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Tristan Larsen

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  1. Top-tier commitments to the Texas Longhorns have been plentiful since Steve Sarkisian took over as the head coach in Austin. Among the recent commits was four-star wide receiver Evan Stewart of Frisco Liberty High School. Thanks to Stewart and others, Texas now has the fourth-ranked class nationally for the class of 2022 via the 247Sports Composite. The class consists of four five Top-100 players in the country including five-star quarterback Maalik Murphy, the aforementioned Stewart, four-star running back Jaydon Blue, and four-star wide receiver Armani Winfield. The offense is coming together nicely for Sarkisian and Texas, and Stewart is a big part of that. The 6’0 175-pound Stewart is one of the fastest players in the nation. He’s the 40th ranked prospect in the nation for his class, the fifth-ranked wide receiver, and overall the eighth-ranked player in the state of Texas. So what led Stewart to commit to the Longhorns? “The fan base, big stage, and the unlimited opportunities at success,” Stewart said. One appealing factor in coming to Texas is the new head coach, Steve Sarkisian. Sarkisian was the offensive coordinator for the recent national champion, Alabama. The new Texas head coach led one of the most potent offenses in college football history. And under his care, wide receiver DeVonta Smith won the Heisman. Sarkisian has brought with him a sought-after staff that includes some of the finest assistants in the nation. He and his assistants have been red hot in acquiring some of the best young talents in the country. Over the past two seasons Stewart has racked up 89 receptions for 1,670 yards and 16 touchdowns. Last season he had 46 receptions for 913 yards and nine touchdowns on a Liberty squad that went 6-5. “I’m unguardable, my speed, quickness, and route running all play a key role in why,” Stewart said on what makes him so dominant. Stewart is the main offensive weapon at Liberty and accounted for 38% of the Redhawks passing attack this past year. Stewart has one year left at the Frisco-based high school. He along with up-and-coming quarterback, Keldric Luster look to do big things in their final year. “To have the biggest year yet and strive to get to the state championship. If not, so be it, but also have one of the best receiving seasons ever,” Stewart said on his senior season goals. Stewart holds personal bests of 10.74 seconds in the 100-meter dash and 21.08 in the 200-meter. He’s one of the fastest and most athletic wide receivers in high school football, period. He is a guy you have to gameplan around otherwise he’ll embarrass any defense he’s up against. Stewart wants Texas fans to know one thing about him before he arrives on the Forty Acres. “They should know that I’m coming to work. That’s it.”
  2. Today the Texas Longhorns earned the commitment of another 2022 prospect in Arlington Martin interior linebacker Trevell Johnson. Johnson is the second Martin linebacker to join the Texas program in the past two years. Last year, Texas earned the commitment of four-star Martin linebacker, Morice Blackwell. Now, they add his teammate. Johnson is a three-star prospect via the 247Sports Composite. He’s the 21st ranked inside linebacker in his class in the nation, and the 65th ranked player overall in the state of Texas. In his high school career , Johnson thus far has recorded 208 tackles in two years as a starter. He also has 26 tackles for a loss, five sacks, and four forced fumbles. In 2020, he was his district’s Special Teams MVP. Johnson has earned offers from Baylor, LSU, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas Tech among others. Player Information Name: Trevell Johnson Position: Inside Linebacker City, State: Arlington, TX High School: Martin Measurables Height: 6’1 Weight: 200 Film Three Best Traits Ballhawk - Johnson is a magnet to the ball. Whether he’s on special teams or defense, beware that Johnson is coming for you. Whenever a recevier catches a ball over the middle, he’s going to be met by Johnson every time. Great production - From a production and statistical standpoint, you can’t get much better than what Johnson has done on the field. In 2019, he recorded 99 tackles, 12 for a loss, with one sack. In 2020, he improved on everything. In one fewer game, he had more tackles, more tackles for a loss, and more sacks than what he had in 2019. Expect massive numbers from Johnson in his senior year. Special teams monster - Johnson was the special teams MVP in his district for a reason. He makes every return man pay for thinking about returning the ball for better field position. Whether on kick returns or punt returns, Johnson is meeting the returner for a minimal gain. His ability to play special teams makes him a unique prospect. Areas for Improvement Frame - Of the 20 interior linebackers ranked higher than him, only two weigh less than Johnson. If he can keep his same speed while also putting on another 15 pounds of muscle, that would be ideal. His frame is suitable for the high school game but he needs to fill it out a bit more before he takes the field in Austin. Pass coverage - Johnson is one of the more polished three-star prospects I’ve seen the film on. If he’s lacking in any area it’s pass-coverage. Some of the better middle linebackers in today’s game can cover the pass extremely well, making life difficult for tight ends or wide receivers coming over the middle. Johnson is solid in this area, but it’s something he can work on. Summary Don’t let the three-stars deter you, Johnson is an incredible athlete. There’s not much wrong with his game and he can do almost everything asked of him. He’s a ballhawk of a middle linebacker who has great anticipation and awareness on defense and on special teams. He’s a true leader as a middle linebacker and will immediately make the Texas defense better once he takes the field. Final Verdict Johnson is an solid get by the Texas staff and he will be a player who is a force to be reckoned with on the field when his time comes. He joins Jaylon Guilbeau as the second defensive commit for the class of 2022. The Martin pipeline is strong as this is the second elite prospect the Longhorns have earned commitments from in the past few years. Johnson is a truly skilled linebacker and even better punisher who will be a leader in the Texas defense.
  3. National Signing Day saw the Texas Longhorns pull in a solid Top-20 recruiting class. As Tom Herman mentioned in his Signing Day Press Conference, the Longhorns expected more commitments to come in between then and February. One big one came on Christmas Day through the commitment of Keithron Lee. The Rudded High School wide receiver announced his top-eight schools via his Twitter at the end of November. That list included Baylor, Ole Miss, SMU, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas Tech, and Utah. Today, Lee makes it official, he’s headed to Texas. Lee will only have to travel two hours from his home in Bryan, TX to get to the 40 Acres. The 5’10 175-pound wide receiver is a three-star commit via the 247Sports Composite. He’s ranked as the 86th best wide receiver in the nation and overall the 76th best player in Texas via those same rankings. Lee can do it all as at the high school level. He took snaps at defensive back, running back, and wide receiver. In 2020 he recorded 65 receptions for 1,139 yards and 16 touchdowns while also adding another 554 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. In his career, Lee has amassed 1,157 rushing yards, 125 receptions, 2,322 receiving yards, and 49 touchdowns from scrimmage. He joins Jaden Alexis and Casey Cain as one of three wide receiver commits that the Longhorns have secured in their 2021 recruiting class. Player Information Name: Keithron Lee Position: Wide Receiver High School: Rudder City, State: Bryan, TX Measurables Height: 5’10 Weight: 175 Film Three Best Traits Playmaking – When you need a big play, get the ball to number five. He’s the focal point of the Rudder offense and for good reason. He can catch, and take a handoff on a reverse and do damage. Lee is a playmaker through and through. In the running game, he can take any handoff the distance. In the passing game, watch for him to run go routes or bubble screens getting him into space. He’s a big-play wide receiver that does it all for the Rangers. His speed and sheer playmaking ability will translate to the next level nicely. High Pointing the Ball – For being on the shorter end at 5’10, Lee is exceptional at grabbing the ball at its highest point and bringing it down. You would expect Lee to play out of the slot but many times he’s out wide on the opposition’s top cornerback. Just throw it up to him and more likely than not he will get a hand on it. Even in double coverage, Lee can go up and wrestle the ball away from anyone. That’s a special thing to see out of a sub-six-foot tall wide-out. Speed – Lee’s game revolves around his speed, acceleration, and overall ability to make the secondary look silly. He’s constantly outrunning everyone on the field. Lee has true track and field speed on the gridiron. Just give him the ball out and space and watch sheer athleticism at work. Areas for Improvement Route Running – For Lee to really develop into a top-level wide receiver at the next level he needs a more diverse route tree. Right now, his routes consist of bubble screens, go routes, and touch passes. No doubt that stuff will work at the next level. But for him to see the field on a consistent basis he needs more routes to his game. This is something that he can easily work on and develop as time goes on. Blocking – Lee at 5’10 175-pounds isn’t the biggest guy in the world. He relies on his speed, not his strength. Thus, he really hasn’t been asked to do too much blocking at Rudder. Texas possesses one of the freakiest running backs in the nation in Bijan Robinson. There’s no doubt he’ll be the focal point of this offense soon. Lee will have to learn to be able to block cornerbacks consistently when Robinson takes it outside the tackles in the future. Summary Lee is a pure speedster. With offenses becoming more pass-oriented and teams spreading the field more than ever before, Lee is perfect for the game of football now. He’s just a guy who you need to get the ball to and he’ll make anyone pay. Lee adds some depth to the wide receiver position as he is the third wide receiver commit for Texas’s class of 2021. Lee fits the same mold of a Jaden Alexis, who is also in this class. Those two inside with Casey Cain outside makes things look good for the future. Final Verdict This is a great pickup for Texas as Lee can be extremely beneficial to the Longhorns’ future offense. What Lee lacks in stars, he makes up for in speed. He joins Jaden Alexis, Jonathon Brooks, Casey Cain, Hayden Conner, Juan Davis, Gunnar Helm, Max Merril, and Charles Wright as offensive commitments for Texas’s 2021 class.
