On Monday, CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd reported that the NCAA Council is expected to end the recruiting dead period on June 1. In my last article, I mentioned that the Longhorns have been preparing for this announcement by scheduling official visits for recruits. As a result, I anticipate that recruits will try to hold off on announcing commitments until they are able to make these on campus visits.
However, the Longhorns have still managed to be the beneficiaries of several recent 247Sports crystal balls predictions.
Crystal Ball Predictions:
Following 2022 four-star defensive tackle Kristopher Ross's commitment to Texas, several 247Sports crystal ball predictions have been in favor of the Longhorns. However, it will be interesting to see if these targets will wait until June, when Texas plans to start hosting official visits once again, to make a decision.
To begin, 2022 four-star defensive end Zac Swanson has recently received two crystal ball predictions from Blair Angulo of 247Sports and Mike Roach of Horns247.
If Texas were to receive a commitment from Swanson, who stands in at 6'4", they would land their 2022 recruiting class's first defensive end. Additionally, Swanson would join notable native Arizonans such as Bijan Robinson, Jake Smith, and Brayden Liebrock on Texas's roster.
Along with Swanson, the Longhorns seem to be trending in the right direction for 2023 four-star cornerback Javien Toviano. Representative of this, both Mike Roach and Nick Harris of Horns247 have placed crystal balls for Toviano in favor of the Longhorns. Toviano, a product of Arlington Martin, is the brother of current Rice Owl, Juma Otoviano.
Lastly, 2022 four-star running back Tavorus Jones, a product of Burges High School in El Paso, also received two crystal ball predictions from Roach and Harris in favor of Texas. If Jones were to commit to Texas, he would become the second running back in Texas's 2022 recruiting class, following the commitment of Jaydon Blue in February.
Lander Barton - Four-star Outside Linebacker - Brighton
Isaiah Bond - Three-star Cornerback - Buford
TJ Dudley - Four-star Outside Linebacker - Montgomery Catholic Preparatory
George Fitzpatrick - Four-star Offensive Tackle - Cherry Creek
Anthony Jones - Three-star Athlete - Liberty
Robby Snelling - Four-star Athlete - McQueen
Deone Walker - Three-star Defensive Tackle - Cass Technical
Ashton Cozart - Three-star Wide Receiver - Richland
Ashton Porter - Four-star Defensive End - Cy Ranch
TJ Shanahan - Four-star Offensive Guard - Timber Creek
Last June, JD Coffey committed to the Texas Longhorns football program. In December, Coffey signed with the Longhorns and did not waver from his commitment when Steve Sarkisian was introduced as the football program's new head coach.
According to 247Sports, the four-star safety was ranked as the seventh highest-rated safety in the nation's 2021 recruiting cycle.
Senior Season Statistics (Via: 247Sports)
Defense: 71 tackles, 2 sacks and 2 interceptions.
First of all, what stands out about Coffey is that he is not afraid to supply a big hit near the line of scrimmage. Furthermore, Coffey exhibits good awareness and is able to recognize a play's development before it is fully realized. As a result, he is adept at getting a good jump on the football and showcases this trait often against screen passes.
Coffey also proved to be a great center fielder from the safety position during his high school football career. Evidence of this, Coffey tallied 14 interceptions throughout his time with Kennedale.
While Coffey displays great athleticism already, spending time in Texas's strength and conditioning program will help him to add strength to his frame. Consequently, I think that this added strength will enhance Coffey's ability to wrap up the opponent's ball carrier.
What I See:
The Longhorns have several enticing prospects in the secondary and I think that Coffey is one of them. Additionally, Coffey is one of the recruits that I am most excited to see from Texas's 2021 recruiting class. Personally, I think that Coffey has a good array of skills to be a productive safety and a mainstay for the Longhorns on defense. Hopefully for Steve Sarkisian, Coffey will be a key factor in reinventing Texas's DBU image.
Last Friday, Chris Beard was introduced as the new coach of the Longhorns men's basketball team. Beard will take over for Shaka Smart, who left the Longhorns for Marquette following Texas's first round NCAA tournament loss to 14-seed Abilene Christian. However, while Beard will bring a clean slate to Texas, he has a lot of work to do - starting with the team's roster.
Currently, out of the 12 Longhorns that appeared in more than three games during the 2020-21 season, four were seniors. As a result, Texas could lose production from players such as: Matt Coleman III, Jericho Sims, Royce Hamm Jr., and Jase Febres. The former two were key players on this past season's team.
However, Chris Beard may be able to persuade a senior or two to return to the program thanks to the extra year of eligibility that the NCAA granted athletes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Royce Hamm Jr. has already been mentioned, he has also signaled his intention to transfer to UNLV for his final season of eligibility.
Alongside Hamm, sophomore guard Donovan Williams has also declared his intention to enter the transfer portal. While both Hamm and Williams were used rather sparingly last season, both athletes had the potential to see increased playing time during the 2021-22 season.
In addition to Hamm and Williams, the Longhorns basketball program had already lost Will Baker and Gerald Liddell to the transfer portal earlier in the season. Ultimately, Baker decided to transfer to Nevada and Liddell announced that he would join the Alabama State basketball program.
