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Tristan Larsen

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Everything posted by Tristan Larsen

  1. The Texas Longhorns had an impressive last couple of weeks when it comes to football recruiting. Former Baylor commit and four-star cornerback Jahdae Barron flipped from Baylor to UT. The move bumped the Longhorns past Florida to give them the eighth best-recruiting class for 2020 via 247Sports. Tom Herman’s program also landed three-star tight end Landen King and four-star pass rusher Jordon Thomas in the 2021 class. King and Thomas became the first recruits in the class to commit to UT since five-star athlete Ja’Tavion Sanders did back in September of last year. Most notably Thomas becomes the second true defensive commit for the 2021 class, joining outside linebacker and fellow four-star commit Derrick Harris Jr. “UT felt like family,” Thomas said. Thomas hails from Port Arthur and plays for Memorial High School. He exploded onto the scene in his sophomore year compiling 32 tackles with five sacks. Unfortunately, he missed his entire junior season due to a lower leg injury. “I was heartbroken,” Thomas said, reflecting on his injury. Thomas, essentially from his sophomore year alone, has become the 36th best player in the state of Texas for the 2021 class via the 247Sports Composite. He’s also ranked as the 15th best Weak-Side defensive end via the same rankings. What leads to all that success? “My mindset,” Thomas said. Thomas rehabbed that injury the entire 2019 season and has one simple goal he wants to accomplish in 2020 before setting foot in Austin. “I want to be the defensive player of the year.” There’s no doubt that Thomas now has a giant chip on his shoulder that he will use for motivation. Tackles and quarterbacks everywhere should be on alert. He is excited about his commitment to the Longhorns and wants the fans to know one thing about him. “I’m a very respectful person toward my support and the team.”
  2. The University of Texas landed another recruit for its 2020 class. Pflugerville Connally’s Jahdae Barron announced via his Instagram account that he will be committing to UT to join an already loaded class that the Longhorns possess. Barron initially committed the Baylor Bears last June, and signed his National Letter of Intent a few months back. A week ago, however, he announced that he requested, and was granted, his official release from Baylor to begin the process of looking for a new school. He now makes it official, and will Join the Longhorns. Texas, even after the transfer of Tarik Black from Michigan, still had three scholarships available for the upcoming season. Barron is taking one of those. Barron joins John Tyler’s Kitan Crawford as the only other true cornerback in Texas’ 2020 recruiting class. They join four-star safeties, Xavion Alford and Jerrin Thompson to round out the secondary unit. Via the 247Sports Composite, Barron is a four-star recruit. He’s ranked as the 24th cornerback in the country and the 51st best player in the state of Texas for 2020. Player Information Name: Jahdae Barron Position: Cornerback High School: Pflugerville Connally City, State: Austin, TX Measurables Height: 5’11 Weight: 175 Film Three Best Traits Speed – Barron has a personal best in the 100-meter dash of 10.95 seconds. Needless to say he has the speed to compete at the next level. He’s a guy who can sit back in coverage and can run with anyone the offense throws at him step for step. Special Teams – Barron, with his aforementioned speed, showed flashes of special teams brilliance last season at Pflugerville Connally. At times he played wide receiver, as well as corner, and even returned punts for the Cougars. With his speed and awareness, Barron is a threat to take it to the house, every time he touches the football. Ball Hawk – Barron isn’t just a corner who’s going to sit back and wait for the ball to come to him, he’s going to go get it every time. If it’s a run play, he is anticipating it and can jump into the backfield for a tackle for a loss. On screen plays, Barron is already around the blocker to make another tackle in the backfield. His game isn’t all about getting interceptions, although he can do that well too. Barron’s play is about attacking whoever has the ball, every time, at all costs. Areas for Improvement Weight and Strength – Barron currently is 5’11 and 175 pounds and possesses adequate height and size to fit in as a cornerback in division one football. In order to take his game to the next level, he needs to put on some more weight to avoid being pushed around by some of the bigger wide receivers that Texas will face. Tackling – Barron is a great tackler at the high school level. Each and every game he’s making at least one play or one hit that makes your jaw hit the floor. To go with adding weight and strength, for Barron to reach his maximum potential at the next level he needs to really hone down his craft when it comes to tackling the ball carrier. If he cultivates this, watch out. Summary Texas gets an absolute steal with Barron jumping ship to Austin. The Austin native now gets to stay close to home and Texas gets bragging rights as they steal a stud away from Waco. Texas now, all of a sudden, has all the essential pieces to create a lethal secondary for years to come. The Longhorns also have the ability to put other 2020 commits such as Kelvontay Dixon and Dajon Harrison on the defensive side of the football if they choose to do so. Final Verdict The University of Texas landed a much-needed cornerback for the class of 2020. Before the announcement of Barron’s decision, Texas nationally held the ninth-ranked recruiting class for 2020. The addition of another four-star cornerback is only going to bolster that ranking. Guys like Barron, Crawford, Thompson, Alford, and others could finally give Texas an answer to the Sooner’s wideouts and other freak athletes in the Big-12. Texas still has two open scholarships for the class of 2020.
