Ten years after Texas A&M University announced it was leaving the Big 12 and joining the Southeastern Conference (SEC) with no intervention or public scorn from Texas lawmakers, the Lieutenant Governor, Dan Patrick, appointed a Senate Select Committee on the Future of College Sports in Texas to hear testimony on the impact of The University of Texas’ (UT) decision to leave the tenuous ten-team conference led by scorned Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. This, a show of force by a self-proclaimed conservative state government, not even two weeks after the leak from the Aggies to the Houston Chronicle’s TAMU sports beat reporter about the former rival’s rumored move.
The alma maters of committee members span Texas but most noticeably the ire toward Texas’ decision was fired from Baylor, Texas Christian University and Texas Tech alum and their respective representatives. While the Chair, Senator Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), and Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston), publicly commented that college athletics would not be intertwined with state funding decisions for UT, Senators Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) and Brian Birdwell (R-Waco), along with State Representative Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock), were unequivocal in their disdain for the Texas flagship’s decision and that funding implications would be entertained in future Legislative Sessions.
Notably, asked to testify but declined, was Texas A&M University.
Complaints from the remaining Big 12 schools and their legislators ranged from acting in secrecy and complete betrayal to their brothers, diminishing local revenue from losing powerhouse schools playing in their communities, harming bond ratings necessary to build infrastructure to their now inability to become Tier 1 research institutions and recruit top students and athletes. Who knew the Texas Longhorns' athletic program had so much power? Power to shutdown emerging universities and small towns across Texas with one decision.
The irony is these same lawmakers run on platforms and pass laws to ensure less government intervention. Protesting the freedom of personal responsibility and championing capitalism to allow those who work hard to succeed and not be held back to a common denominator. Yet, they are asking the State’s one and only Constitutionally deemed university of excellence to stray from a clear business decision, that doesn’t violate any law or rule, they believe most prudent in light of the changing collegiate athletic landscape to preserve their own future.
The Texas Legislature cannot stop UT from joining the SEC but after today’s theater, it is clear some will dangle the small portion of state funds appropriated relative to the total $3B annual UT operating budget in front of them as a threat to coerce their behavior moving forward.
Since we have the luxury of Monday morning quarterbacking and hypocrisy is all too common in politics to serve one’s self-interest and preservation, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see recent patterns of government overreach into local and institutional decisions. COVID-19 infection rates in Texas are soaring to previous deadly surge levels but local schools, public health systems, cities and counties have their hands tied behind their backs by the state and are prohibited from implementing public health measures that could save lives in their communities. Moreover, the Legislature squandered a 140-day Legislative Session that the public expected would result in meaningful power grid and supply reform to ensure millions of Texans have access to electricity and clean water unlike they did for weeks in February. But the Legislature didn’t and won’t – and, that is okay because they need to protect those free-market energy companies that fund their reelection coffers instead of 30M Texans.
On Saturday, the Longhorns were able to land a commitment from 2022 4-Star EDGE Derrick Brown. Today, our Devon Messinger discusses Brown's talents and what he will bring to the Texas Longhorns football program.
Texas leaving the Big 12 Conference for greener pastures was always a possibility. All one needs to do is look back to the realignment discussion in 2011.
At that time there were talks of the Pac-10 adding the likes of Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Colorado. While most of those teams stayed put, Colorado made the jump along with Utah, and joined the Pac 10, molding what is now the modern-day Pac-12.
Texas A&M joined the Southeastern Conference (SEC), as did Missouri, and Nebraska trended North and joined the Big-10.
The shuffling left the Big 12 with many questions regarding the future of the conference, but the Longhorns didn't stew too long. To the chagrin of others, Texas secured its golden goose, the Longhorn Network, substantially increasing revenue and making it more palatable to remain a Big 12 member.
West Virginia and TCU were added, bringing the school count to ten. But Oklahoma and Texas held the cards and the conference alive with brands that were appealing.
The informal assumption was that Texas would eventually join the Pac-12 as the school's profile fit the Pac-12's academic profile more so than that of the SEC.