Last season, it appeared that 2020 five-star forward Greg Brown, from Vandegrift High School in Austin, would be an ideal one-and-done candidate. Furthermore, while Greg Brown showed signs of promise during his freshman season, he was far too inconsistent to see regular minutes on the court. Despite of this, Brown still averaged 20.6 minutes on the floor with 9.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1 block per game. Consequently, Brown should figure to receive a sales pitch from Chris Beard about the possibility of returning to the program to further develop his game.
Unlike Brown, sophomore forward Kai Jones has already declared for the NBA Draft. During the 2020-21 season, Jones was recognized with the Big 12 Conference's Sixth Man Award.
Currently, both Brown and Jones are regulars on NBA mock draft sites, frequently appearing in the first round. Additionally, Jones has often been listed as a lottery pick.
For starters, it is imperative that Chris Beard figures out his roster situation as soon as possible. Afterwards, he will have to look to add talent via the transfer portal, something he is already accustomed to doing. Since 2019, Beard has been able to recruit six players to Texas Tech through the transfer portal, including last year's star player Mac McClung. However, this offseason will surely challenge Beard's ability to quickly acquire talent as the Longhorns could potentially lose seven players from last season's roster.
Additionally, Texas's 2021 recruiting class has gone from a total of four commitments to just two following Shaka Smart's departure. As a result, Beard will have to do some damage control in order to keep the recruiting class from shrinking any further. Lastly, with National Signing Day approaching on April 15, Beard will have a quick turnaround to make any last-ditch recruiting efforts.
On Thursday morning, Stadium's Jeff Goodman broke the news that Chris Beard was accepting the position of head basketball coach at the University of Texas. Last week, former Texas basketball coach Shaka Smart announced his decision to accept Marquette's head coaching position. As a result, Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte had the opportunity to hand pick his own basketball coach.
While the specifics of Beard's contract with Texas have yet to be released, Beard made roughly $5.1 million during the 2020-21 basketball season at Texas Tech. Additionally, Beard had a $4 million buyout clause with Texas Tech.
College Station, TX --
The fifth ranked Texas Baseball team traveled to College Station on Tuesday, rekindling their rivalry on the diamond with the Texas A&M Aggies. It was a slow night at the plate for both teams, but in the end it was the Aggies that claimed victory, besting the Longhorns 2-0 in front of a home crowd at Blue Bell Park.
Texas starting pitcher Pete Hansen took the loss, giving up one earned run and four hits. Hansen lasted 5 1/3 innings before Tanner Witt relieved him and got the Longhorns out of a jam to keep the score at 1-0.
Witt gave up a solo home run in the 7th to Mike Hoener, sealing a 2-0 Texas A&M victory.
The Longhorns mustered up just four hits in the game, with two of those hits coming from Silas Ardoin. Zack Zubia and Mitchell Daly each had one hit for Texas.
Nathan Dettmer notched the win for the Aggies and Chandler Jozwiak was credited with the save.
Up next: Texas will head to Lawrence, Kansas to play a three-game series against the Jayhawks beginning on Thursday.
Although Lampasas senior Ace Whitehead is a member of Texas baseball's 2021 signing class, he has talent on the football field as well. In 2020, Whitehead led Lampasas to the area round of the high school football playoffs before losing to Corpus Christi Miller. However, Whitehead has been one of the state's most electric football players during his high school career.
Senior Season Statistics (Via: MaxPreps)
Offense: 1,993 passing yards, 29 passing touchdowns, 978 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns.
Special Teams: 62/67 on point after attempts and 3/3 on field goal attempts with a 46 yard season-long.
What stands out about Whitehead as a quarterback is his ability to accurately throw the football. Whether Whitehead is throwing a quick pass or a deep ball, you can count on him to hit his target. According to MaxPreps, Whitehead has a career completion of 67.5%, which is a testament to his accuracy.
In addition to Whitehead's passing ability, his speed as a runner is also impressive. Whitehead was frequently able to find the edge on read-option plays and designed quarterback runs. After finding a running lane, Whitehead seemed to find his way to the end zone more often than not. Additionally, Whitehead was accustomed to moving the chains with his legs when the pocket collapsed.
In the fall, Lampasas was able to play in 10 games. Now, in the spring, Whitehead is starring for the Lampasas on the baseball diamond. After Whitehead graduates from Lampasas, he is committed to join David Pierce and the Longhorns baseball program.
As April approaches, the world of college football is awaiting news from the NCAA on the status of the dead period, which has been in place since March of 2020 due to COVID-19. However, the Longhorns have enjoyed the month of March thanks to the addition of their seventh commit in their 2022 recruiting class.
On Tuesday, 2022 three-star defensive tackle Kristopher Ross announced his commitment to the Longhorns. In addition to becoming the seventh commit in Texas's 2022 recruiting class, Ross also became the class's first defensive lineman.
Ross comes from a winning culture, being a product of Galena Park North Shore, as the Mustangs were able to advance to the 6A Division I classification semifinals last season. However, prior to the 2020 football season, North Shore had won two consecutive titles at the state's highest level of competition.
On Friday, 2022 four-star defensive end Justice Finkley, from Hewitt-Trussville High School in Alabama, announced his top 12 schools. Furthermore, the Longhorns made Finkley's list and were the only Big 12 program to be included.
Notable schools joining Texas on Finkley's list include: Alabama, Florida and Michigan.