  3. The recruiting staff at Texas have slowly accumulated an array of offensive weapons in their 2021 class. With top-50 national recruits in Denton Ryan’s Ja’Tavion Sanders and Billy Bowman Jr., 4-star quarterback Jalen Milroe, tight end commit Landen King, and pass-protection from 4-star Hayden Conner, Texas is assembling solid components for an explosive offense. The list doesn’t end there. The Longhorns have also received a commitment from Everman three-star athlete, and a player who does it all, Juan Davis. After his sophomore season Davis received three offers from Southern Miss, Baylor, and Texas. Two months after the latter offer, Davis committed to the Longhorns via Twitter. “UT always made me feel like I was at home each and every time I was there,” Davis said. As a sophomore, the 6’4” near 220-pound athlete was a first-team all-district selection catching 41 balls for 499 yards and seven touchdowns. As a junior, he took a step back in terms of receiving, only catching six balls for 113 yards. He also played quarterback, throwing for almost 400 yards and six touchdowns. In addition, Davis was the leading rusher with 895 yards and 12 touchdowns. And he was the team’s punter and blocked two punts on the other side of the ball. It’s easy to see that Davis does it all for the Everman Bulldogs. “Football! I just love playing the game of football,” Davis said on what leads to his personal success. Everman under Davis’ star power has made it to the playoffs each of the past two years, yet hasn’t notched a playoff victory yet. Davis wants to make sure he puts the whole state on notice in his final year as a Bulldog. “There’s nothing else really I’d like to accomplish before arriving at UT,” Davis said. “I just want to go all out my last year of high school.” The COVID-19 Pandemic isn’t slowing down Davis or his work ethic as he still finds ways to remain in shape during this global crisis. “I get up with my mom every day and we go run a couple of miles,” Davis said. Davis, after he plays every position on offense again for the Bulldogs, has some very simple goals that will go a long way when he’s a Longhorn. “A goal I’d like to have when I start at UT is just to give 110% every practice, game, etc.” The multi-sport star has been a freak of nature thus far in his athletic career. He’s been a machine at the high school level, no matter what sport he tries. In Track and Field as a sophomore, he ran a 24 second flat 200-meters and registered a 43’ mark in the triple jump. Who knows how much more those marks could’ve improved if the track season was allowed to conclude. At the end of the day Juan Davis just wants Longhorns fans to know one thing about him. “When Juan Davis hits the field, it’s showtime!”
  4. The Longhorns have landed their seventh recruit in the 2021 class and it’s another offensive weapon in Atascocita’s Landen King. King becomes the sixth offensive player to commit to Texas’s 2021 class. He joins quarterback Jalen Milroe, athletes Juan Davis, Ja’Tavion Sanders, Billy Bowman Jr., and offensive lineman Hayden Conner. As a junior, King caught 53 passes for 815 yards and nine touchdowns. He helped Atascocita reach a 12-2 record, reach the 6A D1 state playoff quarterfinals, and helped the offense average over 56 points a game. Their only two losses came to Houston powerhouses Katy, and eventual state champions, North Shore in the playoffs. King via the 247Sports Composite is a three-star recruit. Nationally he’s the 38th ranked tight end and the 108th ranked player in the state of Texas for the 2021 class. King announced his Top-10 on April 10 via Twitter. The list included Alabama, Arizona State, Georgia, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Penn State, South Carolina, Texas, Texas A&M, and Washington. On Sunday, King made it official he will be a Longhorn. Player Information Name: Landen King Position: Tight End High School: Atascocita City, State: Humble, Texas Measurables Height: 6’5 Weight: 210 Film Three Best Traits Size and Speed – King still has his senior season to go and is already taller, by one inch, than Texas’ starting tight end, Cade Brewer. King still has time to get even bigger, stronger, and faster yet at the high school level he’s already shown an ability to outrun and outmuscle some of Texas’ best. Versatility – While King’s natural position is a tight end, he has the ability to line up almost anywhere on the field. Atascocita ran different offenses all year. When they put four wide receivers out wide, King can line up in the slot and burn defenders deep. Other times he lines up in the backfield for a Wing-T formation. King can be seen all over the field for the Eagles. Athleticism – As seen in King’s film at any point he’s a threat to go up and grab a 50/50 ball. King appears to be more of a receiving tight end than one who’s known for blocking. He has extraordinary vertical ability and it’s almost as if he has glue on his hands. King also plays on the Eagles’ basketball team where they finished with a 32-6 record. Areas for Improvement Route Running – At this stage, he possesses the size and speed to outrun most defenders at the High School level. To really up his game at the next level, King needs to generate better separation with his footwork. He plays fast but needs to show more burst when coming out of his breaks. Run Blocking – King seems to be an exceptional blocker out in space during a screen play. To really take his game to the next level, King needs to get stronger to really be able to block collegiate level defenders. King very easily should be able to hone that craft in his final year at Atascocita. Summary King still has one more year at Atascocita. He has the ability to approve immensely as he’s expected to be one of the main targets in the Eagles’ offense for 2020. The UT recruiting staff has been trying to find a replacement for Lake McRee ever since his de-commitment. King easily could be that man to fill the shoes of McRee in 2021 and on. Final Verdict King joins Juan Davis as the second tight end to join the UT roster in 2021. The 2021 class already has some elite offensive weapons and King just adds to that list. He has the ability to line up as a blocker, go out for a pass or line up in the slot. He joins fellow tight ends Cade Brewer, Reese Leitao, Malcolm Epps, and Brayden Liebrock to sign with Texas in recent years. He should prove to be a vital weapon for the Longhorns for years to come. The 2021 Texas class was ranked as the 17th best in the nation prior to King’s commitment. No doubt that King will cause a spike in that ranking soon. The post Commitment Spotlight – Landen King appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  5. On March 20, UT Track and Field received a commitment from long jump and triple jumper, Blake Harris. Less than a month later, UT landed another highly sought after track and field recruit in pole vaulter, Reid Foster. Foster hails from College Station A&M Consolidated High School and just announced his commitment to the University of Texas on April 15. “UT has been my dream school since I was a kid. Both my parents went there, and my older brother goes there right now. It was a no-brainer for me,” Foster said. Foster has improved his personal best each and every year. Going from 9’6” his freshman year to 15’6” in his senior year before the year was shut down. He finished ninth in the Texas UIL 5A State Championship last season with a mark of 14’6”. He started his 2020 year off with two first-place finishes and hit his personal best of 15’6”. “I think what leads to my own personal success is my extreme competitiveness and my desire to be the best,” Foster said. Foster has always been one to perfect his craft in whatever he does. In an event like pole vaulting which requires extreme athleticism and precision, Foster thrives at it. “I’ve always been good at solo sports that require a lot of technique, precision, etc.,” Foster said. “Way back in the day I used to be a nationally ranked diver, so when I started pole vault in 7th grade it clicked and I was hooked.” Foster, unfortunately, had his senior season ripped away from him due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, he’s set his expectations high for his four years as a Texas Longhorn. “I’m coming for everything. Big 12 titles, school record, all of it. What’s the point if you aren’t the best?” Foster said. The pole vaulter extraordinaire remains more focused than ever even with COVID-19 shutting down most of the country. Foster is taking this time as an opportunity to train even harder. “I have been focusing a lot on endurance training. I train with a specialist twice a week, plus workouts I do on my own and of course, I’m still doing some jumping when I can,” Foster said. With additions such as Blake Harris and Reid Foster, the Texas Longhorns Track and Field program appears to be set up for success for the next four years. Harris and Foster are easily some of the best jumpers in the state of Texas. When asked what he wants UT fans to know about him, Foster had three simple words for everyone. “I bleed orange.”