  4. Photo: Greg Hammer for HornSports The Texas Longhorns are once again a top-20 overall class in the nation as they entered today with the 17th ranked class via 247Sports. The Longhorns lost some commitments along the way, most notably five-star athlete Billy Bowman, but they gained some elite players recently as well. Headed into the day, Texas had 18 hard commits for the class of 2021. They had a couple of welcome surprises today, as they added a graduate transfer and another player that was previously uncommitted. Below is a recap of the 19 athletes who signed with the Longhorns on National Signing Day 1. Quarterback Charles Wright – Austin High – Three-star – Quinn Ewers, the best player in the class of 2022, committed to Texas a few months back. That resulted in 2021 Texas commit Jalen Milroe to flip to Alabama. Ewers later de-committed, leaving a gaping hole at quarterback for the future classes of Texas. Charles Wright a native Austinite, has filled that hole. Wright is a three-star quarterback, via the 247Sports composite Wright is the 33rd ranked pro-style quarterback in the 2021 class. The 6’1 quarterback has improved his play in each and every season. In his senior year, he posted career highs in yards per game (306.6) touchdowns (32), and quarterback rating (108.1.) Wright plans to enroll in January and learn behind Hudson Card and Casey Thompson. Running Back Jonathan Brooks – Hallettsville – Three-star – If you thought Wright was having a great senior year, then take a look at Hallettsville’s Jonathon Brooks. The 24th ranked running back in the class of 2021 is having a record-setting senior season. In the Class 3A D1 regional semifinals matchup against Lorena, Brooks ran for a school-record 501 yards and nine touchdowns in the 61-48 victory. Hallettsville due to Brooks’ abilities now finds themselves in the 3A D1 state championship game at AT&T Stadium. Brooks, in the state semifinals, ran for 304 yards, six touchdowns, and also had two interceptions. He is now over the 3,000-yard mark this season with still one game to go. Brooks has all the momentum in the world and will now be running toward Austin to play on the 40 Acres. Wide Receiver Jaden Alexis – Monarch (Florida) – Four-star – One of five out-of-state commits for Texas’s class of 2021 is four-star wideout, Jaden Alexis. Alexis hails from Pompano Beach, Florida, and is a 5’11 185-pound speedster. He is projected to be the next great slot receiver on the team. Alexis is the son of a former NFL running back, Rich Alexis, who played for Jacksonville, Seattle, and St. Louis. In 2019, Alexis hauled in 49 receptions for 894 yards with eight touchdowns as he was a first-team all-district selection. The speedy wide receiver is expected to enroll early in January. He’ll likely sit behind Jake Smith and Jordan Whittington his first season. But when it’s his time to shine, expect some big-play magic. Casey Cain – Warren Easton (Louisiana) – Three-star – Texas was one of only three power-five programs to throw an offer at Casey Cain. The 6’2 wide receiver is ranked as the 151st wide receiver in the class of 2021 but don’t sleep on his potential and talent. Cain and Warren Easton will meet Edna Karr in the Class 4A State Championship game this season for the third year in a row. The first two meetings went to Edna Karr, but Cain looks to end his Warren Easton career on top with a state title to his name. Cain joins Barryn Sorrell as one of two Louisiana prospects to commit to Texas’s 2021 class. Expect him to make an impact outside the numbers when his time finally comes. Tight End Gunnar Helm – Cherry Creek (Colorado) – Three-star – Juan Davis is committed to the 2021 class and is expected to transition to a tight end, yet, the only true tight end in this year’s Texas class is Gunnar Helm of Cherry Creek High School in Englewood, Colorado. Helm is a 6’5 225-pound three-star tight end. He ranks as the 33rd best tight end in the class of 2021 via the 247Sports Composite and is overall the fifth-ranked player in the state of Colorado. Helm will also fill the hole of Landen King who originally committed to Texas back in April but a month later de-committed in favor of Auburn. Helm as a junior last season, en route to winning a state championship, hauled in 25 receptions for 370 yards and eight touchdowns. He has experience lining up outside as a wide receiver yet is also an outstanding run-blocker. He’s a guy who can completely change the Texas offense for years to come if he continues to develop a diverse route tree. Helm will be an early enrollee and will face stiff competition to see the field immediately but will make an impact once his time arrives. Offensive Line Hayden Conner – Katy Taylor – Three-star – One of the original 2021 commits, Hayden Conner has officially signed with Texas. Conner committed back in July of 2019 and has stayed true to his commitment for the duration. The three-star tackle is also expected to be an early enrollee to Texas’s aerospace engineering program this coming January. The 6’6 320-pound tackle was a four-year starter at Katy Taylor and one of the best offensive lineman in the state of Texas. He’s ranked as the 30th best tackle in the country for the class of 2021. Conner is talented enough to receive playing time as a true freshman. While it’s expected that Christian Jones and Andrej Karic will be the starters next season, Conner, with a full spring practice could fight his way up the depth chart. With Samuel Cosmi deciding to enter the NFL draft, it opens up a need for depth at the tackle position. A position that Conner can fill with ease. Max Merril – Strake Jesuit – Three-star – The only other offensive lineman Texas received a commitment from was Strake Jesuit’s, Max Merril. The 6’4 left tackle committed near the end of September. Merril is seen as the 95th ranked offensive tackle in the entire 2021 class via the 247Sports Composite. He started at left tackle as a junior and helped Jesuit reach a 10-3 record. This season, Jesuit struggled as they went 4-6, yet Merril was still as dominant as ever at the left tackle position. Like Conner, Merril will provide great depth at the tackle position moving forward with the loss of Cosmi and potentially Derek Kerstetter. Athlete Ja’Tavion Sanders – Denton Ryan – Five-star- Like Bijan Robinson a year ago, Sanders is the top prize of the year’s class. Despite his Denton Ryan teammate Billy Bowman de-committing and signing with Oklahoma instead, Sanders is staying with Texas. The lone five-star talent in this year’s class for Texas is the 21st ranked player overall in the nation and the number one ranked athlete in the nation via the 247Sports Composite. What can you say about Sanders other than he can literally do it all? He splits time at powerhouse Ryan playing defensive end and wide receiver. In 2020 he’s having his best wide receiver year as he’s caught 35 passes for 658 yards and a career-high 11 touchdowns. Coming into 2020 Sanders had totaled 20.5 sacks, 43 tackles for a loss, nine passes defended, and a pair of forced fumbles as well. As a sophomore, he was the Defensive Newcomer of the Year for his district. He parlayed that into a first-team all-district selection last year. Sanders was recently announced as the cover boy to the 2020 edition of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Rising Magazine. He and Ryan are the favorites to win the 5A D1 state championship after falling short in the title game one year ago. Juan Davis – Everman – Three-star – Like Sanders for Ryan, Juan Davis does everything for Everman. Davis has taken snaps at wide receiver, running back, and quarterback over the years for Everman. In 2018 he was a first-team all-district selection as a wide-out before making the transition to quarterback in 2019. He’s expected to develop into a tight end at Texas. In 2020, Everman is having it’s greatest season since Davis has been there. The team is 6-5 and currently in the area round of the 5A D2 playoffs where they have a date with undefeated Lovejoy. Davis in his Everman career has eclipsed the 500-yard mark in passing, rushing, and receiving. A true triple-threat. When I talked to him back in the summer he had the perfect quote to summarize what Texas fans can expect from him. “When Juan Davis hits the field, it’s showtime!” Defensive Line Derrick Harris Jr. – New Caney – Four-star – Another early enrollee in the class of 2021 is Derrick Harris Jr. out of New Caney. Unfortunately, Harris