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.
As we near the month of June, gears will soon begin to turn for Texas's recruiting efforts. However, the Longhorns have already been quite active on the recruiting front. Today, we will discuss the latest recruiting buzz and will list all of Texas's most recent offers since my last article.
Palaie Gaoteote IV:
On Friday, Matt Zenitz of AL.com reported that the Longhorns are the probable landing spot for current USC linebacker, Palaie Gaoteote. Although Gaoteote missed much of last season due to injuries, he tallied 58 tackles for the Trojans in 2019.
Out of high school, 247Sports ranked Gaoteote as a five-star linebacker. In fact, 247Sports also listed Gaoteote as the nation's top inside linebacker in the nation's 2018 recruiting cycle.
Last season, the Longhorns were quite thin at the linebacker position. Additionally, Juwan Mitchell, the team's leading tackler, announced earlier in May that he will be transferring to Tennessee. As a result, Steve Sarkisian has been busy grabbing linebackers off of the transfer portal. This offseason, Texas has added transfer linebackers such as: Devin Richardson, Ben Davis, Ray Thornton and Ovie Oghoufo.
Last Thursday, Nick Harris and Mike Roach of Horns247 entered crystal ball predictions for Boardingham in favor of Texas. Boardingham, a four-star athlete from California, stands in at 6'4" and weighs 220 pounds. Currently, Boardingham holds 14 college offers from schools such as: Notre Dame, Utah and Washington.
Highlights from Boardingham's sophomore season showcase his receiving ability and size, however fans will have to wait until after his senior season to see more extensive highlights due to a shortened junior season (due to California's COVID-19 precautions).
Lastly, Arlis has recently scheduled an official visit with Texas during the last weekend of June.
Cameron Williams - Four-star Offensive Tackle - Duncanville
Peyton Bowen - Four-star Safety - Denton Guyer
Luke Hasz - Four-star Tight End - Bixby
Walker Lyons - Four-star Tight End - Folsom
Jayden Wayne - Five-star Defensive End - Lincoln
Ryan Yaites - Four-star Safety - Denton Guyer
David Stone - Defensive End - Del City
In February, 2022 four-star safety Bryan Allen Jr. committed to the Texas Longhorns. Just a month before his commitment, Allen, who was then committed to LSU, led the Aledo Bearcats to their 10th state title victory.
According to 247Sports, Allen currently holds 27 collegiate offers from schools such as Florida, Ohio State and Oklahoma.
Junior Season Statistics (Via: 247Sports)
Defense: 67 tackles, 6 pass breakups and 2 interceptions.
Allen shows a real talent in being a safety net from the safety position. For starters, Bryan is not afraid to make a tackle on a running back that has made it to the second level. Additionally, Allen takes decent angles to the football and prevents quite a few big-play touchdowns from happening.
In addition to his tackling ability, Allen also serves as a center fielder for Aledo. Part of what makes Bryan a special player in the secondary is his ability to catch the football. In last season's playoff game against North Forney, Allen came away with an interception off of a tipped pass which showcased his hands and quick reaction time. However, as I previously mentioned, much of Allen's center field talent is his ability to clean up and do damage control, even when the offense's playmaker is on the other side of the field.
Allen has proven to be one of the best safeties in Texas; however, I will be interested to see how he handles being "the guy" at Aledo next season. During his senior season, Allen will be tasked with shouldering more of the team's responsibilities than usual. In fact, Aledo is losing their two most explosive weapons on offense, JoJo Earle and DeMarco Roberts, due to graduation. As a result, Allen will probably have to play both ways quite often in 2021. I will be interested to see how Allen, who was occasionally utilized at wide receiver last season, handles the adversity.
What I See:
Quite honestly, Allen has always been an intriguing player. He flashed onto the scene during his sophomore year and shored up Aledo's defense on the back end. Now, a Longhorns commit, Allen will look to become Texas's next great safety. In my opinion, I believe that Allen has the potential to be developed into a future NFL Draft pick. As a result, I think that Bryan will be a fun player to watch during his tenure with the Longhorns. Until then, I will be excited to see if Allen can lead Aledo to yet another state title in 2021.
Well, this past week has been an eventful one for the Longhorns. In fact, Steve Sarkisian was able to land two transfer players and another commitment to Texas's 2022 class. To cap it off, the Longhorns were able to make a top prospect's final five schools list.