  6. In November of last year, the University of Texas announced seven new recruits for the women’s soccer program. The program was established in 1993 as part of the Title IX Settlement. Since then, they hold claim to one regular-season conference championship (2001) and back-to-back conference tournament championships (2006-2007). In an effort to get back to Big-12 glory the Longhorns have recruited some of the state’s best women’s soccer stars to play in Austin. Among them is one of the best midfielders in the country, Kelsey Hranicky. Hranicky attended Memorial High School in Houston, Texas and plays for the Albion Hurricanes club team. Hranicky helped lead Memorial to a 6A state championship and an undefeated season as a sophomore. In her junior year, en route to a second consecutive district title, she led her district with 26 goals and 31 assists on the season. What leads to her success? “Consistency,” Hranicky said. As a sophomore, Hranicky was first-team all-district and second-team all-state. In her junior season, she improved to All-State and All-American status. Hranicky also led the Albion Hurricanes to a North American Cup Championship in 2019. “I chose UT because of the combination of great education and great athletics. I also liked the environment on campus and that it is not too far from home,” Hranicky said on her decision to be a Longhorn. Memorial was 19-1 this season and looked primed and ready for another state title run before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down sports across the globe. Hranicky is doing her best to stay in shape during this rough time, however. “I have access to fields and tracks that I can run on. Also, I have a trainer who I would usually meet in a gym, but because the gym is closed we are meeting in a park and doing similar stuff,” Hranicky said. Kelsey Hranicky joins a loaded 2020 class that also includes Texas natives Presley Echols (Highland Park) and defenders Lauren Lapomarda and Morgan Pace from Prosper and Duncanville High Schools respectively. The 2020 class that Texas and coach Angela Kelly recruited are a good step towards ensuring Texas gets back to the forefront of the Big-12. In 2019, they went 11-8-1. In 2020, they won their only game before the season’s cancellation. In 2021, they look to build on that success with Hranicky and others. “What fans can expect from me is really up to the coaches. I hope to make a positive impact on the team and help us win,” Hranicky said.
  7. Photo courtesy Greg Hammer The University of Texas currently has six commits in the 2021 class. Denton Ryan teammates Ja’Tavion Sanders and Billy Bowman Jr, Jalen Milroe, Derrick Harris Jr. and Hayden Conner. These are all highly coveted recruits, with each carrying four-stars except for Sanders, who holds a five-star rating. Recently, Tom Herman and company extended offers to multiple 2021 and 2022 athletes in the hopes of bolsetring each class to keep the Longhorns in the thick of things from a recruiting perspective. While COVID-19 has put the world on hold, the Texas football staff remain very active in their recruiting efforts. Here are some players Texas has recently reached out to. 2021 Offers Nathaniel Wiggins, Athlete, Westlake High School – Wiggins is a 6’2” 170-pound athlete from Westlake High School in Athens, Georgia. He recently announced his top-10 which included SEC powerhouses LSU, Auburn, and Florida among others. Texas, however, made its offer after Wiggins released his top-10. Wiggins is a 4-star recruit via the 247Sports Composite and the 11th best athlete in the 2021 class via those rankings. Kelvin Gilliam, Defensive End, Highland Springs High School – Another Virginia product that Texas extended an offer to is Highland Springs Defensive End, Kelvin Gilliam. Gilliam anchors the defense on one of the most dominant teams in Virginia. The Springers won four consecutive state championships from 2015-2018. Gilliam is a 4-star recruit via the 247Sports Composite and holds well over 30 division 1 offers. “It’s always a blessing but it’s just a result of all the hard work I put in,” Gilliam said of all the attention he’s receiving. Gilliam is also a hybrid defender he can play down low in the trenches yet also step back to be a lethal linebacker. The 4th best player in Virginia for 2021 is coming off an all-state season in 2019 for the Springers. “The people I have in my life continue to push me. My dad, who is like my trainer and older brothers, helps to keep me going strong,” Prysock said on his success. Prysock has two more years left at Bishop Alemany and before committing he has one thing on his mind. “Before committing I want to win a national championship for my high school.” Kamari Ramsey, Safety, Sierra Canyon High School – Another California safety to receive a UT scholarship offer is Sierra Canyon’s Kamari Ramsey. Ramsey is ranked as the ninth-best player in California for 2021 via 247Sports. Ramsey has received 14 offers already. He’s received offers from Texas, Arkansas, Washington, and Oregon State most recently. In his two seasons at Sierra Canyon, he’s made 175 tackles with five interceptions and 22 passes defended.
  8. Big-12 teams have had a label for many years now as exhibiting lackluster defenses. In 2016 the Oklahoma Sooners and quarterback Baker Mayfield defeated Texas Tech and Patrick Mahomes 66-59. The game set an FBS record of 1,708 yards of offense. Whether or not the label holds true, the Big 12 as a whole recruits some of the top defensive talent in the country. The Longhorns, for example, have landed six 4-star defensive recruits in the 2020 class alone. Among those commits is lockdown cornerback, Kitan Crawford. Crawford is a 4-star recruit according to the 247Sports Composite. The 6’0” defensive back is listed as the 25th best player in the state of Texas and ninth-best in the country at his position for the 2020 class. “Speed and size make him different, he has the strength of a linebacker.” Those are the words of John Tyler head football coach, Ricklan Holmes. “He will be playing on Sundays. High potential, hasn’t hit his ceiling yet.” This past season, Crawford did it all as a senior for the John Tyler Lions. He carried the ball 120 times as a running back, amassing more than 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns. He caught 21 balls for nearly 300 more yards and another touchdown. On defense, he recorded 33 tackles and intercepted three passes, leading the Lions to the Class 5A Division 1 playoffs. “Expect consistency and excellence,” Holmes said. “Recruits like Kitan can get Texas back to competing for a Big-12 and even national title.” “They should expect me to contribute to the team and be a good role model on campus,” Crawford added on what Texas fans should expect from him. His final three in the recruiting process were Texas, Tennessee, and Oklahoma, but he ultimately decided on Texas because “it felt like home,” Crawford said. While Crawford played in all facets of the game at John Tyler High School, he’s expected to play cornerback upon joining Texas. “He could play the nickel as a freshman, he can even play safety,” Holmes said on Crawford’s versatility. Crawford is one of the fastest kids in Texas as well. The freak athlete has a personal record of 10.60 in the 100-meters and 22.16 in the 200-meters, a mark he set when he just was a sophomore. Last year, in the 5A State Championships, Crawford helped John Tyler finish second in the 4X100-meter relay. “Working hard and being dedicated to my craft,” Crawford said on what leads to his personal success.” There’s no doubt that athletes such as Crawford should have an immediate impact on the Longhorn defense, which finished last year’s campaign ranked 97th in the nation in total defense. Crawford joins 4-star safeties Jerrin Thompson and Xavion Alford as defensive back in the recruiting class.