missed his entire senior season due to a leg injury and still won’t be fully healthy in time for spring practice. Harris has experience at outside linebacker and defensive end in high school. He’s a bit on the slender side and will have to make up the weight once he’s fully rehabbed but he lives in the opposition’s backfield. Harris is ranked as the 19th weak-side defensive end in the nation for the class of 2021 via the 247Sports Composite. In his New Caney career, he racked up eight and a half sacks, 13 passes defended, 38.5 tackles for a loss, three interceptions, and a forced fumble. Jordan Thomas – Port Arthur Memorial – Four-star – Jordan Thomas is yet another four-star commit that Texas will have on its defensive line in the future. In 2018, Thomas was a second-team all-district selection as a sophomore recording seven tackles for a loss and five sacks. He missed his entire junior season due to injury, but came back in 2020 and has led Port Arthur Memorial to an undefeated regular season. Unfortunately, Memorial went one-and-done in the 5A D1 playoffs, a seven-point loss to Fort Bend Hightower. Nonetheless, Thomas’s play on the field, and at camps has taken the recruiting world by storm. He’s the 21st ranked weak-side defensive end in the class of 2021 via the 247Sports Composite and is a player that Texas fans will fall in love with soon enough. Byron Murphy II – DeSoto – Three-star – Murphy was originally committed to Baylor. That was until the three-star defensive tackle flipped the switch and committed to Texas in mid-November. The 6’1 290-pound defensive tackle along with a five-star prospect, Shemar Turner, has turned DeSoto into one of the better defensive units in the state of Texas. Last year, Murphy was a unanimous first-team all-district selection as well as a Class 6A all-state selection. Murphy though is having a career year in 2020. He entered this season with six and a half career sacks, this year alone he has 10 in just nine games. Murphy also has 13 tackles for a loss with a forced fumble on his 2020 resume as well. DeSoto now has to face red hot Rockwall in the area round of the 6A D1 playoffs. A game that has all of DFW on notice. Murphy is a bonafide stud. Barryn Sorrell – Holy Cross (Louisiana) – Three-star – One of the newest signees to this class is Barryn Sorrell out of Holy Cross high school in Louisiana. Sorrel is a 6’3 edge rusher who has experience playing that along with defensive tackle. He also has experience inside of a 3-4 base scheme as well as a 4-3 scheme. This three-star commit is now also the second Louisiana commit in this class joining wide receiver Casey Cain. Sorrell, an original Northwestern commit, was between six schools today. Arizona State, Louisville, Northwestern, Texas, Vanderbilt, and Virginia Tech were all fighting for his services. Lucky for Texas, he will be playing on gamedays in Austin. One of the many surprises of the 2019 National Signing Day, Sorrell ranks as the 54th best strong-side defensive end in the class of 2021 via the 247Sports Composite. Whether it’s as an edge-rusher or a nose tackle, expect Sorrell to make a difference once he gets playing time. Linebacker Terrence Cooks – Shadow Creek – Four-star – Another recent commitment is from one of two four-star linebackers in this class for Texas in Terrence Cooks out of Shadow Creek. Cooks is the 18th ranked outside linebacker via the 247Sports Composite. He transferred to the powerhouse program prior to his junior season and ended up being a second-team all-district selection on his way to a 16-0 season and a 5A D1 state championship for himself and the Sharks. This season, the Sharks made the jump to 6A and so far are 5-3 and in the area round of the 6A D1 playoffs. Cooks in seven games is credited with 55 tackles, four for a loss, two sacks, and a forced fumble. The Sharks and Cooks now have a date with 8-3 King on Friday. Cooks is an exceptional talent. He’s a tackling machine who can also get pressure on the quarterback. He’s approaching 150 total tackles in his two year Shadow Creek career. Morice Blackwell – Arlington Martin – Four-star – The other four-star linebacker headed to Texas is Morice Blackwell out of Arlington Martin. Whereas Cooks ranked number 18 in the nation at his position, Blackwell comes in at number 24. If Cooks is a tackling machine then tackling is what Blackwell does for a living. As a sophomore, he racked up 112 total tackles en route to being named districts Sophomore of the Year. As a junior, he was the unanimous district MVP as he racked up another 128 tackles with 13 for a loss, four forced fumbles, and two interceptions. In 2020, it’s more of the same for Blackwell. He’s credited with 78 tackles, eight for a loss, four passes defended, and even a passing touchdown in eight games. Arlington Martin currently sits at 9-1 with their lone loss being to Ja’Tavion Sanders and Denton Ryan in week one of the season. Blackwell looks to come in and have an immediate impact at Texas. Defensive Back JD Coffey – Kennedale – Four-star – Coffey, a four-star safety is the seventh-ranked safety overall for 2021 and the 26th best player in the state of Texas. The Kennedale star has been lighting up the box score and opposing wide receivers since he was a freshman. In 2017, he was a Class 4A first-team all-state selection with 88 tackles and six interceptions. One year later and he was a first-team all-district selection with another six interceptions. Last season, he was named the Defensive MVP for his district with 71 tackles, six for a loss, two sacks, and two interceptions. After a 10-win season, Kennedale kissed their season goodbye in a 43-17 loss to Melissa in the area round of the 4A D1 playoffs. Coffey will also be an early enrollee and is expected to compete with Jerrin Thompson for the gaping hole that will be left when Caden Sterns departs. Coffey is an amazing safety, a true center-fielder who can prevent any offense from beating him deep. The Longhorns lose Caden Sterns to the NFL Draft, but with Coffey, Texas is in great hands. Jamier Johnson – John Muir (California) – Four-star – Another early enrollee this year will be Jamier Johnson out of John Muir High School in Pasadena, California. Texas clearly showed an interest in the secondary as Ishmael Ibraheem (has not signed yet), Coffey, and Johnson, are the second, third, and fourth best commits in this class respectively via the 247Sports Composite. Johnson is ranked as the 20th best cornerback in the country for 2021 and the 22nd ranked player for the state of California overall. Johnson, like Ibraheem, is a tall, lanky, yet fast cornerback who will be able to handle the elite wide receiver threats in the Big-12. Unfortunately, Johnson wasn’t able to play his senior season due to California canceling their season. He will now get to shake off some rust during spring practice. As a junior, he helped John Muir reach an 11-3 record. He recorded 32 tackles, four interceptions, and a forced fumble on defense. On offense, Johnson eclipsed 100 yards on the ground and 200 yards receiving. With Texas returning their starting corners from this season, don’t expect Johnson to play immediately. Darion Dunn – McNeese State – Grad Transfer – No recruiting class is complete without a graduate transfer. Texas benefitted by playing two this season in wide receivers Brenden Schooler and Tarik Black. Now, they await the arrival of cornerback, Darion Dunn. Dunn previously played at McNeese State where most recently as a Junior he racked up 42 tackles and five interceptions. Dunn’s play warranted him a first-team All-Southland Conference selection. The 6’1 190-pound cornerback originally decided to transfer to North Carolina State due to McNeese State pushing back their season to the spring. Dunn also made this move to hopefully fly up the draft boards with an increase in exposure and competition. Instead he will be playing for the Longhorns in 2021 and not the Wolfpack. Special Teams Isaac Pearson – ProKick Australia – Three-star – Following in first-team All-Pro Michael Dickson’s footsteps is Isaac Pearson of ProKick Australia. Texas has amassed some incredible special teams’ talent over the years including the aforementioned Dickson, as well as maybe the best kicker in recent memory in Baltimore’s Justin Tucker. The 6’2 punter looks to add his name to that incredible list as he’s a three-star commit who ranks as the fourth-best in the nation at his position for 2021.
