the rough find for the Golden Gophers.
Malcolm Murphy: The senior running back helped to raise his recruiting stock after an impressive performance in which he finished with 280 rushing yards and 4 rushing touchdowns. Furthermore, Murphy also helped to lead Franklin on defense where he came away with two interceptions.
Bryson Washington: Franklin's junior running back rushed for 165 yards and 3 touchdowns in Thursday's 49-35 state championship victory. Following the game, Washington received scholarship offers from UTSA, Iowa State and Texas Tech. Along with Murphy, Washington is also a star player in Franklin's secondary, and has decent size for this position at 6'0".
Coy Eakin: The 6'3" senior wide receiver tallied 187 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns in Stephenville's 38-21 win over Austin LBJ. While the statistics will tell you that Eakin had a great game, they still cannot quantify the receiver's ability to make big plays on the football field, even displaying great football awareness when forcing an LBJ defender to fumble the ball. Following Friday's game, Eakin has already received five new scholarship offers from schools such as UNT and Texas State.
Oscar Gordon: Despite a slow start out of the gate for Gordon and the Jaguars, thanks to a plethora of lost fumbles, Gordon had a decent day passing with 372 passing yards and 3 touchdowns to 1 interception. The lefty quarterback is committed to play for Texas Southern at the collegiate level.
Marquise Collins: Collins once again had a big performance for the Cougars in a critical game, rushing for 192 yards and 2 touchdowns. Despite College Station's ultimate loss, it was Marquise's 71-yard rush touchdown rush in the fourth quarter which eventually sent the game to overtime. Currently, the three-star junior running back has 11 offers from schools such as Baylor and Utah.
Traylen Suel: The senior wideout was the game's leading receiver with 11 receptions and 169 receiving yards with 1 touchdown grab. Suel had a highly productive senior season for the Cougars, tallying 92 receptions for 1,142 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Alex Kilgore: The junior linebacker made his presence felt on Friday with seven total tackles and a fumble recovery in Paetow's 27-24 overtime victory. Kilgore possesses great size for a linebacker, listed at 6'2" and 200 pounds, and will be a prospect to keep an eye on.
South Oak Cliff:
Abdul Muhammad: The three-star junior defensive back earned himself Defensive MVP honors with a 10 tackle performance in South Oak Cliff's 23-14 title win over Liberty Hill. Currently, Muhammad has offers from eight schools such as Arizona and TCU.
Jamyri Cauley: Cauley, a sophomore wide receiver whose nickname is "Wildman," made a big touchdown reception in the second quarter of Saturday's contest. The 6'2" wideout currently has an offer from Texas, along with 14 other schools, and will surely in contact with Texas's new wide receivers coach once one is hired.
Kaleb Bailey: The freshman quarterback showed great poise under the bright lights of a state title game. Despite the game being a defensive slugfest, Bailey stepped up when he needed to, throwing two touchdown passes including an absolute dime which earned North Shore a 17-10 victory. Following Saturday's performance, Bailey received an offer from UTSA, representing his first scholarship offer.
Kristopher Ross: At defensive tackle, stats are hard to come by. However, the Texas signee certainly had an impact on the game as he contributed to creating a push in the trenches and showed hustle by chasing skill position players well down the field. Overall, Ross is one of the players that I am most excited to see in Texas's 2022 recruiting class.
Cameron Williams: Despite it already being a well-known fact, Cameron Williams is one large human being. The Texas signee stands in at 6'7" and 360 pounds and has a world of potential under offensive line coach Kyle Flood on the Forty Acres. Additionally, while Williams possesses an incredible frame for a lineman, he also is quite nimble for a player of his size. For the first time in many years, Longhorns fans have a right to be excited about the future of Texas's offensive line.
Omari Abor: The four-star edge rusher was sporting Longhorns gloves in Saturday's title game and looks to be a player that the Longhorns will hope to be able to add by February's National Signing Day. However, it is always worth noting that Abor, like other blue-chip recruits, has many options and is considering other schools such as Ohio State. On Saturday, the senior delivered 1.5 sacks and was a force for Duncanville's defensive line.
Collin Simmons: Already a popular name in the recruiting world, Collin Simmons was responsible for containing North Shore's offense between the hash marks. The sophomore Texas target is a promising linebacker who already has his fair share of offers, 14 to be exact. I look forward to seeing how Simmons will lead Duncanville's defense next season, a unit that will need members to step up after losing players such as Abor and Jordan Crook to graduation.
Jaden Greathouse: The junior Texas target broke a UIL state championship game receiving record with 236 receiving yards on the night. Additionally, Greathouse's seven receptions resulted in three touchdowns as well. Although Greathouse has been on the radar of many since his freshman season, it appears that Saturday might have opened some eyes. Having covered Greathouse since his freshman season, I can attest to the consistency of Jaden's production - having tallied at least 700 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in each of his three seasons. Furthermore, Greathouse's production has improved with every passing season, having accounted for 1,274 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns in 2021.
Connor Robertson: The 2022 three-star offensive lineman who signed to Texas during the Early Signing Period did a stellar job of keeping Cade Klubnik's pocket clean all night. Similar to Cameron Williams, Robertson is being viewed by many as a project player that has the potential to make a big impact for the Longhorns in a couple of years. Personally, I could envision Robertson playing either guard or center at the collegiate level, especially when you consider Kyle Flood's love for SEC caliber size on the offensive line, something that the 6'4" senior certainly possesses.