As previously mentioned, the college football community is preparing for the NCAA to announce that the recruiting dead period will not be extended past the end of May. This is important because the dead period makes it difficult for recruits to get to know their potential college coaches.
NCAA's Dead Period Definition:
"During a dead period a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write and telephone student-athletes or their parents during a dead period."
If the dead period is lifted, college coaches will have greater access and freedom to contact recruits. Instead of a dead period, the NCAA is likely to implement a quiet period which allows college coaches to meet with recruits in-person when they are visiting the college's campus.
As a result, programs such as Texas are preparing to host official visits for many of their top targets. Currently, it appears that the Longhorns have locked in the third weekend of June to host their commits and top targets. Currently, several Texas commits have already announced their intention of visiting the Forty Acres during this time period.
Hero Kanu - Three-star Defensive Tackle - Santa Margarita Catholic
Jeremy Patton - Three-star Athlete - Tenaha
Last season, Charles Wright was able to lead the Austin High Maroons to a playoff appearance. However, the highlight of Wright's year had to have been receiving an offer from the University of Texas. Wright was given the opportunity to fulfill his dreams after 2021 four-star quarterback Jalen Milroe decommitted from Texas in mid-August. Now enrolled at the Forty Acres, Wright will look to leave his mark on the Longhorns football program.
Wright, a three-star quarterback, was ranked as the 33rd highest-rated pro-style quarterback in the nation's 2021 class, according to the 247Sports Composite.
Senior Season Statistics (Via: MaxPreps)
Offense: 2,759 passing yards, 31 passing touchdowns, 442 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns.
One thing that stands out about Wright is his accuracy on deep passes, even when facing heavy pressure. Furthermore, Wright does a good job of keeping his eyes downfield as a play develops, giving his wide receivers a chance to create separation and make plays.
Additionally, Wright has a quick release and enough arm strength to zip the football to his targets in the short passing game.
Occasionally, Wright will try to force passes into tight windows and get picked off. However, Wright showed progress during his senior season as he committed fewer mental mistakes.
What I See:
While I believe that Wright is a talented quarterback, I also believe that it will take some time for him to develop. However, Wright was not recruited to play right away for the Longhorns anyways. As a result, Wright will have the time to get adjusted to the speed of the college game and learn from the other rostered quarterbacks. Ultimately, I think that Wright has the potential to develop into a Power Five caliber starting quarterback. Even so, I believe that Wright's role as a Longhorn will be to develop into a solid second-string quarterback, something that has become increasingly important in today's game.
Texas had been on a recruiting hot streak as of late - particularly since Alabama won the National Championship.
New head coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff hit the ground running, landing commits from multiple top-end prospects. Five-star quarterback Maalik Murphy, four-star running back Jaydon Blue, and four-star wide receiver Armani Winfield among others headline a brilliant start to the 2022 class.
Texas’s last big commitment however came from four-star safety Bryan Allen Jr.
Outside of Evan Stewart’s de-commitment, March has been a bit of a dry-spell for Sarkisian on the recruiting trail. However, that dry-spell has quickly come to an end with the commitment of 2022 athlete number seven, Kristopher Ross.
Ross is a defensive tackle from North Shore. The 6’3 280-pound enforcer is a three-star commit via the 247Sports Composite. At a 0.8839 rating, Ross ranks as the 35th defensive tackle in his class and the 58th ranked player overall in the state of Texas for his class. In 2020, Ross was a first-team All-District selection as a junior en route to a 14-1 record for North Shore.
Via his Twitter account Ross posted his top-four schools on February 13. Among the four teams listed were Baylor, Oklahoma, LSU, and Texas. Shortly after, Ross made another announcement writing “With March 23rd being the anniversary of my father’s passing… that is the day I’ll announce the school of my choice.”
Today Ross makes it official, He’s Texas bound.
Name: Kristopher Ross
Position: Defensive Tackle
High School: North Shore
City, State: Houston, TX
Three Best Traits
Anticipation - Ross very quickly can dissect if the play is a run or a pass. He has great anticipation and awareness when it comes to sniffing out who the ball carrier is. If it’s a run outside you will see him change positions quickly. If the quarterback keeps the ball and looks to pass, Ross kicks it into a higher gear as he works his way up the middle. This anticipation is something that takes players a while to learn, Ross seems as if he just inherently possesses it.
Great size for the position - Among the top-50 defensive tackles in the class of 2022, Ross ranks near the upper-middle in terms of height and weight. At 6’3 and 280-pounds he has the ideal size for this grueling position. Among the best interior offensive linemen in the Big-12, Ross should be able to hold his own.
Speed and quickness - Ross is electric for a defensive tackle. He attacks interior offensive linemen with speed so few have seen at that position. He has a deadly combination of size and speed. At the position he plays, that’s a nightmare for the opposition.
Areas for Improvement
Run Game - Ross can dissect both the run and pass game. However, he’s better at bum-rushing the quarterback up the middle. If he gets met by an equally sized linemen, it can be tricky for him to maneuver his way around to get to the running back. One thing he can work on during his senior season is to be as dominant in the run game as he is in the passing game.
Technique - For now, Ross uses pure strength and speed to disrupt every play. Sooner or later he will come across a pure technician at the guard spot who will be able to out-muscle him. If Ross can become a master with his hands and arms and use swim moves and others to get around his blockers, he could be a nightmare.