  5. It’s been a tumultuous month for Texas football, particularly in the recruiting arena. A month ago, five-star athlete, Billy Bowman flipped from Texas to Oklahoma. Bowman was a centerpiece of the 2021 class for Texas and his decommitment was a huge blow. It got worse however as a few weeks later, Texas not only lost four-star 2022 wide receiver Phaizon Wilson but five-star quarterback Quinn Ewersas well. Quinn Ewers is widely regarded as the best quarterback prospect not only in the class of 2022 but in recent memory as well. While it will be hard to replace him and others along the way, Texas got back on track today as they landed a commitment from star Shadow Creek linebacker, Terrence Cooks. Cooks is a four-star outside linebacker via the 247Sports Composite. He’s the 20th ranked outside linebacker in the 2021 class and the 46th ranked player in the state of Texas. Cooks as a junior accumulated 72 tackles, two for a loss, and caused three fumbles. Shadow Creek in 2020 has made the move to 6A and in five games thus far Cooks has 24 tackles, one for a loss, and one sack. The Longhorns already got their toes wet with state champion Shadow Creek talent when they locked down 2020 safety Xavion Alford. Now they get his teammate in Cooks. Cooks had 37 offers ranging from Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and even Alabama. In July he announced his top-six via his Twitter of Baylor, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M, and Washington. But, ultimately, he becomes commit number 18 for Texas’ 2021 recruiting class. Player Information Name: Terrence Cooks Position: Outside Linebacker High School: Shadow Creek City, State: Pearland, TX Measurables Height: 6’2 Weight: 210 Film Three Best Traits Speed – Cooks is like a heat-seeking missile when he comes after the ball carrier. On film, he consistently chases down receivers and running backs who should have been breaking away for a touchdown. When Cooks is on the field he chases them down every time. At the linebacker position, Cooks is a rare breed in terms of speed. Winning Culture – Cooks spent his junior season with the Shadow Creek Sharks. A team that went 16-0 including defeating Denton Ryan in the 5A D1 State Championship. Cooks comes from a winning culture and has already played in the biggest games at the High School level. Intelligence – Cooks holds a 3.8 GPA going into his senior year. He is a workhorse when it comes to the books as well as on the field. This high IQ translates to his football IQ, and when you watch the film Cooks is always in the right place at the right time. Areas for Improvement Adversity – Since its inception Shadow Creek has been a dominant football program and one of the states finest. Of their 16 games last season, only three were within one possession. Cooks and company usually played with a heavy lead and in no real danger of losing. This has changed a little this season as since the Sharks made the jump to 6A, they’re now 3-2. Yet, their three victories are all shutouts. How will he respond when Texas finds themselves down late or early in a ball game? Pass Coverage – Meeting the running back at the line of scrimmage or getting loose around the edge to get to the quarterback has become clockwork for Cooks. One area for him to improve in his senior season in pass coverage. He absolutely has the speed to keep up with short/intermediate crossing patterns and just needs more experience in that area. Summary Cooks is a lightning-quick linebacker who can do it all on the field for Texas. He’s superb at meeting the ballcarrier at the line of scrimmage as well as pressuring the quarterback consistently. He’s a highly intelligent ballplayer from a winning program who should help Texas’s defense immediately. Cooks joins fellow four-star prospect, Morice Blackwell, as the second linebacker to commit to Texas’s 2021 class. Final Verdict Texas signed only two linebackers for the 2020 class. Three-star Jaylan Ford and four-star Prince Dorbah. The signings of Cooks and Blackwell provide tremendous depth for a position that Texas has been lacking in. It’s no secret that this has been a tough season for the Longhorns. This was supposed to be their year to break out of the Big-12. Not only are they still meddling near the middle of the pack, but recruiting has flipped on its head as well. This commitment comes at a critical time as Texas is showing that through adversity they can still land top-level prospects to come play in Austin. Cooks is a prospect that offers the Longhorns’ defensive unit a ton of upside and should be a viable starter in their front-seven for years to come.
  6. Less than a month the Texas Longhorns lost the commitment of near five-star athlete, Billy Bowman Jr. Before October can even come to a close, the Longhorns lost another commitment. This time, it’s Quinn Ewers. Ewers, who is the top quarterback prospect not only in the 2022 class but also one of the highest-ranked recruits ever to play the game, announced his commitment to Texas on August, 14. The five-star quarterback prospect is a 6’3 200-pound pro-style passer with the ability to get it done on the ground if needed. His commitment marked one of the biggest victories in Texas recruiting history and served as a potential turning point in the history of Texas football. He announced via his Twitter that he “didn’t explore his options as thoroughly as he would’ve liked,” and thus will be re-opening his recruitment. The 2022 class, for now, shrinks to just two commits. Four-star defensive back Jaylon Guilbeau and four-star wide receiver Phaizon Wilson. Ewers has been the prize possession of the 2022 recruiting cycle for a while now as he received his first scholarship offer from North Texas back in 2016. He started his first full season at the varsity level last year for Southlake Carroll. Along with leading them to the quarterfinals of the 6A D1 playoffs, he also threw for 3,998 yards and 45 touchdowns whilst completing 72% of his passes. He added 583 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground as well. Through three games of the 2020 season, Ewers and Carroll have started out with a 2-1 record whilst putting up 57 points per game in the process. Ewers has 937 yards and 11 touchdowns on a 70% completion percentage while running for 78 yards and two more scores. The loss of Ewers is devastating to Texas football. The bonafide best quarterback in the nation will now be seeking out a new home, somewhere other than Austin, Texas. Ohio State is currently the favorite to land Ewers’ services.