Ethan Burke: Along with Robertson, Burke also signed with the Longhorns during the Early Signing Period. The 2022 three-star defensive end has had a quick rise in his recruiting stock during the fall, flirting with Michigan prior to eventually flipping his commitment to Texas after a late push by the Longhorns coaching staff. On Saturday, the 6'7" Westlake defender came away from Westlake's 40-21 win over Guyer with two sacks. Like many of the Texas targets and commits I saw this past week, Burke is a player that I am really excited to see on the Forty Acres as he has the chance to develop into a dominant pass rusher over time.
Colton Vasek: Paired with Burke, Vasek is an extremely dangerous defensive end for Westlake as both defenders have an incredible ability to rush the passer. In Saturday's title game, Vasek won the Defensive MVP award with an impressive three sack performance. Vasek has five scholarship offers as a junior and should see that number rise before the start of his senior season. Additionally, like Burke, Vasek also has a nice frame, standing in at 6'6" for the Chaparrals.
Jackson Arnold: As I mentioned last week, I would not be surprised if the Longhorns throw their hat into the Jackson Arnold race at some point. Due to his appearance in the 2019 state title game against Westlake, Arnold was innately a part of the rematch's storylines in 2021. In 2019, Arnold was tasked with an impossible situation when Guyer star quarterback Eli Stowers sustained an injury and Arnold, then just a freshman quarterback, had to try to lead the Wildcats against a dominant Westlake defense. On Saturday, you could tell how far Arnold has evolved as a quarterback as he exuded an infectious confidence which helped Guyer to remain competitive with Westlake for three quarters, something that had not been done against the Chaparrals all season. Arnold combined for 278 yards of total offense and scored a total of 3 touchdowns, also leading his team in rushing.
Peyton Bowen: After scoring two touchdowns in the state semifinals, Bowen continued to make an impression in the state title game with a team-high 60 receiving yards, despite primarily playing on defense. The 2023 four-star safety has an offer from 26 schools, including Texas, and is ranked by the 247Sports Composite as the fourth-best safety prospect in the nation's 2023 recruiting cycle.
Eli Bowen: Peyton's younger brother, Eli, is a sophomore cornerback who was able to intercept a pass from Westlake quarterback Cade Klubnik in the first quarter. Currently, Eli has received 2 scholarship offers from Colorado and LSU, and should be on the receiving end of more before the start of next season.
It did not take long for the addition of Quinn Ewers to impact Steve Sarkisian's QB room. Junior QB Casey Thompson chose to enter the transfer portal Friday afternoon after starting 10 games for Texas in 2021.
This past season, Thompson threw for 2,113 yards to go along with 24 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Despite not opening the season as the starter, Thompson in played in each of Texas' first two games before starting the remainder of the season. He will have two years of eligibility remaining.
The most thrilling part about recruiting or scouting is finding that diamond in the rough. The player that everyone else has overlooked for whatever reason but you see something special in them. Coach Sarkisian may have found that player in the newest Texas commit, Savion Red.
Red is a unique prospect that stands 5’10 yet weighs 210-pounds. Per the 247Sports Composite, he’s a three-star prospect. He’s ranked as the 185th wide receiver in the nation for his class and the 202nd ranked player overall in the state of Texas.
Last season at Grand Prairie, Red did it all for them, as he was the entirety of the offense. He led the Gophers to a 7-5 record while also leading the team in passing yards and rushing yards along the way. He threw for 769 yards with eight touchdowns to just two interceptions on 128 attempts. He also burned defenses with 1,358 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns on over nine yards a carry. He even caught seven passes for 92 yards and a touchdown along the way. All of this was good enough to be honored as the District MVP at the end of the year.
Red was more of a pure receiving threat as a junior and sophomore hauling in 53 passes for 909 yards and eight touchdowns in those two years. While the talented athlete did it all for the Gophers it didn’t result in a ton of offers. Per 247Sports, Red only holds four offers from Kansas, Mississippi Valley State, SMU, and Texas.
While SMU is certainly closer to home for him, and a school he was once committed to, Red has decided to take his talents a little more south to join the Texas Longhorns.
Name: Savion Red
Position: Wide Receiver
High School: Grand Prairie
City, State: Grand Prairie, TX
Shuttle: 4.5 seconds (2019)
Vertical: 29.3 inches (2019)
Three Best Traits
Athleticism - Red, as evident by all the positions he plays, is a freaky athlete. He can really do it all on the football field. He has the speed to go from sideline to sideline but also the size to power right through you. He’s also a great basketball player as well. As a sophomore, he averaged eight points a game with three and a half rebounds and two and a half assists per game as well. In just three games in his senior season, he’s averaging 12 points a game with three rebounds, one steal, and one block per game as well.
Slot Receiver - Red is an absolute nightmare in the slot. Watching him work from that position, it’s clear that Sarkisian and this staff have a plan for him. Red has a chance to be a new-age Jordan Shipley in the Sarkisian offense.
Team Player - Made evident by his high school resume, Red can and will do it all on the football field. No challenge is too big for him. Whatever this staff asks him to do, Red will do it with 110% effort. It’s special to find a kid like that who’s all about the team all the time.
Areas of Improvement
Playing Outside the Numbers - Red doesn’t really possess the tools needed to be effective as a one-on-one wide-out on the outside. Granted, I don’t think he’ll see much time there as he’s a slot receiver first and foremost. However, that is an area for him to improve on if the opportunity ever arose.
Finding the Hole in Zone - If you try and match up with Red in man to man coverage in the slot, it’s over for you. He has the speed and size to separate from you entirely from the snap. If there’s one part of his game from the slot he can work on, it’s finding the hole in zone coverage. The masters of the position can find that hole, sit right there, and pick up a first down every time. This ability can transform Red’s game.