Ross is a great pickup for Texas. He’s a guy who fits immediately from day one in the Longhorns base 4-3 scheme as he plays a similar scheme at North Shore already. Ross is a big, fast, defensive tackle who has the ability to completely disrupt any play. He plays every snap with a sense of urgency so rarely seen from most high school athletes. Texas is getting a good one in Ross.
Ross becomes the seventh commit to the 2022 class for Texas. Prior to Ross’s commitment, Texas had the eighth-ranked class in the nation and the second in the Big-12 behind Oklahoma. Ross becomes the fourth defensive commit for the Longhorns joining fellow three-star commits Trevell Johnson at linebacker, and four-star secondary pieces Bryan Allen Jr. and Jaylon Guilbeau.
Following 2022 four-star wide receiver Evan Stewart's decommitment, things have been moving slow for Texas in recruiting. However, this upcoming week has the potential to be a big one as a Texas target is planning on making an announcement on Tuesday.
Tomorrow, 2022 three-star defensive tackle Kristopher Ross plans to announce where he will be attending college. In February, the Longhorns extended an offer to the 6'3" and 280 pound North Shore product. In addition, Ross has received several 247Sports crystal ball predictions in favor of the Longhorns.
If Ross were to commit to Texas, he would become the first defensive lineman in Texas's 2022 recruiting class.
Earnest Greene III
Last Wednesday, 2022 four-star offensive guard Earnest Greene III, from St. John Bosco, named Texas as one of his top ten schools. Other than Texas, Oklahoma was the only other Big 12 program to make Greene's list.
Nyjalik Kelly - Four-star Defensive End - Dillard
Jadon Scarlett - Three-star Defensive Tackle - Coram Deo Academy
DeAndre Moore Jr. - Four-star Wide Receiver - Desert Pines
Last October, 2023 athlete Dalton Brooks received an offer from Texas. In addition, Dalton's cousin, Jonathon, was a member of Texas's 2021 recruiting class. However, Dalton is a heralded recruit himself with 9 collegiate offers. Several teams in the mix for Dalton include: Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M and USC.
Last December, Dalton and the Shiner Comanches won a state championship in Texas's 2A Division I classification.
Sophomore Season Statistics (Via: 247Sports)
1,059 rushing yards, 346 receiving yards and 21 total touchdowns.
98 tackles, 8 pass breakups, 3 interceptions and 1 touchdown.
First of all, what stands out about Dalton is his speed. On defense, Brooks covers plenty of ground from the safety position. With his speed, Dalton is able to make plays both near the line of scrimmage and further downfield. Meanwhile, on offense, Dalton is a home run threat every time he has the football thanks to his electrifying speed.
Additionally, one of Dalton's strengths is his fearlessness in pursuing the football on defense. Furthermore, Brooks is not afraid to seek contact as a safety and exhibits good pad level when supplying a big hit on an opponent.
Defensively, Brooks can work on his tackling technique at the line of scrimmage as he tends to try to sling the opposition to the ground. As a result, working to wrap up, and drive through, the ball carrier will help to improve his game. Additionally, Brooks, who is just a sophomore, will benefit from adding more weight to his 6'1" frame as he develops.
What I See:
While Brooks is just a sophomore, he exhibits great potential. Dalton's potential was best on display during Shiner's championship run as he made many big-time plays and practically was on the field at all times. While still two years away from graduating, I believe that Dalton possesses many of the tools that are needed to eventually become a starter on a Power Five team. However, I am just excited to see how he continues to improve during his time in high school.
Last week, the biggest happenings around the football program came from Texas's pro day. However, there were some major occurrences in recruiting as well. Unfortunately for the Longhorns, the biggest news story from the past week was not a good one.
On Thursday, 2022 four-star wide receiver Evan Stewart announced that he was decommitting from the Longhorns. Moreover, the Frisco Liberty product committed to Texas only about a month prior to his eventual decommitment.
According to 247Sports, Stewart is the nation's fifth ranked wide receiver in the 2022 class.
Last Tuesday, 2022 four-star cornerback Ephesians Prysock announced that Texas was one of his top ten schools. Additionally, the only other Big 12 program to join Texas on Prysock's list was Oklahoma.
Furthermore, the Bishop Alemany product's announcement serves as an indicator of Texas's increased recruiting efforts in the state of California.
Last Wednesday, 2022 five-star offensive tackle Kelvin Banks listed Texas as one of his top eight schools. Banks, a product of Summer Creek, is the second highest-rated offensive tackle in the nation according to 247Sports.
Last week, Texas was practically silent in terms of sending out offers. However, Texas did send out an offer to Jayvon Thomas, a 2023 athlete from South Oak Cliff.
Last fall, Jarred Kerr started to gain major traction in the world of college football recruiting. The 2022 four-star athlete from Lexington, located just 50 miles northeast of the 40 acres, received an offer from Texas last August. While currently undecided about his future school, Kerr has received 19 college offers up to this point.
In 2020, Kerr led the Lexington Eagles to an appearance in the regional semifinals in the 3A Division II classification of the Texas high school football playoffs.
Junior Season Statistics (Via: MaxPreps)
1,095 rushing yards, 424 receiving yards and 18 total touchdowns.
114 tackles, 3 interceptions and 1 forced fumble.