  7. Photo: @0fficial_evan Texas’s loss to TCU was upsetting, to say the least. With Oklahoma struggling, and Sam Ehlinger looking to make a Heisman run, 2020 was an optimal year for the Longhorns to make their case for inclusion into the College Football Playoffs. Alas, Gary Patterson got the best of Texas and Tom Herman... again. While the loss still stings for Longhorn faithful, the future is still glaringly bright for Texas Football. A lot of that excitement can be attributed to future Longhorn and 2022 recruit Quinn Ewers. Ewers is highly regarded as one of, if not the, best player in High School Football today. The signal-caller for the powerhouse Southlake Carroll Dragons opened up his 2020 campaign by dropping 72 points on Rockwall-Heath. In the win, Ewers completed nearly 80% of his passes for 388 yards on just 21 completions along with five touchdowns to no interceptions. Ewers is really good at football. It’s as simple as that. Texas’s class of 2022 is only three athletes deep but it already ranks as the fourth-best class via 247Sports. The class is highlighted by Ewers but also includes Lancaster wide receiver, Phaizon Wilson. The four-star wide-out committed before Ewers and his decision paid off as now he gets to catch passes from one of the best players Texas may have ever recruited. Ewers is going to have that effect. His commitment might be the deciding factor in many wide receiver/tight ends decisions. Texas has already doled out offers to 2022 wide receivers, but below are five legitimate weapons that would be ideal in joining the 2022 class with Ewers. Caleb Burton – Del Valle – The top wide receiver in the class of 2022 is Del Valle’s Caleb Burton. Texas has already extended an offer to Burton, and ironically Burton just announced his top-12 schools via his social media with Texas being included. The top quarterback in the class, coupled with the nation’s #1 receiver prospect in Austin? Why not. Burton is a 6’0 165-pound five-star wide receiver from Del Valle, Texas. It’s roughly a 25-minute drive from the UT campus in Austin. Along with being the class’s best wide-out, via the 247Sports Composite, he’s the number three ranked player in the state of Texas and a top-10 player nationally for that class as well. As a freshman, Burton was second-team All-District as he hauled in 32 receptions for 609 yards and six touchdowns. As a sophomore, he improved to first-team All-District while catching 51 more passes for 882 yards and 12 touchdowns. I talked to Burton back in July when he said the following on his recruitment – “The recruiting process is going very well right now, I’ve had some virtual tours with some schools and I’ve been talking to a lot of schools every day.” Burton unfortunately just announced he will be missing the rest of his junior season with a knee injury. Burton is a name Texas fans should remember despite him not being able to light up defenses in 2020. Stephon Johnson – Lancaster – Stephon Johnson out of Lancaster has yet to receive an offer from Texas, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility. There’s already a connection there as the first player to commit to Texas’s 2022 class was Lancaster wide receiver, Phaizon Wilson. Texas could look to target Johnson if they wanted that instant chemistry from day one. Johnson is a 6’1 175-pound three-star prospect via the 247Sports Composite. He ranks as the 56th best wide receiver in the class of 2022 along with being the 54th ranked player overall in the state of Texas. Johnson currently has offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Ole Miss, and Virginia among others. Johnson transferred to the 5A powerhouse after spending his sophomore season at Houston Heights. As a sophomore Johnson had 36 receptions for 636 yards and nine touchdowns. Lancaster vs Skyline was scheduled for October 2, but unfortunately was canceled due to COVID-19. Lancaster played their first game against Dallas Samuell and won 73-0. RJ Maryland – Southlake Carroll – What better way to make Ewers feel right at home than to recruit his tight end? Ewers, as mentioned above, put on a passing clinic in game one of the 2020 season. 21 completions, 388 yards, five touchdowns. A masterclass in how to play the quarterback position. One of his favorite targets against Rockwall-Heath was his tight end RJ Maryland. The 6’4 210-pound weapon hauled in three receptions but for 86 yards and a touchdown in his first game. Maryland is a guy who can line up at the tight end position, line up in the slot, or out-wide as a number one option. If his last name sounds familiar it’s cause he is the son of former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle, Russell Maryland. While still early in his high school career, the younger Maryland should prove this season to be one of Ewers’s top pass catchers. Texas needs to start paying attention soon before the offers start rolling in for Maryland. Evan Stewart – Liberty – Another top player in the state of Texas, and another player who Texas has already extended an offer to is Frisco Liberty wide receiver Evan Stewart. Stewart is a four-star wide receiver via the 247Sports Composite. He ranks as the seventh-best wide receiver in the class of 2022, the sixth-best overall in the state of Texas, and is a top-50 player nationally via those rankings. Stewart stands at 6’0 and 175-pounds and already has offers from Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Texas among many others. Stewart was the shining star on a not-so-great Liberty squad last year that went 1-9. He caught 52 balls for 820 yards and seven touchdowns. This year Liberty has already matched last year’s win total in just two games as Stewart has caught eight passes for 160 yards and the lone Liberty receiving touchdown. I talked to Stewart back in April when he first received an offer from Texas. What was his reaction to seeing all the offers flow in? “It was a wonderful feeling,” he said. Armani Winfield – Lewisville – Last but certainly not least, is Lewisville’s elite wide-out, Armani Winfield. Winfield is a 6’2 180-pound wide receiver who catches passes currently from Boise State commit Taylen Green at Lewisville. He’s a four-star wide receiver via the 247Sports Composite. Via those rankings, Winfield is the 12th best wide receiver in his class and the 12th best player in Texas overall. Luckily for Texas fans, Winfield already has an offer from Texas. Not only that, but he also has a 90% chance of committing to Texas via the 247Sports crystal balls. Winfield as a freshman received the district Co-Offensive Newcomer of the Year as he caught 27 balls for 376 yards and three touchdowns. His production increased drastically in his sophomore season as he had 58 receptions for 758 yards and eight touchdowns and he was a unanimous first-team All-District selection. Winfield and Lewisville have started off their 2020 campaign at 1-1. Winfield personally has only six receptions but for 130 yards averaging nearly 22 yards a reception.
  8. The last commitment Tom Herman and the Longhorns received was from was Austin High’s three-star quarterback Charles Wright back on August 22. Now, more than a month later, Texas lands its 18th commit in the class and it comes in the form of Strake Jesuit’s, Max Merril. Merill, via the 247Sports Composite, is a three-star offensive tackle. He ranks as the 108th tackle in the 2021 class and the 195th player overall in the state of Texas. The Houston native held offers from Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Indiana, Louisville, and Purdue among others. Two days ago, the crystal balls started rolling in for the Longhorns and today Merril made it official. Merril is the third offensive lineman in the Texas 2021 class joining three-star center Michael Myslinksi and four-tackle Hayden Conner. The Longhorns have been been doing everything they can to make up for the loss of the Brockermeyer twins to Alabama. This helps immensely in filling in the holes on the offensive line. Player Information Name: Max Merril Position: Offensive Tackle High School: Strake Jesuit City, State: Houston, TX Measurables Height: 6’4 Weight: 275 Film Three Best Traits Getting to the Edge – In his film, Merril is great at getting to the edge. He has a great first step allowing him to gain leverage on edge rushers at the high school level. He’s also quick enough to bully edge rushers out of a play entirely, opening up huge holes to the outside for running backs. Run Blocking – Strake Jesuit last year averaged nearly 250 yards on the ground per contest. Their team as a total ran the ball nearly 500 times last season. Merril is elite when it comes to run blocking either between the tackles or to the outside. Keaontay Ingram, Roschon Johnson, and company are going to love Merril’s presence. Size – At 6’4 and 275 pounds, Merril has good size to succeed at the next level. He could improve his frame and add another 10-15 pounds of solid muscle, but where he’s at is solid enough to be efficient in Big-12 play. Areas for Improvement Pass Blocking – Strake Jesuit loved to run the ball last year. In contrast, they didn’t pass much. Quarterback William Dickason in 12 games via Maxpreps only dropped back 176 times, which is only 14 times a game. Ehlinger and the Texas offense love to sling it. In order to make it in Big-12 play, Merril is going to have to get a lot more reps in on pass blocking. He’s solid now, just needs more practice at it. Right Tackle Reps – Merril played all of his junior season at left tackle. When Texas goes back to throw, they need a left tackle who they can depend on to keep the quarterback upright. That man may be Merril but it’s still unclear if he can be that guy on a consistent basis on passing down. On run plays, no problem. Merril is your guy. But just in case, he needs to get more practice at right tackle. Summary Merril is a big pick up for the Longhorns’ offensive line. He started at left tackle his whole junior year and led Strake Jesuit to a 10-3 record and a third-round appearance in the Texas 6A D2 Playoffs. Merril is elite at run blocking and has good size and speed