When Bret Zwerneman's Houston Chronicle article dropped last week reporting that Texas and Oklahoma had expressed interest in joining the SEC, it was a surprise to many. But the move makes a lot of sense.
The new leadership at Texas in President Jay Hartzell, Board of Regents Chairman Kevin Eltife and Athetic Director Chris Del Conte is the biggest reason the move to the SEC should come as no surprise. The priority the triumvirate is placing on the athletic programs at The University is unparalleled and unprecedented.
Firing head coach Tom Herman during a global pandemic when budget cuts were enacted and paying Herman's $25 million buyout showed they didn’t care about optics. Many administrations would have saved that money after a 7-3 season, especially given the country's state of economic turmoil. Texas cares about it's brand and reinvigorating the program's blue-blood status, and the move to the SEC is what's best for both.
The move undoubtedly makes the path to the College Football Playoff more challenging, but that's precisely what the Longhorns need. Texas has been called soft, entitled and second-best in the Big 12 for many years. The hope is that in a new conference, that stigma is erased on the field. Saturday competition will be fierce week-in and week-out, and fellow blue-bloods will push Texas both on the field in the trenches of recruiting battles.
Rivalries will be renewed, with the Longhorns picking back up games against Texas A&M and former Southwest Conference foe Arkansas. They also keep the Red River Shootout game against the Sooners.
Texas is the biggest brand in college sports from a revenue perspective, and the SEC is the best conference in college sports. The revenue share SEC teams will enjoy by adding Texas and Oklahoma will rise from 44 million to roughly 60 million per year. That's a win-win for everyone involved.
Joining the SEC will craft a different roster for the Longhorns, as they will receive commitments from players that otherwise wouldn't pull the trigger to play in the Big 12. One of the biggest recruiting sells against Texas was the conference they played in.
That will no longer be a sales pitch.
There are no more excuses for Texas to lose the in-state recruiting battles and for placing a mediocre product on the field.
Saturday has been a big day for the Longhorns as they have added a commitment from 2022 five-star point guard Arterio Morris, in addition to landing transfer guard Marcus Carr from Minnesota. Today, our Devon Messinger discuss Carr's game and how the Longhorns basketball team is shaping up.
On Saturday, Chris Beard and the Longhorns landed a commitment from 2022 5-Star PG Arterio Morris. Today, our Devon Messinger discusses what makes Morris such a highly-regarded recruit and why his commitment is a big deal for Texas.
The Big 12 Conference released its preseason all-conference team on Wednesday, and included on the list were sophmore running back Bijan Robinson and senior defensive back Bijan Robinson.
Jamison, a 2020 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention, started in 9 of the 10 games in a shortened season for the Longhorns. He had 31 total tackles (25 solo) and 17 kick returns for a total of 564 yards and a touchdown (including one for 100 yards).
Robinson, an early Heisman watch-list candidate, had a break-out season in his campaign as a true freshman. The Arizona native played in 9 games and started in 6, amassing 703 yards and 4 touchdowns on 86 carries.
Complete All-Big 12 Preseason Team can be found below.
Friday was a big day for the Longhorns, thanks in large part thanks to 2022 3-Star OL Connor Robertson's commitment. Today, our Devon Messinger shares what makes Connor a special player, in addition to his future with the Longhorns.
On Friday, the Longhorns landed a commitment from 2022 4-Star OL Cole Hutson, a product of Frisco High School. Today, our Devon Messinger discuss Hutson and the skillset that he will bring to Steve Sarkisian and Texas.
On Monday, the Longhorns were able to land their 12th pledge in their 2022 recruiting class when Jamarion Miller announced his commitment. Miller, a product of Tyler Legacy, also becomes Texas's second running back in their 2022 recruiting class, following Jaydon Blue. Today, our Devon Messinger reacts to Miller's commitment and shares his thoughts on Miller's skillset.
Following the Longhorns' exit from the College World Series after losing 4-3 to Mississippi State, Texas ace Ty Madden received All-American honors again, this time from D1Baseball.