Red will be a guy that fans will fall in love with at Texas. If used properly he can be a slot assassin on every down. He has a chance to be Ewers' security blanket as a guy who he can always look towards underneath in critical spots. He’s a speedy yet big slot receiver who’s a matchup nightmare for nickel corners and linebackers alike.
Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian has landed two wide receiver prospects for the 2022 class. Red joins fellow slot receiver and four-star commit Brenen Thompson. Add those two to running back Jaydon Blue and those three make up the only skill position players that Texas has signed for the 2022 class. Sarkisian and company have valued quality over quantity in that aspect, however each player has a defined role they will fill. This is a great move for the future of the Texas Longhorns offense.
It’s Flip-Mas season in Austin. In the midst of a wild recruiting season and early signing day, Texas has successfully flipped three prospects. Ethan Burke switched from Michigan to Texas, Terrance Brooks re-committed from Ohio State to Texas, and now Xavion Brice is doing the same - decommitting from Oklahoma in favor of Texas.
Brice is a three-star athlete prospect from Arlington, Texas. The Seguin wide-out is a three-star prospect via the 247Sports Composite. Overall, he’s the 110th ranked player in the state of Texas for 2022, and the 50th ranked player at his position in the nation.
The three-star athlete has flown under-the-radar with a majority of his power-five offers being from Big-12 schools. The likes of Baylor, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, SMU, TCU, Texas, and Texas Tech all made offers to the talented receiver.
Brice ultimately committed to Oklahoma on the Fourth of July. However, he still received offers and even had official visits with Texas Tech and Texas after his commitment. The latter visit must have made an impression as today Brice de-committed from the Sooners in favor of staying in-state and becoming a Longhorn.
Per Maxpreps, in eight recorded games this season Brice did it all for Seguin. As a quarterback, he completed 65% of his 52 passes for 574 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions. He also ran for 566 yards and 10 touchdowns on nearly 12 yards a carry. He even hauled in 16 passes for 304 yards with a pair of touchdowns.
Name: Xavion Brice
High School: Seguin
City, State: Arlington, TX
Three Best Traits
Freak Athlete - As is evident by the myriad of positions he played on the gridiron, Brice is an extremely talented athlete. He played quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and defensive back the last few years. Brice even participated in Track and Field posting a 22.66 in the 200-meter dash. He also logged a jump of 22-5 as a freshman.
Versatility - Obviously, this goes hand in hand with him being a freak athlete. Brice can play any position on the field, and it’s up the Longhorn staff to determine where they want him. 247Sports projects him as a wide receiver, but he can also become a talented defensive back at Texas. The world is his oyster in terms of his success on the football field.
Speed and Height - Brice has electrifying speed on the football field. His track times show he’s fast but he looks even faster on film. He can be either a great deep threat or a punishing ballhawk safety at Texas. He also has great height that allows him to come down with the deep ball or take it away.
Areas of Improvement
Experience at one Position - It’s a somewhat of a double-edged sword playing all the positions that Brice does. On one hand he has experience to try them all again, but on the same note all of those snaps he played at quarterback could’ve been used to refine his wide receiver skills. Once Texas locks down a position for him he should blossom.
Defined Route Tree - If he does project to a wide receiver he lacks a sophisticated route tree. He’s a great deep threat and a coast to coast runner, but needs more experience with short to intermediate routes.
Brice can do it all. Whatever position Texas and the staff want him to play, he will, and will likely succeed. He’s an extremely talented athlete in all phases of the game. He’s got great height, length and speed for his frame. While lacking a little in muscle and size, he makes up for it with his impeccable playmaking skills and overall speed.
Flip-mas lives on! The staff has managed to flip three recruits on signing day - three recruits who many thought were long gone that the Texas staff has somehow managed to convince to head to the 40 Acres. It’s a tremendous achievement as all three can become integral parts of the team for years to come.
As if this recruiting period heading up to the early signing day couldn’t get any crazier.....
Texas has not only successfully recruited some of the top talent in the country, but they’ve also managed to flip some of the top recruits as well. Early in the morning three-star edge rusher, Ethan Burke flipped from Michigan to Texas. The latest to make the flip to the Longhorns? Terrance Brooks.
Brooks, a four-star cornerback via the 247Sports Composite, was originally an Ohio State commit since the end of June. However, as signing day quickly approached, rumblings came out that Brooks could have second thoughts. Those rumblings have now been confirmed as Brooks is now signed as a Texas Longhorn.
The newest Longhorn is the 59th ranked player in the nation overall, the tenth-ranked player in the state of Texas, and the 8th ranked player at his position for this recruiting cycle.
Brooks as a sophomore played for John Paul II in Plano. Anchoring the defense, he had three interceptions and helped John Paul II finish as the runners-up in the TAPPS D1 bracket. As a junior, he and John Paul II once again made a run at a championship but fell short in the second round. As a senior, he transferred to Little Elm High School where he and the Lobos finished 5-5.
As a junior, he ran track posting times of 11.25 and 23.27 seconds in the 100 and 200-meter dash respectively. He’s an amazing athlete and an even better cornerback. This staff has done it again.
Name: Terrance Brooks
High School: Little Elm
City, State: Little Elm, TX
Three Best Traits
Length and Wingspan - Brooks has a ridiculously long wingspan. It’s shocking he’s not a stud on the basketball court with that length. It allows him to be able to match up with anyone in coverage regardless of his own height.