  9. Despite a host of Top-10 recruiting classes in recent history, the Texas Longhorns haven’t won a national championship since Vince Young and the 2005 squad defeated USC in the Rose Bowl. In the four years that followed, the Mack Brown led Longhorns posted an impressive 45-8 record including double-digit winning seasons each year. 2009 would culminate in a BCS National Championship game loss to Nick Saban Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Since that loss, the Longhorns have been on a bit of a downward slide. The 2010’s have been somewhat of a roller coaster. This decade, they hold a record of 71-57 with just one 10-wins season (in 2018). Many people thought 2019 could be the year Texas returned to prominence, but instead they finished 8-5. They lost one-possession games against Oklahoma and the eventual national champion, LSU, but fell to TCU, Iowa State and Baylor. The Longhorns have combated average seasons by recruiting top-10 classes. The 2020 class was no different. Included in the class is Carthage High School’s Kelvontay Dixon – one of the best athletes in the state of Texas. Dixon is the younger brother of current Texas running back Keaontay Ingram, who ran for 853 yards on almost six yards a carry with seven rushing touchdowns last season. He also caught 29 passes for 242 yards and another three touchdowns. “What took the cake for Texas was the coaches making it feel like I was home,” Dixon said on why he chose the Longhorns. Dixon was originally committed to the University of Arkansas. He decommitted in November of last year before ultimately committing to UT in February. Ingram and Dixon both come from Carthage High School, a state powerhouse at the 4A level. The Bulldogs of Carthage hold claim to seven state championships in football, all since 2008. Dixon and the 2019 squad just completed a perfect 16-0 season which was capped with a win over Waco La Vega inside Cowboy Stadium. Dixon has been a huge part of that success. As a wide receiver over the past two years he’s caught 157 passes for 2,511 yards and 37 receiving touchdowns. “What leads to my personal success is just working on technique and what could happen (in a game)” Dixon said on what contributes to his success. Dixon is a 4-star recruit via the 247Sports Composite and a top-50 player in Texas for 2020. He is also a track and field star. In the 2019 UIL 4A state championships, he finished sixth in the 100-meter dash (10.81 seconds) and second in the triple jump (46’10.25”.) He is projected to play at the slot receiver position at UT with a chance to be involved in the return game. “I’m looking forward to accomplishing winning a bowl game or even a national championship,” Dixon said on what he hopes to accomplish on the 40 Acres. Kelvontay Dixon is one of the best athletes in the state of Texas. He alongside his brother Keontay could be double-trouble for opposing defenses in the years to come. “Hopefully when it comes down to it, letting it be known to be one of the best (at UT.)”
  10. On March 18, 2020, the NCAA made a decision to immediately ban in-person recruiting. The ban will be in place until at least April 15. That doesn’t stop division one coaches from communicating via written letter or telephone calls, however. Since President Trump has called for a national emergency, the University of Texas is still offering some of the top football players in the country scholarships to play at DKR on Saturdays. Here are some of the athletes UT has recently extended scholarship offers to. 2021 Offers Isaiah Johnson, Defensive Back, Bluefield High School – Isaiah Johnson is a four-star recruit via the 247Sports Composite. He’s one of the top cornerbacks in the 2021 class and one of the best players in the state of West Virginia. As a junior at Bluefield High School, he led the team to a 12-2 record and an appearance in the West Virginia AA state title game where they ultimately fell short to Bridgeport. Johnson announced at the end of January that he will be transferring from Bluefield and playing his senior season elsewhere. He currently holds offers from Georgia, Penn State, and LSU among others, but just a few weeks ago Texas decided to throw an offer towards Johnson’s way.
  11. On April fools day, The NCAA was anything but fun and jokes. Amidst the national crisis that is the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA announced that they will extend the current recruiting dead period for all Division I and II schools until at least May 31. The news at the end of the day wasn’t shocking in the slightest. Coaches are still permitted to communicate with recruits, they just can’t schedule any official or unofficial meetings. Luckily, Texas has already been very busy with its 2021 class. Tom Herman has secured commitments from multiple 4-star recruits and a 5-star recruit, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. Currently, UT has a top ten 2021 recruiting class, including the best in the Big-12. One reason for that is 4-star pledge, Derrick Harris Jr. Harris Jr. is an outside linebacker for New Caney High School outside of Houston. He’s a 4-star prospect on the 247Sports composite and is currently listed as the 25th best player in the state of Texas. He announced his decision to commit to The University of Texas on August 3 of last year. “What made me decide on Texas was basically how the coaches were and how great the people are down there, like the players and just everyone in general,” Harris Jr. said on his commitment. Harris Jr. has been wreaking havoc on opposing offenses for the past two years as part of the Eagles defense. In 2017, prior to Harris being in the starting rotation, the Eagles were allowing upwards of 28 points per game. Since his insertion onto the field as a sophomore, on average, the Eagles are allowing offenses to score around 14 points a game. “What leads to my personal success is mainly for God giving me that talent and my family for just believing in me,” Harris said on his success. “Also just me putting in the effort to just be where I’m at today.” In his two seasons as an outside linebacker for New Caney, Harris has put up a stat-line that includes 172 tackles, including almost 40 for a loss, nearly 10 sacks, three interceptions, 13 passes defended and a pair of forced fumbles. It goes without saying that he can literally do it all. He received offers from Baylor, Ole Miss, Miami, and Texas A&M among others before ultimately committing to the Longhorns. “I’m just looking forward to coming in and be the best player and teammate I can be and hopefully everything would take care of itself,” Harris said on his goals for becoming a Longhorn. Undoubtedly he will be a force to reckon with when he becomes a member of the Texas family. He’s a lightning-quick linebacker who’s just as good as meeting a running back behind the line of scrimmage as he is in pass coverage. Fans will have to wait for his arrival though as he still has one more year in Houston before traveling north to Austin. Last season, New Caney took a 10-0 record into the playoffs before being one and done in the 5A D1 state playoffs. “What I’m looking forward in my senior year is being a better leader and showing everyone else that I am a hard worker and that I gave it all out,” Harris Jr. said. From 2018-2021 Texas has consistently compiled Top-10 recruiting classes nationally. Commits like Derrick Harris Jr. are why the Longhorns have a lot to be proud of when it comes to recruiting bragging rights. Harris Jr. wants Texas fans to know a few things about him before his arrival next year. “UT fans should know that they are getting a hard worker and someone who will give their all to the team and be there through the ups and downs.”