Madden, who finished the season 7-5 with a 2.45 ERA, has landed on a total of five All-American teams this season.
At last, Texas's series of official visit weekends throughout the month of June has come to an end. Additionally, Monday marks the start of a new dead period which will run through July 24. As a result, this past weekend was a prime opportunity for the Longhorns coaching staff to make a great impression on recruits before having the chance to see them again in the future.
Today, we will discuss some of Texas's visitors and will list all of the team's offers since my last article.
Longhorns defensive back Josh Thompson shared a picture of 2022 four-star safety Bryce Anderson and 2022 four-star cornerback Jaylon Guilbeau, standing next to Longhorn legend Michael Huff and his Rolls-Royce. Obviously, the Longhorns were taking advantage of every weapon at their disposal, including Michael Huff's Jim Thorpe award which was also showcased.
Important to note, Anderson is set to make an announcement regarding his future school on the Fourth of July. Currently, Texas has a plethora of 247Sports crystal ball predictions in favor of landing Anderson.
Speaking of the safety position, 2023 four-star safety Mikal Harrison-Pilot also shared his pleasure with Texas via Twitter. Along with Harrison-Pilot, highly regarded recruits such as 2022 five-star offensive tackle Devon Campbell and 2022 four-star defensive lineman KJ Miles were also on campus as well.
In recent years, Texas has struggled to land the state's top talent on the offensive line, however a commitment from Campbell could very well start a favorable domino effect. As of now, the Longhorns are the favorite to land Campbell, who has several 247Sports crystal ball predictions in favor of Texas.
Another recruit that has been predicted to join the Longhorns is 2022 four-star athlete Arlis Boardingham, who was able to make the trip out to Texas to visit the Forty Acres. Boardingham, a Southern California product, is one of the many players from the Los Angeles area that coach Steve Sarkisian has been targeting.
Lastly, 2022 four-star defensive lineman Justice Finkley seemed to enjoy his Texas visit. However, after Finkley's official visit to Michigan just over a week ago, he received two 247Sports crystal ball predictions in favor of the Wolverines. As a result, it is safe to say that the Longhorns had some work to do this past weekend in order to sway Finkley to Texas.
Derion Gullette - Linebacker - Marlin
Justice Haynes - Four-star Running Back - Blessed Trinity Catholic
Trey Holly - Four-star Running Back - Union Parish
Jahlil McClain - Four-star Cornerback - St. John Bosco
Jaden Platt - Tight End - Eaton
Julian Sayin - Quarterback - Carlsbad
The past week has been a rather quiet one for Texas in recruiting. However, the headline story of the week was not a great one for the Longhorns as they lost a commitment from 2023 five-star running back Rueben Owens. But, on the bright side, Steve Sarkisian was also able to add another pledge to Texas's 2022 recruiting class.
Today, we will discuss some of Texas's visitors from this weekend and will list all of Texas's offers since my last article.
On Thursday, Rueben Owens announced that he would decommit from the Longhorns. Just last weekend, Owens took an unofficial visit to Texas with recruits such as Arch Manning and Johntay Cook. Now, it appears that Texas may be on the outside looking in for Rueben's services. Owens, the nation's second-ranked running back in the nation according to 247Sports, has already gained four scholarship offers since his announcement. Additionally, with his decommitment, Texas's 2023 recruiting class is back to nil.
On Tuesday, 2022 five-star kicker Will Stone declared that he was committing to Texas. Stone, who attends the Regents School of Austin, will stay close to home with his decision to play for the Longhorns. According to Kohl's, Stone is the 15th ranked kicker in the nation's 2022 class. Meanwhile, 247Sports has Stone listed as the nation's third-ranked kicker in the 2022 class.
2022 four-star running back Jaydon Blue shared that he was enjoying his time in Austin this weekend via Twitter. Blue, the nation's top running back according to 247Sports, is a Texas pledge who attends Klein Cain High School in the Houston area.