Nickel Coverage - Brooks is a special corner. He can lock you up and sit back in a zone beautifully. He strikes fear in opposing wide receivers with his in-your-face style of play. If the ball is thrown his way, more likely than not he’s getting a hand on it. While he can lock up most whoever, he’s especially effective as an elite nickel corner. Look for him to take away every team’s best slot wide receiver at the next level.
Speed - Good luck beating Brooks over the top. He’s a track star and played some safety his senior year. Whether it’s end zone to end zone or sideline to sideline, Brooks will stick to you like glue.
Areas for Improvement
Tackling in Pursuit - More often than not, Brooks is just knocking the ball down. He hasn’t had to rely on his pursuit and tackling skills. If he were to slip up and allow a catch or two, this is an area of his game he can improve on.
Run Coverage - Brooks is a really polished cover corner. There’s not a whole lot to improve on in his pure coverage skills. One thing he could look to improve on in order to expand his arsenal is to become an elite run stopper on the outside.
Brooks is an elite cornerback relative to his age. He has amazing ball and coverage skills, some of the best I’ve seen coming out of high school. He has the ability to become one of the better corners in recent memory for Texas. With Brooks, the Longhorns are receiving a future leader of the defense and one of the best commits for Texas this cycle.
The commitment of Brooks and others on signing day has propelled Texas to a top-five class in the nation as of this writing. He joins a pair of other cornerback commits in Jaylon Guilbeau and Ronald Lewis along with two safeties in Bryan Allen Jr. and Austin Jordan. On paper, this is one of the most impressive recruiting classes in recent memory for the Longhorns.
In the midst of completely rebuilding the offensive line, Texas has also remained focused on the defensive line as well. One commit, who was thought of as a Michigan Wolverine last night, suddenly re-committed and signed to Texas this morning. The name? Ethan Burke.
Burke is a monstrous human being standing in at 6’7 and weighing 225-pounds. He’s a three-star commit via the 247Sports Composite. Burke is ranked as the 38th player at his position and overall the 86th ranked player in the state of Texas for the 2022 class.
Burke has been a part of a Westlake program that’s looking to win its third consecutive state championship. In 2019 the Chaparrals went 15-1, ultimately defeating Guyer 24-0 in the 6A D2 championship game. The following year in 6A D1, they ran the table going undefeated even taking down Quinn Ewers and Carroll in the championship contest. This season, they once again take their unbeaten streak into the 6A D2 championship game with a rematch from 2019 against Guyer. Westlake hasn’t lost a game since October 11, 2019.
Burke, per 247Sports, only had a total of nine offers. Air Force, Army, Baylor, Kansas State, Michigan, Nebraska, Texas, Texas Tech, and Utah all made efforts to recruit the talented edge-rusher. He even had official visits with Kansas State and Michigan. The Wolverines won the Burke sweepstakes just a few weeks ago on December 1st. In the wee hours of signing day, however, Burke has had a change of heart.
In his senior season through 15 games, Burke has filled the stat sheet. He’s accumulated 54 total tackles, 12 for a loss, with 10 sacks, three forced fumbles, eight passes defended, and one interception.
Name: Ethan Burke
Position: Edge Rusher
High School: Westlake
City, State: Austin, TX
Three Best Traits
Frame - What else is there to say? Burke is already 6’7 and 225-pounds. He’s a massive human being, to say the least. Even if he loses his battle and can’t get around a tackle all Burke has to do is get his arms up and he’s likely to knock down a pass. He can also blow by people using his size alone. Physically, Burke is a near-matchup nightmare.
Championship Pedigree - Burke hasn’t been a part of a loss since he was a few games into his sophomore season. Even then, it was just a one-point loss to Hudson Card and Lake Travis. He quite literally hasn’t lost a game since. While Westlake’s offense with Cade Klubnik has been spectacular, the defense has been swarming and Burke is a massive part of that. The Chaparrals in the past two seasons are only allowing 7.8 points per game on average. Just ludicrous, and Burke is a huge part of that.
Acceleration off the Edge - Watching the film, Burke has the burst needed to get around the lengthiest tackles on a fairly consistent basis. His first step is a massive one and immediately puts opposing linemen at a disadvantage most every time.
Areas of Improvement
Lack of Quality Competition Consistently - While Westlake every now and then has to go through a tough opponent, probably 75% of their schedule is sort of a cakewalk for them. It’s easy to be great when the opponent is inferior. We’ll find out quickly just how great Burke is.
Raw - Burke’s technique is a little raw. He relies on his physical traits simply over-powering opposing tackles. He has solid form for his age, a little more coaching and technique added to this frame and he’s a potentially scary player to face.
Burke is a nightmare, simply put. He’s a massive human being and a freak of an athlete. He comes from a championship pedigree and is used to piling up the stat sheet. He has the quickness and twitches you look for in an edge-rusher yet has fallen completely under the radar. With the right coaching, Burke could be one of the better defensive line prospects Texas has ever had.
Burke is the eighth hard commit for Texas in the 2022 class. He joins four defensive linemen along with three other edge rushers. Burke is three inches clear of the next tallest defensive line commit for Texas this cycle. Coach Sarkisian and this staff have really done it all in the past week from recruiting the best offensive linemen, bringing in top transfers, and literally on signing day changing the minds of recruits such as Ethan Burke.
One more win. That is all that semifinalists needed to achieve in order to punch their ticket to AT&T Stadium for a chance to earn a state title. On Friday, I covered a rematch of last year's instant-classic playoff matchup between Crosby and Liberty Hill. Furthermore, I was able to attend a highly-anticipated doubleheader on Saturday, featuring the state's top two ranked teams in Katy versus Westlake and then later Denton Guyer versus Tomball.