Today, we will discuss the past week in recruiting, and will list all of Texas's most recent offers since my last article.
On the day after Texas's spring game, Devin Richardson announced that he would be transferring from New Mexico State to Texas. Unfortunately for Richardson, New Mexico State was unable to play last season due to COVID-19. However, in 2019, Richardson was a productive player for the Aggies, tallying 69 tackles, 3 forced fumbles and 2 sacks.
Adding Richardson will help to bolster Texas's linebacker depth as he has proven that he is a productive player on the field. Additionally, Richardson is from the Houston area (attended Klein High School) and will be able to return to his home state of Texas.
Last Monday, the Longhorns landed another transfer in Ben Davis, from Alabama. While Davis did not experience a lot of playing time at Alabama, he will provide some much-needed depth at the linebacker position.
Coming out of high school in 2016, Davis was listed as the top-ranked inside linebacker in the nation per 247Sports.
Later on Monday, the Longhorns landed their 8th class of 2022 pledge when four-star defensive end Zac Swanson announced his commitment. Swanson, a product of Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, Arizona, joins Kristopher Ross as the only defensive linemen in Texas's 2022 recruiting class.
When you watch the 6'4" defensive end's highlight reel, his ability to execute the swim move is what stands out. Texas defensive line coach Bo Davis will be tasked with molding both Swanson and Ross to the fullest of their potentials.
On Saturday, 2022 four-star athlete Ish Harris announced that the Longhorns are one of his top five schools. Joining the Longhorns on Ish's list include: Miami, Michigan, Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
According to the 247Sports Composite, Harris is ranked as the 27th best outside linebacker in the nation's 2022 recruiting class. Currently, 2022 three-star linebacker Trevell Johnson is Texas's only linebacker commit in their 2022 recruiting class.
This spring, the Longhorns landed a pair of walk-on athletes from Westlake High School in Austin, TX. Along with cornerback Michael Taaffe, the Longhorns also added running back Zane Minors from Westlake. Minors, a key member of Westlake's offense, helped the Chaparrals win their second consecutive state title last season.
According to 247Sports, Minors held 3 collegiate offers from Air Force, Lamar and Yale but ultimately decided to sign with Texas as a preferred walk-on.
Senior Season Statistics (Via: MaxPreps)
Offense: 1,068 rushing yards, 628 receiving yards and 23 total touchdowns.
While Minors is a running back, his most impressive trait out of the backfield is his ability to catch the football. In addition, his receiving repertoire is more extensive than just simple swing passes. For example, in last season's championship game, Minors even showcased some of his receiving ability from the slot receiver position.
In addition to his receiving ability, Zane's speed is one of his biggest strengths. At Westlake, Minors shared snaps with Grey Nakfoor, a tailback known for his between-the-tackles running style. However, when Minors was featured at running back, you could count on him to find the edge on an outside run play although he was not afraid to run up the middle either.
What I See:
Minors will bring big-game experience with him to the Forty Acres. Additionally, he was involved in an advanced system of offense at Westlake, under former Longhorn and current Chaparrals head coach, Todd Dodge. As a result, I think that Zane will be well prepared to succeed in his role with the Longhorns.
Photo: Doug McSchooler-USA TODAY Sports
What a year it’s been for the Texas Basketball program. For the first time in history they won the Big-12 tournament championship. Subsequently, they earned a three seed in the NCAA tournament. All was looking up for Shaka Smart and the Longhorns.
Unfortunately, that success was followed up with a devastating loss to Abilene Christian University in the first round. The loss resulted in Shaka Smart’s departure to Marquette, leaving an opening for Texas administration to fill. Texas wasted no time in hiring Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard.
Since Beard has taken the reins in Austin he’s essentially lived in the transfer portal. Among the list of growing Texas transfers is former Creighton star, Christian Bishop.
Beard has landed Bishop along with Utah transfer Timmy Allen, Kentucky transfer Devin Askew, along with former Red Raider Jaylon Tyson. This has been parlayed into Jase Febres and Andrew Jones announcing they are staying for another year. The future of Texas basketball is as bright as it can be.
"Getting an opportunity to showcase my talents,” Bishop said on why he transferred.