In May, Blue announced his intention of opting out of his senior season of high school football. As a result, barring any unforeseen changes, Blue's next snaps on the football field should be for the Texas Longhorns.
In addition to Blue, 2022 four-star safety Bryan Allen Jr. was able to experience the Texas treatment on his official visit to the Forty Acres. Allen, an Aledo product, has been committed to joining the Longhorns since April. In addition, Bryan's younger brother, Jaden Allen, was also able to visit the campus as well. Jaden, a class of 2024 cornerback, received an offer from Texas earlier in the month of June.
Also on campus this weekend, 2022 four-star wide receiver C.J. Williams, who appeared to be all smiles during his official visit. Williams, a product of Mater Dei High School in the Los Angeles, CA area, is friends with current Texas pledge Maalik Murphy. The Mater Dei product is a hot commodity in the world of recruiting as 247Sports has him rated as the nation's sixth-ranked class of 2022 wide receiver.
Currently, 2022 four-star wide receiver Armani Winfield is Texas's only wide receiver commit in their 2022 recruiting class.
Will Stone - Five-star Kicker - Regents School
Malik Bryant - Five-star Edge Rusher - IMG Academy
Thomas Collins - Defensive Lineman - Sweden
Lucas Simmons - Offensive Tackle - Clearwater Academy International
This weekend, Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns made sure to pull all the stops for the recruits that were on campus. In fact, Texas's assets included: Matthew McConaughey, Earl Campbell, Vince Young, Colt McCoy and much, much more. Why was this weekend so important for Sarkisian? Well, top recruits such as 2023 five-star running back Rueben Owens and 2023 five-star Arch Manning were set to step foot on campus.
Today, we will discuss some of this weekend's visitors and will list all of Texas's offers since my last article.
Commitments & Transfers:
Within the last seven days, the Longhorns have landed commitments from 2022 five-star long snapper Lance St. Louis, 2022 three-star athlete Anthony Jones and Alabama transfer Keilan Robinson.
To begin, St. Louis is the second ranked long snapper in the nation according to Kohl's. The long snapper position is definitely one that goes unrecognized by most, however it is a critical position for special teams play.
Next, Jones, a former Washington commit, has a big 6'5" frame and has been recruited to play either as a linebacker or a tight end by college programs. However, for now it appears that the Longhorns are pursuing his services on the defensive side of the ball. In my opinion, Jones has long-term upside, thanks to his frame, however it will take time for him to physically develop and see time on the field. Currently, Jones has received 10 scholarship offers from schools such as: Miami, Oregon, USC and Washington.
Lastly, what Robinson will bring to the Longhorns is his speed. Coming out of high school in 2019, Robinson was a four-star recruit at the running back position. During his freshman season, Robinson rushed for 254 yards. In 2020, he opted out of Alabama's football season during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the running back's speed, Robinson will add value to the team by bolstering the depth of the running back room.
Like last weekend, the Longhorns were geared up to host top recruits. Steve Sarkisian has made it readily apparent that he will embrace the rich pride and tradition of the university, and bringing back successful alumni showcases this.
However, sometimes it is the little things that make the biggest difference. For example, 2022 five-star linebacker Harold Perkins shared his enthusiasm via Instagram for gummy bears, which were just one of the many goodies that he received during his official visit.
Currently, Perkins, who attends Cypress Park High School in the Houston area, has two 247Sports crystal ball predictions in favor of Texas A&M. However, it would be a huge win for the Longhorns if they were able to procure a commitment from the highly touted recruit.
In addition to Perkins, Texas hosted a large number of other top-rated recruits, such as Arch Manning, Rueben Owens, Anthony Hill and Johntay Cook II. Other than keeping Owens, a Texas pledge, in the boat, the Longhorns will face an uphill battle in their efforts for much of this group. Manning, the nation's top-ranked quarterback in the 2023 class, will have every major college football program vying for his services. Although, on the optimistic side of things, it appears that Sarkisian has been able to establish a bond with the young gunslinger from Louisiana. On the other hand, Hill and Cook are both highly recruited football players from the state of Texas. As a result, the Longhorns must prove that they are capable of warding off rivals for in-state talent.