to be efficient for Texas and their offense. He’s solid at pass blocking but just needs more reps in that area to truly be a powerful force for the Longhorns. Final Verdict After losing out on the Brockermeyers, Texas has earned commitments from Michael Myslinski, who effectively has taken James’s spot and now Max Merril who will effectively be taking Tommy’s spot. Myslinski and Merril will be a solid duo to team up with Hayden Conner as they’re both under-the-radar prospects who offer a lot of upside for Texas. Merril becomes the 18th hard commit for the class of 2021 which currently sits as a top-20 class via 247Sports. The post Commitment Spotlight – Max Merril appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  9. Drop. The. Mic. To the fans who were slightly disappointed by Texas’s 2021 class, in particular about losing the Brockermeyer twins to Alabama, fear no more. Texas just responded in a colossal manner by landing the nation’s top player, Southlake Carroll quarterback Quinn Ewers, for its class of 2022. At the end of July, Texas landed its first 2022 commitment when Lancaster speedy wide receiver, Phaizon Wilson announced his intention to play at Texas. Two weeks later, we now know who will be throwing the four-star wide receiver deep balls at some point on the 40 Acres. If you don’t know the name ‘Quinn Ewers’ get ready. The gunslinger is preparing for his junior season at powerhouse Carroll. Prior to this season, the 6’3 signal-caller has already established himself as the best prospect in the nation for 2022. Via the 247Sports Composite, he holds a perfect 1.0000 rating, something that only five others have done, including former Texas quarterback Vince Young. It goes without saying that via those rankings, Ewers is the best player in Texas, the best player at his position, and the best player in the country for 2022. As a sophomore, Ewers was named the District 5-6A overall MVP. He led Carroll to an impressive 13-1 record and a state quarterfinals appearance in the UIL 6A D1 playoffs. The Dragons would fall short to powerhouse Duncanville and Texas QB commit Ja’Quinden Jackson. The blonde mullet sporting quarterback threw for 4,003 yards, with 45 touchdowns to just three interceptions in 14 games. Ewers also completed over 72% of his passes while averaging nearly 10 yards an attempt. He also ran for 568 yards and nine touchdowns to cap off his astonishing season. The news comes as a huge and unexpected shock, but Quinn Ewers is coming to Austin. Player Information: Name: Quinn Ewers Position: Quarterback High School: Southlake Carroll City, State: Southlake, TX Measurables: Height: 6’3 Weight: 210 Film (via Devon Messinger, HornSports): Three Best Strengths: Size – Ewers still has two years left at Carroll. He already stands at 6’3 and weighs upwards of 200 pounds. He looks like the lone varsity player playing against JV kids at times, due to his pure size. With this size, Ewers can stay back in the pocket and even with pressure all around him, has the composure to hang tight and rip it down the field. He also ran for nearly 600 yards, and at 200 pounds, it’s tough to bring him down. Good luck getting sacks on this him, let alone stopping him from moving around for a first down Arm – Earlier this year, a viral video came out showing Ewers launching the ball 73 yards in the air. That’s already within the realm of a Josh Allen or a Patrick Mahomes in terms of arm strength. To go with the cannon he has, Ewers also completes passes 72.4% of the time. He’s not just checking down either as he averaged nearly 14 yards a completion. He’s a guy who if you give him time, can make your defense look silly. Even if you manage to get a rusher on him, he can throw the ball easily 50-plus yards on the dot while on the run. Clutch factor – Ewers saved his best football for the playoffs. That’s what you want to see in a quarterback. When all the chips are pushed to the center of the table, will he rise to the occasion? The answer is a resounding yes. Ewers plays like he has a royal flush at all times. In his four playoff games last season, the star quarterback shined like a star blazing down to the Earth. He completed 87 of his 123 passes, a completion percentage of 70.7%. He threw 17 touchdowns and no interceptions. Ewers even ran for 131 more yards with a pair of touchdowns. He averaged nearly five total touchdowns per game in the playoffs. You can’t ask for much more from your quarterback in those moments. Areas for Improvement: Experience – Ewers has only played in 14 career games. Despite all his success as just a sophomore, can he keep it up? The odds tell us yes, he will. We won’t know for sure unless he gets more and more reps in the next few years. Athleticism – If there had to be another thing Ewers can work on it would be his athleticism and speed. He has enough to make it even at the next level, but if he can go from Trevor Lawrence speed to Kyler Murray speed, then you truly have an unstoppable force at the quarterback position. Summary With the commitment of Ewers, Texas is getting everything you could need in a quarterback prospect. A big, strong, kid who is already playing better than everyone else when he’s multiple years younger than some of the best in the country. Hi accuracy is impeccable, and he has an arm that can already throw it 70-plus yards downfield. Ewers is going to get a lot of comparisons to Clemson quarterback, Trevor Lawrence. Those comparisons are apt. His sophomore numbers are even slightly better than Lawrence’s (3,655 yards, 43 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 64% completion percentage) and, he has the long blonde hair to show for it as well. Final Verdict What a recruiting win Texas football. Eighteen years after landing the best quarterback prospect of all time via the 247Sports Composite in Vince Young, Texas does it again. The quarterback room at the Forty Acres is truly stacked now. The Longhorns now have 4 four-star and higher quarterbacks in classes 2020-2022. With this commitment, Texas looks to make a statement about finishing second to other teams in the Big 12. Ewers and Wilson are about as perfect of a start to a class as you can get. The 2022 class should have an ‘Ewers effect’ as well. Who wouldn’t want to play with the best quarterback in the country?
  10. The Longhorns continue their streak of grabbing solid out-of-state prospects, this time securing a commitment from Pompano Beach, Florida wide receiver, Jaden Alexis. Alexis is a 6’0 180-pound receiver/defensive back and Track and Field star from Monarch High School. He’s a three-star prospect via the 247Sports Composite and is ranked as the 63rd best wide receiver in the 2021 class along with the 63rd best player in Florida via those same rankings. During his breakout junior season, Alexis caught 49 passes for 894 yards (both team-highs) for 8 receiving touchdowns. Alexis was named first-team All Broward County as the Monarch Knights went 6-4 and averaged over 32 points per game. Alexis also had offers powerhouses such as Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Wisconsin, and Texas A&M. He ultimately decided to leave home for the 40 Acres and truly bolster Tom Herman’s 2021 class. Player Information Name: Jaden Alexis Position: Wide Receiver High School: Monarch City, State: Pompano Beach, Florida Measurables Height: 6’0 Weight: 180 Film Three Best Traits Speed – Jaden Alexis might be the fastest guy on the field at any time. He’s been timed as fast as 4.41 in the 40-yard dash. His personal bests in the 100 and 200-meter dash are 10.75 and 22.27 respectively. He’s a guy who can take a screen pass the distance, as well as burn past opposing corners, on go routes. No matter the situation, odds are Alexis will beat you with his speed. Versatility – In his film, Alexis was shown lining up in the slot, out wide, and even ran routes from the backfield. During his junior year, Alexis did it all on offense. He caught the ball with precision and was effective regardless of where he was on the football field. Pedigree – Alexis, like most, comes from a football family. However, Jaden’s father, Rich Alexis, played football in the NFL. Rich had a successful career at Washington University where in four seasons he ran for 2,383 yards and 28 rushing touchdowns on 4.1 yards a carry. He also caught 59 passes for 576 yards. He ended up going undrafted in the 2004 NFL draft and bounced around from Jacksonville to St. Louis and Seattle before calling it quits in 2009. Jaden knows first-hand what it takes to make it at the next level and has the bloodline to back it up. Areas for Improvement Route Running – Alexis is a wizard when it comes to screens, bubble screens, and go routes. Before lining up against some of the elite Big-12 defenses I would like to see a more developed route tree from him. There’s no doubt that his speed and athleticism alone will scare defenses but if he can add some footwork and tricks up his sleeve in terms of his routes, he has the ability to truly take the top off of any defense. Blocking – Most of the time, Alexis would catch a screen and take it to the house. But, when the shoe is on the other foot can he block well enough for his teammates to take it the distance as well. His senior season should serve as a perfect way for him to better develop his blocking skills. Summary Jaden Alexis is an absolute burner. A speedster who can outrun pretty much everyone on the football field. Wherever Texas wants to put him he’s bound to find success. He’s only had one season of being ‘the guy’ at wide receiver and made opposing defenses pay each and every time. He still has a lot to learn but without a doubt already has the potential to be a top-notch athlete in Austin. Final Verdict Alexis’ commitment gives Texas a tremendous amount of depth at the wide receiver position. If given the proper time to develop, Alexis can be electric. Andre Coleman, wide receivers coach, has hit it out of the ballpark with commitments from Casey Cain and Jaden Alexis, two out of state underrated prospects with incredible upside. Alexis is a big addition to the Texas family.