So who is Christian Bishop? The 6’7 220-point forward is originally from Lees Summit, Missouri. The former three-star prospect was the seventh overall ranked player in his state for the class of 2018 and the overall 38th ranked small forward. Bishop was a highly sought after high school recruit, receiving offers from Missouri and Tulsa and even had an unofficial visit to Kansas. Ultimately, four days after he visited Creighton, he decided to commit to the Nebraska school.
Over the past three years, Bishop has played in 90 games for the Bluejays. Most importantly, he’s increased his statistical production in every single category each season. This past year, while averaging 23.4 minutes per game, Bishop averaged 11 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and one block a game while shooting close to 70% from the field.
"I play fast and smart, post small guys up, and bring bigs to the perimeter,” Bishop said on what makes him successful.
With this transfer Bishop is making the transition from Big East play to Big-12 play. Thus, the level of competition will be ramped up. Against top-25 ranked opponents last year, Bishop played exceptionally well. He averaged nine points, seven rebounds, and 1.5 blocks last year on 62.5% shooting in such games. Most notably, he scored 13 points, had nine rebounds, and three blocks against Kansas in the season opener.
"It might not be perfect but I’m willing to put the work in to become successful,” Bishop said on the difference between Big East and Big-12 play.
After a phenomenal season last year, Texas now has expectations. Those expectations are to remain at or near the top of the Big-12. Especially after the hiring of Chris Beard combined with the influx of transfer talent, Longhorn fans have a lot to be excited about for the immediate future.
Bishop doesn’t hold back anything on the team’s goals for next season.
"The goal next year is to win a national championship,” Bishop said.
Bishop is an extremely talented wing player that makes Texas better on day one. He can out-jump most people in the gym and his shooting percentage shows he’s lethal from the paint. While Bishop is only a 56.2% free throw shooter, he makes up for it with his defense. Bishop averaged nearly one steal a game and posted 10 games last year with more than one block.
Bishop wants to come to Texas and make his mark immediately with this new crop of talent and Beard.
"The fans should know that I plan on winning as many championships as possible.”
On Saturday, the Longhorns held their annual spring game. However, while the focus of fans might have been on the quarterback battle, something else popped up. In fact, during the game, Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns landed a commitment from 2021 four-star wide receiver Xavier Worthy. Today, I will discuss Worthy's commitment to the Longhorns and Texas's appearance on a star recruit's top five schools list.
Shortly after the kickoff of the annual Orange and White Spring Game, the Longhorns were able to land a commitment from Xavier Worthy. In December, Worthy signed his letter of intent to join the Michigan Wolverines; however, just over a week ago, he announced that he would be decommitting from Michigan.
Now, Worthy automatically becomes Texas's top-ranked wide receiver pledge in their 2021 recruiting class. In fact, according to the 247Sports Composite, Worthy is ranked as the eighth-best wide receiver recruit in the nation's 2021 recruiting cycle. Additionally, Stave Sarkisian has been harping about Texas's need for wide receiver talent. As a result, Worthy will be expected to immediately compete for playing time as a true freshman.
Worthy, a product of Central East High School in Fresno, California, is known for his tremendous speed, having clocked in at 10.55 seconds on the 100 meter dash. Furthermore, Worthy's speed translates to the football field as he is a threat whenever he has the ball in his hands, either as a wide receiver or as a kick returner.
Also on Saturday, 2022 four-star cornerback Terrance Brooks, a product of John Paul II High School in Plano, TX, included Texas in his top five schools list. According to the 247Sports Composite, Brooks is the 10th ranked cornerback in the nation's 2022 recruiting cycle. Other schools that made Terrance's list include: Alabama, Florida, Oregon and Texas A&M.
In January, Michael Taaffe led the Westlake Chaparrals to their second consecutive football state title. Shortly thereafter, Taaffe committed to join the Texas Longhorns football program as a preferred walk-on.
According to 247Sports, Taaffe held 2 collegiate offers from Brown and Colgate but ultimately decided to stay home and sign with Texas.
Senior Season Statistics (Via: MaxPreps)
Defense: 60 tackles, 10 passes defensed and 5 interceptions.
Offense: 18 receptions, 297 receiving yards and 3 receiving touchdowns.
Taaffe's biggest strength might be his ability to perform in big moments. Last January, Taaffe ended his high school football career with two interceptions in Austin Westlake's championship game win against Southlake Carroll. However, Taaffe also came away with an interception in Westlake's state title win over Denton Guyer in 2019. Consequently, I am confident that Taaffe will be able to perform under the bright lights of DKR on a Saturday night.