Aaron Brewer: The 6'4" edge rusher made his presence felt throughout the night against Crosby, totaling 12 tackles and two fumble recoveries, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Brewer had an impressive performance in Liberty Hill's 42-14 revenge win over Crosby, a game which showcased the fact that he is flying under the radar of many. As of today, Brewer is committed to playing football for Air Force next season.
Kameren Kirkwood: The senior wide receiver caught a screen pass and turned it into a 44-yard touchdown run. Moreover, Kirkwood also put his speed on display with a touchdown rush as well. The 6'2" Crosby receiver is another recruit who deserves a look from college programs prior to his graduation.
Nicholas Anderson: The 6'3.5" Oklahoma pledge was just about the only bright spot for the Katy Tigers on Saturday, tallying two touchdown receptions which represented all of Katy's only scoring action. In addition to Anderson's two touchdowns, the Katy product finished the contest with 149 receiving yards, showcasing an ability to make contested catches. According to the 247Sports Composite, the Katy senior wide receiver is the 38th-ranked recruit in the state of Texas.
Passing Attack: 2022 five-star quarterback Cade Klubnik continues to pillage and plunder opposing defenses for touchdowns with the help of a talented receiving core. Both Jaden Greathouse and Keaton Kubecka caught two touchdown passes from Klubnik, while Pierce Turner also joined the scoring action with a touchdown reception as well. Greathouse is a high-profile recruit who holds a couple of offers from schools such as Oklahoma and Texas. Meanwhile, both Kubecka, a junior with three scholarship offers, and Turner, a 6'4" wideout who uses his frame nicely, deserve to see their recruiting stocks rise as well. Ultimately, with the help of stellar defensive play by the Chaparrals, Westlake was able to coast to a 45-14 victory.
Secondary: 2023 four-star safety Peyton Bowen absolutely stood out on Saturday night against Tomball, ballhawking an interception and taking a punt return to the house for a touchdown. The junior safety received an offer from Texas back in May, however the Longhorns will have plenty of competition for Bowen as he holds offers from schools such as Alabama, Florida and Notre Dame. Furthermore, Peyton's younger brother Eli Bowen is another player to keep an eye on in the 2024 recruiting cycle at the cornerback position. In addition to the Bowen brothers, 2022 three-star safety Marquan Pope, who is currently committed to Pittsburgh, adds to the talent in the Guyer secondary.
Jackson Arnold: Arnold, a 2023 four-star quarterback with offers from top-tier programs such as Alabama and Ohio State, threw for three touchdowns against Tomball. Additionally, the 6'1" quarterback was able to pick up first downs with his legs as well. Overall, Guyer did not have to rely on throwing the football and elected to milk the clock with the ground game, sealing a 59-14 victory. However, Arnold had a solid game and has shown real development throughout his high school career. While it appears that the Longhorns are sold on trying to land 2023 five-star quarterback Arch Manning, I would not be surprised if Arnold is considered in the future.
What else is there to say? The greatest recruiting stretch in recent Texas memory continues as Monday night coach Sarkisian and Brandon Harris teased at one more late-night commitment. Texas’ fans dreams came true when their tease was finally revealed in the form of yet another offensive line commitment. This one was Allen High School's Neto Umeozulu.
Umeozulu is a 6’4 near 300-pound interior offensive lineman from Allen, TX. Per the 247Sports Composite, he’s a bonafide four-star prospect. He’s a top-150 player nationally, the 23rd ranked player in the state of Texas, and 7th ranked player at his position for the class of 2022.
While the talented prospect is projected to be an interior lineman at the next level, he has experience all over the offensive line. As a sophomore, he played a majority of his snaps at right tackle. As a junior, he was the Offensive Lineman of the Year for his district. As a senior, he moved all the way over to left tackle.
Umeozulu’s scholarship offers are a who’s who of top college programs. Alabama, Baylor, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and USC among others showed interest in the talented lineman. Umeozulu even had official visits to Alabama, Texas, and USC before ultimately committing to Texas late last night.
Sark, you’ve done it again.
Name: Neto Umeozulu
Position: Interior Offensive Line
High School: Allen
City, State: Allen, TX
Three Best Traits
Run Blocking - Umeozuu is a menace in the run-blocking game. He plays with a sheer ferocity rarely seen nowadays. He anchored an Allen offensive attack that ran for nearly 300 yards a game and over 4,000 yards total this last year. He’s an absolute bully in the best possible way. He can take the first man down, keep going, and put the next defender in the ground too.
Can Play any Position - Umeozulu can play anywhere on the offensive line. He has the perfect frame to play either tackle position and either guard position as well. While he projects to be a guard at the next level he has a whole high school career of playing either tackle. He also comes from one of the greatest winning cultures in the state in Allen. He’s a kid who can play any position on day one.
Extremely Quick on Feet/ Athletic - It’s rare to see such a big human being this quick on his feet. Umeozulu has that acceleration and quick feet you constantly look for on film when scouting the position. While his technique remains a little raw, that can be fixed. The quick feet he possesses cannot be taught - it comes to him naturally.
Areas of Improvement
Pass Blocking Reps - The Allen offense averaged just under 20 passing attempts a game as compared to nearly 35 rushing attempts per game. He certainly has more pass-blocking reps than a lot of linemen I see, however it’s still a bit of a concern. He plays pass-blocking situations with slightly less intensity than run-blocking as well. Nothing that a little coaching can’t fix.
Technique/ Over-extension - He has a tendency to over-extend on his first blow which can make him a little off-balance for the rest of the play. Again, nothing a little coaching can’t fix.