  12. The Texas Longhorns set the bar high when it comes to collegiate athletics and even more so when it comes to recruiting. Year in and year out, no matter the sport, Texas finds a way to bring in the best athletes from all around the country. UT’s softball coach, Mike White is no exception to this rule. In just a few short years he’s put Texas back on the map as a softball powerhouse. When you look at White’s 2020 recruiting class, there is no doubt that Texas softball is likely to be a well-oiled machine for years to come. One name in particular that should catch everyone’s eye, is Carlee Ratcliff. Ratcliff is a senior, triple-sport athlete at New Boston High School who in October announced she was ready to don the burnt orange. “All my life I have trained hard, worked hard and played hard, to be a winner. And, I have always been motivated by teammates and coaches who thrived on supporting each other. “The University of Texas Longhorns softball program has a history of being both a winning program and one where the players, coaches and school have tremendous spirit and a sense of camaraderie. I wanted to be a part of that. I want to play for a winner,” Ratcliff said on why she chose UT. Ratcliff is the definition of a star athlete. She was named District 14-3A Softball Defensive Player of the year whilst also receiving all-district nods in both Volleyball and Basketball. When it comes to Softball, Ratcliff is on another level. In her junior season, she hit over.500 with 12 home runs, 53 runs batted in while also stealing 18 bases. “I believe success comes from hard work. I have spent most of my life working hard to achieve my goals and dreams. Extra workouts, hitting drills, travel ball, and specialty coaches have helped me hone my skills and made me the ballplayer I am now. Sacrificing the short term, for a long term dream, is one of the keys to my success,” the star infielder said. With the inclusion of Ratcliff into the Longhorn family, there’s no doubt Austin could have a star in the making. Unfortunately for softball fans, this season has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ratcliff, due to this national emergency, along with every other senior spring athlete at the high school level, has seen their final year slip away due to this virus. “Losing my senior year of softball is one of the biggest disappointments of my life. All of the offseason workouts getting prepared, all of the practices, just everything we did to be ready, was thrown out. It just sucks,” Ratcliff said. That doesn’t stop Ratcliff though from keeping herself prepared for her UT future. “To stay ready, and continue working toward the dream of playing for the Longhorns, I have stayed busy. Our coaches gave us workout schedules, plus I have continued my extra training on my own. When the time comes to play softball again, I will be ready!” Ratcliff has put herself and New Boston Softball on the map in recent years. Thus, she has lofty expectations for herself and the Longhorns upon her arrival. “My goals are very simple. I want to be the best teammate to the other girls on the squad, and I want to do whatever is asked of me by Coach White and the rest of our coaches, and I want to win. Winning and being a part of the tradition of the burnt orange is a major goal,” Ratcliff said. Mike White has compiled an incredible 2020 class that includes Carlee Ratcliff, Ryleigh White, Alyssa Washington and a slew of other names. White has invigorated an already great program and with Ratcliff’s commitment, it should be smooth-sailing for years to come. “The fans of UT should know that I always give it my all. I always leave everything I have on the diamond, and there will never be a day, a practice, or a game where they don’t see me giving 100 percent.”
  13. Edrick Floréal took over the UT Men’s Track and Field program in 2018. The Longhorns have a storied history when it comes to the sport, boasting multiple conference championships in indoor and outdoor track and field. Floréal represented Canada in the 1988 and 1992 Summer Olympics. While he failed to medal in each attempt, he remains the Canadian record holder in the long jump and the triple jump. It should come as no surprise that Floréal has an eye for jumping talent. UT’s new track and field commit, Blake Harris, is one of the best long and triple jumpers in the state of Texas. On March 20th Harris, a senior from Houston’s Strake Jesuit High School, announced on Twitter his commitment to UT Track and Field. “The academics and coaching here at UT are second to none,” Harris said of his commitment. Harris also competes for the Houston Speed club team where he specializes in the long and triple jumps, just like his future coach Edrick Floréal. “I love competing in the triple jump. It’s always been my first love,” Harris said. Harris holds the Strake Jesuit record for the triple jump with a jump of 48 feet and nine inches, almost two feet longer than anyone else in the history of the elite high school. “Being grounded in my faith and having a strong family support system,” Harris said on what leads to his personal success. He is having his senior season stripped of him due to the COVID-19 pandemic but remains focused on his future at UT. “I want to be the best I can be so the team can succeed at conference and nationals,” Harris said. UT has won numerous indoor and outdoor conference championships but only a handful this decade. In 2013 and 2015 they won Big 12 titles in both. Texas has never won a national championship in Men’s Track and Field. The men’s team were runners-up in the outdoor national championships in 1987,1988 and 1997. Harris might be just what the doctor ordered to push the Longhorns over the edge. “I’m a hard worker who is dedicated to doing any and everything for the betterment of the program.”