Furthermore, the recruiting efforts were not only spent on skill players, but also on the interior. On Twitter, 2023 four-star interior offensive lineman Harris Sewell shared pictures from his Texas visit as well. Sewell, a product of Odessa Permian, will be one of the many top recruits that Kyle Flood will have his eyes on. Additionally, talent on the offensive line in the state's 2022 and 2023 recruiting classes certainly exists. And, as mentioned in last week's official visit article, it is very important for the Longhorns to capitalize on this talent as the previous coaching staff missed out on many of their 2021 targets.
Along with Sewell, 2022 four-star interior offensive lineman Cole Hutson once again explored the Forty Acres and met with coaches this weekend. During his last Texas visit just over a week ago, Hutson watched a Longhorns baseball game with Kyle Flood, Texas's offensive line coach.
Robert Gunn III - Kicker - Pinellas Park
Mark Nabou - Three-star Interior Offensive Lineman - O'Dea
Olaus Alinen - Four-star Offensive Tackle - The Loomis Chaffee School
Johnny Bowens - Three-star Defensive Lineman - Judson
Rico Flores - Four-star Athlete - Folsom
Vernon Glover Jr. - Three-star Cornerback - Dickinson
Colton Thomasson - Offensive Tackle - Smithson Valley
Tay'Shawn Wilson - Cornerback - Mayde Creek
Ryan Pellum - Wide Receiver - Millikan
Beginning this past week, the Longhorns were finally able to host recruits on official visits. Additionally, Steve Sarkisian and his coaching staff also kicked off Texas's annual football camps. As a result, this week has been filled with buzz from many of Texas's top targets.
Today, we will recap some of the festivities from this past week and will list all of Texas's offers since my last article.
It was evident early on that the Longhorns had been preparing for this weekend as coach Steve Sarkisian posted a picture with "All Gas No Brakes" decor, Sarkisian's coaching mantra.
However, the decor is obviously not Texas's main draw, as having one of the best football stadiums in the country certainly takes precedence. 2022 three-star wide receiver Jeremy Patton, from Tenaha, TX, made sure to post a picture of himself at midfield inside of DKR during his official visit. Patton, who plays on both sides of the ball at Tenaha, has received two 247Sports crystal ball predictions, in favor of the Longhorns, from both Nick Harris and Mike Roach of Horns247.
2022 four-star running back TreVonte' Citizen expressed his pleasure with his official visit via Twitter. Citizen, a native of Lake Charles, LA, is also the nation's 13th highest-rated running back in the 2022 class per the 247Sports Composite. Earlier in the week, Citizen took an unofficial visit to LSU, which will be the school to beat for Citizen's services.
In addition to the skill positions, recruiting prominent offensive linemen was certainly on coach Kyle Flood's agenda. In fact, 2022 four-star interior lineman Cole Hutson, from Frisco, TX, was able to enjoy a Longhorns baseball game with Flood during his official visit. After Herb Hand's (former Texas offensive line coach) disappointing stay at Texas, this summer will be important for Kyle Flood to be able to court some of the country's top offensive linemen. Flood, who previously coached at Alabama under Nick Saban, has a great track record of recruiting and developing talent on the offensive line.
Lance St. Louis - Long Snapper - Williams Field
Tausili Akana - Four-star Linebacker - Kahuku
Jaiden Ausberry - Five-star Linebacker - University Lab
Jalen Brown - Four-star Wide Receiver - Gulliver Prep
Mikal Harrison-Pilot - Four-star Safety - Temple
Braylon James - Four-star Wide Receiver - Del Valle
Chris Palfreeman - Three-star Wide Receiver - All Saints Episcopal
Jaden Allen - Cornerback - Aledo
Jaydan Hardy - Safety - Lewisville
Caleb Mitchell - Defensive Lineman - DeSoto
The day has finally come in which the NCAA will lift its recruiting dead period (which I have previously detailed here). As a result, coaches, such as Steve Sarkisian, are once again allowed to host recruits on official visits. The month of June will be incredibly busy for Texas's recruiting staff as the team has many top recruits that are scheduled to visit.