Umeozulu is the third offensive line commit for Texas in just three days and he’s another splendid one. He has the perfect frame, all of the experience, quick feet, is elite in the run-blocking game, and comes from a championship pedigree program. He’s really everything you could ask for from a future guard at the University of Texas.
Texas after this recruiting flurry now has the sixth-ranked class in the nation for 2022. In just a few days they’ve completely revamped the offensive line and there are still some big names on the board. Texas now has 23 hard commits for the class with five coming on the offensive line. After all of the excitement in recent days, all we can ask is - who’s next?
Call it the Ewers effect, or maybe this staff has a way with words when it comes to offensive linemen. Miraculously, Texas has earned the commitment of yet another offensive linemen. On December 11th five-star prospect, Kelvin Banks Jr. announced he would be coming to Texas. Just one day later, Duncanville tackle Cameron Williams also flipped from Oregon to Texas. Just three days later and another one has bitten the dust.
Today Texas received a commitment from Malik Agbo. The new Texas offensive tackle is a near 6’6 320-pound behemoth from Washington State. He’s a four-star prospect via the 247Sports Composite. He’s ranked as the 21st offensive tackle in the nation for his class and overall the 5th ranked player in the state of Washington.
While Sarkisian and company have been great recruiting in-state they’ve done a stellar job out-of-state as well, particularly on the west coast. Agbo becomes the 9th out-of-state commit for the 2022 class for Texas.
Agbo announced via his Twitter at the end of November his final four teams. Auburn, Miami, Oklahoma, and Texas were among the those that made the cut. The talented tackle announced today, on signing day, that he will be leaving the great state of Washington to come to The 40 Acres.
Name: Malik Agbo
Position: Offensive Tackle
High School: Todd Beamer High School
City, State: Federal Way, WA
Weight 320 lbs.
Three Best Traits
Size - It’s clear to see what coach Sarkisian and Kyle Flood value in offensive linemen - size. Banks, Williams, and Agbo are all north of 6’5 and at least 300-pounds. Agbo has the size necessary to dominate defenders at the next level with ease. While at this stage he lacks typical offensive linemen technique but he has the size to get away with it.
Run Blocking - Agbo mainly played at right tackle and was a menace in the run blocking game. He has the sheer size to bulldoze defensive linemen without much acceleration needed. He’s an absolute punisher whenever a run play is called, very similar to Banks and Williams. Bijan Robinson is a lucky man.
Plays Both Sides - Agbo has played on both sides of the ball his entire career. On offense, he’s punishing linemen who think dare attempt to lay a hand on his running back. On defense, he’s trying to disrupt the opposing running back as a defensive tackle. While he projects to only play offensive tackle at the next level, that extra experience will help down the road.
Areas for Improvement
Technique - When it comes to technique at the offensive tackle position, Agbo is extremely raw. He has a tendency to get off-balance easily and lean over his feet. As mentioned before, he’s gotten away with this due to his size over the opposition. This is something that can be easily fixed once at Texas. Given some time, Agbo can be even greater. He already has a solid floor but his ceiling is sky-high.
Athleticism - He does lack the athleticism on the line to be able to pull consistently. While he is a multi-sport athlete he can be a little slow off the line at times. This can be due to the fact he plays multiple positions and could be out of breath later in games. Once he’s solely focused on the offensive line at Texas I think we’ll start to see some of that athleticism again.
Agbo is an incredible talent on the line. This staff made its goal to re-tool this offensive line and with Banks, Williams, and now Agbo, it’s clear they’ve done so. Agbo is a massive human being who dominates in the run game with his size and strength. He’s not as athletic nor as polished as Banks but under the right coaching, he has the potential to reach that status.
Quinn Ewers, Bijan Robinson, and all of the skill position players at Texas are going to be forever grateful for what coach Sarkisian has done last weekend. Three massive offensive linemen parlayed with Cole Hutson and Connor Robertson... On paper, this offensive line has a chance to be special. This is turning into one of the better-recruiting classes in recent memory for Texas and Agbo is a massive part of that.
On August 14, 2020, Texas landed its greatest recruit since Vince Young, in Southlake Carroll’s Quinn Ewers. Ewers is one of just six men to receive a perfect 1.0000 rating according to 247 Sports. Others include the aforementioned Young along with Jadeveon Clowney and Rashan Gary among others.
However, the firing of Tom Herman along with Texas’ uncertain future led to Ewers and other commits second-guessing their original decisions. Just six weeks later, Ewers de-committed and decided to re-classify to join Ohio State for the upcoming season.
After just one season and a handful of snaps played, Ewers entered the transfer portal, thus giving Longhorns fans a glimmer of hope. Today, that hope is being rewarded as once again, Ewers is a Texas Longhorn.
Ewers is truly a once-in-a-decade type of talent at the position. That term gets thrown around an awful lot nowadays by scouts and media alike, however, it truly applies for Ewers. In 22 games as the Carroll starting quarterback, Ewers completed 70% of his passes for a ludicrous 6,445 yards with 73 touchdowns to just 8 interceptions. He added another 701 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground.
As a sophomore, he led Carroll to a 13-1 record before getting bounced by Duncanville in the state semifinals. As a junior, he got his revenge defeating Duncanville to get to the state championship. Since then, he re-classified in order to learn under Ryan Day and the rest of the Ohio State staff. It’s been a wild journey for Ewers but alas, welcome home to The 40 Acres.