  14. 2019 was an up and down year for the University of Texas Men’s Tennis team. In March of 2019, due to the college admissions bribery scandal, the team lost head coach Michael Center. Since that turn of events, the program’s trajectory has been nothing short of upward. Bruce Berque, an assistant under Center, was named interim coach following Center’s termination. Under Berque, the team went on to claim the Big 12 regular-season conference championship. They then parlayed that success into defeating Wake Forest for the programs’ first-ever NCAA National Championship. The interim tag was taken off of Berque’s resume in May of 2019 and he became head coach. As the program’s success continues to climb, Texas Tennis is attracting some of the best players in the country. Micah Braswell and Leighton Allen are two of them. Braswell is from Sarasota, Florida and according to tennisrecruiting.net, he’s the number one recruit in the 2020 class. Allen isn’t far behind, as the Austin native is eighth on that same list. “On my recruiting trip, I really enjoyed the city and loved everything about the school the coaching, the team, and the Academics,” Braswell said on his commitment to the Longhorns. “I grew up in Austin and it was a dream of mine ever since I was about 12 years old to be able to become a Longhorn,” Allen said on his commitment. “I’ve always watched the team matches over the years and I knew that I wanted to be affiliated with this type of environment and the rich tennis history it has behind it.” UT Tennis can be traced back to its first season in 1912. Since then, they’ve won 27 regular-season championships and seven conference tournaments. Including the women’s program, Tennis programs at the University of Texas have won three national championships and 25 regular-season conference titles since 1993. They also hold multiple national championships in singles and doubles play most recently coming in 1990 and 2015 respectively. Leighton Allen is the number one recruit in all of Texas and in 2019 won the golden ball in singles play at the USTA 18s National Clay Court Championships. Tennis runs in Allen’s blood as his mother was a four-time All-American at Trinity University. “I am extremely driven and competitive. I have worked exceedingly hard to be able to accomplish all of my goals. I have been very fortunate to be able to work with a world-class coach, Scott McCain. He has helped me reach my potential at every level both on and off the court,” Allen said on his success. Braswell has most recently won the Vancouver Grade Three ITF singles title and currently holds a 38-11 record in 2019. His father played tennis at Florida State University. “Everything my dad has taught me on the court has helped me the most,” Braswell said on his success. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Texas won’t get a chance to repeat as national champions in 2020. In 2021 however, with Allen and Braswell on the team, the sky is the limit for Texas Men’s Tennis. “My goals at Texas are to just contribute to the team as much as I can,” Braswell said. “I would say that I’ve always liked having a team even though tennis is an individual sport. I’m really looking forward to the team aspect of college tennis.” “I would like to be a consistent performer year in and year out to help the team win multiple titles,” Allen said on his goals for UT. Leighton Allen isn’t enrolled yet and still had this to say about the University of Texas. “I have been a Longhorn since birth and will always bleed burnt orange. Hook’em!”
  15. The Texas Longhorns have one of the most prolific Softball programs in the country. While they don’t have a national championship to their resume, they have a storied tradition of winning, which includes five Women’s College World Series appearances. The program has been to the NCAA tournament in all but three years, since its inception in 1997. They’ve won roughly 69% percent of their games. They’ve finished under .500 just twice. In 2020, before COVID-19 robbed us of all sports, they were ranked third in the USA TODAY/NFCA Poll with a 24-3 record. Mike White, in just his second season in Austin, has created a dominant force, holding a 70-20 record at Texas. His winning ways can be attributed to his coaching competence and exceptional recruiting capabilities. White was previously head coach at Oregon and won nearly 80% of his games. He was a three-time PAC-12 coach of the year. While the COVID-19 virus abruptly put an end to a promising season for White’s Longhorns, the future still looks bright. White is recruiting at an elite level and continues to secure talent from the best in the nation. One of these athletes is Ryleigh White. White is currently a senior at Immaculate Heart Academy in New Jersey. Her first visit was to coach Mike White in Oregon when she was in eighth grade. She ultimately committed to the University of Tennessee to be closer to home. When coach White made the switch to the Longhorns, Ryleigh White followed suit. “I de-committed from the University of Tennessee and committed to Texas for the huge opportunity to play for and learn from Coach Mike White,” White said. “I am so excited to play with the best. It doesn’t get any better than Coach Spencer, Coach Singleton, and Coach White.” Ryleigh White is a 6’1” right-handed pitcher and she has been a machine for the Blue Eagles at Immaculate Heart Academy. She hit over .400 in each of her first three seasons, for a total of 93 RBI’s in just 100 hits with 29 home runs. Those numbers are all outstanding, but she’s known mainly as an ace on the mound. In her high school career, she has an earned run average under 1. During her junior season, she went an incredible 20-2 with an ERA of 0.67 and 277 strikeouts. She allowed just 40 hits in 136 innings pitched. For the past four years White has also been traveling to California to play with her club team, the A’s of Mercado/Smith. Most recently they won the PGF 18U National Championship. During that run, she went 3-0 with 19 strikeouts and had an ERA of 0.00. “My personal success comes from my discipline, determination, and upbringing. I was raised that nothing in this life comes for free and that I have to put the work in to reach my goals. I have been fortunate to be surrounded with an awesome support group of my family, my pitching coach Frank Pelicanni, my hitting coach Phil Delgado, my personal trainer John Wilkins and my PT Dominic Cerreto,” White said. “A huge part of my development and success has come from the last 4 years, I leave New Jersey for the summer and move to California to play and train with Athletics Mercado. This allows me to play with and against the best players in the country. I believe this plays a huge role in preparing me both mentally and physically for Texas.” Ryleigh White is going to be an important component to what Mike White and the Longhorns have built and continue to build in Austin. Whether she’s on the mound or in the batter’s box, she is at all times a threat to wreak havoc. “My goals for my time at the University of Texas are to improve every day and do all I can to help this team bring a National Championship to Texas,” White said. “I hope to do this not only in the circle but at the plate as well. I plan on excelling in the classroom and working to the high standards expected of a UT student-athlete.” “UT fans should know that I’m a true Jersey girl, born and raised. I have an awesome older sister Schyler who is a collegiate volleyball player, a mom who I cherish and admire who works with children with Autism and my father who is a Captain of his police department and the person I credit my work ethic too. I also have a Bengal cat named Benji.” When the Longhorns trot back out to the baseball diamond keep an eye out for Ryleigh White. You will see plenty of her for the next four years.