In today's article, I will discuss Texas's latest recruiting news and will list the team's most recent scholarship offers since my last article.
On Wednesday, 2022 four-star defensive lineman K.J. Miles announced that Texas is one of his top three schools. Along with Texas, Miles also listed Georgia Tech and Wisconsin in his top three. Miles, a product of St. Peters Prep in New Jersey, currently has two 247Sports crystal ball predictions in favor of Wisconsin. However, it seems that his recruitment is still up in the air as of this moment.
Miles has good size for a defensive lineman, standing in at 6'3" and 280 pounds. Additionally, in a COVID-19 shortened junior season (6 total games), Miles tallied 28 total tackles, 4 quarterback hurries, 3.5 sacks and 1 forced fumble.
Currently, Miles would become the third defensive lineman in Texas's 2022 recruiting class if he chose to commit to the Longhorns.
The month of May was pretty quiet in terms of recruiting, which was to be expected. However, with top recruits being able to tour facilities and meet with coaches in-person, fans should anticipate to hear some noise in the recruiting world.
In addition to official visits, college football programs will once again be able to host camps. This is important because it allows college coaches an opportunity to evaluate recruits in-person. This year, the Longhorns plan to sprinkle their camp dates across the entire month of June.
Andrew Keller - Three-star Tight End - Waunakee
Ethan Davis - Three-star Wide Receiver - Collins Hill
Lebbeus Overton - Five-star Defensive Lineman - Milton
Sonny Styles - Five-star Safety - Pickerington Central
Jayden Wayne - Five-star Defensive Lineman - Lincoln
Wallace Foster - Cornerback - Warren Easton
Since Chris Beard accepted the Texas job at the start of April, his staff has been in communication with many of the nation's top prospects. In fact, much like the football team, the Longhorns basketball team plans on hosting official visits for several highly regarded recruits during the summer.
Today, we will discuss the latest in recruiting, from top school announcements to all of Chris Beard's scholarship offers since arriving in Austin.
2022 five-star shooting guard Keyonte George announced that Texas is one of his top five schools. In addition to the Longhorns; Baylor, Kansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma State round out George's list. George, the top basketball player in the state of Texas according to 247Sports, is also the nation's sixth highest-ranked recruit per the 247Sports Composite.
Additionally, Horns247's Nick Harris has inserted a crystal ball prediction for George in favor of the Longhorns.
George, a 6'4" guard, has a quick shooting release and is not afraid to let it fly from behind the arc. During his junior season at Lewisville, George averaged 23.2 points per game and shot 50% from the field. In May, George announced that he will be transferring to iSchool Entrepreneurial Academy in Lewisville for his senior season.
In addition to George, the Longhorns have also made 2022 four-star point guard Arterio Morris's top five schools list. The other four schools on Arterio's list are Florida, Georgia, Kansas and Oregon.
247Sports has ranked Morris as the nation's 25th best class of 2022 recruit, as well as the fifth best recruit in the state of Texas.
Like George, Morris will also be taking his talents to iSchool Entrepreneurial Academy for his senior season of high school basketball. Last season, Morris lead Dallas Kimball to a state championship game appearance, however the Knights ultimately lost to Beaumont United.
Lastly, 2022 five-star point guard Bryce Griggs named the Longhorns as one of his top seven schools. Big 12 rivals Baylor and Kansas also appeared on Bryce's list. It also should be noted that the lead recruiter for Griggs at Kansas was Jerrance Howard, who has since joined Chris Beard's coaching staff at Texas.
According to 247Sports, Griggs is ranked as the 19th best recruit in the nation's 2022 recruiting cycle. On top of that, Griggs is also ranked as the state of Texas's fourth best player in the class of 2022.