Name: Quinn Ewers
High School: Southlake Carroll
City, State: Southlake, TX
Three Best Traits:
Pro-Style QB With Mobility - Ewers is the best of both worlds when it comes to being a quarterback. In an era where quarterbacks are either pocket guys or mobile runners, Ewers is both. He’s a pro-style pocket passing quarterback with wheels. He can sit back and stay in the pocket until someone gets open. When the pocket breaks down he has the awareness to move around to make the best play, whether that’s with his legs or throwing on the run for a first down. Watching the film on Ewers is jaw-dropping - he’s constantly making a play out of a less than ideal situation.
Frame - Ewers has a perfect frame to be an elite quarterback at the collegiate level. He has the height and frame necessary to withstand a full season of play. He’s special too in that he has such a big frame yet doesn’t lose any of his speed or athleticism. He’s north of 200-pounds yet can move like a man thirty pounds less. Ewers, physically, is everything you want in a quarterback.
Arm Talent - He has the mobility, he has the frame, and yes he has the arm to go with it as well. As a 16-year old Ewers had a video go viral of him launching a ball 73-yards. That’s Josh Allen territory. To go with that cannon, Ewers in his career completed 70% of his passes. He has the accuracy to go along with pure strength. Even if you manage to get him off-balance and out of the pocket he can still sling it 50+ yards on the run. There isn’t a throw on the field Ewers can’t make.
Areas of Improvement:
Reps - Ewers really hasn’t had much playing time in a year. He last played meaningful snaps at Carroll in the state title game. Since then he’s been with Ohio State riding the bench as the Buckeyes have one of the best quarterback rooms in America. He did receive a handful of snaps as a true freshman but no throwing attempts. While I’m sure Ewers has gotten a million practice reps in, there’s a big difference between those and game day reps.
Me > Team - While this is a bold criticism you have to wonder if Ewers is just trying to capitalize on the large NIL deals in place now all-around college football. For now, I’ll err on the side of caution and say that Ewers is committed to Texas and is committed to turning this program around. If anyone can do it, it’s him.
What else is there to say about a prospect when the 247Sports Composite has given him a literal perfect rating. Does he have his flaws? Sure, but his sheer talent along with his physical traits and resume is something so rarely seen. He’s an absolutely electrifying player who can do almost anything you need out of your quarterback. Steve Sarkisian has his guy who can help him run wild on college football.
What a story this is. Ewers has now turned Texas into a desirable quarterback room for coach Sarkisian and company. Between Hudson Card who showed flashes of brilliance last year, to 2022 four-star commit Maalik Murphy, to now Ewers, the Longhorns have a plethora of talent at the position. The level of talent that Sarkisian is recruiting to Texas is second to none. While the impending move to the SEC is scary, at least Texas finally has the talent now to back it up.
Thank you, Mario Cristobal.
As many in the college football recruiting world know, the former Oregon head coach is one of the best offensive line recruiters in the country. His ability to find and successfully recruit the best of the best at that position is second to none. However, his decision to move to Miami has produced a butterfly effect in the recruiting world, as many of the top offensive linemen in the nation are having second thoughts. One of those men, Kelvin Banks, decided to de-commit from Oregon and join the Texas Longhorns for the class of 2022.
Banks is the greatest commit in the Sarkisian era, simply put. Per the 247 Sports Composite, Banks is a five-star recruit. He’s a top-15 prospect in the nation, the second-ranked offensive tackle in the country, and the fourth-ranked recruit in the state of Texas. Texas is a feeding ground for many of the top recruits in the country. For Sarkisian to be successful he has to dominate in-state. Banks’ decision to re-commit, shows that Sarkisian is doing just that.
Banks officially committed to the University of Oregon on the Fourth of July. However, he still decided to take unofficial visits to Texas and Texas A&M last month. After Cristobal’s departure, Banks decided to re-open his recruitment. Despite Cristobal’s newest program, Miami, sending an offer Banks’ way, the five-star prospect has decided he’s staying home to attend Texas.
The future Longhorn was a first-team selection for his district as a sophomore and a junior. It looks likely he will be the same as a senior as well. Banks also is a finalist for the Houston-Area Offensive Player of the Year.
He will also be able to benefit from a new program that will pay all Texas offensive linemen on scholarship $50,000 a year for their name and likeness. The Summer Creek tackle is the lone five-star commit this cycle for Texas.
Name: Kelvin Banks Jr.
Position: Offensive Tackle
High School: Summer Creek
City, State: Humble, TX
Three Best Traits
Explosiveness - Coming off the line of scrimmage, Banks looks like a horse coming out of the gates at the Kentucky Derby. He explodes from his starting stance with a ferocity that is rarely seen. If it’s a run play he can bulldoze over his assignment with ease. If it’s a pass play Banks can mirror the defender and get to his spot as quickly as the defender moves. He’s a nightmare to try and get around due to his frame parlayed with such quick feet.
Amazing Athlete - The film that Banks has left behind to evaluate is jaw-dropping. It’s rare to see a man with such sheer size and length move the way he does. He can pull with the best of them, he can knock linebackers 10 yards down the field right on their backside every time. The athleticism on display in every play is something to marvel at. Most people at this stage have the size but lack the athleticism. Banks’ excels in both categories.
Elite Run Blocker - There is a reason why Summer Creek averaged over 310 yards a game on the ground alone. It’s a team effort and they couldn’t have done it without the entire offensive line, but watching Banks run block is like art. You watch him run over every defender in his path and you can truly see why he’s a five-star prospect. He’s so elite in the run game alone that he could contend to start day one for Texas.
Areas of Improvement
Pass Blocking - When you play for a team that averages over 300 yards a game on the ground, it’s typical that the team won’t throw much. Summer Creek averaged only 120 yards passing on just 15 attempts per game this past season. Therefore, Banks really didn’t receive a lot of pass blocking reps at the high school level. What he’s shown, he has the ability to be elite in this aspect too he just needs some more reps.