  11. Texas got a surprise commitment today as Lancaster wide receiver Phaizon Wilson announced his commitment to the Longhorns. Wilson is a four-star wide receiver via the 247Sports Composite. Via those rankings, he’s the 31st ranked wide receiver for his class and overall the 33rd ranked player in the state of Texas. Nationally he’s the 245th ranked prospect in all of the nation for his class. Wilson becomes the first commit in Texas’ 2022 class. He hails from one of the best programs in Texas, an early favorite in 5A, the Lancaster Tigers. The 6’4 200-pound soon-to-be junior caught eight passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns as Lancaster made it to the quarterfinals of the 5A D1 playoffs. He still has two more years to embarrass defenders at the high school level before putting on a show on the Forty Acres, and Tom Herman and staff can’t wait for him to arrive. He had offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech among others. Player Information: Name: Phaizon Wilson Position: Wide Receiver High School: Lancaster City, State: Lancaster, TX Measurables: Height: 6’4 Weight: 200 Film Three Best Strengths: Size – Wilson still has two years left at Lancaster and is already an impressive 6’4 200-pounds. He already has incredible size and weight for a wide receiver and still has room to grow. If he grows even grows another inch… wow, watch out. Winning Culture – The Texas program needs kids who want to win and know how to win. Lancaster is one of the best programs in the state. If they don’t win the state title, odds are they’re going to get close to it. In order to compete with Oklahoma, the Longhorns must have athletes that have a winning culture instilled in them. Wilson fits that to a tee. Jump Ball – If Wilson grows even a little more, it will be extremely difficult to stop him from locating the ball and bringing it down. Even if he doesn’t grow, he will still have a significant size advantage over any defensive back he faces and can already jump out of the gym. Watch out for Wilson on any deep route. Areas for Improvement: Experience – Wilson was a sophomore last year and with that spent a lot of time behind seniors. Thus he only caught eight passes last year for Lancaster. He has loads of potential which is great, but hopefully this upcoming year he blossoms with more playing time. Route Running – Keeping an eye on Wilson’s twitter and you can see this is an area he’s constantly trying to improve on. He’s lighting it up at 7-on-7 camps as well, but I would like to see more of a route tree in-game. No doubt this is an area that he can improve on these next two years at Lancaster. Summary Wilson is a great first commit for the class of 2022. A wide receiver with incredible size and potential so young in his career already. A guy who needs more on-field experience but should get that these next few years. As of now the only true wide receiver option Texas has for the 2021 class is three-star Casey Cain out of Louisiana so getting another weapon for the future is huge for the Longhorns Final Verdict The class of 2022 is off to a strong start with the commitment of Wilson. Lancaster is an early favorite and a potential top-five team in all of 5A. Wilson had to sit behind a lot of seniors at his position last year so expect him to pop as a junior. Texas is getting a great kid with a high ceiling. A guy who can go up and get it on any defensive back he faces yet also has the ability to break ankles in routes.
  12. Texas Basketball landed it’s second commit for the class of 2021 when point guard Emarion Ellis gave his verbal to play for Shaka Smart and the Longhorns. The Iowa native received an offer from Texas on July 24 and he wasted no time committing. Four days later he announced his commitment to Texas. Ellis fielded offers from Bryant, Louisiana Tech, and Wisconsin-Milwaukee before he decided on Texas. The Assumption High School star averaged 17.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2.3 steals per game. Bryant is an under-the-radar prospect that was gaining interest from his hometown Iowa State Cyclones, but pulled the trigger with the Longhorns before Steve Prohm’s program had the chance to offer. Ellis joins power forward Keeyan Itejere from North Carolina as the second commit in the 2021 class. Both players are unranked via 247Sports. Player Information Name: Emarion Ellis Position: Point Guard High School: Assumption High School City, State: Davenport, IA Measurables Height: 6’5 Weight: 175 Film Three Best Traits: Length and Speed – Ellis has incredible length for his position. He also can accelerate to the basket with ease, dribbling around any defender in his way. On a missed shot he can get back on defense and prevent fast breaks. Ellis has the speed and quickness to prevail at the point guard position. Athleticism – Ellis averaged nearly eight rebounds a game his junior year for Davenport Central. He also played quarterback and safety for the football team as they went 3-7. Ellis is a lanky. speedy athlete who can get to the hole or make cuts with ease. He’s got the necessary hops to attack the paint and pull down rebounds like Russell Westbrook as well. Finisher – Ellis’ main offensive strength is attacking the basket and finishing at the rim. He’s a combo guard who looks to penetrate first. He has the handles, speed, and acceleration to get around defenders quickly and can finish efficiently at the basket. Areas for Improvement: Frame – While Ellis has great length and height for his age and position he needs to fill out his frame. As of now, he’s around 175-180 which is good, but no doubt some more time in the weight room could benefit him in the long run. Shooting – While Ellis can shoot the three and has the ability to knock it down and keep the defense honest, his shooting is an area for him to focus on. If it’s a set shot, he can knock it down, but creating his own jump shot would be something he can work on for the future. Summary Texas is getting an up-and-coming star in Emarion Ellis. He’s a three-star commit via Rivals, an via the Des Moines Register, he’s ranked as the fourth-best player in the state of Iowa. A staple for the Iowa Barnstormers AAU team, Ellis’s potential is through the roof. Up-and-coming prospects like Ellis and Itejere have tons of potential but just aren’t on people’s radars yet. Luckily for Texas, Shaka Smart has a good eye for identifying these types of players. Final Verdict With Ellis, Texas lands another diamond in the rough type of prospect to pair with Itejere. Texas only had one scholarship offer to give for 2020 and they struck gold with five-star power forward Greg Brown. With the class of 2021 expected to be able to hold up to five spots, this class is pivotal in order to bring Texas back to Big-12 prominence. In Ellis, Texas is getting a great combo guard who’s one of the best in his home state of Iowa. A great playmaker who’s able to lock down on defense and go get boards, Ellis is a great piece to run Texas’s offense for the future.
  13. It’s been a tough couple of weeks in recruiting for Texas. The once top-10 class of 2021 has now been pushed outside that group. Texas also lost out on the Brockermeyer twins, five-star tackle Tommy and four-star center James. Texas gained a commitment from three-star tight end, Landen King from Atascocita back on April 26. Less than a month later on May 22, he decommitted. A few weeks later he decided to take his talents to Auburn. While athlete Juan Davis is expected to translate into a tight end, King’s decommitment left a void at a true tight end. That all changed, as Texas just secured a commitment from three-star tight end Gunnar Helm out of Englewood, Colorado. Via the 247Sports Composite, Helm is a three-star tight end. He’s ranked as the 26th tight end in the class of 2021 and overall, the sixth-best player in the state of Colorado. He announced his top-14 via his social media profiles on May 9. That list included Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, and Wisconsin among others. Texas officially made Helm an offer a month later on June 9. Shortly after, he took an unofficial visit to Austin and the crystal balls for the Longhorns started to pour in. With Helm, Texas lands its 15th hard commit for the class of 2021. Helm is the second consecutive out-of-state commit, following California’s Jamier Johnson. Last year Helm won a state championship in Colorado’s Class 5A whilst catching 25 passes for 370 yards and eight touchdowns. Player Information Name: Gunnar Helm Position: Tight End High School: Cherry Creek City, State: Englewood, CO Measurables Height: 6’5 Weight: 225 Film Three Best Traits: Route Running – Watching his film, Helm is used to lining up outside matched up against a corner. He can be used as a tight end, H-back, or wide receiver. With his experience as a wide receiver, Helm has developed strong route-running skills. His intermediate and deep routes are elite for a tight end. 2019 was the first year Helm played tight end as he had been a wide receiver his entire playing career before. Size – Helm, still with his senior year to play, already stands at 6’5 and 220-pounds. That’s extraordinary size for a teenage tight end. For reference, he’s one inch taller and ten pounds heavier than Texas commit Juan Davis, fifteen pounds heavier than Landen King, and an inch taller than Cade Brewer. Even if Helm stopped growing, his size is good enough to translate to Big-12 football. Run Blocking – That size that Helm possesses translates very well to his ability to block. Line Helm up out wide as a receiver and he can manhandle any cornerback in his way. His blocking really shines when it comes to screen-plays. Line him up as an H-back and give him some room to run beforehand, and whoever he’s coming after is going to be in a world of hurt. Areas for Improvement: More Experience – What Helm has been able to do in such a short time as a tight end has been impressive, to say the least. He’s still glowing with potential though. Helm is still new to the tight end position, so a few more years to become better at pass-blocking, five to ten-yard routes, and more could do him well in the long-run. Blocking from the LOS – Give Helm a head start and he will bulldoze over most with his size and strength. One area for improvement is his ability to block from the line of scrimmage. He’s good at it now, but once he’s lining up against the freak athletes that the Big-12 has he’s going to have to be elite. He definitely has the potential to get there though with more reps. Summary Gunnar Helm is a huge addition to Texas’s 2021 class. After the decommitment of King, who showed a lot of ability to be an elite pass-catcher, grabbing a commitment out of Helm is huge. Whoever is slinging the ball for Texas the next couple of years, whether it’s Hudson Card, Ja’Quinden Jackson, or Jalen Milroe, they’re going to fall in love with a guy like Helm. An elite pass-catcher for a tight end, with an ability to block and run over defenders, you can’t ask for much more out of a tight end than that. Final Verdict Helm becomes the 15th hard commit for the class of 2021. After losing out on the Brockermeyer twins, this helps a little. Helm becomes the third out-of-state commit for this class joining Jamier Johnson (California) and Casey Cain (Louisiana.) Helm also joins a stacked 2021 offense that includes quarterback Jalen Milroe, athletes Ja’ Tavion Sanders, Billy Bowman, and Juan Davis, tackle Hayden Conner, running back Jonathon Brooks, and the aforementioned Cain. The future of Texas football looks bright.