On defense, Kerr has a great nose for the ball. In addition, Kerr's speed and athleticism benefits his anticipation by helping him track down opponents from the safety position. As a result, Kerr covers good ground, sideline to sideline, and is not afraid to make plays at the line of scrimmage.
Versatility is another one of Kerr's strong suits as he was a premier player for the Eagles on defense, as well as on offense. On the offensive side of the ball, Kerr often finds the end zone thanks to shifty juke moves out of the backfield. Furthermore, Jarred is also a force on defense and is able to line up anywhere on the field and wreak havoc.
Although Kerr showcases great anticipation, his angle to the football can be steep at times. As a result, Kerr can improve upon his game by working to beat the ball carrier to the spot, thus not having to rely on his athleticism to make up lost ground.
In addition, Kerr has a good frame to build upon, however he is currently listed at 183 pounds. Consequently, Kerr will benefit from a college strength and conditioning program to add more muscle to his frame.
What I See:
In my opinion, Kerr kind of reminds me of Jordan Whittington when he was coming out of high school. However, while both athletes have a similar size and build, Kerr is projected to be utilized on defense at the collegiate level. Lastly, I believe that Kerr has the ability to develop into a solid starter for a Power Five program. The question now is, where will Kerr end up signing?
Winter has been a good season for the Longhorns. Following the hire of Steve Sarkisian, Texas's 2022 recruiting class has grown to seven commitments and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Additionally, a flurry of top recruits have recently named the Longhorns as one of their top choices.
In today's article, we discuss the latest news in Longhorns recruiting, as well as list Texas's recent offers since my last article.
Continuing the trend of top running backs to Texas, El Campo running back Rueben Owens announced his commitment to the Longhorns. According to 247Sports, the four-star running back is also the top recruit in the state of Texas's 2023 cycle.
It is also important to note that Owens became Texas's first commit in their 2023 recruiting class.
Last Sunday, the Longhorns landed a commitment from 2022 four-star safety Bryan Allen Jr. Following Allen's commitment, Texas's 2022 recruiting class became the fourth ranked class in the nation. Additionally, Allen becomes Texas's third class of 2022 commit on the defensive side of the ball.
After extending an offer to Zac Swanson in mid-February, the Longhorns have already solidified themselves as one of his top schools. The 2022 four-star defensive end also named Kentucky, Oregon and Southern California as his other finalists.
Recently, 2022 four-star safety Bryce Anderson also included the Longhorns as one of his finalists. In addition to Texas, Anderson named LSU, Michigan, Texas A&M and Southern California to his top five schools list.
If Anderson commits to Texas, he will join Bryan Allen Jr. in the secondary, a fellow former LSU Tigers class of 2022 commit.
Next, we take a look at 2022 five-star offensive tackle Devon Campbell's finalists. Campbell, a product of Arlington Bowie, named Texas as one of his top seven schools. The other six schools include: Alabama, Florida State, Houston, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Southern California.
In addition to Campbell, Niuafe Tuihalamaka also included Texas in his final list of schools. The Longhorns join Arizona State, Notre Dame, Oregon and Stanford on the four-star linebacker's list.
Continuing the trend of top schools for class of 2022 athletes is Ish Harris. The four-star athlete from Pilot Point named the Longhorns as one of his top six schools, which also includes Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Utah.
Lastly, the Longhorns also were named as one of Austin Jordan's final three schools. The 2022 four-star cornerback from Denton Ryan also named Ohio State and Oklahoma as his other two options.
Sebastian Cheeks - Four-star Linebacker - Evanston Township
Martrell Harris - Three-star Linebacker - The Woodlands
Anthony Lucas - Four-star Defensive Tackle - Chaparral
Arlis Boardingham - Four-star Athlete - Birmingham
Derrick Brown - Three-star Defensive End - Texas High
Aaron Bryant - Three-star Defensive Tackle - Southaven
Justice Finkley - Four-star Defensive End - Hewitt - Trussville
CJ Hawkins - Tight End - Berkeley Prep
Domonique Orange - Four-star Defensive Tackle - North Kansas City
Joenel Aguero - Four-star Athlete - IMG Academy
Chase Bisontis - Four-star Offensive Tackle - Don Bosco Prep
Deldrick Madison - Cornerback - Duncanville
Derek Williams - Four-star Safety - Westgate
Last fall, Byron Murphy II decided to flip his commitment from Baylor to Texas. As a result, the Longhorns will end up getting one of the most unheralded players in the class of 2021. Last season, the four-star defensive tackle wreaked havoc on offensive linemen as part of DeSoto's defensive front. After the season, Murphy was named as a first team player on the 2020 Texas MaxPreps All-State football team.
Senior Season Statistics
Defense: 79 total tackles, 14 sacks and 1 forced fumble.
What stands out about Murphy is his hustle. Usually, it is rare to see a defensive tackle that is capable of tracking the ball carrier from sideline to sideline. However, Murphy does not give up on plays and is always determined to be a factor on the field.
Also, Murphy's athleticism was always on display in high school as he was able to succeed against double teams thanks to his combination of strength and speed. Furthermore, Murphy utilizes a good repertoire of pass rush techniques which complements his athleticism.