  16. Texas has been recruiting exceptionally well over the past three years. They’ve had a top ten recruiting class since 2018, and 2021 already looks like they could make it four years in a row. In order to maintain that top ten ranking, Tom Herman and staff just doled out a slew of scholarship offers to some of the best prospects in the country. 2021 Offers Hal Presley, Wide Receiver, Mansfield Summit High School Hal Presley is a three-star wide receiver who was offered by Texas on March 9th. Presley is 6’3” and 190 pounds. He recently helped Mansfield Summit reach a 7-4 record last season. In his junior season for the Jaguars, Presley doubled his production in every way from his sophomore year. He finished with 45 catches for 874 yards and eight touchdowns, all of which were team-highs for the Jaguars. “Just working on things that I know I have to get better at every day,” Presley said on what he contributes his success too. Presley has 20-plus offers from schools all over the country from USC to TCU to Ole Miss. Texas became the most recent program to give Presley an offer as he begins to prepare for his final season at Mansfield Summit. “It’s really cool because I use to dream about it and now it’s happening,” Presley said on the offers he’s received. Ketron Jackson, Wide Receiver, Royse City High School Another wide receiver that Texas recently reached out too is 4-star receiver from Royse City, Ketron Jackson. Jackson already holds offers from Alabama, Auburn and Ohio State among others but Texas just recently threw their hat in the mix on this star-studded athlete. The Bulldogs had an impressive 9-3 season this last season. Being primarily a running team, it’s impressive to see what Jackson did with limited opportunities. He finished the year with 61 catches for 889 yards and nine touchdowns. He ended up on the receiving end of about 50% of the team’s total passing yards. What’s even more impressive is how he got better as the season progressed. In his last three games of the year, he totaled 25 catches for almost 400 yards, including nearly 200 against the eventual state champions in 5A D2, Aledo. Bryce Langston, Weak Side Defensive End, Vanguard High School Despite announcing a top-five back in October, Texas made an offer to the four-star defensive end from Ocala, Florida. While The University of Florida seems like the most logical choice for Langston, anything can happen. As a junior for Vanguard High School last year, Langston racked up 51 total tackles, 10 for a loss in 12 games. He also recorded two sacks and led the team in quarterback hurries with three. 2022 Offers Bryan Allen Jr, Safety, Aledo High School A big reason Aledo won a state record ninth championship, was due to sophomore defensive back transfer Bryan Allen Jr. As a Sophomore last season he led the Bearcats in tackles, interceptions and forced fumbles with 122, three and two respectively. Allen Jr. who already holds offers from Florida, TCU and Arkansas among others, just visited Texas a week ago. “My family and I loved UT I will be going back,” Allen Jr. said on the experience. Allen Jr. transferred to Aledo after starting in his freshman year at Southwest High School and has put in the hard work to be considered a leader on Aledo’s defense. “It’s humbling but I wasn’t surprised. I’m dedicated to my craft so I know it’s coming I just have to keep grinding,” Allen Jr. said on what it’s like to receive so many offers already. Allen Jr. still has two more years at Aledo though and has a list of things he still wants to accomplish. “Winning state two more times, Academic All-American, number one safety in the nation might are just some of my goals.” Shawn Murphy, Inside Linebacker, Stonewall Jackson High School Shawn Murphy is a five-star inside linebacker from Manassas, Virginia and is considered one of the best players in the 2022 class. Over the past month, he’s received offers from Texas, Texas A&M, Arizona State, and Arkansas. The 6’2” 220 lb. soon to be junior can do everything on the field and hasn’t even peaked athletically. If Texas can land Murphy it would be one of the biggest signings of the 2022 class. Justin Medlock, Linebacker, Manvel High School Medlock was the anchor behind a Manvel team that allowed only 19 points a game and finished with a 13-1 record. This sophomore is a tacking machine and was the only Maverick to finish with over 100 tackles. He also recorded five passes defended, two fumble recoveries and three and a half sacks on the year. Medlock recently visited the UT campus and received an offer while he was there. “The visit was great. It was a great atmosphere and everyone made me feel at home as soon as I walked in.” The 6’1” 200-pound linebacker has received offers from SMU, Nebraska, and Baylor among others and is set to visit the campus of the defending national champions, the LSU Tigers. “It’s a blessing but it just makes me hungrier and want to go even harder,” Medlock said on the number of offers he has received. Medlock still has two more seasons at Manvel and looks to accomplish more before making a decision. “I want to win a state championship before I leave. That’s my main focus right now before committing anywhere and leaving high school.” 2023 Offers Brandon Inniss, Wide Receiver, University High School The lone offer Texas made in the 2023 class was Brandon Inniss, a wide receiver from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Inniss, who just completed his freshman season, is an absolute machine. He’s already received 20 scholarship offers from the likes of programs including LSU, Texas, Oklahoma, and Florida. “It feels good to have all these offers but I feel like I have way more stuff to accomplish before I commit to a college, but it feels good to have them,” Inniss said. In his freshman season at University High School Iniss had 27 receptions for 520 yards and 10 receiving touchdowns. He also ran in a touchdown and recorded 12 tackles and two interceptions on defense. “I workout with the seniors because I feel like they will push me harder than anybody in the weight room, and they do. My teammates push me hard because of all the attention I am getting, they don’t want me to let up. I give credit to Ricardo Hallman, Robert Floyd, Deion Small, Fredrick Cage and Max Balthazar for pushing me in the weight room and on the field. They are my brothers and we fight for each other,” Inniss said on what he credits his success too. Inniss still has three years left at high school before he’ll be playing D1 football on Saturdays. “I want to accomplish having over 5,000 all-purpose yards and over 50 touchdowns throughout my career. I would also love to win a state championship before I commit to a college.”