In addition to Taaffe's ability to perform in pressure situations, his hands are quite impressive as well. As I previously mentioned, Taaffe has showcased his receiving ability as a defensive back, but he also made an impact at wide receiver during his senior season as well. Furthermore, it seems that Taaffe makes a SportsCenter-worthy catch every time he gets his hands on the football.
What I See:
Last season, Kai Money made a splash for the Longhorns when the team needed help at wide receiver. Likewise, I think that Taaffe has the potential to make a positive impact on the team as a walk-on. Also, it will be interesting to see whether Michael stays at cornerback or eventually moves to the safety position. Either way, I would not be surprised to see Taaffe involved in the action on Saturdays in the fall. Lastly, Taaffe will bring championship experience to the Texas locker room, something that can never be understated.
This Saturday, Texas's annual Orange and White Spring Game will be held at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. As a result, the game will offer fans and recruits a glimpse into Steve Sarkisian's football program. In fact, Texas commit and 2022 four-star quarterback, Maalik Murphy, plans to be in the area this weekend.
In addition to Texas's spring game, fans should be excited by an announcement that was made last Saturday by one of the top recruits in the country. Today, we will discuss the announcement and list Texas's most recent football scholarship offers.
On Saturday, 2022 four-star offensive tackle Kam Dewberry, out of Humble Atascocita, announced his final five schools. Dewberry named Texas as one of his top choices, but the Longhorns are also joined by Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
Of course, landing a commitment from Dewberry would be a tremendous victory for newly minted offensive line coach, Kyle Flood. Currently, Texas's 2022 recruiting class lacks a commitment on the offensive lineman. However, adding Dewberry, the ninth best offensive tackle in the nation's 2022 recruiting cycle, according to the 247Sports Composite, would get the ball rolling for Flood and Texas.
Although the Longhorns are without a pledge on the offensive line, it seems as though Flood has positioned the Longhorns as competitors for many of the top offensive linemen. Additionally, as I mentioned in my last article, I expect that recruits will wait until June before making a commitment. As a result, to best judge the success of Flood, and the entire coaching staff for that matter, fans should wait until the beginning of July to see how much the recruiting needle has moved.
Quency Wiggins - Four-star Defensive End - Madison Prep Academy
Carnell Tate - Four-star Wide Receiver - IMG Academy
Jason Brown - Athlete - O'Dea
Last May, Morice Blackwell became the ninth pledge in Texas's 2021 recruiting class. Now a signee, Blackwell will look to become a playmaker for the Longhorns on defense when he arrives on campus.
According to the 247Sports Composite, the four-star linebacker was ranked as the 49th best player in the state of Texas's 2021 recruiting cycle.
Senior Season Statistics (Via: MaxPreps)
Defense: 95 tackles, 4 passes defensed, 1 forced fumble and 1 sack.
To begin, Blackwell is an absolute tackling machine. In 2020, he totaled 95 tackles in just 10 games. Additionally, Blackwell tallied a total of 335 tackles throughout his Arlington Martin career. So, what makes Blackwell such a football magnet? Well, a major factor is Blackwell's reaction time. He is quite skilled at quickly diagnosing an offense's play and then getting a good jump on the football.
In addition to Blackwell's reaction time and overall football awareness, his athleticism is what makes him stand out. Blackwell displays this athleticism as soon as the ball is snapped and, seemingly, flies to the football. Also, Blackwell showcases a bit of a mean streak from the linebacker position and is not afraid to supply a big hit.
While Blackwell is already in great shape, he, like most recruits coming out of high school, will need to add more weight to his frame. Of course, this is where Texas's director of football performance, Torre Becton, will come in handy with his strength and conditioning program. If Blackwell can add more mass to his frame while continuing to make strives in his overall agility, he will be a nightmare for opposing coaches.
What I See:
Blackwell was a standout player for one of Texas's premier high school football programs, in Arlington Martin, and has been ingrained in a winning culture. I love to watch Blackwell at the linebacker position because his motor and determination are readily visible on every single snap. As a result, I think that he will put in the work to improve his game year over year, ultimately rewarding himself with a featured spot on Texas's defense. Additionally, I think that Blackwell has long-term NFL Draft potential thanks to his athleticism. Overall, I am excited to see how his career unfolds during his time on the Forty Acres.
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