Listed at 6'1", the knock against Murphy has always been on his size. However, Murphy was able to consistently produce against the state of Texas's best high school talent in the 6A classification. As a result, Murphy will have to continue to prove that he can line up against the best of the best.
What I See
Frankly, I think that Murphy ultimately has the potential to become a Longhorns fan favorite. Although it might take some time for Byron to adjust to the college game, he has the work ethic to eventually break through. As a result, I think that Murphy has the tools to be developed into a dominant force on Texas's defensive front before graduating. It is easy to say that new Texas defensive line coach, Bo Davis, will enjoy trying to get the most out of Murphy.
The #AllGasNoBrakes train keeps rolling along as Texas lands another top-tier commit for the class of 2022. University of Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian and staff land their first four-star defensive prospect as they gained a commitment from Aledo’s Bryan Allen Jr.
Allen is a four-star commit via the 247Sports Composite. He’s listed as the sixth-ranked player at his position in the nation, the 18th ranked overall player in the state of Texas, and the 88th ranked player overall in the nation for 2022.
Allen originally committed to LSU all the way back in April of last year. He along with Texas target, Bryce Anderson, were a deadly safety combination that looked to be the next big thing in Baton Rouge. Fast forward nine months later, and in January of 2021, Allen decided to re-open his recruitment.
The elite safety had offers from Auburn, Baylor, Florida, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M, and USC among others. At the end of the day Allen decided he’s staying in-state and heading to the 40 Acres. Along with Jaylon Guilbeau and Trevell Johnson, Sark and staff are building a nice defense to go with the elite offensive players they’ve recruited.
Allen in 2018, was named the Defensive Newcomer of the Year in his district at Fort Worth Southwest. In 2019 after transferring to Aledo, he once again was named the Defensive Newcomer of the Year and won a state championship. In 2020 he won another state championship along with Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Name: Bryan Allen Jr.
High School: Aledo
City, State: Aledo, TX
Three Best Traits
Experience – Allen has been a starter since his freshman year. After transferring to Aledo prior to his sophomore year, he’s been the starting safety for one of the best teams in the nation and still has one more year to go. In terms of experience, reps, and big game situations, Allen has Texas covered. There’s probably not a play he hasn’t seen and a situation he hasn’t been in.
Great Anticipation – Allen has exemplary anticipation. He can figure out very quickly what type of play is coming in his direction. If it’s a run play, he can meet the ball carrier just past the line of scrimmage. If it’s a pass play, by the time the quarterback hikes the ball, he already knows who his man is. That anticipation is not something many safeties can develop and Allen already has it.
Winning Culture – He’s quite literally the star safety and star defensive player on one of the best teams in the country. Every year he’s been at Aledo he’s won it all. He comes from one of the best programs in the country. That experience will come in handy as the Texas staff tries to create their own winning culture.
Areas for Improvement
Fill out his Frame – Allen currently stands at 6’0 and 180-pounds. He’s more on the lean and athletic side of things. He makes his frame work for him at the high school level, but if he were to bulk up in the 200 lb. range, he could be very special.
Man Coverage – If Allen is lacking in an area it’s probably man coverage. While it isn’t the end-all, be-all for a safety prospect, it’s something he will have to be great at to stop some of the freakier wide receiver prospects in the Big-12. He’s a great center fielder but if he can learn to lock up a wide receiver coming right at him, then Texas has an above elite prospect on their hands.
What a recruiting win for the Texas coaching staff. Allen Jr. is one of the greatest safety prospects in the nation, hands-down. He’s a lean, athletic, fast safety with some of the best anticipation skills you will see at the position. He comes from a winning program in Aledo, has started all three years of his career thus far, and has been in every situation you can dream up. Plus, Texas poaches him from LSU. It doesn’t get much better than that.
The commitment of Bryan Allen Jr. has propelled Texas from the seventh-ranked class in the country to the fourth-ranked class for 2022. Texas has seven commits with the average commit ranking as a .9549 via the 247Sports Composite. Thus far, it is a massive upgrade from last year’s average of .8887. Allen has a chance to be the leader of this new age Sarkisian staff defense and potentially one of the better defensive prospects to play at Forty Acres in recent memory.
All gas, no brakes.
Steve Sarkisian and his coaching staff have been hard at work filling out a great 2022 class. In the process, they have managed to land their first commit in the 2023 class. On Thursday evening Rueben Owens, the "Black Unicorn" gave his pledge to Texas.
Owens is a running back from El Campo who’s widely regarded as one of the best running backs in the nation for his class. He is a four-star prospect via 247Sports rankings. Via their 2023 rankings, he’s listed as the top prospect in the state of Texas, the second-ranked running back in the nation, and overall the 26th ranked player in the country.
Even though Owens has has just completed his sophomore campaign, he has amassed as much production already as some seniors. As a freshman Owens ran for 808 yards and eight touchdowns as he was named the district Newcomer of the Year. As a sophomore, he improved by nearly double, running for 1,511 yards and 22 touchdowns on just 140 carries. He also hauled in five receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown.
On January 3rd, Owens announced a top-five of Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas A&M, via his Twitter. His decision was expected to be between the Red River schools.
The Longhorns now have a top-tier recruit to build their 2023 class around. He’s quite literally the best player in Texas for his class. This pledge serves as a massive win for the Longhorns and this red-hot staff.