Balance - This can also apply to his pass blocking. Sometimes in pass blocking scenarios Banks will lose his balance by playing over his feet. I believe this is an issue that coaching will help him on at the next level. He’s so used to using his speed and strength to play downhill it can bite him on pass blocking situations.
Banks is about as elite of an offensive line prospect that you will find. He has a massive frame parlayed with length, speed, and everything else you could ask for in a tackle prospect. He’s used to playing left tackle yet he can move all over the line. He’s the single greatest commit Texas has scored under Sarkisian and is a guy who will contend to playing as a true freshman.
The commitment of Banks pushed Texas to the 7th ranked recruiting class in the nation. Both him and Duncanville’s Cameron Williams de-committed from Oregon to join Texas this week. Those two alone have doubled Texas’ 2022 offensive linemen commits from two to four. There aren’t enough words to show just how important this commitment is.
What a crazy last couple of weeks we have had in the college football world. Big-name coaches are either signing record-breaking deals or departing from one major program to another. Mario Cristobal is one of the latter. Cristobal was the head coach at Oregon from 2018-2021. Under his leadership Oregon became a West Coast power once again and a real player in the final rankings year-in and year-out. However, Cristobal became one of the latest coaches to shake things up as he recently was announced as the new coach of the Miami Hurricanes.
What does this have to do with the Longhorns?
Cristobal is one of the best offensive line recruiters in the nation. And since his departure, four recruits have de-committed from the Eugene, Oregon campus. One of those recruits happens to be one of Texas’ newest additions - Cameron Williams.
Williams is the latest offensive line addition to the Sarkisian offense following 5-star offensive tackle Kelvin Banks’ commitment yesterday. Williams is a behemoth of an offensive tackle. He has a massive 6’5 360-pound frame that is the anchor of the Duncanville offense this season. The 2022 tackle is a bonafide three-star prospect via the 247Sports Composite. He’s the 39th ranked player at his position and the 63rd ranked player in the state of Texas for his class.
The potential state champion lineman first committed to Cristobal and Oregon on July 1. However, He de-committed from the program on December 8. Even after receiving an offer from Iowa State the following day, Williams has decided to stay home and become the latest commit to head to The 40 Acres.
Williams received offers from esteemed programs such as Auburn, Baylor, Oklahoma, and even Cristobal’s Miami Hurricanes to name a few. Before he committed to Oregon, Williams had a final three of Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas. Through it all, Williams is staying home.
Name: Cameron Williams
Position: Offensive Tackle
High School: Duncanville
City, State: Duncanville, TX
Three Best Traits
Frame - As if saying he’s 6’5 and 360-pounds isn’t enough, if you turn on the film you can clearly see which lineman is Williams. Game-in and game-out he’s the biggest man on the gridiron. Williams uses his size and frame to abuse opposing defensive linemen and edge-rushers on a consistent basis. It’s going to be difficult for anyone on any level to out-size and out-muscle this beast of a human being.
Championship Pedigree - While Duncanville hasn’t won it all since 1998, they’ve been runners-up to North Shore in the 6A D1 classification in both 2018 and 2019. In 2020, they made it to the semi-finals before being bounced by former Texas commit, Quinn Ewers, and Southlake Carroll. This season, Duncanville enacted their revenge on Carroll to the tune of 35-9, but now they get the pleasure of facing North Shore again for the third time in four years. Regardless of whether Duncanville wins or loses, Williams has been at the forefront of Texas football for the past couple of years. He can bring a championship pedigree and a winning culture to Texas on day one.
Raw Strength - Looking at his frame, this statement goes without saying. Williams may be one of the strongest linemen in the country. His sheer size parlayed with his raw strength means he’s a nightmare for opposing defenders. He’s a physical specimen in every sense of the phrase and while he’s already one of the strongest players in the country, he has a chance to become even stronger under Sarkisian’s watch.
Areas of Improvement
Versatility on the Line - Williams primarily plays right tackle. He’s absolutely dominant on that side of the line. However, I would like to see some versatility and some plays where he’s on the left side or maybe even at guard. If Texas is in a position where they need Williams to move over to the left side can he handle it? My gut says yes, but it’s something for him to work on.
Blocking Down the Field - With a massive frame, Williams lacks the speed needed to block down the field on screen-plays. If he gets a hold of the nearest defender, that player has no chance. However, the lack of speed is an issue. I would like to see Williams stay at this frame but work on his speed and acceleration to truly take his game to another level.
What a great last couple of days it’s been for Sarkisian, Kyle Flood and the rest of the Texas program. With the pandemonium in the coaching world, it has allowed recruits that were once thought of as unavailable to join the Texas program out of the blue. Williams is a massive get for Texas. He was one of the key commits for Oregon and Cristobal for years to come, but now he joins Texas in a move that will surely improve the offensive line from day one. He’s a massive tackle who comes with a winning pedigree. With a little more quickness and coaching Williams can become one of the better tackles in college football one day.
Williams is the fourth offensive line commit for Texas in the 2022 class. He joins the aforementioned Banks along with a pair of interior offensive linemen Cole Hutson and Connor Robertson. Prior to Williams’ commitment, Texas already possessed a top-10 nationally ranked class. With the commitment of Williams and likely others leading up to the early signing day, Texas has a chance to crack the top-five. After a disappointing regular-season Sarkisian and this staff have hit home runs in the recruiting world. That statement is emblematic of the signing of Williams.