Griggs, who attends Fort Bend Hightower in Missouri, TX, averaged 22.6 points per game, 5 assists per game and shot 48% from the field last season. Although Griggs shot 33% from beyond the arc during his junior year, which doesn't jump off the page, Griggs has showcased an ability to make shots from a deep range.
Terrance Arceneaux - Four-star Small Forward - Beaumont United
Emoni Bates - Five-star Small Forward - Ypsi Prep Academy
Jazian Gortman - Four-star Point Guard - W.J. Keenan
Sam Murray - Three-star Power Forward - Harrison Central
Yohan Traore - Center - Prolific Prep
Kel'el Ware - Four-star Center - North Little Rock
Kijani Wright - Five-star Power Forward - Windward School
Robert Dillingham - Five-star Point Guard - Combine Academy
Ronald Holland - Five-star Power Forward - Duncanville
KJ Lewis - Five-star Shooting Guard - Chapin
Tyler Smith - Five-star Power Forward - Fort Bend Bush
J.J. Taylor - Five-star Small Forward - Kenwood Academy
Ja'Kobe Walter - Four-star Shooting Guard - McKinney
Last season, the Carroll Dragons were one win away from winning their ninth state championship. Although the Dragons were not able to beat the Westlake Chaparrals in the title game, their season could be categorized as a successful one. In fact, entering the 2020 season, Carroll only had one returning starter on defense, in addition to just three on offense.
Questions to be Answered:
The two storylines to watch for the next football season are:
#1: Can the defense further improve?
#2: With top receiving target Brady Boyd now an early enrollee at Minnesota, who will step up for the Dragons on offense?
Those were the two questions that I had entering Carroll's annual spring game. However, these questions will certainly not be fully answered until the team is battle tested during the regular season.
To begin, Carroll is led by 2022 five-star quarterback Quinn Ewers, who is committed to Ohio State. Ewers, the nation's top-ranked prospect in the class of 2022, started the day off strong, connecting with 2022 receiver Corbin Duwe for a touchdown on the second play of the game. Duwe had several big-time catches and will be a player to keep an eye on in the fall.
2022 three-star wide receiver Landon Samson was not suited up for the Dragons, however he has high expectations for next season. In 2020, Samson caught 75 passes for 1,293 yards and 15 touchdowns. As a result, Landon's recruiting stock has soared as he is now up to 18 collegiate offers from schools such as Baylor, Nebraska and Utah. With Boyd now at Minnesota, Samson's production should expect an uptick in 2021.
Along with Samson, 2022 three-star tight end RJ Maryland should also expect to have a big senior season for the Dragons. RJ, the son of 10-year NFL veteran Russell Maryland, has also seen his recruiting fortunes skyrocket as he currently holds 24 college offers from schools such as Miami, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Last season, the 6'4" receiving threat caught 30 passes for 736 yards and 13 touchdowns. While Maryland was suited up on the sidelines, I did not see him appear in the spring game.
Although Texas has yet to extend an offer to Maryland or Samson, I would not be surprised if their names are discussed by Sarkisian's staff in the near future. Furthermore, Ewers should continue to be on Texas's radar as well. Sarkisian has been known as a quarterback guru during the course of his coaching career and proved his offensive intelligence in Alabama's dominant national championship win over Ohio State. As a result, Texas has the potential to re-emerge as an attractive destination for top-ranked quarterbacks.
Another intriguing player to watch on Carroll's offense is 2024 tight end Harrison Moore. While Maryland is frequently used as a flex tight end, Moore seems to be more of a singleback tight end. What instantly stood out about Moore is his outstanding frame, being listed at 6'5".
Now, turning to the question of defense, 2022 linebacker Travis Keener looks to be the unit's leader. According to MaxPreps, Keener, one of the team's captains, tallied a total of 29 tackles last season. However, he will have to shoulder much more responsibility during his senior season as 2021 three-star safety Cinque Williams will desperately missed. Additionally, the Dragons defense allowed over 27 points per game last season, a number that they will have to heavily decrease in 2021.