Name: Reuben Owens
Position: Running Back
High School: El Campo
City, State: El Campo, TX
Three Best Traits
Early Production - Owens has the production you would like to see in a running back recruit. He could opt-out of his last two high school seasons and still enter Texas with enormous amounts of on-the-field production. In his first two seasons, he’s already totaled 2,319 yards and 30 touchdowns on the ground for El Campo. That’s prodigious. The only thing to worry about is wear and tear but he can still rack up his numbers with minimal carries as evident by his 2020 campaign.
Speed and Acceleration - Owens is lighting quick on film. Most running backs are, but on film, he just pops. While everyone else is ferociously fast, Owens is just a step ahead every single time. His speed is already at the division-one level.
Vision - For someone so young, Owens has an impressive vision in terms of finding the correct hole to run through. If it’s there, he’s already gone. If the hole isn’t there immediately, he will be patient and find one. This is something that should get better with more reps and experience but Owens already shows elite-level vision early in his career.
Areas for Improvement
Receiving Threat - Owens has yet to show the ability of an elite pass-catcher out of the backfield. Granted he is still very young, but with his vision and speed he should be able to take most screen passes the distance. There’s no doubt this is something he will improve on upon his arrival, it’s just not there yet.
Size - Owens currently stands at 5’11 187-pounds. He’s a bit on the shorter side compared to the other top backs in his class, but he makes up for it with his sheer speed. Nonetheless, he’s still very young and has time to build out his frame.
Owens is a tremendous talent for someone so young and just getting started in their high school career. He’s already the focal point of the El Campo offense, and now he’s the focal point for the Texas recruiting class of 2023. Owens is an elusive, quick running back with tons of potential. He’s already one of the best at his position in the country and his ceiling is still through the roof.
There’s really nothing more to say than wow. When the question seemed to be who’s next for the class of 2022, the Longhorns go ahead and get started in 2023 in a big way. Texas landed the best running back in the nation in Bijan Robinson for the class of 2020. If Owens can continue to improve over the years he could follow that mold beautifully. Over the past month Texas has landed a five-star quarterback in Maalik Murphy, a couple of near five-star talents in Evan Stewart and Jaydon Blue, and now they land the best player in the state for 2023 in Rueben Owens. This staff is scorching hot and it doesn’t look as if they’re cooling down anytime soon.
Despite being ranked 14th in the country and already having several quality wins on their resume, Tuesday's game against Kansas represented a fork in the road for Texas. The Longhorns were ranked in the top 5 in the country not long ago and were poised for a deep run in the NCAA tournament, but a rough stretch over the last month reached its potential breaking point on Saturday when Texas blew a huge lead against West Virginia. Shaka Smart's team took the first step in getting back on track against the Jayhawks, overcoming a large deficit of their own en route to a 75-72 overtime victory over Kansas.
Overall, it was not a pretty game for Texas. The Longhorns shot 37.7% from the field and struggled mightily from deep (19.2%), but rose to the occasion defensively to hold a Kansas team in check that has been playing very good basketball the last few weeks. The Jayhawks raced out to a big lead in the first half on the backs of strong performances from Jalen Wilson and Ochai Agbaji. Agbaji finished with a game high 17 points and Wilson added 16 points to go along with 13 rebounds.
After a dominating first half by the Jayhawks, the second half was controlled by Texas. The Longhorns quickly cut into the deficit with 2 quick three pointers from Greg Brown and steady guard play. Andrew Jones, Courtney Ramey and Matt Coleman had a rough night shooting the basketball as they combined to go 9 for 36 from the field, but the trio was excellent from the free throw line (19 for 22). Ramey connected on a pair of free throws to give Texas a 73-72 lead with a minute left in overtime, a lead the Longhorns never gave back.
The win improves the Longhorns to 14-6 on the season and 8-5 in Big 12 play. Texas currently sits in 5th place in the Big 12 standings, but are just a 1 game out of second place with 4 regular season games remaining.
Obviously, this was a huge win for Texas. From a confidence and momentum standpoint, the Longhorns needed to pull out this victory. The way the game on Saturday ended after Courtney Ramey and Andrew Jones were seen in a heated exchange during a timeout had to leave a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths. The win over Kansas shows again the capabilities this Texas team has. The final 4 games of conference play will not be easy, and the Longhorns needed to add another quality win to their resume with the NCAA Tournament quickly approaching.
In the game itself, the biggest takeaway was how Shaka Smart turned to Kai Jones down the stretch to pair with Jericho Sims. Greg Brown had a good game, but Jones, who finished the game with 10 points and 8 rebounds, is beginning to show better feel offensively to go along with his elite defense. The Longhorns will need all 3 players playing at a high level if they hope to do damage in March.
Texas will travel to Lubbock on Saturday to face Texas Tech. Following the matchup with the Red Raiders, Texas will play 3 makeup games next week, all of which will also be on the road. The Longhorns will face Iowa State on Tuesday, Oklahoma on Thursday and TCU on Sunday.
Recently, the dominoes have started to fall for class of 2022 quarterbacks. However, one of the top quarterbacks in the country, Cade Klubnik, is still undecided about which college program he will be attending in the future. Right now, the Longhorns are one of the many schools that are interested in Klubnik's services. In fact, he currently has 30 college offers.