  14. Texas lost out on twin linemen James and Tommy Brockermeyer. James is a four-star center via the 247Sports Composite while Tommy is a five-star tackle. They’re both ranked as the number one players at their respective positions. The news was disheartening, to say the least, as Texas was in the driver’s seat for a long time to grab the star-studded set of twins. The news of them committing to Alabama over Texas also pushed the Longhorns outside of the top-10 in the 247Sports class of 2021 rankings. Four-star tackle Hayden Conner from Katy Taylor is the only offensive lineman that Texas has landed for the 2021 class. Tom Herman and company must focus their attention elsewhere if they want to add to the offensive line. Here are some of the best remaining offensive line targets that Texas has a shot at landing. Offensive Tackle: Savion Byrd, Duncanville – Byrd is a 6’5 265-pound tackle/ defensive tackle from Duncanville. He’s a four-star prospect via the 247Sports Composite and ranked as the sixth-best tackle in his class and sixth-best prospect in the state of Texas. Byrd played tackle his sophomore year and earned first-team all-district for his performance. As a junior, he played primarily defensive tackle but is expected to translate back to offensive tackle at the next level. Oyetade is a 6’3 285-pound center who just started playing center towards the end of his sophomore year. The freak of nature was a first-team all-district selection last year as Lakeview Centennial went 6-5. I talked to Oyetade a few weeks back where he had this to say “I’m still the same guy I was in January when I had zero stars and zero offers. But, it is a blessing to be able to see that all the hard work and dedication is paying off; however, it does not stop here.” Oyetade is a guy that Texas needs to offer immediately.
  15. Recruiting defines college football success. Fans wait on every breath to see which prospects their school will land. Where will the five-stars go? Who won’t pan out? Who’s the diamond in the rough? Recruiting is an essential part of college sports, and a good recruiting class versus a great one can be the difference between an eight-win season and a playoff appearance. The Longhorns have had some memorable classes, but below are the five best in modern Texas Football history. 5. Class of 2010 – What Mack Brown was able to land in 2010 is something to marvel at. Of the 25 hard commits, Brown landed five five-star athletes and an impressive 16-four stars. The average rating of each prospect was an incredible .9390. The class was headlined by the linebacker duo of Jordan Hicks and Jackson Jeffcoat. Jeffcoat was a consensus All-American and Big-12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, while Hicks had 248 tackles in his career at Texas. This class also had three-star quarterback Case McCoy, four-star guard Trey Hopkins, and four-star athlete Adrian Phillips. 4. Class of 2001 – The 2001 class landed just one five-star prospect but it was a good one. Midland Lee running back Cedric Benson continued the success first laid by Texas greats Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams. Benson won the Doak Walker Award in 2004, was third-team All-Big-12 as a freshman, second-team as a sophomore, and first-team as a junior and senior. He finished his career with 5,540 yards and 67 offensive touchdowns. He ran for over 1,000 yards every season of his Texas career. Other notable commits were four-star linebacker Derrick Johnson and safety Michael Huff, who actually had zero stars via 247Sports. Johnson won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy in 2004 along with being a two-time consensus All-American. Huff, on the other hand, won the Jim Thorpe award in 2005 along with being a unanimous All-American and two-time first-team All-Big-12. 3. Class of 2004 – The class of 2004 landed multiple five-star defenders with defensive tackle Frank Okam and safety Drew Kelson. Okam was a key part of the 2005 national championship game and registered a sack against USC. He also was a two-time member of the second-team All-Big-12. The two big names in the class though were four-star wide receiver Jordan Shipley and four-star linebacker Brian Orakpo. Shipley had an outstanding career at Texas that peaked in his final two seasons. In 2008 he had 89 receptions for 1,060 yards and 11 touchdowns. His 2009 season was even better with an absurd 116 receptions for 1,485 yards and 13 touchdowns. He won the Paul Warfield Trophy that year and was a consensus All-American. Orakpo recorded 132 tackles, 38 for a loss with 22 sacks, and six forced fumbles in his career with the Longhorns. He was a unanimous All-American in 2008 and won the Lombardi Award, Ted Hendricks Award, and Bronko Nagurski Trophy. 2. Class of 2005 – College football recruiters enjoy finding the diamonds in the rough. Colt McCoy was just a three-star prospect that wasn’t highly recruited, but Mack Brown saw enough to offer him a scholarship. The rest is history. Looking at only star ratings, 2005 was far from Texas’s best class. Only one five-star recruit and the number 13 ranked class in the nation. But, most all of the player performed well for the Longhorns. McCoy, if not for Vince Young, is the best quarterback in Longhorns history. The class of 2005 offense was also led by four-star Jamaal Charles and four-star Jermichael Finley. Charles was second-team All-Big-12 as a freshman in 2005 and a first-team in selection in 2007. He finished his career with 3,328 yards rushing and 36 rushing touchdowns on over six yards a carry. While Finley only played two years at Texas he was productive early and often, starting as a freshman and sophomore. He caught 76 passes for 946 yards and five touchdowns in his career as a Longhorn. 1. Class of 2002 – To put it bluntly, this class is legendary. For starters, Mack Brown landed a ridiculous four five-star prospects, including quarterback Vince Young who had a perfect 247Sports Composite rating. Their other five-star prospects? Justin Blalock, Bryan Pickryl, and Rodrique Wright. Blalock was the first Longhorn to start 50 consecutive games. He was also a unanimous All-American as well as the Big-12 Offensive Lineman of the Year. Rodrique Wright was a machine as well as a consensus All-American. He was also First-Team All-Big-12 in 2005 during Texas’s national championship run. Other notable names in this class were three-star Brian Robison, four-star Aaron Ross, three-star Lyle Sendlein, and four-star David Thomas. Robison started every game for the 2005 Longhorns and led the team in sacks. Ross was the Jim Thorpe award winner in 2006. Sendlein started his final 26 games including making the All-Big-12 team twice and Thomas broke school records for receptions, touchdowns, and yards by a tight end. These are just some of the legends that made up the 2005 National Championship team. It wouldn’t be possible without Texas’s best class of all-time. The post Texas Five Best Recruiting Classes of All-Time appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports

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