Carroll's defense had a slow start, however the group eventually found its groove and began to force turnovers. Ultimately, the summer will be particularly important for this side of the ball to further develop.
Overall, the Dragons are definitely poised to make another deep playoff run next season. However, the team will also have a lot to prove if they want to be able to win the final game of the Texas high school football season.
Recently, Texas has been busy sending out offers and coordinating camp dates for recruits. Additionally, the Longhorns are set to have a busy month of June as they will host a number of top recruits on official visits. Today, we will discuss the latest recruiting news and will list Texas's most recent offers since my last article.
Yesterday, 2022 four-star safety Bryce Anderson announced that he will declare his commitment on the fourth of July. Currently, Texas seems to be the favorite to land the Beaumont West Brook product as he has 11 247Sports crystal ball predictions for the Longhorns. Additionally, Anderson is set to make an official visit to Texas on the third weekend of June.
According to the 247Sports Composite, Anderson is the 45th top-ranked player in the nation's 2022 recruiting cycle.
Offered by Texas just over a week ago, 2022 three-star running back De'Anthony Gatson has already included the Longhorns in his top five schools list. The other four football programs on Gatson's list include: Colorado, Iowa State, Minnesota and Southern California.
Last season, Gatson rushed for 1,974 yards and scored a total of 31 touchdowns. In addition, Gatson was able to lead the Newton Eagles to the Texas high school football playoffs.
Barion Brown - Four-star Wide Receiver - Pearl-Cohn
De'Anthony Gatson - Three-star Running Back - Newton
Tommy McIntosh - Three-star Wide Receiver - Dewitt
Mykel Williams - Five-star Defensive Tackle - Hardaway
Rueben Bain Jr. - Four-star Defensive Tackle - Miami Central
Nyckoles Harbor - Four-star Athlete - Archbishop Carroll
AJ Harris - Five-star Cornerback - Glenwood School
In January, Greathouse was able to win his second consecutive football state championship with the Westlake Chaparrals. After the season, MaxPreps named Greathouse to their High School Football Sophomore All-American team. In fact, Greathouse was able to earn first team honors.
According to 247Sports, the four-star prospect currently holds 5 offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Oklahoma, Penn State and Texas.
Sophomore Season Statistics (Via: MaxPreps)
Offense: 69 receptions, 1145 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns.
Like all good receivers, Greathouse has excellent hands for catching the football. As long as the quarterback gives him a chance to make a play, you can expect Jaden to make the catch. Additionally, Greathouse has good hand-eye coordination which he uses to his advantage not only on the football field, but also on the basketball court as well.
Complementing his receiving skills, Jaden is also a quality route runner which allows him to create separation with defensive backs. As a result, he often gives his quarterback an ample cushion to throw the ball.
As I previously mentioned, Greathouse has already been a part of two state championship football teams. Additionally, he was a member of Westlake's 2020-21 state runner-up basketball team, which ultimately was eliminated by top-ranked Duncanville. However, it is needless to say that he has been ingrained in a winning culture which will bode well for his future college program.
Last season, I was curious to see how Greathouse would perform as Westlake's top receiver. He answered the call and helped lead the Chaparrals to another state championship. This offseason, I would like to see if Greathouse can shave some time off of his top-end speed. By doing so, Greathouse would become a bigger threat as a playmaker when he has the football.
What I See:
Coming onto the scene during his freshman season, it was evident that Greathouse was already one of the best receivers in Texas. Now, Greathouse has two state titles under his belt and can anticipate his recruiting buzz to crescendo. I believe that he is a very intriguing recruit to watch and should only get better over time.
The Longhorns will have competition in the pursuit of Greathouse, however they also have the advantage in proximity. Although Jaden's throwing partner at Westlake, and current Clemson commit, Cade Klubnik, is proof that there is a lot more to a college decision than just physical distance. Overall, it will be very interesting to see which schools make strides with Greathouse over the summer and, ultimately, to see where he ends up committing.