In 2020, Klubnik led the Westlake Chaparrals to their second straight state championship win. Additionally, Klubnik was later named to the 2020 MaxPreps High School Football Junior All-American team.
Junior Season Statistics (Via: MaxPreps😞
3,495 passing yards, 35 passing touchdowns and a 129.3 QBR.
583 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns.
To begin, Klubnik has a live arm and has success throwing to all levels of the field. Additionally, Klubnik illustrated his ability to make smart plays while being an efficient passer in the championship game.
In addition, Klubnik's athleticism has always been visibly apparent as he possesses great speed for a quarterback. Furthermore, Klubnik is an elusive runner who is more than capable of juking out a defender. However, last season, Klubnik also did an excellent job of staying patient in the pocket before looking to scramble.
Lastly, Cade is an infectious leader who knows how to get the most out of his teammates. It is not a coincidence that Westlake had so much success in 2020 with Klubnik at the helm. Quite simply, Cade is an uplifting leader who is hungry to win.
Klubnik, who stands in at 6'2.5", could add some weight to protect himself from the body blows of college football. However, I am confident that he will be able to do that with help from a college strength and conditioning program.
Also, Klubnik needs to work on protecting his body in the running game. Of course, you cannot control everything in football, especially when facing a looming defender. However, Klubnik frequently falls hard on his throwing shoulder when rushing. As a result, avoiding unnecessary hits, and practicing how to fall safely, can help to keep Cade healthy.
What I See:
I think that Cade has the potential to develop into a great Power Five quarterback, with long-term NFL Draft capabilities. Although Klubnik holds a Texas offer, it is unclear where Klubnik will end up signing. However, one college football head coach will end up getting a solid player. As for now, Klubnik will look to lead Westlake to their third straight football championship in the fall. And, of course, I am looking forward to watching him improve upon his game during his senior season.
In February, Texas's recruiting efforts have been on fire. Entering February, the Longhorns had two players in their 2022 recruiting class. Now, Texas's 2022 class has grown to six commitments. In addition, the class is currently the fifth best in the nation, according to 247Sports.
Today, we will look at Texas's most recent addition to their 2022 class, and at the other recruiting news surrounding the Longhorns.
Longhorns Recruiting Notes:
Last Thursday, the Longhorns landed a commitment from 2022 four-star wide receiver Evan Stewart, out of Frisco Liberty. Furthermore, Stewart became the second wide receiver in Texas's 2022 recruiting class, following Armani Winfield. As a result, Texas commit Maalik Murphy will have the pieces around him on offense to do some damage.
Stewart, the nation's fifth ranked class of 2022 wide receiver, tallied 906 receiving yards and eight receiving touchdowns during his junior season at Liberty.
On Friday, the 2022 four-star safety shocked Texas fans when he announced his commitment to Oregon. As a result, Hullaby plans on joining Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal and the 16th ranked recruiting class (currently) in the nation.
Prior to his commitment, all eight of Hullaby's 247Sports crystal balls were trending towards the Longhorns.
On Sunday, 2022 five-star cornerback Denver Harris announced his top four schools. Furthermore, the Longhorns joined Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M on Denver's list. Currently, Harris is listed as the third highest-rated cornerback in the nation's 2022 recruiting cycle, according to 247Sports.
Additionally, Harris is one of the premier players on the North Shore Mustangs, a powerhouse high school football program in Texas.
Bryan Allen Jr.
On Saturday, Bryan Allen Jr. listed Texas as one of his top seven schools. In January, Allen de-committed from the LSU Tigers. Allen, a four-star class of 2022 safety, was named as a second team MaxPreps All-State player in 2020.
Additionally, Allen is a member of the Aledo Bearcats, and helped Aledo win their record-breaking 10th state title last season.
On Wednesday, the Longhorns named Brandon Harris as their new Director of Recruiting. Previously, Harris was an assistant running backs coach for the Longhorns. Additionally, Harris replaces former Texas Director of Recruiting, Bryan Carrington, who has joined USC as a quality control analyst.
Prior to joining the Longhorns, Harris was a Power Five quarterback for LSU and then North Carolina.
On Friday, Billy Glasscock announced that he will be accepting the job as Texas's Director of Player Personnel. Previously, Glasscock held the same role at South Carolina.
Previously, the Texas coaching staff was getting up to speed on the class of 2022. However, recently, the staff has focused on developing relationships with class of 2023 athletes. Down below, I have listed all of the staff's offers since my last article.
2022:Gracen Halton - Four-star Defensive End - St. AugustineCole Hutson - Four-star Offensive Guard - Frisco
2022:Earl Little Jr. - Four-star Cornerback - American HeritageEarnest Greene - Four-star Offensive Guard - St. John BoscoJ'mari Monette - Defensive End - AlexandriaZac Swanson - Four-star Defensive End - Brophy College Preparatory2023:Avion Carter - Defensive End - TascosaAndre Cojoe - Offensive Guard - Mansfield TimberviewDaniel Demery - Four-star Safety - Parish Episcopal SchoolNathaniel Joseph - Wide Receiver - EdisonJaquaize Pettaway - Wide Receiver - Langham CreekJordan Renaud - Four-star Defensive Tackle - LewisvilleHarris Sewell - Offensive Guard - Odessa PermianMatayo Uiagalelei - Four-star Defensive End - St. John Bosco