  17. The Texas Longhorns baseball team currently sits at 13-3 with their losses coming by just four combined runs. The program has been the model of consistency for the past century. Six national championships, a winning percentage of 73% and only four losing seasons this decade. Last season though, the Longhorns took a bit of a stumble with a 27-27 record. This year, albeit its still early, is showing signs of an insurgence. Next season, the outlook already looks bright for David Pierce and his club, as Texas holds claim to one of the top recruiting classes in the nation. Petey Halpin is one reason why. The star outfielder from California announced his decision to play in Austin back in September of last year. “I loved the environment in Texas. From the fans to the love for the sport and the killer barbecue,” Halpin said on his reasoning to commit to UT. “Also I have always wanted to live outside of California and I think Texas is a great fit for me.” Petey is currently in San Mateo, California where last year he hit nearly .300 for 17 runs batted in and a pair of home runs for St. Francis High School. He’s currently at Mira Costa High School. Halpin also competed in the inaugural High School MLB All-star game last year in Cleveland. “What leads to my personal success is hard work and never putting too much pressure on myself,” Halpin said. “Baseball is a game of failure so you have to learn from your mistakes and constantly get better every day.” Halpin, one of the best outfielders in the country, joins a loaded 2020 UT baseball class that also includes other top recruits such as Carson Tucker, Jared Kelley, and Tanner Witt. “My main goal is winning the national championship,” Halpin said. “We have a great freshman class and I know the guys in my class are extremely strong and passionate.” Skipper David Pierce has done an exceptional job with the program in a short amount of time. Considering all the talent that continues to make its way to Austin, the Longhorns are primed for success for the foreseeable future. Texas hasn’t been to a College World Series Final since 2009. They haven’t won the Big 12 tournament since 2015. Pierce and the Longhorns look to get back to their dominant ways and it may all start with Petey Halpin and the 2020 recruiting class.
  18. Last season, the Katy Taylor Mustangs limped into the Texas 6A D2 playoffs at 5-5. What ensued was an improbable run of four consecutive wins that propelled the Mustangs to the state semifinals. During that run, the Mustangs averaged more than 41 points a game, 15 points more than what they were doing in the regular season. One profound reason for that success? 2021 UT commit Hayden Conner. Conner is a 6’6” 325-pound beast of a left tackle. The Mustang had an impressive 87 pancake blocks on the season and is a four-star recruit based on the 247 sports composite. “I take film and preparation very seriously. I spend a lot of time studying my opponent and seeing what they might try to do,” Conner said on his on-field success. “I love the off-season and preparing my body for the next year.” Conner was heavily recruited, receiving D1 offers from Texas A&M, Stanford, and Michigan among others before ultimately deciding on the Longhorns. “UT has one of the best aerospace engineering programs in the country,” Conner said on why he chose UT. “Combine that with big-time football close to home and a former teammate committing which made it a very easy decision.” The teammate that Conner is referring to would be a fellow four-star prospect, a dual-threat quarterback from Katy Tompkins, Jalen Milroe. Conner and Milroe have been close friends and been playing football together since elementary school. Once Milroe committed to being the future Texas quarterback, Conner shortly followed. The junior left tackle excels not only on the gridiron but in the classroom as well. He boasts an impressive 3.58 GPA and is pursuing aerospace engineering. It’s only fitting that Conner has lofty goals for his time as a Longhorn. “Excel academically and get a great degree,” Conner said on his future goals. “Find a way to contribute as early as possible and help UT get back to a national championship.” Just like how the commitment of Jalen Milroe made it an easier decision for Hayden Conner, Conner’s commitment might sway another recruit into the Longhorns family as well. Katy Taylor boasts yet another four-star recruit on their offensive line with 6’5” 320-pound offensive guard, Bryce Foster. Foster is also a junior and just over a month ago listed his top five teams as Oklahoma, LSU, Oregon, Texas A&M, and Texas. “Bryce and I make each other a lot better. We’ve been together since sixth grade and have had a lot of success,” Conner said on the potential of playing with Foster at UT. “There’s no one that I would rather go to war with.” Regardless of where Foster ends up though, Texas still holds claim to one of the best 2021 recruiting classes in the nation. Hayden Conner is a huge reason for that claim. “I want the fans to know that I am 100% locked in with UT. I’m doing everything I can to help build my class and when I get on campus I’ll give everything I have to represent the University of Texas to the best of my ability. I’m proud to be a Longhorn. Hook em!”
  19. Story via Tristan Larsen, HornSports The Texas Longhorns hold claim to one of the most impressive streaks in all of sports. Since legendary swim coach Eddie Reese’s second year at the University of Texas, the men’s swim program has won an unprecedented 41 straight conference championships. The program also holds 14 NCAA Championships under its belt. Maintaining excellence isn’t an easy task. To do so, Reese and his staff recruit the best swimmers from all across America to join an elite Texas swimming program. The latest in that ever-growing family? Kayde Cross. Kayde Cross is currently a junior in Ballwin, Missouri and represents Parkway Swim Club. Even though he competes in Missouri and all around the midwest, Cross has always had the Longhorns on his mind. “When I was 12 or 13, I came down to UT for a swim camp, and I completely fell in love with what I saw,” Cross said on why he chose UT. “I loved it so much that I came back for another two years prior to my initial visit. It became a goal in my mind, I wanted to go there, to UT.” “When I came down for my official visit, I was super nervous to meet everybody. But right away I felt extremely welcomed by the guys,” Cross added. The aforementioned Eddie Reese was another critical factor that led Cross to choose the University of Texas. “I walked straight up to Eddie, we shook hands, and it was a surreal experience,” Cross said. “He knew my name, and I had a mental freak out. It hit me that, I was no longer a camper that had to pay to be there, I was a swimmer with the potential to swim for the best college in the nation.” Cross has been swimming most of his life and he thanks his parents as well as his coaching staff for helping him to be as successful as possible. “They push me to my limits and teach me things to think about while swimming. It’s the details that win races, and everything your competitors don’t do is to your gain,” Cross said. “Races come down to hundredths of seconds, and it’s that time that can make or break your goals.” Cross doesn’t enroll until 2021, but he already has his mind dead set on goals he would like to accomplish in his time on the 40 Acres. “I hope to win one or a couple of NCAA titles and make the Olympic team,” Cross said. “I know those goals seem crazy, but I know with a team and coaching staff like Texas, in my mind, it doesn’t seem too far fetched.” Until then, Cross wants UT fans know he’s ready to get to Austin and get to work. “I’m beyond excited to be a part of this team. It’s like a dream to be welcomed into such an amazing place. I’m thankful for everything and everyone that has helped me get to where I am now, and I can’t wait to be a part of the best group of guys in the USA. Hook ‘em.”

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